The Wandering Palate: recipes and advice from an avid traveler and health coach.
Erika from “The Trail To Health” started her journey by healing herself from Lyme Disease (in remission now!), Multiple Autoimmune Diseases and a myriad of other conditions from food allergies, toxic mold, detoxing from heavy metals, leaky gut, etc. She’s worked with some of the best doctors in the San Francisco bay area and Los Angeles and received her health coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She shares advice and recipes on her blog “The Trail To Health”, was recently featured on a Netflix show and is the author of the book “The Wandering Palate”.
As a health coach you probably see people getting overwhelmed about achieving a million personal goals. We have the tendency to wake up one day and decide we want to completely change our lives around, but then we fail because it's impossible to do it all at once. Do you agree with this statement?
This is definitely a common frustration and why sometimes people have a hard time making healthy lifestyle changes and sticking with them. Changing life long habits is definitely a process and takes time and the more patient you are with yourself in the process the better. I think this is where a health coach can be really valuable to help guide you and hold you accountable during the changes. I actually worked with a health coach when I was in my healing journey, especially transitioning my diet and I thought it was really helpful to not feel so overwhelmed and feel like I had a partner in my transition. I also think working with a health coach for a 6 month term is the most effective.
Why 6 months?
Six months is shown to be most effective in making a healthy lifestyle transformation. Healing and lifestyle changes don't happen overnight so taking the time to really develop new habits is going to provide lasting results. I have found that consistent meetings times over 6 months lead to the greatest and longest lasting results. When I work with my clients, during our sessions we will discuss their goals and concerns, cover related health and wellness topics, and I will give them specific recommendations and lifestyle tips that they can easily integrate into their life. Each time we meet, we will discuss their progress, challenges and victories so we can always be moving towards their personal goals and hold them accountable for change, and modify what might not be working. It is really fulfilling work to see where a person is at when we first start working together and how far they have come by the end of 6 months.
Now, please tell us about your book!
Before my whole health journey started I used to do a ton of traveling. I actually had to get more pages added to my passport because I filled it up in 2 years and one of the things I used to love about traveling was being adventurous and trying all sorts of new foods without worrying about what I was eating. Once I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Celiac Disease things really changed and travel became harder. I could not try all the new foods I wanted to eat and had to ask numerous questions before I could even taste something. I wanted the recipes in my book to be a compilation of some of my favorite recipes that I loved from my traveling days only be a healthy gluten free version that can be enjoyed but anyone on a restricted diet or not. Fortunately now that I have been in remission for 2 years from Lyme disease I have been able to start traveling more again, but eating is still challenging and I miss out on a lot of flavors. The good thing is this inspires me to want to create more healthy recipes once I am back home.
You are a big believer in going gluten free even if not diagnosed celiac. What are some of the benefits we should all be aware of?
It is well known that gluten can cause inflammation and also leaky gut in most people. In addition to that, so much of our wheat these days is GMO and different from the wheat our grandparents ate and is harder on our systems to tolerate. I really think that underlying gluten sensitivity causes a lot of issues in people that don’t realize they are sensitive. I used to think I had no issues with gluten until I took it out of my diet and started to notice so many symptoms go away such as brain fog, the dreaded food coma and afternoon crash, anxiety, insomnia. People tend to think that it only causes digestive issues but I actually get no digestive issues, just neurological and cognitive symptoms. Even today, if I get accidentally glutened by cross contamination, all of those issues come back and its so interesting how much a small trace amount of gluten can have such a huge effect on my body that lasts 7 days. The doctor that diagnosed me with Celiac Disease also was a big believer that no one should be eating gluten and he said that soon gluten was going to be the next smoking. Everyone is doing it, but at a certain point everyone will know how bad for your health it really is. I always recommend taking it out very strictly for 30 days and then reintroducing it to your body. You might be surprised to see how it might be affecting you and the only way to find out is to try an elimination diet.