Daily Movement, such as going outside for a walk or trying some light yoga. Set a goal and incorporate movement of some form every day. Due to the pandemic, we have been limited in activities that what we can do. Do your best; try to use what is safe and accessible. There are so many online programs; find one that aligns with you. There are so many resources online, and some classes often have free trials.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gena Wozimirsky NNCP, ATP, D.H.
Gena Wozimirsky (NNCP, ATP, D.H.) is a Functional Nutrition Practitioner and Founder of The Balanced Biome. She empowers women struggling with hormone imbalances to take control of their health so they can live a vibrant, energized life and feel like themselves again.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Thank you so much; I’m grateful for this opportunity! My journey began years ago when I started my career in Dentistry and became a Registered Dental Hygienist. Years later, I struggled with infertility and embarked on my health and wellness journey. I realized that many of my hormone levels were not within the expected ranges, decreasing my chances to conceive. I found out I was hypothyroid, which is a critical component in optimizing fertility in and of itself. After making various lifestyle tweaks, including changing my diet, adding supplementation, and modifying exercise, I restored my hormone levels. As a result of all my efforts, I was able to conceive, and I am now the proud Mom of two amazing kids!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I’ve had a Celebrity interest in the work I do. It’s very humbling, as they can work with whomever they choose. In many ways, I found it interesting that my message resonated with them. We all share the common goal of having optimal health and wellness, and I completely understand their desire to achieve that.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or takeaway did you learn from that?
I’m from Canada, most of my clients are from the U.S. I’ve found that what is available to us here in Canada versus what is available in the U.S. varies, and it’s constantly evolving. Whether it’s new supplement companies, or products themselves, I always have to adapt to changes or differences in development and availability. While I might love a product in Canada and recommend it, it’s not always something that is going to be available to everyone. With that said, it’s always something I’m rolling with and can pivot quickly.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I feel that those who have lived through a particular health crisis or chronic illness have a unique perspective to offer when it comes to wellness and the entire healing journey. Similar struggles people can relate to and the connection that they are not alone. After my family struggled with various health challenges, I dove into research and furthered my studies and receiving a Diploma in Holistic Nutrition (Hons). I’m also an ADAPT Trained Practitioner, along with advanced therapeutic training in Integrative and Functional Nutrition.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband has always been very supportive, and he has always encouraged me in my pursuit to further my education and career. He’s stood by me every step of the way, and I can’t thank him enough for always encouraging me to pursue my dreams. You never realize that each aspect of your career is just a stepping-stone. When I chose to leave my profession as a Dental Hygienist, I wasn’t exactly sure how Women would receive my message or which approach would be the most impacting. It tends to all fall into place, work hard, provide value, and the results speak for themselves.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion, what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know and integrating it into our lives?
#1 Lack of time is an enormous issue for many. Our lives tend to be very fast-paced, and we are often burning the candle at both ends. Making health a top priority in our life can get neglected. Carving out time for any goal, whether it is meal prep so you can incorporate healthier eating or time to relax and unwind for the day, it’s how we prioritize our time and what matters most to us.
#2. Mindset is powerful and can be a massive block for many. Limiting thoughts or beliefs can keep us stuck in the same old habits. If we can change our thought patterns and recognize negative self-talk, it can be very impactful. Gratitude is such an easy way to change your perspective. Think of something you are grateful for every day.
#3. Outside influences can be another block. This one can be tough when friends and family don’t support your goals or desire to change.There is the common saying that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” The influences of the people we are around most can profoundly impact our ability to change. Sometimes a little break from those people in your life can be a great reset and give perspective on how much it may influence your life and hold you back.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
Lifestyle Tweak #1 Many are experiencing increased stress as a result of the pandemic. Optimized nutrition can help our bodies better adapt to stress. Increasing vitamin C is a great way to support your adrenal glands, known to be primarily responsible for our “fight or flight” response.
Lifestyle Tweak #2 Meditation can be a powerful tool to incorporate to calm your body and mind. Studies have shown benefits for a variety of conditions, including reducing stress and anxiety. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy process and something you can work to increase over time. A simple 5-minute reset is a great way to get started!
Lifestyle Tweak # 3 Sleep Hygiene — Getting adequate sleep is truly important to our health; this is when our bodies repair and rejuvenate. We are often staying up later than we should on our devices, impacting our circadian rhythm. Some do not realize that lack of sleep is a stressor to our bodies. Work on dialing in a bedtime routine; perhaps it’s using some essential oils like lavender to get you into a more relaxed state.
Lifestyle Tweak #4 Hydration with a twist! Even mild dehydration can impact our energy levels. It’s essential to work on optimizing your hydration throughout the day. Some fun ways to make this easier is to add a twist of citrus — which provides a significant boost of vitamin C. Infused Ice cubes are another great way to make your water intake exciting. You can add bits of fruit or herbs to infuse flavor into your water.
Lifestyle Tweak #5 Daily Movement, such as going outside for a walk or trying some light yoga. Set a goal and incorporate movement of some form every day. Due to the pandemic, we have been limited in activities that what we can do. Do your best; try to use what is safe and accessible. There are so many online programs; find one that aligns with you. There are so many resources online, and some classes often have free trials.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
1. Exercise has the fantastic benefit of reducing stress levels. Fitting in some form of daily exercise is a great way to relieve stress and positively impact our overall health.Studies have shown that exercise improves perceived stress, which is how we react to or manage specific stressors in our daily lives.
2. Exercise benefits our memory — Physical exercise can help us recall information and improve our memory. Exercising activates different parts of the brain, releasing endorphins that increase our concentration.
3. Regular exercise can improve our sleep. Both aerobic and strength training are great exercises to help enhance sleep quality and decompress your mind. Timing of activity is essential, as particular exercise too close to bed can inadvertently delay sleep. Your elevated core body temperature impacts your ability to fall asleep, so be mindful of this.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
Less is more, and I often see many overtraining, which is a stress on the body. A simple walk is excellent for various ages, and you don’t need much to get started other than a supportive pair of shoes! Additionally, doing low-impact exercises, such as resistance training, helps build lean muscle. I would also recommend restorative yoga for mind-body balance. Yoga is excellent for maintaining our flexibility and a great way of stretching, which iscrucial as we age.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
“Digestive Wellness” by Elizabeth Lipski. My Son had severe eczema when he was a baby. I did SO much research surrounding gut health and digestion. She discusses practical solutions to common digestive ailments and ways to bring our digestion back into balance. Digestion truly is everything; Hippocrates once said, “All disease begins in the gut.” When our digestion is off, it impacts our health in so many ways. We can see eczema and acne in our skin due to poor gut health — deficiencies in nutrients from poor absorption and digestion. Gut health even affects our mood, as our gut bacteria produce many neurotransmitters. There is undoubtedly a gut-brain connection; 90% of our Serotonin receptors are in the gut.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I wish that everyone could have access to functional medicine testing and integrative health practitioners. It would be amazing to provide premium healthcare at more affordable pricing — which I’m already working to do through the testing I can offer my clients. I’m always advocating for people to get to the root cause of their health challenges. Often insurance or the inability to have further testing done stands in the way. We have to take our health into our own hands; you know your body better than anyone!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
One of my favorites is “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu. Often the first step is the most difficult to take when we embark on making any change. Whether it’s health changes, new habits, or difficult decisions, we are often standing in our way, stuck in our own self-limiting beliefs. If we can get just get started, many will continue to keep pursuing their goals. When I found out from my Doctor, I was to postpone trying to conceiving due to my hormone levels; it was difficult to accept. I took her advice and waited and did everything I could to achieve my end goal of a healthy pregnancy. That meant taking steps to clean up my diet and lifestyle so that I could optimize my chances of becoming pregnant — and I did it, thankfully!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, V.C. funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the U.S., whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I’ve always been a huge fan of Dr. Mark Hyman’s work; he is one of the top Functional Medicine Doctor’s in the U.S. His “food is medicine” approach to health is in line with my beliefs and the way I practice. I would love to chat with him about functional medicine and the latest methods and therapies for improving overall wellness.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
I’m most active on Social Media; TikTok is my most frequented platform at the moment, along with Instagram. My handle on both those platforms is @thebalancedbiome. I also love Clubhouse and can be found there as @balancedbiome — I look forward to connecting!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
Thank you so much; I appreciate the opportunity!