Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Reflecting Back on 2014: What I Learned about Myself, Health, Fitness, Wellness, and Nutrition

I do this every year. Ever since Brad Paisley's "Letter to Me" came out, I started writing myself letters in December summing up each month of my year, what I liked, disliked, who I was friends with, who I am dating or lack of, and my feelings about the year. On the next year, before I write my new letter to me, I read my old one and reminisce about how far things have come. It's crazy how day to day you don't really realize the changes happening, but when you look back, so much can be different--hopefully for the best :) I'm pretty sure I didn't write a letter to me last year, or at least I can't find it anywhere! DANG IT. I basically ruined my tradition, dude. So I'm just going to write on my blog this year about what's really been important this year--and to be honest, it's food. We were all thinking it. HA, ok there are some other things, but really, food has been really important this year. And to be honest again, I've been so mentally bogged down and gone mad because of college. Things got real this year. Behold, my year:

I spent my New Years Eve in Athens, Georgia, doing all sorts of regretful stuff that I will probably never speak of again. Let's just say I learned a lot...... I can't even believe that was me. Searching for things in all the wrong places. Thank God there were no major consequences. Y'all think I'm playing... The whole month of January I basically hung out with people I don't even like anymore. See, I had already changed a lot, and become a much better person, but this was one of those wake-up call setback times for me. Things were going good, but I was getting impatient with "the process" and went back to my old ways for a minute. Which in turn, caused me to go back to my old body; autoimmune/leaky-gut/candida/and who even really knows what else. Sometimes I tell myself that I can be my own doctor because they don't really end up helping me anyway.

In February, I found my Osteopathic Doctor, Dr. Madej in McDonough, GA. This is where I was diagnosed with Candida Overgrowth/Leaky Gut Syndrome. I mean, I had no frickin' clue what this was. She didn't do a very good job explaining this to me (I see that now) but she did give me quite a few awesome protocols to follow that I am still doing to this day... She also told me that a lot of my sleep issues and pains in my body were coming from Acid Reflux. HUH? It is so insane how I just lived with the pain and problems just thinking they were normal. Looking Back: IT SHOULD NOT HURT TO BE ALIVE. Remember that folks. So this is when I really became interested in Natural Healing! See, I was already drinking Shakeology. I was already working out. I was already feeling much, much, much better than I used to, but once you start diagnosing all of the minute pains and issues, you want to just feel better and better. And I knew that I could. So I had my eyes opened to the world of detox baths, castor oil packs, coconut oil pulling, apple cider vinegar, gluten intolerance, inflammatory foods, GMOs, organic food, cancer-causing ingredients they put in our foods that are actually BANNED in other countries. Like I can't even begin to tell y'all everything I have learned! It's an information overload. But what it comes down to is this: you are your own advocate. Never stop learning. Never stop improving. It IS possible to live pain-free, NO MATTER WHAT. You just have to be willing to TRY. February was also the month that the 21 Day Fix came out and completely revolutionized the health and fitness world. This is still one of my favorite programs to use and recommend to all of my clients. It's perfection. :)

March was a slightly better month, I started feeling a little bit better with the help of my natural remedies and diagnoses of all of this weird crap going on in my body. I had my follow up appointment with my doctor and got some blood test results. I was introduced to IV infusions. Holy God my life has forever been changed. I need one of these weekly dude. You will never feel better! It's worth the money, however much it costs you. Just do it. This was the month I finally rank advanced in my business too! It was just a happy time for things to be looking back up again :) 

April was a blur. A stressful surreal blur. Not to go all Mean Girls on you, but it was. I don't even remember anything about this month. I just went back through my phone pics, and all I did was go to practicum and get in trouble at school. Yes, that actually still happens at age 23 in college. I have yet to figure out that situation. I just remember spending every waking minute on homework and projects. Mostly the part where I had to read fifty books and summarize them all and skip every concert and event I had originally planned on attending. It was a very uneventful time. My major favorite part of this month was when Leah and I booked our CRUISE! Something I learned from this is that even though sometimes you don't have the money to do things, ya still need to get outta town and do them anyway. I have never felt more deserving of a break than this time :)

In May, we went on the cruise and had a blast! I had just finished up a perfect round of the 21 Day Fix and was feeling and looking probably the best I ever had! (The cruise food kind of messed things up haha). We had a lot of fun in my fitness accountability group! These times are awesome and with awesome people! Summer class began shortly after and I became bogged down with school work yet again. This semester was awesome though because it got me pumped up about becoming a teacher. Our work was relevant. :) We had some really good professors. That pretty much sums up May.

June and July were much in the same. :) I had a lot of fun with my friends these months. I also did another round of the 21 Day Fix and felt amazing. We finished summer class and I started to relax a little. I visited Super Saturday with Beachbody and it was absolutely awesome. I left the place crying because of the emotion in that room! It was just fab. In July I did the 3 Day Refresh with my parents. We all had great results! I can't wait until I do it again! It was actually pretty easy and made me feel incredible!

August was the start of a new FIVE class semester and things have gone downhill since. Not in the school aspect (I LOVED my 4th graders so much that I decided I wanted to stay there - maybe for life!) :) I went on my first gluten-free vacation. Do you know how hard it was that week? LOL. This is the month that I read my all-time favorite book that I am going to recommend to the world!!! THE COMPOUND EFFECT! I might read that again soon :) I was so very happy with life at this time. I began my interest with essential oils here. I found my very first wrinkle. I decided to make a change...

In September, I decided to begin the journey to chemical-free hygiene products. I realized that there can be gluten in your hygiene products and they can effect you just like eating it can. Maybe this was the cause for all of my skin issues throughout life?! Here's my regimen...
Face Wash: Baking Soda
Shampoo: Baking Soda 2x per week. Dr. Bronner's on all other days I need to wash.
Conditioner: Apple Cider Vinegar.
Body Wash: Still working on this one. But... Dr. Bronners bar soap. I think.
Body Lotion: The Honest Co Organic Body Lotion.
Deoderant: Still working on this one too... Alba brand.
Toothpaste: The Natural Dentist (Anything you can find that is flouride-free and made with ingredients you recognize should be fine)
Makeup: I stopped wearing face makeup like powder, foundation, etc. My skin is actually clearer than ever. My next makeup purchase will be Physician's Formula brand.
Acne Spot Treatment: Tea Tree Essential Oil.
Medications: Essential Oils, honey, garlic, cayenne, Apple Cider Vinegar, baking soda. Google these mixtures. They've surprisingly worked for me :)
These are the supplements I take: Vegan Chocolate Shakeology (, magnesium, vitamin b-complex, Culturelle Probiotic, and plenty of water!
Here you can find a few things I have given up this year :) 

In October, I had a lot of fun doing active things :) Like hiking and running outside, etc. I have a newfound love for the great outdoors. This is probably a shocker to many. Haha! I am not outdoorsy. During this month, I started to feel a little differently than my usual #SingleForLife #ForeverAlone self. I caught the feelings for this amazing guy. My best friend Amber had a baby and I just straight up started wanting all of these things I swore I would never want. The whole love, family, baby, house stuff. Yet here I am now... Haha! Funny how things change.

The month of November was spent on school work, school work, and more school work. I started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when we took senior pictures! This is an unreal feeling. I am so proud of myself for making it this far! You can do anything you set your mind to! I cannot wait until I am a *paid* classroom teacher! For awhile I had my doubts, because I have trouble committing to basically anything, and always change my mind, but this is where I am meant to be. Taylor Nichols. Beachbody Coach. Teacher. Daughter. Sister. Girlfriend. Friend. Aunt. And I couldn't love it any more! In this month, I also passed the GACE... meaning I am certified to teach grades K-5! Life is good :)

It is now December, fairly early in the month. But I will comment on some things I have tried this month. I've been mostly gluten-free for awhile, but for this month, I decided to go all in and not even cross-contaminate or anything. I also quit dairy. I also don't eat soy. I was diagnosed with a rather large ovarian cyst for some reason. I have now made myself cyst pain free using ESSENTIAL OILS and DETOXIFYING BATHS! Is that not totally radical?! Haha. I am feeling pretty great aside from the fact that I can tell I am missing some kind of vitamin in my life. I am currently in research mode about that. Stay tuned :)

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year folks. Bless you all. Add me on FB at Taylor Jean Nichols if you are interested in joining a free clean eating group :) I'm happy to help everyone!!!

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