Sacha Hall, MSN, RN-BC, LNC, FNE-A/P
What you put into your body impacts more than just your weight and what you see on the outside. It plays a huge role in how your body functions (and how you feel) on the inside.
No one knows this more than nurse Sacha Hall, MSN, RN-BC, LNC, FNE-A/P. For years, Sacha dealt with painful stomach and constipation issues — during and after pregnancy — that worsened over time. She visited her physician more than once, and each time was told that her only treatment option was surgery. So, when the pain got to be too much to handle, she scheduled the procedure.
But soon after, Sacha connected with Valerie Morrison, DBA, MSA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, who is vegan and eats a plant-based diet. Valerie told her how foods can change the inflammation levels in the body. Sacha was intrigued and decided to do her own research on how nutrition affects digestive issues. Armed with this newfound knowledge and Valerie’s advice, Sacha decided to stop eating poultry and beef.
Within days, Sacha’s pain and stomach issues began to subside. Just two weeks after removing meat from her diet, Sacha was completely pain-free. She visited her physician one more time for an exam prior to surgery and was told her digestive issues had healed.
Pescatarian Diets & Health
Now that Sacha has seen the effects of diet choices on her body, she’s convinced that a pescatarian lifestyle is the way to go. She’s removed all poultry and beef from her meals and replaced them with new sources of protein like salmon and beans.
There’s something to be said about pescatarian diets and digestive system health. One study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that a diet like Sacha’s — one filled with fruits, vegetables, and moderate amounts of fish — brings a 45% reduction in colorectal cancer risk compared to people whose diets include meat. Among all diet types (including vegan and vegetarian), pesco-vegetarian offers the most protection against colorectal cancer.
That’s not all pescatarian diets can do. Not only did Sacha notice a huge difference in her gastrointestinal issues, she also felt better after exercising. An avid runner, Sacha used to get shin splints and body aches after a 30-minute run. But once she became a pescatarian, all running-related aches and pains went away.
Feeling Better Day by Day
Today, Sacha feels better than ever. Even though she’s had temptations to eat meat, the way her body feels now motivates her to avoid it.
“The easy way out is very tempting, but I have to ask myself, is it worth it?” said Sacha. “That pain I used to feel is not worth a bite of chicken or steak.”
Sacha now makes eating right and exercising a priority. Since the COVID-19 pandemic limited her daily gym time, she gradually built a workout area in her home. Now she has a safe place to go every day to get the physical activity that helps keep her healthy. Bonus: She sets a positive example for her two kids, who see their mom exercising and taking care of herself, daily.
As a mother, Sacha maintains her mental and emotional health through her blog, mamasdirtypearls.com. She uses the platform to share breastfeeding and motherhood advice with other nurses who have children.
Sacha’s health and wellness changes have dramatically impacted her life — for the better. Here’s what Sacha wants other nurses to know:
- Taking care of yourself is taking care of others. As nurses, we can’t take care of our patients if we’re not first taking care of ourselves. Make yourself a priority.
- Start small. Dedicate at least one hour to yourself each day, whether you spend it exercising, meditating, listening to music, or whatever you need to feel healthier.
- Be an example. Your patients are looking to you as an example of how to live a healthy life. If you aren’t healthy, why should they follow your advice to make themselves healthier?
Sacha Hall, MSN, RN-BC, LNC, FNE-A/P, is a nurse at Loyal Legal Nurse Consulting, LLC.
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