Saturday, September 19, 2009

Going Chestnutty

Speaking of trips, Steve's in Atlanta right now at a conference. I've been mostly by myself with the girls since Thursday afternoon and honestly. . . besides the heat, it hasn't been that bad. I hate to admit that to him because then he might think that I don't really need a break (OH, BUT I DO!).

Dr. Chestnut with the fam.

I've been trying to figure out a way to sum up the seminar we went last weekend in a few sentences, but it's difficult. Just to give you an idea . . . Dr. Chestnut is among other things, a chiropractor, and just about all of the attendees were chiros or wives of chiros or people who work for chiros. He developed a program called "Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well" to promote wellness and to certify chiros to use in their offices. Steve plans on implementing it in his. (The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer!) This particular seminar was the "Think Well" portion of the program.

Listening to Dr. Chestnut is like drinking from a fire hose. I guess, in over simplistic terms, he spoke about how to empower people to take charge of their emotional and physical health. Our physiology is affected by our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health. Our physiology.

An interesting thing about this seminar is that I found I was making connections to religion, although he left religion mostly out of his lectures. Because I'm religious, I'm already aware of my values and beliefs, which is something (he says) that some people aren't sure about, whether they're religious or not. He talked about relationship dynamics, having integrity (acting according to your beliefs), being optimistic, and realizing our worth as human beings.

He also spoke a lot about how most chronic illnesses (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, infertility, high blood pressure, just to name a few) aren't the result of genetics, but of lifestyle choices -- choices we make both psychologically and physically.

A big (and perhaps the most shocking) part of his program is "Eat Well". There are many who say he's pretty extreme (including me), but the beautiful thing about his program is that he doesn't tell anyone to give up anything. The reasons why diets don't work is because we try to give up things that we love. Chestnut suggests always adding positive things instead of removing negative. He used "pizza and beer" quite often as his example. He said that you can keep your pizza and beer, just have a salad first. The point isn't to follow his guidelines perfectly from day one, but to make easy, gradual, and comfortable changes. Swearing off all sweets isn't any of those things. But eating an apple or a carrot a day is. The point isn't to lose weight, either, but to become healthier. When you become healthier, your body will naturally find a healthy weight.

He also said to eat your favorite food while naked, in front of a mirror . . . on a mini trampoline. Jokingly, but I see his point. :)

I'm nowhere near where I'd like to be as far as nutrition goes, but I do notice that when I eat more things that I should be eating, I lose a little interest in things that aren't healthy. Just a little. Sometimes I still drown myself in a bowl of popcorn/ice cream/cookies because I'm bummed out. Or eat seven pancakes just because I feel like it (now regretting it as I stare down at my "pancake belly") I just start over the next day. And I feel better because I ate some broccoli at lunch.

Dr. Chestnut went on a few rants throughout his lecture, and one of them was about the health care crisis. He said that neither option from the political parties would fix the problem. Everyone keeps talking about who's going to pay for what, who's going to have coverage, and what prescription drugs will be available, but no one is talking about how to make people healthier. We don't need more money, we need fewer sick people. I agree with him.

He didn't just pull all of this stuff out of his head, either. For every statement or concept he spoke about, he listed several studies and/or academic articles to back them up. The research this man has done and the influence he's had on people is incredible. He's literally helped people save their own lives with this program. Occasionally he threw some things out there that made me roll my eyes, but for the most part, I think he's spot on.

I feel like I'm jumping around, and if you've read this far, you must be at least curious, right? Visit his website at There's a video of some snippets from Dr. Chestnut's lectures that sums up his philosophy as well.


Cassia said...


Anonymous said...

Wow, can't wait to check out his page, thanks so much for sharing!!