How to Take Charge of Your Health in a Toxic World

Sweta Patel

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Many people think self-care means taking your dog for a walk, eating quinoa, or even getting your nails done. But when we look at these activities, are they truly nourishing? Often, people don’t know what self-care is because it is not taught in school. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way. I live with many autoimmune conditions, so I had to figure out how I could get my health back to feel whole again. It goes beyond just dieting and taking a walk. I had to go on rigorous detoxification protocols and ensure I was not getting any acute infections. The idea of self-care is more about getting your mind and body in a wholesome place rather than the surface-level things society has taught people to want. It took years of work to get my body to a place where it was functioning and nourished. Self-care is not about doing something good for a short time and then going back to the typical American lifestyle of drinking, partying, and eating processed foods.

I started working with farmers who helped me deal with my diseases and get back to a place of restored health just with unprocessed, real food as my medicine. Yes, I could have gone to Whole Foods, but it is not the same. Even at Whole Foods, we see most organic items include additives filled with toxins. The idea of real self-care starts with eliminating toxins from our environment and bodies and not planning to add them in again. In my case, I had no choice; because of my genetic make-up, my body tends to hang on to toxins more than the average person. This is why I had to take extra precautions.

Here are ways of self-caring in a world full of toxins:

Buy Your Groceries From Local Farmers

The truth is when you go to the local farm, you are guaranteed to get unprocessed, whole food with no additives whatsoever. You can tell the difference just by the taste of the food. Also, it doesn’t last too long, maybe a few days max. This is how you know the produce is from the farm and not a grocery store. Also, the local farm has many dairy products; these have been extremely restorative for my gut—more so than local grocery store products. I don’t know how I would have healed my health without being near a local farm for all these goods. After working on my health for so many years, I realized that self-care is individualized. Many people advise you to drink kombucha or take supplements, but everyone’s body needs are different. All those tips didn’t work for me because my body didn’t need them. Realizing this helped me become more aware of my body’s needs.

Listen to Your Body

It is easy to start following fad health tips without listening to your body. The truth is that we are all built so differently, and what works for one person may not be effective for a different person. In my case, I realized that kombucha or supplements would have a different effect on me than they would have on another person. Our guts are built differently, and our digestion is not the same, either. This meant I had to tune into my body in a wholesome way to understand what it did and didn’t like. It was often tough because I didn’t know much about how the gut and hormones worked to be aware of what was wrong. I worked with many specialists, functional medicine doctors, and natural doctors to understand health and what being healthy truly means. I realized that most people today are not aware of what their body is asking of them. It’s like their check engine light keeps popping up, but they keep driving. This is why the word self-care has been diluted. Most of us have many symptoms that we don’t look closely into that may correspond to a bigger issue. This was the case for me, and I didn’t realize it until I was in a coma.

The Dark Side of Conventional Medicine

Yes, many doctors tell us what is wrong, then they prescribe pills. They believe that taking your pills puts you in the category of being healthy and taking care of yourself. Most pills are just a Band-Aid, and they are not a way to cure your body or the organs that may be suffering due to the body not getting enough nutrients. This was my case and why I built a community like Healveda, where I help women get the help they need to heal themselves from the dark effects of autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune conditions take over our lives, and we become a slave to our health.

Through my experience, I learned the true meaning of self-care when I was facing the worst symptoms. Conventional medical doctors didn’t help me understand why it was happening. Instead, they just prescribed me a pill, had me wait in the waiting room for two hours, and had me fill out many intake forms. I don’t believe this was how healthcare was originally intended to be. When I started questioning everything, most doctors hated it. They wouldn’t give me the time of day. I could only imagine how others in similar situations were feeling.

Let’s get back to the true meaning of self-care—nourishing the body inside out and feeling good. It isn’t just about beauty; it is about using food as medicine to truly heal ourselves in a toxic world.

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Millions of women who silently struggle with autoimmune-related health issues have a new resource to turn to for help. Sweta Patel, founder of Healveda is no stranger to success. She has advised and served as an executive for more than 200 high-growth startups in Silicon Valley. She’s the founder of Startup Growth Mode, Best-Selling Author, and an Oracles Member, an elite brain trust of entrepreneurs that include Sir Richard Branson, Tim Draper, and more. Sweta switched from tech to health after successfully dealing with three different autoimmune episodes. Today, she is on a mission to help women all over the world find natural ways to defeat the crippling effects of autoimmune diseases while going after their dreams.

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