Interview with Ashley Aliko
What compelled you to want to start eating healthfully?
Initially, I thought about my health in the third trimester of my pregnancy in late 2008. I developed high blood pressure in my last two weeks and in hindsight, not one doctor told me to eat more fruits and vegetables or drink more water, and maybe it was assumed that I should have known the importance of whole food consumption. [Looking back, maybe they did share it with me but I did not hear what I wanted to hear.] One week postdelivery, I was diagnosed with thrush which caused severe pain while nursing. It was at this time in my life that I desired to understand why and how to take better care of my health because it wasn’t just about me anymore.
How did you get started with eating healthfully?
A friend (and nurse practitioner) loved me enough to share with me that eating more fruits and vegetables will naturally protect my immune system. When I started to incorporate just one or two more fruits and vegetables extra a day and adding in additional whole foods sources, the thrush eventually went away. Several months later and still nursing, after thorough consideration, I chose to bridge the gap by adding the Nutrition of 30. After 5-6 months, my long-term GI issues disappeared, I no longer had asthma, and my twice a month migraines gone! Even though I take this product every day without fail, I still strive for five; 5 different fruits and 5 different veggies a day and I also encourage others to do the same.
What blocks/hurdles did you jump to enable healthful eating habits?
I moved to California 3 months before my son was born. I began to meet other new moms, many of them taking a holistic parenting approach, a few months after he was born. At this point forward, I felt connected and learned about natural ways to remain healthy. This was important at this stage in my life as I was planning to nurse past 12 months and I wanted to reverse the damage I had done to my body through years of improper eating. I desired a different environment to raise my son. I grew up on highly processed foods for much of my youth. Wait! Who am I fooling? ... I ate that way until age 31.
What has impacted you the most in your journey towards sharing how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle with others?
It is a fascinating experience witnessing others bloom into their own awareness of healthy living. We may come from different backgrounds but we’re all headed to a similar place – a life of fulfillment and satisfaction that I believe is founded in nutritive choices. No matter the situation, almost everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables daily and truly, [good] nutrition is the foundation!
More often than not, what do you see as common practices for the people that come to you asking for help to reduce their weight?
As a Certified Health Coach, I teach on several components to a healthful journey: lifestyle, exercise, and emotional support, as my clients are empowered through these elements they have a newfound gumption to taking charge of their health. Taking a day at a time approach (or baby steps), they find that they are armed with the right (and many times, new and different) information and now have the fortitude to change. Plus they’re open to trying and eating more nutrient dense foods, much of this is found in the inclusion and consumption of fruits and vegetables, a.k.a. the [real] rainbow!
Once you’ve reached your goal, what keeps you motivated to keep going, to keep eating and exercising healthfully?
From a personal standpoint, I am a wife and a mother. When I keep an open mind, I have the ability to take my family to new heights along our wellness journey. If I want a different outcome, I must change the way I think about health and wellness – see it; say it; do it; live it! We must create a desire within ourselves to learn more. We are the only ones in the way of success.
Secondly, remind yourself why you started on the journey to personal wellness. There will be some setbacks but there will be far more victories! I am going to keep learning more and I encourage you to do the same. Start where you are (see more about this here). Also, don’t compare yourself to what others are doing. To remain encouraged, find a friend or Certified Health Coach to link arms with you. You’ll find both in me.
Choose, eat, and live well! =)