Dear Classroom Crusader,
I am beyond excited to be a resource for optimizing your health!
Some of you will get to know me as your biggest fan and loudest cheerleader in the process of reaching your health goals. I have spent the past year working towards, researching for, and attending a Functional Medicine Health Coach certification program through the Institute of Functional Medicine. I have predominately lived the principals of clean and healthy living for close to 8 years after experiencing my own health crisis in 2011. I anxiously await the opportunity to share my journey, experience, knowledge, and resources, with you!
I have such a huge space in my heart for teachers and the sacrifices you endure to love on the children of your community. I have witnessed you pour your souls into children that enter your rooms empty from life circumstances beyond their control or understanding. I have heard the stories of financial giving to meet an immediate need of a child for food, clothing, or shelter. I have read the social media posts asking for help to supply classrooms with educational enrichment opportunities in hopes of reaching just one more child.
We can all acknowledge the toll this constant giving of time, energy, expertise, finances, and emotional investment by teachers takes on your health. This past few year have been no exception. The educational terrain is evolving and becoming more stressful in Oklahoma and across the United States with unknown future consequences to teachers, students, or our communities. Therefore, it is imperative we take the time to equip our educators with self-care knowledge and resources to optimize your health. Shifting the educators focus to areas of empowerment, like your personal health journey, will help reduce stress, anxiety, and low morale…all of which contribute to overall compromised health.
I taught in the traditional classroom for 10 years and am well aware of this career’s impact on health. The chronic daily stress, the financial stress, and the emotional stress alone can cause health consequences. Issues like weight gain, poor sleep, chronic fatigue, lots of systemic symptoms without a diagnosis, joint/body pain, depression, anxiety, chronic headaches, brain fog, rashes and food cravings were just a few of my daily struggles. Summer was never enough to recover and the symptoms just compounded season after season until I sacrificed my gall bladder and still experienced no relief. I began seeking non-traditional approaches to health and was able to resolve ALL my symptoms in 3 weeks. I am constantly modifying my lifestyle to maintain balance as I move through different seasons and will help you do the same.
I am proposing to be a resource helping educators with their health journey. Health/Life Coaching is a way for you to create a comprehensive plan to help you reach your goals while maintaining the integrity of your personal values. Every plan is personalized to the individual to create a bridge between your current health status and your desired health goals. I will be offering a few 4 week series with a focused topic to help maximize your time…your most precious commodity. I will be offering these sessions in 2 formats: in person/on site and through a format called ZOOM. ZOOM operates like FaceTime and allows multiple participants into the virtual meeting room at one time. Times and dates and physical locations will be announced as they are determined based on availability and interest at each site. Feel free to register for as many or as few sessions as you desire to learn more about each topic.
The topics for each 4 week session are as follows:
Sleep and Relaxation
Every day we actively participate in life is damaging to different degrees on our mind, body, and soul and sleep is time for the body to recover and regenerate. Just imagine you are a blackboard and everything you encounter through the day is placing a mark on your surfaces. Sleep is the opportunity to clean the marks for a clean surface for the next day’s encounters. Poor or no sleep means each day is marking over or amongst the previous day until no free space remains and the surface begins to break down. Our mental clarity and focus decreases, the body becomes inflamed with aching and bloating as some common symptoms, and our spirit becomes less tolerable to the influences of the world. Cranky, much? Fatigued? Brain Fog?
I can remember just how challenging lecture was for me when my brain just couldn’t stay in the present moment. The translation of information from my head, through my mouth, and into the brains of my students was tarnished with stuttering and jumbled statements that just confused them more. Brain Fog is REAL! The stamina required for the tremendous amounts of patience for each child in my charge needed to be refueled every night with restful sleep and I got cranky and irritable with their insatiable appetites for more attention and assistance. Rapport with my students suffered, relationships with colleagues were strained, and flexibility for change encouraged by administration was disappearing.
Our anatomy and physiology demands rest and recovery for regular maintenance so this program will cover the following topics to develop an action plan for better sleep hygiene and routine relaxation to support the body. Through this program, participants will discover the importance of restful sleep in reaching their health goals, develop routines that fit their existing lifestyles to support better sleep, and have a better understanding of the importance of relaxing throughout their day to help reinforce mind, body, and soul resilience.
Week One: Routine
As humans, we love the predictability routines bring because of the peace that is delivered with them. This week will facilitate the creation of realistic routines to reinforce better sleep quality and bring peace to the process.
Week Two: Resources and Environment
So many things we can do to support restful sleep by incorporating a few resources into our routine. Week 2 focuses on setting our sleep environment for catching the best Z’s and investigating resources to help you reach your sleep goals.
Week Three: Disordered Sleeping Interventions
Focus, endurance, safety, disease prevention, and better quality of life are just a few things interrupted by disordered sleeping. Week 3 outlines a few of the major disordered sleeping challenges and the importance of an early intervention for your health. Chronic Fatigue, Sleep Apnea, Snoring, REM Sleep will be a few areas of discussion.
Week Four: Relaxation
Everyone finds peace in a different place. This week will guide each participant to identify moments, places, activities that truly bring harmony and calm to their spirit. Meditation and connection can be found through many different activities in order to bring balance to our nervous systems and hormones. This week equips the participant with options and skills to actively shift both systems into a more peaceful state.
Exercise and Movement
Male, female, preference, pre-existing conditions, hormone status, goals, and schedule are just a few factors influencing how we gravitate to a specific style of movement. We also find that the routine getting us to our goals in one season are not making any difference in another season. Therefore, listening to and knowing our bodies is pivotal in reaching the desired outcome without injury.
Incorporating movement impacts stress, body chemistry, mood, self-esteem, energy, BMI, and many other aspects of optimal health. As teachers, you are the source of stability in the classroom so you don’t get the opportunity to have extreme emotions. Kids are extremely perceptive and will know when your mood changes or stress is high. These energy shifts can derail the entire lesson. Get it where you can and multitasking will be a common theme through this month of exploration.
Week One: Match your Movement
Everyone is different and requires a different type of movement to maximize results according to individual needs and goals. Week 1 provides a great overview of different types of movement based on need and goals. Cardio, strength training, HIIT, and Yoga are just a few options covered this week.
Week Two: Balance your Hormones
This week is focused on exploring how movement impacts our different hormones. Your fitness routine impacts irisin, estrogen, testosterone, human growth hormone, and cortisol. Therefore, we can modify your exercise to help support hormonal balance in your life!
Week Three: Define Results
What does success look like to you? How will you track your progress? How do you know when you have reached your goal? This week will help participants define their goals and the steps to get there with built in accountability.
Week Four: Implementation
Each participant has a unique life based on routines, support systems, challenges, finances, and plenty of other dimensions that will impact accomplishing their movement goals. This week builds awareness of these unique characteristics so that successful implementation is supported by life as we know it in our current season.
Micro-Organisms and Gut Dysbiosis
Do you wonder why you have carb cravings, gas, bloating, fatigue after eating? These are just a few of the symptoms connected to a gut out of balance. Nutrient deficiencies, brain fog, chronic inflammation, skin rashes, depression, and anxiety can also manifest when we experience leaky gut. We make choices every day that will impact the integrity of our gut lining and the balance of the bacteria that live inside to help us digest our food. From food to medicine to environmental influences or stress, you will have a better grasp of your own possible perpetuators and begin to repair the damage.
Teaching is a high intensity sport that requires a clear head for quick decisions. Your brain has to have the ability to stay on point and progress the class to maintain objective schedules and you will need the energy to keep up with their hunger for the next activity!
Week One: Leaky Gut = Leaky Brain
Your gut is your second brain and the two are connected by the vagus nerve. A gut that has increased permeability promotes inflammation which is linked to depression and other psychiatric comorbidities. This week will cover the basics about gut permeability and how it influences your journey to optimal health!
Week Two: Bacteria Balance
Good guys vs. Bad Guys and making choices to increase the good guys and kill off the bad. Creating balance will help promote better digestion and absorption. Week 2 will look at symptoms experienced as well as food substitutions to lower inflammation and promote balanced flora.
Week Three: 5 R Gut Protocol
Remove. Replace. Reinoculate. Repair. Rebalance. This week will personalize your action steps through each phase of gut healing.
Week Four: Support Resources for Sustainability
This capstone week will be an opportunity for each participant to create their own unique set of guidelines to remain successful after this course. Accountability. Supplements. Food choices. Plus many more necessary areas.