How my own personal health crisis completely changed life for the better

Hi! I’m Laura and this is where I chronicle my adventures in tracking down little-known but easily accessible methods you can use to naturally restore radiant health. The Confidence Kitchen started out as a blog on a joy quest, but, after a diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia, the blog quickly became a way for me to document my personal journey to bring down my unusually high cholesterol levels. (You can read my cholesterol lowering story here.)

This journey really doesn’t start and end with cholesterol or heart health – even though heart disease is still the number one killer in the USA, the UK and Europe. The thing that really got my attention when I jumped down the heart disease rabbit-hole, is that heart disease is (almost) entirely optional. (Oh, and cholesterol is a minor player in heart disease – but I’ll get to that). We have (almost) complete control over how likely we are to either create this disease or prevent it in our bodies. I say that even while knowing that three of my family members died suddenly from heart disease. They were all under the age of 45. I believe that if they had known what I know now, there is a good chance they would all still be around today.

There is an on and off switch for heart disease. And most of unknowingly flick it randomly on and off every day without knowing what we’re doing.

Once I realised this, it gave me hope that I could beat my family genetics, my bad habits, and the negative conditioning that we all pick up from living in a society that programs us to believe that heart disease is just a normal part of ageing. It’s not.

I looked to the research and chose to take control over my health destiny. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball. I cannot predict what will happen to me. I may be that .01% genetic oddity whose days are numbered. But even so, I can do my best to work with what I’ve got. I can commit to controlling the factors that are within my control. And amazingly, there are hundreds of things I found that we can all do to minimize our risk of heart disease.

So that’s my focus on this blog. Actually doing – all the things. Making the changes. Creating the habits. Building the lifestyle. This is less about tips and tricks and more about doing stuff. Slowly at first, and then building into habits that energise, excite and create a life much better than you had before your diagnosis, before your high cholesterol, before the fear that you’re not healthy sunk in and slowed you down.

You can create a life so much healthier and better than you have this second. And you will enjoy it! (OK, that’s my inner drill sergeant voice saying that – did you hear it?!) As many people who change their lifestyle find out – once you start to work on your health, you gain so much more than you expect. Not only will your blood metrics improve, but the accidental side-effects are ridiculous. Get ready for glowing skin, high energy, admiring comments about looking younger, and a newfound feeling of aliveness and readiness to tackle new things in your life (well, maybe I’m just speaking for myself – but I doubt it!)

“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” – Eckhart Tolle

During my health challenges, I was struck by the amount of information available online. It was overwhelming and once I became more knowledgeable I realised how often publicly available information (even from large socially accepted bodies) is often wrong or incomplete.  I’ve come to realize that in general, the majority of doctors are not clear on how to effectively treat health conditions using diet. In my case, 3 doctors told me there was nothing to be done lifestyle-wise with my genetic condition and that I would need to be on pharmaceuticals for the rest of my life.

I said no to the side-effects of better living through chemistry, and did my own research to uncover a world of healthy living that I implemented step by step through very small daily changes. The result was nothing short of a “miracle”, according to the medical establishment. My doctor simply looked at me and said “We do not understand how this happened”.

My LDL cholesterol reduction without drugs, was nothing short of a miracle for the UK medical establishment

My LDL cholesterol reduction without drugs, was nothing short of a miracle for the UK medical establishment

This is my documenting of a seeker’s journey to find not only more! better! or greater! which I certainly quest for, but ultimately how many beautiful and useful things curiousity can discover

So the Confidence Kitchen is really about taking the alarming stats that we all hear every day about how the Western world is fatter, more disease ridden, depressed, and toxic than ever, and digging deeper into each issue to give you tiny pockets of action in the form of a “secret” that you can use to up your game a little bit each week.

“The most socially gracious people I know share one character trait: intense, nonjudgmental curiosity.”—Martha Beck

I wish you a healthy and joy filled life!

I would be honoured to have you follow my blog – you can sign up in the top right hand corner. Please share your personal “bright spots” of change, inspiration, insights, and health improvements.  More people need to discover the amazing power that daily habits, natural remedies, and inspirational self-care ideas have to improve and heal our bodies and lives!

“So Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.” – Will Durant

Thank you so much for stopping by and joining me in creating a life that is abundantly blooming!

Yours in growth,

Laura
xx

p.s.  If you were like me, then you’re probably putting off your health and self-care to another day “when you will have more time.” Well we all know that day will never come, right? And I think we also know that time is not our only problem here, is it? Taking risks and trying new things is scary! Well, the good news is a sentiment I share with Eleanor Roosevelt, that “it takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”  And as Anais Nin reminds us, “there comes a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.”

Not taking action surrounding our health and well-being is life draining on so many levels. We shadow box with time and energy and schedules and obligations, but “to be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you’re dead.” (Og Mandino). We are slowly starving ourselves of the activities that make life meaningful, energetic, nourishing, and real.

You have a limited amount of self-control, so you need to identify a select few things that you are going to focus your energy on changing at any given time – otherwise you will fail

I’m talking about health and beauty a lot on this blog, but I’m not a doctor. I come at this material from what I feel is often the key point of “stuckness” when it comes to self-care improvements: How do we manage the “change” aspect of getting well on a day to day basis? It’s the moment to moment decisions that alter the shape of our life, yet how to get a handle on these, and make positive changes in a way that is as stressless as possible?

Enjoying some iPad exploration in a local cafe off Bermondsey Street in London

Enjoying some iPad exploration in a local cafe off Bermondsey Street in London

I’m a business owner who focusses on helping businesses successfully navigate through change processes. I’ve always found this advice from success coach Tony Robbins useful: “Success leaves clues.” It mirrors the ‘Bright Spots’ that Chip and Dan Heath outlined in their book “Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard,” and encourages us to hunt down and focus on things and people that are working/successful. We can then break those things down to understand how we can use that information for a positive impact in our life (as opposed to focussing on what is not working). Additionally by focussing on those bright spots, it allows us to direct our very limited “self-control” energy, onto the highest return activities aka the “secret” activities. Here is a great video outlining how our self-control is finite, and depletes with use.

“ Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. – Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) Dutch painter