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Ep. 4 | Food and Faith with Miranda Lee

faith motherhood nutrition podcast wellness Jan 17, 2024

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This podcast, hosted by holistic health and wellness coach, Allison, explores her journey with gut health and how that intersects with her experiences as a mother. She shares numerous strategies for busy moms to holistically approach their health and wellness while managing the challenges of daily life. During the episode, Allison has a candid conversation with Miranda Lee, host of the 'Bread Therapy Mama' podcast and mom nutrition enthusiast. Allison discusses the role of faith in health and wellness, the impact of setting time for oneself amidst a busy schedule, and the importance of teaching children about health and wellness by example. The conversation underscores the importance of slowing down and taking care of oneself. Allison shares tips on handling the pressures of motherhood and maintaining gut health. She stresses that listeners should consult their personal healthcare providers for personalized medical advice.

00:04 Introduction to the Podcast
01:26 The Journey to Holistic Health
01:34 Guest Introduction: Miranda Lee
02:20 The Importance of Prioritizing Health as a Mom
03:09 Allison's Personal Health Journey
04:44 The Role of Functional Medicine in Allison's Healing
07:02 The Impact of Lifestyle Changes on Health
08:59 The Importance of Setting Time for Self-Care
11:35 The Influence of Parents' Health Habits on Children
32:56 The Connection Between Faith and Health
39:52 Final Thoughts and Contact Information


Miranda: Hi Allison, welcome to Bread Therapy Mama podcast.  


Allison: Hey, I'm excited to be here. 


Miranda: I'm excited to have you because what we're going to be talking about today is basically what my entire podcast is about. And it is trying to prioritize your health as a mom, which can be so hard. Like, you just hear like the typical, like what I eat for lunch– It's kind of like what my kid doesn't eat like for their lunch. And that's just not how it's supposed to be. Like we'll get into the faith aspect of it as well. But, you know, God really does call us to prioritize our own health, whether we're moms or not moms., you know, we have to fill our own cups so we can fill other people's cup, especially our kids. So, super excited to talk about that. Before we jump into it, can you introduce yourself for the audience? Tell them who you are, what you do, and kind of what brought you to what you're doing today? 


Allison: Yeah. So I'm Allison and I'm a holistic health and wellness coach, and I focus on gut issues and I love to help other moms that are going through similar struggles that I went through whenever I had gut issues. So that's kind of what led me into what I do now. I think I kind of always had gut issues my entire life. And never really knew if that's what it was or that it was not normal. And I started going back to school. I was in the healthcare field and I've had three kids. And after my third son, it was like with each pregnancy and postpartum, all of my gut issues just got worse. And I say gut issues, but that is such a broad topic, but it was like–It got to the point where I couldn't even eat anything without being in pain. I was always bloated, always exhausted. And I saw a lot of this too in my family. And so I thought, Oh, this is just something genetic. Like,  you know, my mom's got similar issues, so I'm going to have those. And it just got to like an all time low where I felt like I just couldn't do anything without being in pain. I really started taking care of myself after my third son, like I started working out a good bit at home. It was 2020. So I was at home with him, you know, and I was just going to exercise as much as I could at home. I had my little gym set up. I really started focusing on my health and what I was eating, which I already thought that I was eating healthy, right? But I just started looking into that a lot more and through all of that, I found Functional medicine because Western medicine basically just led me to a dead end. And that's also what I was trained in. And so I was kind of just hopeless… I was like, I don't know what else to do. So when I found Functional medicine, it really sounded too good to be true. And I was ready to have something sustainable and something that would change me and just help me feel better and be there for my family and for my kids. I was over that quick fix. I did not care how long it took. I was like, I'm in this for the long run. And so I really focused on Functional medicine and finding what was really going on in my body. And I mean, it was a process and it took a lot of work and dedication, but through that I was able to heal my gut. It completely transformed me, honestly. It made me know myself more, be a better mom, and it mentally transformed me. I mean, I could go on and on, but finding Functional medicine, healing my gut, is just what saved me. And I want to be able to do that for other moms. And that's what I do now. I love what I do and that's kind of what got me there because I've been through it too.  


Miranda: Yeah, I think that's probably the biggest difference between like Functional Holistic medicine and Western medicine is like Functional medicine takes longer because like every single person is different and like there's so many different factors like whether it's genes or your environment or like the very specific things that like you are eating or maybe there's mold or poor water quality, whatever it is where like, when you go to the doctor, they're, they're just like, Oh, like you're depressed, like here, like have an antidepressant or, you know, gut health issues.


Allison: Yeah. It's very cookie cutter. It's not personalized. And so having something personalized just helped me. Yeah, and it's normally a band aid and they're not even addressing the issue (Western medicine).


Miranda: So what are some changes specifically besides, you know, adding in and prioritizing your exercise? What are some specific examples that you did, you know, it's going to be different for everyone, but what are some specific examples and changes that you made in your, let's say nutrition, that really made a difference? And how did you navigate trying to figure out like what did or didn't work?  


Allison: Yeah, so It's kind of funny because it's so simple at the same time, but, you know, like as moms, we're kind of like standing up a lot in the kitchen, making our kids food and just eating fast and honestly slowing down and doing one thing at a time and chewing my food a lot more and just slowing down and actually eating. Not just like my kids leftovers, but thinking about what I'm eating, like a healthy protein, you know, a healthy fat, those kinds of things. And just slowing down that helped me tremendously. And I started looking into it a lot and, you know, digestion starts in the mouth. And so like, whenever we start to eat our food a whole lot slower, we're able to digest our food better. And it makes so much sense, but it's just like, we're in such a hurry these days, or we're eating breakfast in the car while we're taking our kids to school if we even have time to eat breakfast, right? But also carving out that time to meal prep and make sure that I do eat because. I think it's just so hard for people as moms to find time to cook and meal prep. And you know, I struggled with that for a while. I've gotten into a routine now where I do set up like two days a week where I will meal prep and I make sure like I have a vegetable, like I'm eating what I need, the nutrients for my body. But it also it allows me to feed my family healthy, too, and they see me doing that. So it's so much more than just taking care of myself. It pours into the rest of the family, right? I think really setting time for myself, too, and making sure that I had a good morning and evening routine. That was really important. And at the time too, I was still, you know, doing my other job and like working some. So I really had to be effective with like my time management skills. So I made sure like I woke up before anybody else and made sure my sleep habits were very aligned with where they needed to be. And I spent time with myself in the mornings. I did a workout in the mornings. And when I say I did a workout, I mean, That might be yoga for 30 minutes. You know, it looks different every day and for everybody and different seasons, but I just made sure I moved my body every day in some form. And then at night, like I just would make sure that I either had a warm bath or washed my face because sometimes we don't even have time to do that, right? Just a good little nighttime skincare routine and even getting off my phone and just sitting in the bed and maybe just reading a book and just unwinding appropriately, but really getting myself on that schedule and setting time for myself like that, that made such a difference, like on top of the nutrition aspects and everything, like just the lifestyle changes helped me tremendously.  


Miranda: Yeah. I love that because like you didn't do like anything really that crazy and I think that that's what stops us a lot of the time. Like, oh no, I'm just, I'm still eating something, but like I'm taking it in the car to go. And I think one thing a lot of people don't understand is like the science behind it. Like your body is either in rest and digest or it's in fight or flight. You can't be in both at the same time. So if you're like running around chasing your kid and like eating a protein bar, like eating a salad, like if your body's in fight or flight mode. It's not going to prioritize digesting and like that's what leads to a lot of gut issues and inflammation or gas because like your body is not absorbing any of the nutrients So, you know you can say good for you for eating your vegetables and protein but if you're not sitting down and actually like eating it and being conscious of it like there's very little benefit.


Allison: Yes. I absolutely love that you pointed that out too, because that is something that was so hard for me because I am very type A, enneagram 3, go-getter, you know, overachiever, all about productivity. And so, really making myself just sit still and read a book was so hard for me at times because I'm like, wait, there's other things I need to be doing, but also keeping in mind, like, okay, I just need to do one thing at a time. And if I say, I'm going to spend 10 minutes reading my book at night, like, my body was able to just, you know, stop for a minute and rest or like, going on a walk after eating lunch, like that also kind of helps me rest in a sense that I'm also like not working out hardcore, but really paying attention to what you said, when your body in this state of fight or flight all the time, because that's doing so much more damage, you know, because your body's under the stress. So that, yeah, just being more aware of what's going on in your body specifically, really, really helped me.  


Miranda: Yeah, I think, like you were saying, adding in that one thing is what we all need to start. If you know for a fact that you're not going to be able to sit down and eat every single meal, like, uninterrupted, (that's the goal, of course) but are we going to be able to do it? No, but if you decide to maybe wake up 20 minutes earlier, 30 minutes earlier, so you can actually sit down and eat a meal uninterrupted, like, give it a couple weeks and see the changes that it has on your body. 


Allison: Yeah, it's hard, but it's the little things though. It really is.  


Miranda: Yeah, it's those little things that add up. Even if you're just deciding to go for a walk, you know, three, four days a week, and you're like, well, I'm not in the gym lifting super heavy every day. No, but it's not all black and white like you went from not prioritizing your workout, your body, or any movement at all and putting in that 20 minute walk a couple days a week. That’s like saying I can do this and then you can start increasing from there and if it's something sustainable that you can be consistent about that's what a lot of people think if something's not like good enough like oh like you know I'm not doing anything crazy or hardcore and you're not supposed to start at crazy or hardcore. It's not, not where you're supposed to start. 


Allison: I really love that you pointed that out too, just the sustainability of it, because if it's not going to be sustainable for you, nobody's going to keep it up, right? Like, it's not going to last. And I think that that's where there's also such a common issue with today's society is that if, if we do struggle with something, gut issues you know, our health as a mom, as anybody, we go to our Western medicine provider and just want this quick fix, but it's like, if you do get that quick fix, what's going to happen when you're out of that medication, or you get off of that medication. Is that what you want long term? You know? And I think, okay, if you choose that, and you know, the pros and cons– all the more power to you. But if you don't, and like, think about sustainability long term, what do you want your life to look like? Do you want to be healthy? I think it's really important that you allow your children to see you be healthy and live this active lifestyle. You know, you're passing that down and influencing them too. And I think just the sustainability of it, of the small lifestyle changes to improve your health are really key. 


Miranda: Yeah, I know we just kind of touched on it a little bit, but let's dive into it a little bit more. The importance of prioritizing your health as a mom for your kids. Let's talk about that. 


Allison: Yes, I think that is just so important. Honestly, my kids are 8, 6, and 3, so they're all still young, but my 8 year old definitely has seen me go through this journey. She remembers whenever I had these terrible stomach issues and she's seen the changes that I've made and how it's helped me and I make sure to talk to her about that, right? And then like my 3 year old, as long as he has been alive, he's been right there with me while I'm doing yoga or lifting weights.  I just think that it's important for them to see you like that and establish those lifestyle changes. Something else I love is that I do talk to my kids about health, about healthy eating and, you know, the unhealthy things too. And so that's like a regular conversation that I think is really important for moms to have with their kids instead of expecting the schools to do it or something. And then seeing you live out that lifestyle too. I think that that is just so important. 


Miranda: That's like the best way to raise a healthy kid is to be “healthy yourself”. Like you don't have to be perfect, but like your kids, your kids are watching whether you're, you know, taking 30 minutes, an hour out of your day to prioritize a workout or if you're standing in front of the mirror, like just picking at yourself and talking down to yourself. Like, you think they don't notice because, like, they're young or they don't say anything, but, like, you're teaching your kids how they should treat themselves. Like, you can tell them one thing, but what matters most is what you're doing and how you're living your day to day lives. 


Allison: And I think it's kind of funny too, because like in the mornings, my oldest, she's gotten to where she will wake up pretty early, but if I am in the living room in my little gym area and I'm stretching or, you know, doing my quiet time. And I see her walk in there. I'm like, you know, this is my time right now and I need time alone. So she knows now. Okay, in the mornings, that's mom's time. Like, I don't bother her. And so she now has it where she'll wake up and go in her area. And she's like, it's my quiet time. You know, I don't want to clean my room right now. I don't want to do anything else. This is my time. And so I think that that's great too, that she's establishing that, you know, to have whatever kind of time she wants by herself. And I just. Yeah. I think that's great. It makes me happy, you know. 


Miranda: Yeah, because they're really watching and they want to be like mom.. They want to be like dad, they want to be like the person who's raising them, right? You know like we're not prioritizing our health if we’re not working out or eating healthy. But like even if you like having that quiet time or maybe you take time out of your day to like sit down and read (that’s a positive influence)– like how can you expect your kid not to be like technology obsessed or like an iPad kid or whatever if you're the one sitting watching TV or scrolling through your phone, right? 

I think being a mom and having kids, you know, if you don't have kids or if you are pregnant and have one on the way, now's the time to get your life together, essentially, because, you know, you're going to have these little ones looking at you and watching you and just depending on you, you know, I think that just prioritizing yourself, I think as a mom, some people I think would think it's selfish or they think, Oh, I just don't have time. I'm going to put my kids first, but like, if you cannot love yourself and put yourself first in a sense where you take care of yourself. I mean, you have to think about, like you said, your kids are watching you. They are going to see that and then they're going to grow up and maybe always pour into other people, but not care for themselves. 

And so, yeah, it really is just about setting a good example. Yeah. And it's going to be hard. And like we were saying earlier, it's not going to be perfect, but like, it's okay to let your kids see you go through the ups and downs and like to talk about the struggles, too. 

Allison: But then if I'm not prioritizing my health with the meals I'm eating. You know, it's, it's going to do something when they're older, right? I think it's about just respect to showing yourself, self respect, taking care of yourself, teaches them to do the same thing and respect other people.


Miranda: Yeah. I think one of the biggest steps like I noticed that you took that kind of goes back to even like your fitness and nutrition journey is kind of carving out that time. So would you say like that's a first step maybe moms should prioritize or what are some other steps that they should take to really prioritize their health? 


Allison: Yeah, I think, you know, setting these realistic expectations of yourself are really important because I think you said something to like, it's not black and white and it's not the same for everybody. Like, everybody's journey looks so different and you really, you cannot compare yourself to somebody else. But. You know, if you are a mom who has, you know, 3 or 4 kids and you're working full time, your life and your schedule is going to look a whole lot different than somebody who, you know, has 1 kid and is pregnant and maybe works from home. So, you have to think about what's realistic for you, but I think that setting that time for yourself and just being intentional about it. Maybe it's not at the same time every day, but maybe it is for just 30 minutes a day. Some days, maybe you get more than that. That's great. But I think just making sure that no matter what, that you spend that time for yourself and, you know, you do something for you that is not the laundry or cleaning the house. Put it on your calendar if you have to. That's what I did for a really long time. And I think to, you know, not doing it by yourself. If you don't know where to start or just kind of feel overwhelmed by everything, and you're like, I just, I don't feel good. Like, I need to lose weight. I just need to find time for myself, but I don't know where to start. I think finding somebody else that's gone through it or is going through it and having somebody to hold you accountable is so important too, because it just kind of gives you motivation as well. But I think just really spending that time with yourself is a really great first step.  


Miranda: Yeah, I like what you said about having someone to hold you accountable.

Like we should be bragging about the fact that we got in three meals today. Like we got in you know, our workout, like these are the things we should be bragging about. 


Allison: Yes, for sure. And I'm such a firm believer in that it takes a village.

Miranda: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Let's jump into the faith aspect of prioritizing your health. Like, what's the link between the two? I love this topic.  


Allison: Yeah, I mean, I am a Christian and a firm believer in Christ. And I mean, I just think that they're so connected and, for me, going through my gut health journey really did bring me closer–and it made my relationship with God so much healthier. So I think that it has everything to do with it. I think that, you know, healing, healthier, health, mind, body, everything is just. With it being a holistic approach. I mean, I think that you can't do that without incorporating your faith into it. So much of the time when I would do my workout in the morning, whether it was lifting weights or just going on a walk, you know, I always would listen to Christian music or just sit there in prayer. And my quiet time or my time with God, looked different, but it was also my time with myself too. But it just also made it so much more consistent. It played such a big role in it for me because it taught me to like, okay, how did God really make my body? And how am I really supposed to heal and treat myself? What does he ultimately want me to do here? And, you know, it wasn't just taking a pill the rest of your life. You know, it was like, treat your body with respect. Like he made me just the way that I am. And he wants me to take care of myself, you know, this way. So to me, it was just all interconnected. 


Miranda: Yeah, it definitely is because like God lent us this body and like, we need to take care of it. And also, how are we supposed to, let's say, like, spread the word of God and be good stewards if, like, we aren't in, I don't want to say tip top shape, but, like, there are going to be limitations if you don't like yourself or if you don't prioritize your health, whether it's like with your faith or even like with your kids, like a big motivation for, you know, eating healthy and getting in the gym should be so you can see your grandkids or so you can run around the playground with your kids, like without getting winded, you know, so you can like do these things with them.


Allison: For sure, I think for me to, after, like, after I had my son, I had complications and long story short, I just remember lying there in the hospital bed and I wasn't able to move for all kinds of reasons. After I got home and got past that and really started focusing on me, I mean, I was just so thankful that I had legs that worked, you know, that I was able to move my body because I think so many people just don't realize how lucky they are to be alive and to be healthy. And, you know, yes, you're a mom and you've got these kids, but like, God is allowing you to provide for them and he's put you in this position and it's just–the simplest things like being able to move your body, I mean, and have fresh air in your lungs, like just to be appreciative of that and to exercise your heart and to move. I mean, that in itself to me is like a form of worship. So it's just all connected. It's all connected.  


Miranda: Yeah. I mean, God didn't put us on this, on this earth for our identity to be a mom or be whatever, like he doesn't want our identity to be. And these other things, you know, like our identity isn't them. And like, yes, being a mom is part of who we are, but it's not our identity. Yeah. Like our identity is in God. And I think when we turn to God and really surrender our life over to him, it makes a big difference and if we're spending our lives like taking our kid from one activity to another and eating on the road and, you know, not taking that time to talk to him and connect with him, it doesn't matter how great of a mother we're trying to be, we aren't slowing down to connect with God and be good stewards of the life and the body and the kids that he loaned to us.


Allison: Right, exactly! And I always like to just think that it's like– even if we're in survival mode with whatever we're doing, are we glorifying him? Am I glorifying him? And, I mean, of course, sometimes it's hard and sometimes I don't think that. I mean, we all make mistakes, right? And fall short. But, I think trying to keep your eye on that and just remembering that day to day is just so important. 


Miranda: Is there anything you like, any words of encouragement you wanna give to moms who are struggling, whether it's with their health or just being a new mom or finding that balance or prioritizing themselves?  


Allison: I think really just to know that you're not alone because I think even someone close to you does not know what you’re going through, there are other people other people out there, whether, you know, that's postpartum just struggles or health struggles. I think that so many times,we do just run maybe to the doctor or briefly talk to our OB about it at our postpartum follow up, but, you know, get connected with people.  You need support. You need other people there to help you. You need other people that have gone through what you've gone through. I think that that's just so important to really make sure that you do take care of yourself and get connected with people and find other people that have gone through what you've gone through. 


Miranda: Yeah. I feel like that's like one of the things like we hear a lot as moms, like you're not alone. And it's like, okay, if we're hearing it this much, like It's true, and we need to do something about it. I know, like, that's one of my biggest things, is I'm over here, like, alone, but, like, I need to, like, take those steps to find, these mom friends and have these like-minded people, because you have to put yourself out there, though, and I know, it is hard. You have to recognize, though, that, like, you can't do it by yourself, and I think that's good, too, just being able to say, like, hey, like, I'm struggling with this, or I don't know what I'm struggling with, but I need a friend and just putting yourself out there and finding people.  



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Are you a busy mom seeking balance and wellness? Join me on this journey towards vitality and holistic health. I understand the challenges of juggling endless tasks while striving for a healthier life.


In this podcast, we dive into the nitty-gritty of everyday struggles. From battling fatigue to navigating gut health, I'm here to offer holistic solutions. Say farewell to feeling overwhelmed and let's bring in that vibrant life you've been craving.


I'm Allison, a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. I've been right where you are, facing the same hurdles. Through faith and functional medicine, I reclaimed my gut health, energy, and well-being. Now, I'm on a mission to help other moms break free from exhaustion and prioritize their health.


This podcast is your haven, providing actionable insights, functional medicine expertise, and tailored lifestyle strategies. Let's unravel the secrets together, empowering you to thrive in motherhood while nurturing your well-being, guided by faith.