Whole Warrior Solutions blog
Come with me to a little Greek island called Ikaria. A blue zone where the people forgot to die they live so long! Living with a disability it may be likened to a labyrinth like the one in Ikaria for some. A maze of entrapment. Others may put on their wax wings, fly out of the maze keeping a straight course between the sun and the water, whilst ensuring not to go too close to either so the wings don't melt.
Whether or not you subscribe to Greek mythology, NDIS providers have a great responsibility inspire hope, mentor lifestyle habits such as good nutrition, exercise, fresh air, sunlight, water and connection. In her book Food as Medicine, dietitian, Dr Sue Radd says what we put in our mouths will either slow down or speed up chronic disease. Some people living with a disability are able to make positive choices about nutrition and lifestyle, other's are completely dependent on their providers to improve and maintain their wellness.
One of my roles, in addition to counselling and casework, is coordinating the NDIS network. It is a community of nearly 500 NDIS providers who brainstorm together to offer the most relevant services and products for people living with a disability. All types of businesses and professions are represented. Many are health allied professionals who are well informed about the benefits of a mediterranean diet, like the Ikarian's, that contributes to longevity and wellness.
If you are an NDIS provider consider what lifestyle habits you are role modelling today? Are you eating a healthy lunch in front of your participants, living a balanced lifestyle, turning up to work ready for the day after a good sleep, drinking enough water throughout the day, inviting participants to get out in the fresh air and sunshine when possible, offering healthy activities for them? When we take control of our self-care it will improve mood, self image, and increase health literacy.
There is much we can learn about bluezones like the tiny Aegean Greek Island, Ikaria. Ikarus, son of Daedalus who created the labyrinth, became complacent and flew too close to the sun causing his wax wings to melt leading to his demise. Hence the saying 'Don't fly too close to the sun!' Are we flying close to the sun? Complacent about our nutrition...and has it caused a demise in our health?
Why do the Ikarians have less chronic diseases like dementia and heart disease? Whilst we are grounded from flying during the pandemic, I'm going to research a more about the secrets that contribute to them living longer and healthier lives. I want my waxed wings to withstand the elements of wind and sun, and carry me into old age with dignity and grace. When I put my hand to my mouth I'm also going to try to remember that food is medicine..my body is a temple!
Love & light
Start networking in our NDIS provider network to make a difference here!
For Mediterranean cullinary inspo follow inspired Dr Sue Radd who won "Best Health & Nutrition Book," World Cookbook Awards, 2017 on Instagram @culinary_medicine
Learn more at www.wholewarriorsolutions.com.au
Tania Gorry is a counsellor in private practice at Whole Warrior Solutions based on the Central Coast of NSW. Tania has a passion for supporting people living with disabilities, trauma, stress, anxiety, depression and grief and loss.