What was your inspiration behind writing From Trapped to Limitless: 7 Steps to to Healthy Living Without Limits?
A few years ago, my life as I knew it came to a stall. I was burnt out, stressed and overwhelmed. I couldn’t see a way out. My health, my relationships and my career were not where I wanted them to be and I couldn’t see a way out. I felt like I was trapped, like I had no idea what to do. It all became too much to handle. Every decision I ever took, ever person I accepted in my life, every thought I had entertained, every food I allowed to enter my body created the life I was living and it was not going anywhere. I was on a downward spiral and I had no idea what to do and how to do it.
This intense pressure reached its highest point one day when I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. As I soon found out, I had an ovarian cyst that burst and that was later deemed to be ‘normal’ by medical experts. I simply couldn’t believe that going through so much pain and being put on morphine would be seen as a normal experience for women my age. I was only 30 years old at the time.
That experience ignited in me a strong desire to figure it out and get out of the box I was living in. I had seen my family members for years go through the same patterns of health and I wasn’t going to let myself down. I had no idea how but I just knew there had to be a better way. I embarked on a new quest to heal my life and followed a strictly holistic approach. I healed myself with food in less than 6 months and never looked back. I am a new person today and I cannot even imagine living my life as I used to. I feel like I can do anything.
Going through this experience and seeing how something so simple as the food and thought choices we make can have such a tremendous impact on one’s life set me on a new course. I cannot stand to see people suffer and limit their lives because they don’t have the tools and knowledge to change that. I live to help people wake up and take charge of their lives and nothing lights be up more than seeing them succeed. It is the best feeling ever! Life truly is limitless.
What does a typical day look like for you in terms of your exercise and nutrition?
One thing I learnt on my journey is that optimum health is a blend of both nutrition and exercise. It cannot be just one or the other. I see so many clients for whom being fit gives them a false sense of being healthy. Exercise truly does help to cleanse the body and build energy but cellular health is a whole different game and that is where nutrition plays a key role.
In terms of exercise, I learnt quickly that focusing on doing things I loved gave me long-term results. So I tried a bit of everything and made a list of things I enjoyed. I love being outside so for me jogging, hiking and biking are amazing. If some days I don’t get to do any of those, I choose rebounding at home and do that for about 20-30 minutes while listening to an audio book.
In regards to nutrition, I really believe in the power of plants and foods that are as close as possible to the way nature made them. I also avoid foods that are clogging likes animal products, bad fats and processed foods. The foods that made the biggest difference in my health and that truly allowed me to heal and get my vitality back are raw foods and superfoods. These are packed with energy and nutrients and you simply cannot get that from anywhere else. I quickly adopted the mantra that “nothing tastes as great as being healthy feels” and that allowed me to completely change the choices I made when it came to food and hydration.
On that note, I do want to mention that focusing on hydration is the key to bringing this all together. It made a world of difference. My favourite part of my day is the morning when I get to help my body cleanse and nourish after a good night sleep. I do a lot of things but my staples are green juices, ginger and lemon teas and spring water with MSM and supergreen powders.
In your opinion, what are some of the biggest benefits of eating organic?
Eating organic simply means that we eat foods with little or no pesticides, so that is the biggest benefit for the body. The systems in our body were not designed to have to process such large amounts of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Sadly most of our food today is contaminated and it is becoming more and more challenging to find clean food. Eating organic also benefits the soil and the planet in general so there are many beneficial ramifications because of that. Some say that organic foods have more nutrition but that is not always the case. For example, an organic apple imported from California will often have less nutrients than a non-organic apple from a local farm. Imported fruits and vegetables are often picked before they are fully ripe and so not all nutrients had a chance to fully develop. Because of that, I often choose local produce vs. imported as long as it is not in the ‘dirty dozen’ category nor genetically modified.
What are some of the best foods to help the post 45 athletes recuperate and maximize their performance in the gym or at their chosen sport?
The best foods for that are foods that heal inflammation, provide maximum nutrition and lots of energy. So live foods or raw foods and their juices are amazing for that. I would also include blends of supergreens and herbs in water and smoothies. Athletes do have to consume a lot more calories than others and so raw nuts and seeds as well as sprouted legumes and essential oils like MCT and hemp are fantastic for that.
For people who have gotten off track, what steps would you recommend they take to get back on their wellness track?
That is a great question and it brings me back to the previous point I made on nutrition and exercise. I did say that both were absolutely necessary but, there is one more component of optimum health. It is the health of our mind and the mastery of our emotions. So to anyone who has gotten off track for any reason, I would say go feed your mind first and the rest will follow.
People often get off track because of various reasons like an illness, stress or just life getting in the way. It is important to focus on healing first and getting awareness on why you got off track to begin with. That is such an important first step.
But once you are past that, I would say focus on hydration first and take it step by step. Add something good every day and focus on incremental progress instead of focusing on how difficult it may be to get back on track or feeling like you failed somehow. Small changes done every day will give you fantastic results long term and you will be back on track in no time. Clean spring water, raw green juices, and supergreen powders are key.
What is your #1 health and wellness tip?
Find out what you love most and make sure you do a little bit of that every day. Find out what makes you feel alive and learn to say no to things, people and situations that do not serve you. We have just one life, so live it the best way you can. Eating good food and exercising is fantastic and absolutely essential for optimum health but if you don’t live a life you love, you will not get anywhere. If you are in a dead relationship, if you can’t wait for weekends to come so you don’t have to be at work anymore, if you find yourself binging on foods that give you a false sense of happiness, it just means that your souls is sad and you are unfulfilled. So heal your heart and your soul first; then support your body with good food and healthy movement and you will be on your way to living the life of your dreams.
Growing up in communist Romania, I had nothing more than a dream, a deep desire for a better life, one with no limits, one without people telling me what I could or could not do.
I am so proud and honoured to live that dream today, whether that is by helping people nourish their minds and bodies at our award-winning vegetarian restaurant, Thrive Organic, or by inspiring my health coaching clients to break through their limitations and live a life of health, energy and fulfillment, a life they truly deserve.