In 2015, I hosted a podcast called Health Matters where I interviewed leading health experts.
Sick, tired, and overweight, Rachel Almstedt was determined to overhaul her own physical, spiritual, and emotional habits. Using her strong faith, natural foods, and a relaxed lifestyle she went from rock bottom to Ultimate Health. From this experience, her background in education and training as an Integrative Nutrition Coach, Rachel founded Pray Live Eat in February of 2014 where she makes healthy living simple, fun and delicious through group classes and private coaching.
What would you say are the biggest roadblocks keeping women from better health?
“Well the biggest roadblock — and women tell me this all the time — is time. We are all busy in our modern world today, being pushed to go 24/7 and we have kids, and whatever we’re doing in life we’re busy and being pulled in so many different directions. That can be a big roadblock just thinking that we don’t have the time…
“And what that can do is lead to overwhelm where we are in that rock bottom place and just don’t know where to start. There are so many things. I need to eat better, I need to exercise more, I need to do this, I need to get better in my spiritual life. There’s too many things and that is a big roadblock, not knowing where to start.
“That’s very overwhelming and frustrating and leads people on a continually downward cycle that’s very hard to break out of without having someone there to support you.
What are 3 simple solutions that you can offer?
“One of the first things that I always do with clients is ask them about water. It may even seem too simple but I have seen clients make huge gains in their energy levels and even their food choices just by adding water.
“And a lot of times people are not drinking water. So by adding in water into the day — a very simple thing we all have access to it, it’s not going to cost us anything and it’s not going to take any time.
“A big bonus is to add in water right at the first of the day. When we first wake up if we can drink a glass of water that does wonders for our digestive system and it gets our day starting in a more energized way. So that’s one very simple solution.
“Watch your breathing. We are rushing through our days and our breaths are very shallow. It just leads to holding on to a lot of tension and anxiety.
“By stopping and breathing, it slows everything down, it relaxes everything and it gives a whole new perspective on what we’re doing. In all my coaching sessions, we always start with three deep breaths together. It’s amazing the energy that happens. Even for me leading three deep breaths, it calms everything down. And when we can do that, we have that calmer perspective to go forth and get everything we need to get done in a day.
“The third simple solution is to think green. Think green with our foods. That’s the biggest thing that’s missing from most of our diets today – the leafy greens. By adding those in, we can see great benefits.
“The leafy greens are like the leaves of a plant that exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. When we eat those, we are supporting our lungs, we’re supporting our immune system, we are boosting our energy.
“Simple ways to do that are with a salad or green smoothies, adding those in. But another simple way is to puree greens. Take some greens and puree them and add them to whatever your family is already eating.
“You don’t have to make big changes. If you have your favorite lasagna or your favorite casserole, puree some leafy greens. Or a soup. Just start small. Add in a fourth of a cup at first and just add that in. Nobody will notice (if they don’t see you doing it). They will not notice and that is a simple way to simply start adding green in. But those leafy greens. We need to go green to feel the benefits of our health.
“So by putting our health first, being vigilant about our sleep, by making sure we get our exercise, by drinking our water, we become so much more energized and so much more focused that we can actually serve more people and do more for our communities which makes us even happier. It’s a very important thing and you can tell that I’m very passionate that we have got to do that as women to keep it together.
How does the connection between faith and health affect every area of a woman’s life?
“Well, our faith life is, of course, the most important aspect of our health and our lives. It is all connected. Every area of our life affects every other area.
“If we’re eating all the right things but we’re not grounded spiritually — the overall big picture is keeping our life focused on God and that has to come first. When we do that, when we keep our focus on God and we have our faith we realize we have to take care of our bodies so that we can continue to do the service and the work that we were created to do.
“A lot of my clients end up being more grounded in the spiritual side and need to see that connection. Again, it goes back to self-care, to be able to continue in the faith life that we have, we have to care for this body while we’re here. We can’t have one without the other.”
I agree with Rachel. My tagline is “Prayer and Bible study are to the spirit what exercise and healthy eating are to the body.”
Although the podcast is no longer available, if you’d like a copy of any of the full interview transcript, please send me an email.
This has been an excerpt from the Health Matters Podcast, believing that prayer & Bible study are to the spirit what exercise and healthy eating are to the body.
Blessings on your journey to health.
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