Independence Through Nutrition
My interest in health and wellness began when I started lifting weights at the age of 13 as a way to become stronger and hold my own. This evolved into a passion for exercise, and after my first bodybuilding show, I discovered that nutrition would be the most influential aspect of my health and wellness journey. After witnessing my grandma suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, which blinded her, led to the amputation of her legs and eventually her death, I knew I did not want anyone in my family or community to go through that again. Health and wellness will always be a priority in my life and for the past seven years, I have experimented with many kinds of diets to see what worked best for me.
After my spinal cord injury in 2014, I knew I wanted to be a part of nutritional reform for people facing medical challenges. Life after my C6 injury was difficult physically and mentally. I wrestled with self-worth every day, and my hands struggled to do everything. But I found through exercise I could build on the function I had and gain back some of my independence. Through nutrition, I found that I had better bowel and bladder control. From there, things compounded in a great way; I gained not only independence but also self-worth from being able to take care of the little things.
The most beneficial thing I did for myself mentally and emotionally was accept that I was in this situation and moved forward from there. I prioritized health and wellness, which allowed me to be fit, strong, clear headed and simplify things I worried about before. My video blog is my greatest motivator as it’s an outlet for me to help motivate people and educate them about health and wellness. On the days I struggle to stay motivated, I make sure to reach out to people in my health and wellness community.
Jake’s Health & Wellness Tips:
- Find your “why,” that thing that is going to keep you true to your commitment. For me, it is my grandma.
- Find someone who is healthy and a great example of the health lifestyle you want to follow
- Commit to a month of a routine; it can take about that long to break and make habits.
- Find a community for accountability. So many people start and quit things without anyone even knowing; if they did know, they would look out for you as you would for them.
- Research – and when I say research, I don’t mean search Wikipedia. Instead, look up peer-reviewed studies with actual credentials, and then find people who are living it!
- The last is the most important: Take Action! You’ll never know unless you try!
Check out my video blog, Ketoquad, where I share highlights from my life following a Ketogenic diet while addressing many of the obstacles that come with living with a spinal cord injury. Right now, my favorite recipe is salmon and brussels sprouts, cooked in garlic flavored ghee and seasoned with Alpine seasoning! I could eat this all day, every day!
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