Listen in to episode 23 of the Your Health Matters podcast hosted by Erin Madden of Fueling For Health Nutrition Consulting.
As nutrition consultants, Erin and I speak about the importance of nutrition and wellness strategies for caregivers. We get real, we share some humorous moments and more!
Listen to the podcast episode here: https://www.fuelingforhealth.com/podcast/
Caregiving can have many rewards. For most caregivers, being there when a loved one needs you is a core value and something you wish to provide. But a shift in roles and emotions is almost certain. It is natural to feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone or sad. Caregiver stress — the emotional and physical stress of caregiving — is common. People who experience caregiver stress can be vulnerable to changes in their own health that include weight gain, lack of sleep and even burnout.
If life is crazy busy for you, I get it. It's hard to make the time. It's hard to prioritize eating a certain way when there are about 300 million things to get done in a day for yourself and for others in your life.
Starting seems to be the hardest part. It’s getting the motivation to make the changes that you know you need to make (even if you don't quite know what they even are yet).
So if you need a little help, here are some tips:
I wanted to share with you that it is possible to make headway with your personal health goals and to alleviate physical symptoms in your body.
Here is how my client “Angela” took small, incremental steps and began feeling less chronic pain (mostly in her knees) and had better sleep.
Her other health goals were to lose weight and to feel more energy. We met for a nutrition assessment and worked together over two months so that she could have energy for her children and grandchildren.
(For confidentiality reasons, Angela agreed that I could share her symptoms and coaching successes with you while not revealing her real name).
What steps did we take?
To help mitigate some of Angela’s inflammation, I started her on a three-day mini cleanse protocol. She consumed primarily smoothies and soups for three days. These were gluten-free and dairy-free and also were high in protein and vegetables to support her body’s natural detoxification pathways.
(Welcome to the third instalment of my travel blog. This is part 3 of 3 written in June 2018 - photo taken in Sydney, Aus)
I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for the positive feedback I’ve been receiving on these writings. I’m so glad that you are finding them valuable.
A special note on why it’s taken me two months to release this third installment of my travel blog; when I returned home in February my father was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer. I became one of his primary caregivers. I was honored to do this role and I can tell you that it tugged at my heartstrings the whole time.
I was grieving my father while he was still living. I was trying to be objective with his health needs while also being his daughter loving him and accepting the inevitable. The month of April was extra intense and my priority shifted to his care while in hospital, then to palliative care, to his passing and everything that takes place in that journey.
(travel memoir blog series part 2 of 3 written in February - March 2018; photo taken from inside our bus near Makarora, NZ)
Welcome to Part 2 of my travel journey where I get open and vulnerable with my food experiences abroad and trying to maintain my physical and mental health while being away from my home routine.
This post is aptly named finding strength while experiencing darkness.
In my last post I wrote about giving in and surrendering to what is about to unfold and that when we do, all will be revealed.
It’s not easy.
Have courage to both observe what is unfolding around you and take it in at the same time. And also be able to face your darkness with a deep knowing. That is the underlying message of the New Zealand landscapes I encountered and I wanted to share with you my experience of the spiral cloud.
But first, let me back up. After the initial 15-hour flight over the Pacific from LAX, we touched down in Melbourne, Australia.
After three weeks of experiencing this...
(I originally wrote this three-part travel memoir in February - March 2018 and wanted to share the experiences away from home that in hindsight were preparing me to become a caregiver upon my return. Some of us travel after loss, I travelled before it and it's as though my travels were a prelude of what was to unfold. I was being prepared for what was to come on many levels. I hope this three-part blog supports your caregiver journey as well ~ Jill).
Photo: Great Ocean Road, 12 Apostles, Port Campbell National Park, Australia - image captured on my iphone 7+
With wings outstretched, she pierced her gaze right through me and into my soul. I silently gasped for a breath. I knew I had to pass under her to get to the other side.
As I approached her I knew she was recalling back to me every experience I had gone through during my travels…both the good ones and the dark ones, the lessons from the Maori woman at Waitangi, the deeply spiritual Aborigine cleansing ceremony in...
Being a caregiver to someone who is ill or dying and all that it entails is something that we rarely discuss, but for those of us going through it or coming out of it, it takes a terrible toll on our own health and well-being.
I was following my own goals and dreams when my father became ill.
The path that I had been on suddenly stopped, and everything became secondary to ensuring that my father was OK. With each visit and every appointment, the news and his condition were worsening. And then there was nothing to be done but to take him home and keep him as comfortable as possible.
Over the months that followed, I stayed with my father all day or overnight, whichever was needed most. The appointments continued, as did his deteriorating condition, so what he needed was more and more of me, for everything from company, to cleaning, to cooking when he could still eat. My life as I knew it felt as though it was over, and I had to set everything that I was doing aside...
My life’s work is making sure that people have the best products, lifestyle, and nutrition for living a great life.
This holiday, I want to share with all of you a few of my favourite local products that I have found meet my strict criteria for healthful living.
They make great gifts, support local business, and make us feel that much better when we use them. These are products that I both use and recommend to clients.
Favourite #1 – Pie R Squared (Gluten-free Pot Pie)
I met Heather, Owner of Pie R Squared during this Fall’s VegFest in Halifax. She operates her gluten-free kitchen in Wolfville, NS and spreads her ready-to-cook from frozen fare to Pete’s Fine Foods, Organic Earth Market and Noggins Farm Market to name a few.
Her gluten-free pies, soups and pizza’s are frozen and either ready to heat and serve, or to bake and serve. Right now my favourite is the turkey cranberry pot pie; beautiful comfort food with a gluten-free crust and filling and...
I know first-hand what it is like to be a caregiver. The never-ending giving of yourself, the 20 different hats you have to wear in a day, trying to do everything with patience and understanding. And then the reality of the day/in day/out care and giving of yourself without end sets in.
My role as caregiver to my father was all-consuming, and the longer it went on the more overwhelming and all-consuming it was. All the while I am telling myself that I am fine, I just need a better night’s sleep, or a small break, or something to eat.
The fact is, when it comes to being a caregiver, there are a number of truths:
The exhaustion is real – you are in constant go mode, always advocating for your loved one, be it at home, on the phone, at the bank, with the tv service, with the xyz company. You are now the buffer between your loved one, the world, and the challenges they face each day.