Share a little bit with us. Who are you and what do you do?
Hi! My name is Christina and I’m a holistic wellness consultant / health coach, the creator of the blog Addicted to Lovely (addictedtolovely.com), and host of the Actually Adultish podcast (actuallyadultish.com). As a wellness consultant, I aim to help people live their healthiest lives by finding nutrition and exercise routines that nourish their bodies, allowing them to cultivate a healthy relationship with food and fitness, and helping them make the mindset shifts necessary to reduce stress and manage an overall healthy lifestyle. My blog is all about living a healthy lifestyle, and it covers everything from healthy eating to clean beauty to discussions on mental health. My podcast, Actually Adultish, is all about “adulting” in today’s world as a twenty-something. I talk about dating, pop culture, health, friendships, career advice, college life, and everything in between.
How did you get into the health and wellness community?
Growing up, I was anything but healthy. I hated exercising, and I ate junk food constantly. I always felt sluggish, bloated, and tired, and I struggled with a lot of health issues that I just didn’t want to face. During college, I became extremely depressed and fell into binge-eating disorder. I decided I needed to turn my life around and start prioritizing my health. I started reading everything I could about health and fitness, and I slowly started living a healthier lifestyle. I stopped bingeing, cleaned up my diet, and exercised regularly. Then, my sophomore year in college, I got really sick. My doctors still aren’t completely sure what happened, but something triggered an illness that led me a on long path of multiple health issues that would last a long time. I started losing weight uncontrollably, and my body stopped absorbing food. I felt like my health was out of control, which made me search for control in other aspects of my life. It spiraled into exercise addiction and orthorexia, and I felt like everything was falling apart.
I spent over a year going from doctor to doctor, doing test after test. I was desperate to gain my weight back, but nothing was working. I had gotten to such a low weight that I was told I could die at any moment. I was extremely frustrated with the medical system, and I felt like no one could help me figure out what was going on. Different doctors diagnosed me with a number of different things: Candida overgrowth, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), Celiac disease, hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, reactive hypoglyclemia, carbohydrate intolerance, adrenal fatigue, and so on. I ended up dropping out of school to figure out what was going on, because taking care of my health became a full-time job. I spent my days going to doctor appointments and getting tests run, and I spent my nights researching and studying what was going on with my body. I felt like I was my own doctor.
Eventually I started making progress. I overcame the exercise addiction and orthorexia, and I was also finally able to start gaining weight after discovering I was inappropriately prescribed a thyroid medication. Over the next few years I worked on healing my gut, addressing my SIBO, and fixing a number of my other hormonal imbalances. The fact that I was able to improve my health so much just through a change in diet amazed me. I learned that food could heal, and I wanted other people to learn that, as well. My experiences in the medical system, dealing with an eating disorder, and fighting for my health inspired me to start writing about health and wellness on my blog, which originally was intended to be a beauty blog. I had learned so much information when I was in the depths of my sickness by doing my own research – so much that my own doctors told me I knew more than them, which is why they couldn’t help me. I wanted to share all of that information with other people, and I also wanted to talk about what I went through so that others with similar experiences wouldn’t feel so alone, like I did. This drove my passion to eventually become a holistic nutrition consultant, so I could help other people heal through food as well.
What inspires you?
The people around me! Conversations with other people and seeing what they’re doing always inspires me. It’s so important to stay connected with a community and to talk to other people about their experiences. We all have so much to learn from each other, and no two experiences are exactly the same.
What is your food philosophy?
My food philosophy is to eat real, whole foods that can be found in nature and don’t have a label on them. I believe strongly in primarily following a primal diet that mimics that of our ancestors as closely as possible. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, animal meat, and lots of healthy fats. I avoid packaged, processed foods. I don’t believe in counting anything. I believe in listening to your body and nourishing it in whatever way it needs. Sometimes that’s avocados and kale, sometimes that’s a big hunk of steak, and sometimes it’s a huge slice of cake topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce! Anyone who knows me knows I have a huge sweet tooth, and I believe that there can be a healthy version of any food. A paleo diet makes me feel best, so I follow that 98% of the time. If I want to stray from some reason, I will. Life’s too short to be that strict about anything!
Walk us through what a typical day looks like for you (Food, exercise, work/life).
My daily routine has changed a lot in the past few weeks, so I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing most recently! I’m definitely a creature of habit. The first thing I usually do is get up and oil pull with coconut oil for 20 minutes. During that time, and after, I check my to-do list, answer a few emails, catch up on social media and DMs, and then usually write part of a blog post or study. If it’s a day when I’m going to workout, then I’ll workout after that. I have never been one to exercise in the morning, but the past few weeks it’s been working for me! After I workout, I shower, get dressed, down a huge mug of hot water with apple cider vinegar, and eat breakfast.
After breakfast, I start work. I’m the Director of Partnerships / Operations for The Balanced Blonde, and every day is very different. Some days I go to events, other days I go to Jordan’s house, and some days I work from home. My days usually consist of a lot of phone meetings, emails, content editing, and so on. I take a break after a bit for a quick walk around the block just to move, and then I head back to work.
I’ll have lunch, work some more / go anywhere I need to go for work, and then usually around 6:30 I meditate for 15-20 minutes. I fit in sessions with clients throughout the day sometimes, but I mainly have them in the early evening or on weekends. It’s always different!
After I meditate I’ll head out for any personal errands I need to run, and then I go on an evening walk. I catch up on social media, DMs, and emails during my walks. After my walk, I cook dinner and sit down to watch a show while I eat. I’m a huge TV snob! After dinner, I work on my blog, the podcast, study for school and do homework, answer emails for my own personal business, and take care of anything else I need to. Before bed I always diffuse lavender essential oil and read for at least 5 minutes. Usually I read until my eyes are fluttering shut. Then I pass out and do it all again the next day!
Because of the type of jobs I have, my schedule is flexible but very busy. Every day is different, but I try to keep as much routine as I can.
What are some of your go-to foods/snacks for busy days?
Things I always keep on hand are avocados, cans of sardines, and nuts and seeds. I love almonds, walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds. I also love to keep packets of nut butters and coconut oil. I’m the type to spoon coconut oil and coconut butter out of the jar – so delicious. I eat a high fat diet, as this gives me the most energy!
What has been one of your biggest struggles? (can be with food, business, or personal).
One of my biggest struggles has been balancing everything I’m doing and trying to give everything my all without completely burning out! Sometimes I feel like I am pulled in a million directions, and a lot of times I forget to put myself first. That is never a good idea. I’m still learning how to juggle everything and how to prioritize myself (specifically, my sleep!), but I get better at it every day. When there’s a lot on your plate it can get overwhelming, but it’s worth it when you love everything you’re doing.
What advice do you have for those who are just starting their health journey?
My advice is not to give up, ever. There are so many times I wanted to give up, and I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t kept fighting for myself when no one else was. Find people who support you and understand your goals – a community is the best support possible. Plus, they can give great inspiration! Ignore anyone who tries to put you down for living a healthier lifestyle.
Start small! Small changes make a big difference, and you don’t have to make a ton of changes all at once. Focus on small things that make you feel better, and use that feeling to motivate you to keep pushing forward.
I recommend doing as much of your own research as you can and always taking everything you hear/read with a grain of salt, because unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet! If you’re struggling with a specific health issue or having trouble figuring out what to do, work with someone who can focus on you as a unique individual. I wasted so much time trying to follow advice given to the general public instead of finding someone who would really focus on me, and that ended up putting me in an even worse position than I started in. Working with someone who will focus on you specifically, someone who really listens to you and doesn’t treat you like just another person on a page, is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your health.
You can check out Christina's Blog here: http://addictedtolovely.com/