42 – Against All Grain’s Danielle Walker on Advocating, Healing, and Celebrating

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“Is there anything I am eating, or not getting enough of, or deficient in, or something I am eating constantly that might be aggravating [my symptoms]? Every single doctor said no. They said the same three things: diet can’t cause it, diet can’t cure it, diet can’t help it. Like a script they were given.”

In this episode we meet Danielle Walker, blogger and New York Times Best Selling author of the cookbook Against All GrainAfter being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease, when she was 22 years old, Danielle suffered for years to balance her symptoms with the side effects of her medications, often landing herself in the hospital. She realized that she needed to take matters into her own hands and started to make some dietary changes including removing grains, lactose, and legumes from her diet. As her symptoms started to improve and she started to wean from some medications, she began a blog to help others who were suffering from similar ailments continue to enjoy food. With her acquired culinary skills, love for food, and an equal love for journalism, she has become a source of hope for others suffering from all types of diseases or allergies. Danielle has become an inspiration and much-appreciated resource not only for her journey in autoimmune disease and perseverance in shifting the medical system’s method of approaching patients, but for her delicious and creative recipes as well. I had been following Danielle for some time before we finally met at the MindBodyGreen Revitalize 2016 summit where she shared some of her story. She was incredibly genuine and willing to share details of her life that most people would like to keep private, because she’s seen how sharing her own struggles can help others who are suffering. In this episode we discuss some of those struggles and how she has overcome them as well as her new holiday cookbook, Celebrations. 

 

In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Danielle’s ulcerative colitis diagnosis and the balance of medical treatment and advocating for herself to make dietary changes
  • The breaking point when she decided to fully commit to a grain-free life and the beginning of Against All Grain
  • The story of her daughter Aila who was born with a lethal genetic condition and how sharing this experience has helped Danielle to heal and positively impact others
  • Her approach to “living in fear or living in faith”
  • How we can all be our own advocates for our health and work with physicians as the experts of our own bodies
  • Three things Danielle does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Danielle
  • Her new holiday cookbook Celebrations and approaching holiday food and traditions with dietary restrictions

You can learn more about Danielle by following her on her blog Against All Grain, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest.

Links:

Related Episodes

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


41 – Graham and Savanna Holmberg: From Fittest Man, to Faith and Family

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Graham Holmberg, 2010 Fittest Man on Earth and six-time CrossFit Games athlete, along with his wife Savanna have built a positive, healthy and faithful community at their affiliate CrossFit Hilliard – Eleventh Element in Ohio. While owning and coaching at their affiliate, they’ve also navigated the delicate balance of competitive training for him, nutrition coaching and training while pregnant for her, and raising two children with one more on the way.

The mission of their affiliate is “To positively impact the lives of as many people as possible and use CrossFit as a platform.” By coupling CrossFit’s 10 general physical skills with spirituality – what Graham and Savanna have termed the ‘eleventh element – the Holmberg’s continue to build a community strong in body and mind. I sat down with Graham and Savanna after visiting their affiliate for an International Justice Mission – Reps for Rescue fundraiser to talk about how their lives have evolved over the past 6 years, the evolution of their affiliate, and how they balance their many roles.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How we all first met in 2010 and a typical day for the Homberg Family now
  • The balance of competitive training, coaching and owning Eleventh Element
  • The sacrifice and necessary to stay competitive as the CrossFit Games catapults to a new level
  • Finding the balance of family, career and training
  • Opening Eleventh Element and living the “Have Faith then Hustle” lifestyle
  • Nutrition and nutritional coaching
  • Doing CrossFit through pregnancy
  • Three things they do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to them

You can follow the Holmberg’s at the links below:

Links from this episode:

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.


40 – CrossFit to prepare for and recover from total knee replacements with David Mendenhall

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“CrossFit didn’t break me – it made me stronger and more resilient. Other sports broke me down. CrossFit continues to make me more ‘bulletproof’ for life and its challenges – my challenges. It continues to allow for controlled, strenuous activity that builds wicked strong bones and muscles while demanding precise, functional movement. My new knees thrive on that. And that means I get to do things like hike mountains, tele-ski, snowboard, and, of course, do more CrossFit.” – David Mendenhall

This week we learn about David Mendenhall, a 47 year old husband, father, middle-school teacher and relatively recent, but rabid, CrossFit convert. A lifelong downhill skier and outdoor enthusiast, his adult training and fitness exploits prior to finding CrossFit in 2013 involved years dedicated to the martial arts, a personal yoga practice, distance running, triathlon competition, and semi-“extreme” cycling stints. After hanging up his cycling helmet in the fall of 2012 for an indefinite hiatus, his wife introduced him to Beau Teal at CrossFit Burlington.

 

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David back in the gym after his second knee replacement

 

I caught up with David to discuss his transition to CrossFit and how he used it to regain functionality after a long battle with arthritis as well as prepare for and recover from two total knee replacements.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • His history as an athlete who stayed active in high school varsity sports, his Outward Bound experience that provided the backdrop toward moving out west for college, meeting his wife, staying active through several outdoor activities including skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, cycling and mountain biking, as well as martial arts.
  • His move to Vermont after college, marriage, Master’s Degree in Education, the birth of his children, the beginning of ‘falling out of shape.’
  • How David got into martial arts/Aikido and the beginning of the chronic degradation of his body, including several knee surgeries
  • His pursuit of a long-distance running career and persistent knee issues that followed.
  • David’s transition from running, cycling and triathlons to starting Crossfit as well as his perspective on overall fitness and strength.
  • The benefit of functional movement on his arthritis pain
  • Undergoing two total knee replacements and returning to the gym and as an athlete and coach
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health.
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health.
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

Related Episodes:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.