How to Have Endless Energy: Parenthood Edition

How bio-hacking your body helps you achieve peak performance in parenthood

If you want to make your goals happen, make your health happen first. Health isn’t just the absence of disease or symptoms. It’s energy. The ability to focus. Feeling good in your glowing skin. Feeling great after you eat. Happiness. A positive mindset. When you look and feel your best, you perform your best. You do excel at work. Your relationships are stronger. You become the person you’ve always dreamed of… The parent you aspire to be.

A vast majority of adults don’t know what that level of health feels like… our society has accepted the symptoms of poor health, normalized them, and marketed products and solutions to us that we really don’t need. Five hour energy. Starbucks on every freaking corner. An industry dedicated to masking our skin issues. A healthcare system that doles out pills for our common ills.

"If you want to make your goals happen, make your health happen first."

I’m here to remind you that headaches aren’t normal. Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, stomachaches, stubborn weight, not normal either. Low energy, low libido, mood swings, fatigue—you guessed it. Just because they’re common, doesn’t make them normal! In fact, these symptoms are often the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t address them, and I mean fully address and fix them, not mask them with a pill— your ship is going down. Don’ You’re not the unsinkable. Hasn’t Leo taught you anything?

Kidding aside, don’t set yourself up to crash. If you’re experiencing any one of these symptoms, you’re not living your best life. Not only that, but symptoms progress. Symptoms are our bodies subtle way of saying, “Hey. Hey you, I know you’re busy, but ummm somethings not right in here! We got a little fire going on down here in the digestive tract. Send help. Thanks.” Your body is much more forgiving and adaptable if you listen to it when it whispers, rather than waiting for it to scream and set all of the alarms off, “HEY! HOLY SH*T! SOS! WE’RE GOING DOWN!!”

We all have a vision of the self we’re aspiring to become. My vision is different than yours. My husband and I want to travel the globe with our growing tribe of mini humans. I want to inspire the masses to level up to peak performance and I want to do it from anywhere in the world while balancing my family life and having the freedom to have fun. Our goals might not look the same, but at the heart of it, I think we can agree we’d all like to look, feel, and perform our best. We want to excel in our professional and personal lives. I don’t think many of us are walking around thinking, I wish I performed worse at work. I hope I get demoted. I wish I was worse at parenting and had less energy for my kids. I wish my sex life sucked. I wish I had less money and time to do the things I really want to do in life.

"...I think we can agree we'd all like to look, feel, and perform our best."

Peak performance is when your body is in the state of optimal functioning— it’s where the magic happens. The brain fog disappears. You wake up energized after sound sleep. You’re focused. You feel light. You think to yourself, “Hmm maybe age really is just a number.” You look and feel better at 35 than you did at 25. Your mood is stable. You’re not that anxious or down person you used to be. You have a positive outlook. You’re more connected in your relationships. You have energy to hit the gym and run around with your littles. You have confidence to try something new. You’re not as rushed and forgetting important things. You actually finish up work a little earlier because you’re focused throughout the day. You have a little more time and energy to do the things you want to. You feel balance.

Comparison is the thief of joy. So as I share this with you, I ask that you read with an open mind. One of non-judgment— both towards myself and towards yourself. I am a work in progress. We all are. I lead a balanced life, but in all transparency, I am pushing for more balance. I’ve set and met many goals. I’ve crossed some finish lines, but I am aiming for more. For better. I thrive off of accomplishing my goals. My long-term goal is to have more time and freedom to relax. My short-term goals are jam packed, but are on track to get me away from the screen and into my hammock. Through it all, I'd like to be the best version of myself I can be. A great wife and a great mom.

My daughter just turned 1. Fastest.year.ever. This year has been nothing short of amazing, albeit it one of the most challenging. Four years ago my husband and I decided to move across the world, 5,000 miles away from our families. At the current moment, we’re raising her without any family help. In fact, with the exception of family visiting us out here for a few weeks at a time, we’ve been the only two people to watch her. My husband works full-time and has a side business. I work part-time in the hospital and run my own business, am in graduate school to be a Family Nurse Practitioner, and just published a children’s book that I wrote when she was 2 months old. This past year has been busy, but we make it to the beach on the regular. We sing and dance around our kitchen with our daughter and our dog. We’ve had our ups and downs, but more ups than downs. In the time when many people fall apart as new parents, we’ve come together stronger. We are in the best health of our lives. With some fine-tuning and individualized testing, my husband dropped 35 lbs this year and a lot of nagging symptoms with it. He’s got the focus and energy to power through his work, goof around with our daughter, twirl me around in the kitchen, swim with the dog, learn Spanish, go golfing, go for a run, and explore the things that interest him— currently, spearfishing, travel, and mindfulness.

For me, my postpartum peak performance is the result of not only pregnancy peak performance, but setting myself up in the preconception period. Anyone familiar with my story knows my husband and I struggled with “unexplained infertility” for a few years before naturally conceiving our daughter. Test after test with no answer, no explanation, no hope… all led me to bow out of conventional medicine for infertility treatments and navigate back to the roots of functional medicine. At that pivotal point, I choose to find answers. To fix the underlying, unresolved issues. In doing so, my body was put back in balance and my health was better than ever. I’ve always placed a high emphasis on health— before I became a nurse, I was a personal trainer. I'm am a big proponent for physical exercise, but I actually believe in working out smarter, not harder!

Our lives are centered around health. In addition to fueling and running our bodies right, my husband sells our health cider tonic all over the island, a concoction we worked on together while running a small scale organic farm out here in Hawaii. But I never reached peak performance until I partnered with the right practitioner who bio-hacked my body and resolved all of my underlying issues. I had a healthier, less symptomatic pregnancy for it… recovered relatively quickly, and my little family is thriving.

"I never reached peak performance until I partnered with the right practitioner who bio-hacked my body and resolved all of my underlying issues."

I am a huge advocate for family health. You can’t raise healthy children if you’re not in the best health of your life. If you outsource your health to doctors who are fixated on prescription pads rather than actually fixing you, not only will you never reach peak performance, you will never be well. If you follow generic advice about diet and exercise, you might feel slightly better… but you will plateau, and you won’t reach your potential.

I believe in bio-hacking, or quantifying what’s going on in your body. That means specialized lab testing to find out exactly what’s going on with you. Health is individualized. Therefore, so is YOUR diet. YOUR supplement regimen. YOUR detox protocol. It’s all based on YOU. I test for food intolerances using the most comprehensive test on the market. I look at nutrient deficiencies, heavy metals, and other toxins. I can test to see how your body metabolizes food. We can figure out not only what you should eat, but how. What exercise is best for you. I dig deep to find out not only what’s going on in your internal environment, but what’s going on in your external environment that may be robbing you of your health. Air quality, water, EMF’s. I do the thinking and linking. I take out all of the guesswork. I tailor a game plan suited exactly for you, and you only. I check-in with you weekly. I give you full access to me via e-mail. I act as your health consultant and coach, mentor, and friend. I have a vested interest in your peak performance because the world needs healthier, thriving people. It takes serious energy and focus to raise children in this society. We need moms and dads that can juggle the demands of this crazy world— that can raise healthy, strong children. The world needs more creativity, innovation, and leadership. We need those type of people to raise those type of kids.

"I dig deep to find out not only what's going on in your internal environment, but what's going on in your external environment that may be robbing you of your health."

Just because you become a parent doesn’t mean you need to give up on your health or your dreams. My husband made revolutionary changes a few months into parenthood. Instead of subscribing to the status quo, he redefined the "dad bod". I brought my private practice to virtual realm and fulfilled my childhood dream and wrote and published a children's book while my daughter napped. You can be available for your children while working on yourself and your ambitions. In fact, you’ll all be much better off for it. It’s not selfish to invest the time and money into making yourself a healthier, better human. It’s quite the opposite. In my humble yearlong experience, I've found that parenthood requires patience. I am most patient when I am rested, focused, and energized. If you're struggling to meet any goal, my advice is to prioritize your wellbeing. Make your health priority numero uno. Healthy, happy parents raise healthy, happy kids.

Pono Holistic Health, LLC