It's hard to believe, but I'm writing to you about something I never expected. And here it is: Do you ever wonder who you are?
I thought for my entire adult life that I was a record industry girl and that this defined who I was. But after a busy 6 months of building something completely fresh from the ground up, I can now say some astoundingly new things about myself: I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a nutrigenomics practitioner. I'm a genetic nutrition and health coach. And I'm the owner and founder of a health start-up.
So, this is where that question, who am I?, comes in. Because I think that this journey we're all on to understand ourselves isn't just about the metaphysical. What I've discovered is that it also includes something really new and really important. Epigenetics--and how genetic nutrition, in particular, utterly defines the shape of our lives.
Once we finished mapping the human genome, we thought we were done. And then we realised that we'd only just begun! The multi-generational expression of our genes is why two people can eat, move, and live identically but have drastically different expressions of health. Because not only is each of us unique down to the genetic level, but so too are the ways in which our experiences, thoughts, emotions, and environmental influences interact with us at this genetic level to create a uniquely, stunningly complex biochemical individual.
And this is what I've become passionate about in my own search for who I am. It's why I now know that I AM different--we're each different. I'm lucky to have the genes that mean red wine favourably reduces high cholesterol. But I'm unfortunate to be missing the genes for one liver detoxificaiton enzyme (although I can work around this by eating lots of raw broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage). I also need increased amounts of omega-3 fish oils and antioxidants in order to prevent systemic inflammation. And I don't convert beta-carotene very well so can't rely on carrots for my vitamin A. But I do have great utilisation of B vitamins in my methylation pathway!
Possessing this very personal connection to who I am biochemically means that I finally feel empowered to own my health in a way I never did before. To make conscious, informed decisions for sustaining life-long optimal health that are very likely at odds with the latest trendy diet hitting the headlines. And I can now face with confidence that onslaught of confusing and conflicting health advice and know when something simply doesn't apply to me. What a relief.
So, does all this mean that I've left those record industry days behind for good? Well, maybe in their original incarnation--but epigenetics teaches us that our past experiences shape the expression of our future selves, and who we have been inevitably melds with who we are today and who we will be tomorrow.
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