Many countries celebrate a day of thanksgiving at the end of harvest season, and in Canada, Thanksgiving Day falls in October. The month of October is often a time of gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation. Scientific studies have shown that regularly experiencing gratitude can lead to many health benefits, so I try to make the time to reflect on everything for which I am grateful—staying focused on the positive, whether it be in other people, or in the face of challenges.
As many of you know, my dad suffered from type 2 diabetes for 15 years. The disease progressively overwhelmed his body, causing his first leg to be amputated, followed by his second, and then a series of strokes. As a result, he lost his peripheral vision, became paralyzed in his right arm, and aphasic (unable to speak). I witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by type 2 diabetes, and I vowed to share the information I learned during my studies to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with as many people as possible—dietary and lifestyle changes are paramount for diabetics. My dad passed away this past March after complications arising from a third amputation. Since losing my dad, I have received an outpouring of generosity from my family and friends, and I am so thankful for all of their support throughout this tough time.
I would also like to express my gratitude for the year of growing myWholelife.ca—I am so appreciative of all the new business and progress we have made, and for what our fantastic team has been able to accomplish in such a short time. In the past year, we launched three mobile apps, one of which, Blood Sugar, won a Best of Canada 2012 Natural Health Award; our free health report; and an e-book dedicated to my dad (to be launched this winter).
Our success comes from pursuing a team approach; we have brought together a group of highly skilled nutritionists, registered dietitians, health coaches, and chefs who are like-minded and want to make a difference. I would like to thank all the other folks who contribute to writing our blogs and recipes, and help with marketing, social media, and various other roles—we would truly be at a loss without all of your expertise. In particular, I would like to recognize the ongoing collaboration of my biggest supporter, Terry Walters—thank you for spreading the word. Finally, I am so grateful to have had the pleasure of meeting two local Registered Dietitians, Karlene Karst and Desiree Nielsen, who are making a difference on their own—I look forward to further collaboration with each of them.
During this month of thanks, take the time to reflect on what makes you feel grateful, and try creating a gratitude journal, or maybe even start with a list. Not only is it important to recognize those to whom we are grateful—a heartfelt thank you can go a long way—but you will reap benefits yourself if you make a habit of feeling grateful and appreciative on a regular basis.