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Women of Reverence welcomes Ilana Lombard as a guest blogger.

Ilana Lombard is an Integrated and Functional Nutrition Health Coach, as well as a qualified dietitian. She is the owner of ChooseLife, a health coaching platform, from where she consults clients in person and online.

Ilana is happily married to Zach Lombard and together they lead Revolution Church in Pretoria. She also has two beautiful daughters, aged 15 and 10, and she is passionate about her family. Together they enjoy riding their bikes or running outdoors, cooking, watching movies and serving Jesus.

Ilana’s other passion is disease prevention through healthy lifestyle. She has a heart to impact the lives of individuals and families through her coaching program by teaching about our amazing bodies, how to cook delicious, healthy meals, how to navigate the environment and to live a healthy, wholesome life.

In Psalm 139 we read that we are wonderfully created by our Master Creator, knit together in our mother’s womb by His own hands, that He made us wonderfully complex, and that His workmanship is marvelous.

When last did you think of yourself, or your body, in such a way?

Given half a chance, the body will heal itself by itself. Encoded into each and every cell in our body is a legacy of wellness and resilience. Our default setting is health, not disease. The human body is a miracle, with our cells constantly ready to regenerate, repair, replenish, renew and detoxify. That’s how God created us. Doesn’t it make sense when you think about His character? He’s the God of second chances.

But, in reality, so many people are sick. Chronic illness is so prevalent that more people are affected than not. However, I have the privilege of sharing the health gospel with my clients. When it comes to health, I don’t believe in “it’s too late”, or “sorry, I can’t help you, it’s in your genes”. The amazing field of epigenetics (the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself) has proven that our genes are plastic - say what? - a term used in the medical field meaning our genes aren’t so ‘stuck in their ways’. The way our genes express (when the information stored in our DNA is converted into instructions) can be altered. This is good news! Because we can greatly determine our health outcome.

What you eat, where you live, who you interact with, your sleep pattern, how you exercise, etc. cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time. Think of it in terms of doors - we can choose to open doors to wellness and close the door on disease.

This means that even if a condition like heart disease runs in your family, you can break that pattern. Your diet and lifestyle choices make a big difference. Some genes lead to disease,” But for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk," says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine said: “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” Food is far more than just kilojoules, or to curb hunger. Food is information, communicating with the cells in our body, ultimately determining how our genes express. Every time you ingest anything you are either sending love letters or hate mail down your gut. You are what you eat! This is a sobering thought that should lead us to a greater consciousness of what we eat and drink, what medication we take, and even what air we breathe.

We are body, soul and spirit, a tri-part being so intertwined that it is indivisible. We are created wonderfully complex and need to nurture all three for ultimate health. We cannot pamper the one and neglect the other – down the line one area will pay the price. It’s vital to be aware that the choices we make - good or bad - have an outcome - good or bad. Furthermore, we need to be mindful that spiritual wellness impacts physical health, which impacts emotional and mental health, which can deeply impact spiritual wellness, and so on. Our state of mind during a meal impacts digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Our diet determines our mood and our mood greatly determines what we eat. The exercise I do or don’t do can impact my physical health, mood, thought patterns and body awareness, which might have an impact on relationships. In turn, relationships can impact my spiritual health, which will impact my thoughts patterns, which might determine whether I exercise or not, which will have an impact on my physical health. You get the picture.

If you own a vehicle, it’s in your best interest to take good care of it: have it serviced regularly, change air and oil filters, put in the best fuel, make sure oil and water is topped up, check and change the tyres if necessary, keep it clean, and give it a good polish every now and again. In the same way, we need to maintain body, soul and spirit.

If we want to prevent or even reverse disease, if we desire to put our bodies in a state of constantly healing itself, our cells renewing and regenerating naturally, we need to be mindful of what we eat and drink, apply to our skin, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the medication we take, be sure to sleep enough, laugh enough, love enough, exercise, handle stress, and nourish our spirits from the Word and presence of Jesus. The world we live in has drastically changed in the past one hundred years, and for longevity, we too have to adapt.

So, take good care of your complete package that God put together with so much love and care.



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