How important is your mindset to the level of health you experience? What is the connection to what you think and the way you feel? Is there a correlation to what you eat, your level of exercise and your mindset to a healthy lifestyle?
These questions and more were the topic of conversation I had with Serena Sabala as we dug deep into what it takes to transform one’s life and health.
Serena Sabala, co-found with her husband, Eugene, of Whole Shift Wellness has a wealth of information on what it takes to live fully and with incredible vibrancy. They have made it their life’s work to raise awareness about personal responsibility as it relates to healthy living.
About Serena Sabala
Serena is a certified plant-based nutrition consultant, yoga teacher and fitness trainer. She has studied the subject of nutrition for over 10 years and has a unique, holistic approach to health and wellness.
When she was only eight years old, her father, a highly successful businessman, and busy entrepreneur, became extremely ill. Unfortunately, he did not have the tools to take care of his own well-being and therefore crumbled under the pressure of owning a multi-million euros business.
This led to him losing everything he had worked so hard for with huge consequences to the whole family. This experience was a catalyst for Serena’s interest in well-being practices.
Fast forward to today. Together with her husband, Eugene, they founded Whole Shift Wellness, a coaching company specializing in custom programs for time-pressured professionals. With over 20 years combined experience, they have worked with over 500 extraordinarily successful professionals from five countries.
Together, they passionately apply their proven methodology to transform the health and well-being of leaders from around the world who want to be strong, fit, healthy and vibrantly satisfied. The very people who aspire to continue having a positive impact within their organizations and the communities around them.
With continued commitment to the plant-based lifestyle, Serena received her certification for Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell University.
The following information is only part of what we covered during our conversation.
Misconceptions About Calories
Contrary to what most people have been taught, our body doesn’t think in terms of calories. Calories are a man-made measure that allow us to get a sense of what the food is in relation to energy.
Our bodies do not think so much in terms of calories as it does in terms of nutrients.
To perform all its daily functions, our body needs a minimal requirement of micro-nutrients, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, protein and water.
Our body also requires vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, which allow it to perform its day-to-day tasks.
If you do not “tick” the boxes of all the minimum requirements of these micro-nutrients your body is lacking something. This is what leads to cravings and poor nutrition.
The single most effective way to maximize your health, well-being and day-to-day performance is to maximize the amount of micro-nutrients that you take in through food. Plant-based foods are, by far, the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
Making the transition from animal and dairy based foods, whether it’s full of partial, will inevitably boost your immune system and your day-to-day functioning. Simply by doing something your body truly needs will make a world of difference in how you feel and function day-to-day.
Preventing and Reversing Disease
The best type of “medicine” in the world is preventive medicine in the form of what we eat. Equally important is avoiding the foods that really are linked with a higher risk of developing chronic disease.
Counter-intuitive to what most people have been taught, and believe, is that rather than thinking about curing a disease, once it arrives, is getting to the root level of not incurring disease in the first place.
What you eat allows you to prevent disease. Take COVID-19. The fact is, 80% of people who experience complications have pre-existing conditions. This is staggering and it is due to what people are eating.
When people understand this, the light is literally switched on. By transforming what we eat we can transform our life.
Retreating to Better Health
Serena and Eugene lead retreats where they teach high-level professionals how to live a life of transformation with plant-based eating and mindset at the core of what participant experience.
When those in leadership roles set the example of how to live a vibrant life, others will take their lead. This is the premise of what is taught by Serena and Eugene.
Taking Things at Your Pace
Transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle must be done according to what works for each person. Some do well with going plant-based literally overnight, while others would do better in degrees. Each person must decide for themselves what will work best.
Serena advises that unless you’re feeling strongly about it for ethical reasons or you have very strong medical reasons behind your shift, you may be more successful with the shift if you lean into it gradually rather than doing it all at once.
Start with one meal a week, then increase from there. When you first begin, do not impose what you are doing on others. They may be resistant to your change. You will have enough to handle on your own and don’t need to trigger resistance in others.
“What we see time and time again are individuals start with a lot of enthusiasm of wanting to get healthier and better, and they tend to want to change too much all at once. I call this the “New Year Resolution Syndrome.” People are trying to do too much all at once. And they create this new regimen, which is so radically different from what they are used to that it becomes extremely hard work to stay committed.”
Positive Outcome of COVID-19
Although the COVID situation is terrible on so many levels, there have been some benefit to it. One of the greatest benefits is the time people have to go within and evaluate why they are wanting to transform their life. It’s a great time to begin gentle movement, meditation and starting a plant based eating protocol.
Rather than wait for things to open, take the initiative to turn your health around. In that 80% of the complications with COVID-19, do what you can to eat healthy (plant-based), do some form of exercise, and begin meditating.
This is also a great time for companies to evaluate the tone they set for their organization. There are plenty of studies that indicate the positive results from improved productivity, health, and well-being.
The most successful companies in the world implement incredibly successful health and wellness programs as a part of the workplace.
We each have the opportunity, now more than ever, to transform our life through the daily choices we make. Choosing a life of health based on movement, mindset and nutrition will reap benefits for years to come.
Contact Serena Sabala