That little plump, triangular shaped chocolate concoction is staring at you. You want to eat it, and rip the wrapper off and shove it in your mouth so fast you bite your tongue in the frenzied chewing. NO, nope, nada. Use this opportunity to practice an eating meditation
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Jill Paisley. Dr. Paisley is a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Chiropractor, and Certified Meditation Instructor, specializing in the connections between thoughts, health/vitality, and pain. Dr. Paisley is the director of Paisley Wellness Center, an Integrated Medical Clinic in San Diego California, and is a popular speaker at health and wellness events around the country.
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 for having me! My introduction to wellness came with a blow to the head, literally. Kids being kids, and me being an active one, I had my share of minor head trauma playing sports and terrorizing my siblings in the Chicago suburbs, but after a major car accident at age 12, where the passenger window crank embedded itself into my right temple, I suffered seizures and headaches for years. After college, I found myself in chronic pain, and decided I needed to find another way to treat my headaches. I found a chiropractor that introduced me to that type of treatment, and it cured my headaches. Amazing! That led me to the doors of LA College of Chiropractic and that’s how I began my career.
Since then, with the inception of our Integrated Medical Clinic, I have added my specialization as a Nutritionist here in San Diego, providing help with many types of disorders, treating them with food, diet, and even programs for weight loss. We get a lot of folks who are searching for a weight loss clinic, but want a more natural method of achieving results. We use only whole food supplementation, natural weight loss techniques, and a lot of coaching, so people feel they can make healthy choices long after what ever program they are in is over.
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?
The misnomer about Chiropractic treatment is that we are back “quackers”, and not real doctors. Thanks to much of the traditional medical industry, we have been kept to our specialization. But the way I entered my field was unique, I was interested in healing myself, and so I came with the self awareness of what good treatment was, as well as taking responsibility for the mindset to actually “get well”. When patients visit our Integrated Clinic now, the whole staff is interested in ‘why” the patient is feeling discomfort, pain, or what have you. Had I not had the experiences I had seeking treatment for myself, I would not have discovered the secret to real patient care, which is that pain and sickness are a choice. If we want out of our circumstances, we choose to seek out health partners (i.e., doctors, coaches, fitness trainers, nutrition experts, etc.) that are of the same mindset. Successful patients have the mindset of “it is my choice to get well.”
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?
When I started in the healing arts, I decided to go to massage school so that I would make sure that I would be ok touching people all day. After graduating from massage school, I went for an interview for my first massage job and met Armando del Campo. He was a metaphysical guy that owned a salon in Las Vegas, and upon meeting me, he asked me if I was a control freak. I laughed and said, “yes”.
Then he walked around me, to my back, and put his hand on a spot by my shoulder blade and said, “yes, you are!” But I got the job, and upon meeting his sister, Gilda del Campo, I went through a program she provided called the Inner Journey. I learned a lot about myself and healing in that time of my life. Fast forward, I met up with Armando some years later and he laughed and said, “not such a control freak any more are you?” And he was right. He influenced my entire journey into the healing profession and the way that I pay attention to what is in my world and listen for answers. Thank you Armando!
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?
- Taking responsibility for ourselves. Change your “movie”! You, are not “sick”, You, are not “overstressed”, You, are not “ not eating enough vegetables”, You, are the only one that can change You. If you don’t like the movie your life is playing, change it. Seek the professionals that help you create the movie you want to be in.
- Sit It, and Zip It. Mind chatter is the pebble in your shoe. It’s annoying, it’s painful, and it’s totally removable. Sit down, get quiet, and listen to yourself breathe. Isn’t it amazing that you can breathe? What a remarkable feature of the human body.
- S l o w d o w n. Hear that? That’s the space you needed in your head to decide to go to the gym today.
- Three Cheers for the Bad Guys! Remember that kid in grade school that used to tease you about your clothes? In my day, a Members Only jacket was the end all be all for any grade schooler, and I had the fake version my mom bought at the discount store. Oh the tears of sorrow on the school bus. What about the love of your life, the one that got away, the one that broke your heart to pieces. They didn’t love you, they left you.Thank you, bad actors! Thank you for teaching me how the world works, ‘cuz I am still here, even though you laughed, pointed, and left me, you did not succeed in making me quit.
- Let it GO. No need to wear those injuries around your neck like a spiked collar, pointing inward. Be thankful for the bad guys, they help us choose more wisely for our future, but only when we take off the darn collar. Learning that you deserve your health, happiness and success can be absolutely life altering!
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.)
1: Eat a chocolate drop.
Eating meditation with chocolate! Done in 8 steps:
Holding, Seeing, Touching, Smelling, Placing, Tasting, Swallowing, Following
That little plump, triangular shaped chocolate concoction is staring at you. You want to eat it, and rip the wrapper off and shove it in your mouth so fast you bite your tongue in the frenzied chewing.
NO, nope, nada. Use this opportunity to practice my Sit It and Zip It technique.
Hold the wrapped chocolate, (lets say, a Hersey’s Kiss), in your hand, in it’s beautiful shinny foil wrapper, notice how light weight it is, how it takes up space in your fingers, and the palm of your hand.
See the little devil. Look at the ripples in the foil, how the light and dark areas glimmer in the light as you observe it.
Touch it. Take the top portion of the foil off, just enough to see the tip of the chocolate drop. Touch the chocolate, then the foil again, feel the difference in the texture?
Smell the chocolate. Take the rest of the wrapper off, and hold the chocolate drop just under your nose. Smell the earthy cocoa mixture, distinguish the nuances of the mixture of ingredients, maybe a hint of nutmeg, maybe a smidge of something else? Can you smell the sugar?
Place the nugget on the tip of your tongue. Resist the temptation to bite down! Just notice the reaction of your mouth, your other senses, what is the texture of the chocolate? Is it different than you thought it would be when you were just Seeing it?
Taste it! Finally, the thrill, and the fruit of your labor. Was it worth the wait? Can you taste the ingredients? Were you right about what you smelled, can you taste the ingredients? How sweet is it? Is it sweeter than you thought it was going to be, not sweet enough?
Swallow. Your teeth are covered in sweet chocolate bliss, now we can pass it down the chute, and how does it feel? Did it hit your stomach like a metal spoon in a sink, or like a hot sip of coffee on a winter morning?
Follow it. Now that the event is over, how was the exercise? Did you notice yourself becoming impatient, or excited? Did you drift off into other thoughts whilst completing the steps?
This is a delicious lesson in Mindfulness, and living in the moment. This practice also helps ward off hunger pains, emotional eating, and binge-ing, and therefore, keeps you on track with your progress at the gym. Staying present can be fun, light hearted, and tasty! (And notice, we only ate ONE chocolate, I won’t tell if you don’t).
Get dirty! Literally get your hands and feet in dirt to connect to the electromagnetic field of the Earth (EMF of 8–9, compared to your cell phone at 50!). The Earth, that (some people say, anyway) round thing we live on. It feeds us much more than water, air and food, it feeds us electric energy at a soothing rate. Ever wonder why you have trouble falling asleep at night…… your phone is spewing electric waves at you over 10 times stronger than the EARTH.
3: Silver Bullet.
“I don’t have time to eat healthy.” Bull pucky. Blueberries and Swiss Chard, the two things you can eat everyday, are the Silver Bullet for a one-two punch to healthy eating. Blueberries for antioxidants, Swiss Chard for alkalizing your body (higher alkaline levels decrease recovery time after exercise).
4: Dance in the Mirror.
It’s exercise, it’s self acceptance, it a ‘lil silly, and it’s likely to make you laugh and feel lighter. Plus, music.
In my twenties, I had someone I barely knew tell me to go home and dance in the mirror. Excuse me? I may not have moves like Jagger, but, I do ok. That friend explained that they were sensing some self censorship, and that dancing in the mirror would make me better equipped to accept myself. Try it, you’ll see.
5: Law of Attraction:
Gratefulness Meditation: Lay down, close your eyes, and say out loud everything you are grateful for in your life, and include things that haven’t happened yet.
I once used this tactic to help me recover from the death of a family member. I said out loud, every night at bedtime, “Thank you to such and such, and such and such (on and on) for their love and patience, and for the health happiness and safety of my family”. I also added gratitude for the job and salary that I actually did not have yet. Be careful with this one, because The Universe is very literal. I asked for a specific salary, and that’s exactly what I got. I later figured out I was being under paid by 25% compared to other folks in the same position at my job. Be grateful for greater things!
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. Better relationships. Exercise relieves muscle tension and calcium build up in your muscles. Those tense muscles cause pain, pain makes you crabby. Crabby people have less quality relationships, don’t be crabby, get up and move your body.
- 2. More money. You may not believe it, but it’s true. There is enough money to go around for everyone. It is not scarce, it’s abundant. How do you get it? Try practicing the Gratefulness Meditation I mentioned in the “5 non-intuitive Lifestyle Hacks”, but do it during your morning run. Be grateful you are able to move your body at all, grateful for the next promotion at work, the next investment that is coming your way, and watch the cash flow in.
- 3. Avoiding wheelchairs. Unlike financial abundance, your body is not finite. It wears down, ages, and decays. The only way you will be an active senior citizen, is if you are an active junior citizen. Think of daily exercise as pushing an empty wheel chair, there’s no one in it, and you’re the one pushing.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
- The knee-to-chest stretch. This increases blood flow to the main support system of your whole body structure, your lower back. Without core strength and flexibility, all other exercises will be less effective, and may lead to injury.
- Chest stretch in the doorway. We call this The Tech Stretch in my office. Great for people who sit at a desk all day, on a computer. We are hunched over, head down, arms forward, all day long. This literally pushes your spine back into your chest, and opens the lungs. It’s also a great way to open your heart, in an energetic way.
- Hand and Wrist stretches. Similar to the Tech Stretch above, the wrist and digits on your hands are used in just about every movement we make all day long, especially on a computer. If you want to pull more reps at the gym, it’s a lot easier when your hands, wrists and forearms are loose and limber.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
The Silver Bullet remedy in number three of “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing” talks about alkalinizing your body. Using food as fuel, and as medicine, you can reduce recovery time from workouts by maintaining an alkalized state in your body. While the antioxidants founds in foods like blueberries help you ward off disease, foods like swis chard, bananas, and yogurt are high in potassium, which dramatically reduces your recovery time after a workout.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
My family is on a Modified Paleo diet that includes gluten free gains, quinoa, and grass fed beef and butter. We throw a touch of Mederterain in for flavor, such as olives, fresh cold vegetables, and high quality cheese, as a treat.
As for patient diets, we have a Metabolic Health (Whole Food Medical Weight Loss) program in the Weight Clinic at our office that includes food allergy testing, and a ten-day detox that precedes any other diet modifications. It is designed to create an atmosphere in your body that can benefit the most from the foods you eat. When your body is in a toxic state, as most of ours are, even some “healthy” foods can make us retain weight. The delayed food allergy testing helps us understand where in the toxic state the patient is with their diet, the detox cleans it out, and then a new eating and exercising program is put in its place. It’s been extremely successful as a natural medical weight loss program.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
“Celestine Prophecy”, by James Redfield, is by far the most influential book I have ever read, and re-read. I’ve have purchased so many books and given them away over the years to friends and family, that I am certain it’s because of me it was a best seller.
Though a fictional story, it is entirely about being present in the moment, and manifesting your own destiny. It’s brilliant!
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. 🙂
— -Wouldn’t it be great if #SitItandZipIt became the next hashtag phenomenon? Our world is more and more toxic everyday, environmentally and internally. The Sit it and Zip It protocol can diffuse anger, frustration, disease, and heartache, in 5 minutes.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”, John Lennon.
If there ever was a better way of stating, “be in the moment” than that, it didn’t catch my ears.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I’d love to sit and enjoy a quinoa cake with Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington. They, and any woman that has come through their own struggle and lived to preach about it. If we imagine our mothers, and their mothers, living in their time, their voices muffled by society and expectations, and compare that to today’s youthful voices, more free, more open, and more exposed, us in betweeners could have a good laugh and commiserate on the progress we have made. I bet it would be a hoot.
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Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!