My cute, buttoned up life plan was never to leave college and jump into business as a teenager. Among a mirage of realities that came with being 20 years younger than my average peer, was the realization that I going to travel. A lot. Those who travel frequently know you reach a point where nothing takes you by surprise anymore, conditioned to see some of the most horrifying, hilarious, and culturally questionable instances played out before your eyes each moment. However, there is still one situation that will always make me cringe.
“Sorry, she’s sick,” a mom made extra loud and clear about her young daughter sitting next to me. These three words match “We’re going down” in my book of fears while on an airplane. I looked down at my notebook. Since losing my train of thought, the last words I had written – “What does my generation need to hear?” I looked up and directly out the window to my right instead of at the sick child to my left. The painful noises and smells followed. “What does my generation need to hear?” I tried to re-focus my mind in effort to escape. Then loudly, “Mom I need a Band-Aid.” The mother explained that her owie was coming from the inside. Far from understanding what was going on inside of her, yet stuck with the pain of its reality, this girl revealed to me what it is my generation needs.
For the past five years, I have focused my work on food and beverages in the health industry. And I have become quite obsessed with how the systems in our bodies work in ways we cannot see. Imagine your body’s immune system to be an invisible army. Soldiers fighting for our freedom. We got the word immunity from two Latin roots meaning “free from” and “ready for service.” Our bodies, incredibly clever, fight to keep us free and ready to step into purpose.
We continue to learn just how powerful our immune systems are – recently proven to be directly connected to our brains. Invisible armies within us, now proven to be soldiers in the fight of enemies such as depression and anxiety. Pretty amazing, right? There’s just one key to this fight. No Band-Aids.
There is a reality that is being constructed from the invisible that is inside of you. In a quick and easy culture, we have avoided the risk and fear of building the invisible inside of us, and instead have reached for the Band-Aid box. Placing characters and bright colors on the outside of what is happening inside. Celebration of our temporary Band-Aid has created a physical and spiritual spirit of building idols to our illness. Eventually the Band-Aid we have been wearing to cover our pain will wear off. And we’ll need another Band-Aid. Meanwhile, that invisible army inside of you continues to fight harder than ever on the real problems, the chronic problems.
An ancient and famous role model, the Apostle Paul, shows us that if our minds choose easy, they will stay weak. Paul’s writes to Corinth, a town where he faced more opposition and attack from enemies than anywhere else, and shows us the solution is not a band-aid, but instead a choice to fight differently. He says to the people living in Corinth that “…although we live in the natural realm, we don’t wage a military campaign employing human weapons, using manipulation to achieve our aims. Instead, our spiritual weapons are energized with divine power to effectively dismantle the defenses behind which people hide” (2 Corinthians 10.3-4 TPT).
What I have learned through nutrition is that our bodies can be taught to fight differently. Building our physical and mental immune systems will empower us to remain free, ready and energized to win these battles. I want to share a few of the very practical choices everyone can make to fight differently. I’m believing they will meet you where you’re at but will not leave you there:
1. Begin waking up 30 minutes earlier this week. Dedicate this time to building your spiritual immunity. Using this time to read, to pray, to take a walk (without your phone) will signal to your brain how you will prioritize the rest of your day.
2. Sugar, you’re going down. Supporting the immunity of our bodies and minds to fight differently means taking care of our bodies differently. Remove all refined sugar from your diet for 30 days, no cheating. Your brain will thank you.
3. Increase life. Supplementing your immune system with a daily dose of probiotics (the living, good bacteria in your body) has not only been proven to increase your immune system, but also reduce the inflammation in your brain.
We need to take care of our bodies in order to take care of our battles. Five and a half inches is the length of our battle. The distance from your left ear to your right ear. Each day we will continue to fight in the invisible - the invisible depression of our past and the invisible anxieties of our future. As we move from Band-Aids to building the immunity of our minds and our bodies, our fight will become energy-charged and focused on the present.
Caroline is led by a passion to build solutions that increase the lives of those around her. Caroline has been an entrepreneur in the wellness industry since her teenage years. She is the founder and CEO of Nouri, a nutrition company created to increase mental and physical health globally.