Positive Affirmations with Kezia Onel
Graydon: It’s Graydon! I’m back and I have Kezia today, who is a holistic nutritionist, and a writer, and yoga-enthusiast, world-wide traveller...and we have a few people in common. It’s interesting how our paths have crossed and so, we have a lot to talk about today! Over to you Kezia!
Kezia: Hello, yes, thank you for having me first of all! Hello to everyone watching. I am, as you mentioned, a holistic nutritionist. So I just graduated in April, and since then I’ve started the journey. I started Instagram first, which is how you and your colleagues here found me, and I post juicy tips there. And I started my website, so I do one on one consulting, with mostly women. It’s just who I’m seeing currently, I’d love to see more men but so far it’s been mostly women. And I am going to be launching e-books very soon, and they are going to cover a variety of topics. They are going to try to make your health and wellness journey enjoyable, and take the guess work out of it, so you can understand the science and research behind it and feel good about it.
Graydon: Okay, that sounds interesting! It sounds like you…I have a feeling that you had a skin journey yourself, and I’d like to learn a little bit more about that, and how you’ve used holistic strategies to bring yourself back to balance.
Kezia: Yes, back to balance is very key in this journey! So it all began at the beginning of high school, I completely broke out into cystic acne. There wasn't one place you could touch on my face that didn't have huge, huge cystic acne - huge! And it got so bad, that I would just cry so much, that my mom would say ‘okay, you don’t have to go to school that day’, that’s how bad it was. Physically I felt it didn’t look great, that outward appearance thing, then emotionally as well it was totally confidence crushing. So I saw commercials for Proactive, and they were guaranteeing me results, so I went that route, and it made it worse.
Kezia: Yeah, I had no benefit from it, it was really horrible. Just really affected my mood and emotions and everything. So I stopped that and went to my doctor, who put me on prescription medication - and I was allergic to that! So I blew up like a big balloon. I tried all of them, the gel type prescriptions that I would put on [topically], all of that. So I mean, it did help a bit, and when that didn’t have any results, I got slapped with birth control.
Graydon: Birth control, woohoo! [laughs]
Kezia: [laughs] Yeah, woohoo!
Graydon: Not the way you were hoping it be helpful?
Kezia: No, but also I didn't know too much, and I trusted my doctor, and so I went that route. Did it clear up? Yeah it did, but I felt not like myself. I kind of lost a bit of my personality, which was very strange. but it cleared my skin, so I was happy. So I kept going like that for a couple years, and I still broke out here and there, but it still definitely affects your self confidence. And then I stopped [taking birth control], but when I stopped, I was going to a new school, which led me to holistic nutrition. So I learned everything about how birth control really, really affects you and affects your gut, and even the mineral levels in your body! And what it’s really, really doing to you. So there was no way I was staying on that, so I went off to support my body, and I feel almost like a brand new person!
Graydon: Wow! How long ago was that?
Kezia: How long ago did I stop it? It’s only been about two months actually.
Graydon: Oh my god!
Kezia: So very, very recently. I was nervous, cause you hear stories.
Graydon: You can have a lot of reactions.
Kezia: Yeah, reactions. And you have just built up so much toxin level and hormone level for your gut and liver to deal with, and when you stop it, you have to just go cold turkey. There’s no easy out of it. Uhm, so I was very, very nervous, but I finally started to take control. And I knew deep, deep down this is what I need to do, and what’s best for myself. I supported that with nutrition, and great product supplements.
Kezia: Mostly herbs actually! Herbs were huge in my journey.
Graydon: And adaptogens.
Kezia: And adaptogens! Yeah, I was taking ashwaganda.
Graydon: Love our adaptogens!
Kezia: I love adaptogens in my smoothies, in my supplements, you name it! So here I am, feeling most like myself, and the results show.
Graydon: Yeah, you look really good!
Kezia: Thank you!
Graydon: So, I don’t even know where to start, you mentioned your e-books, which sound interesting. Can you give a little hint in terms of a skin perspective, I realize they are not directly about that, but what are some tips that would be easily integrated into a daily lifestyle? Like you mentioned the cold turkey thing, I find that it’s really hard to go cold turkey when you’re using conventional beauty and you want to switch to green beauty. I always suggest an integrated approach. Same with switching over to eating well and consuming real food, whole food.
Kezia: Yes, and that’s a great tip in itself, is to ease into it. You can feel stuck and want to make changes, and you want to drop everything you’re doing and go into a new lifestyle…the chances of that being sustainable and you’ll follow through…you know that that’s very difficult to change any habit, let alone your entire health regime and lifestyle. So then it’s huge to go at your own pace, what you feel comfortable with, and what goes with your lifestyle right now. And then it’s progression. So whether it’s switching to filtered water, and getting a water filtration system, which I think is huge I think. I just read a study this morning about a huge study in Europe, and they did stool samples, and found microplastics in every single stool sample, and it mostly comes from water.
Graydon: Mm, like plastic water bottles.
Kezia: Yes, plastic water bottles. And even tap water has plastic. So that would be a great thing to start with - getting enough water a day.
Graydon: Actually clean water!
Kezia: Clean water! Yes. Tap water is great to have, but filtered water is so much better for your health.
Kezia: So even starting with that, and starting with sleeping well, starting with integrating some stress reducing techniques into your day - easy, without even food.
Graydon: Okay, can you give us an example of [food integrations]?
Kezia: Yeah, so a great example I have is the thing that affected me the most. I was eating healthy, I was working out, I was using great products, and still not seeing the results I wanted. So the thing that really, really helped me on the most deep level was daily affirmations. Looking in the mirror, and out loud with my voice saying, ‘I love you, I am beautiful’.
Graydon: Why don’t you tell the camera!
Kezia: [laughs] So things that you can try today is out loud, looking in the mirror, and say ‘I love you. I love myself. I am beautiful now. Not when I do this I’m going to be beautiful, or when I look a certain way I’m going to be beautiful. I am beautiful right now.’ When you say that to yourself in the mirror, or anything you need, like ‘I am safe, I am worthy, I have a support system’. Say it out loud to yourself, and believe it. And if you don’t believe it, say it, until you believe it.
Graydon: So you fake it till you make it?
Graydon: I’m familiar with affirmations too, and I think a lot of people struggle with them because they don't feel authentic or they don't believe in themselves, and it’s really hard enough to think it in your head, but even harder to say it out loud.
Kezia: I feel when you say it and you hear your own voice saying it, then it could be true. For so long I looked in the mirror and looked down to my thighs and went ‘Oh! The cellulite! Oh! They’re not in the place I want them to be. Oh! Look at my stomach.’ So I wouldn’t even look at myself and see me, and see how beautiful I am in the moment. Doesn’t matter about the future, it matters right now.
Graydon: That’s really interesting.
Kezia: But it does, as you said, takes effort to look at yourself and say it out loud and believe it. You can start if you to progress into it, to write it down.
Graydon: Right, like a journal.
Kezia: Wake up in the morning and think it in your head. And then get to the point when you’re about to wash your face, to look up in the mirror and say that.
Graydon: Here’s a small act, because I know journaling is fantastic, but I also know a lot of people just don’t have the patience to journal. I’ve had similar conversations like this with my 19-year-old son, and some of the girls who are friends in his life, and we talked about this. And I have also given them similar advice, but if they're resistant to journaling, text yourself.
Kezia: Oh! That’s a great tip! Texting is easy.
Graydon: Texting and just, having a conversation with yourself. It’s often about an inner dialogue.
Kezia: It’s totally an inner dialogue. And also what I do every morning when I wake up, I go through my whole body and say to each part of my body what I love. For example, I love my hair, it’s a great colour. I love my cheeks, I love my shoulders. And go down my whole body, so I just feel confident and truly, truly beautiful even with all the imperfections that society says. And I do this everyday and that’s what I feel has made the biggest shift and difference.
Graydon: I have a bit of a yoga background, which is how I got into all of this, and part of a relaxation yoga practice where you do a body scan, and think of all your different parts. And although the association isn't usually, oh my inner thighs are beautiful, but what I have often done with my clients is to thank all your moving parts. Like your feet for supporting you, your hands for feeding yourself, all your organs for digestion. All the things that you really take for granted, that not every body has. Not everyone is of able body and mind.
Kezia: Yeah, I really love it. And speaking of yoga, yoga also is a great tip! It’s really amazing for reducing stress, getting familiar with your body..
Graydon: Connecting and really being within your body. I of course do enjoy yoga, and need to do more of it. I find that not everybody likes yoga! Like, not everyone is into stretching, just like not everyone like running. But I like to frame it so that it’s accessible. So if you can do a couple of stretches in the morning when you’re in bed, and also when you go to bed, like neck rolls and shoulder shrugs to move the energy and chi in your body. I really like facial yoga, do you want to try some?
Kezia: Oh! I’ve never heard of facial yoga, I would love to try!
Graydon: Very energizing.
Kezia: I was just about to say!
Graydon: This is great for first thing in the morning, to consciously say I am going to start my day with a fresh slate and with energy.
Kezia: Clear mind, and energy. Thank you for sharing that!
Graydon: I think I need to get back into teaching yoga. I am just too busy these days, but can you tell I really enjoy it?
Kezia: Oh yeah for sure!
Graydon: And [facial yoga] is really anti-aging. I don’t get to share this as much as I want to!
Kezia: Oh really! I’m sure the massaging of your face really helps the elasticity.
Graydon: I have one more question, that’s integrated with a yoga move, but I think that you can really talk about this from a holistic nutrition perspective. Like the thymus, and stimulating it is huge. So I find also when I want energy and I have stress, that I start to tap or thumb my thymus. Can you talk about why the thymus is important and how it helps your body, and what you can do besides tapping?
Kezia: Tapping is really great. The thymus gland, part of the endocrine system, which controls hormones.
Graydon: Right, so it really affects your hormone levels.
Kezia: Right, and it attaches to your adrenals, and all that. So balancing it is very important for just overall health. Because hormones affect every part of your day, your metabolism, your cycle for women, and stress. It makes both sex hormones and cortisol, so if you’re making too much of the stress hormones, so your sex hormones don’t get made. Cortisol is very beneficial for the body, it’s not a bad hormone, but if you work with lowering levels and staying calm, and even doing the yoga we just did, then that will help balance everything.
Graydon: Well thank you for giving us more of a technical perspective. I work from a more ayurvedic perspective. Cool! There’s a real intersection between holistic health, Western medicine, and ancient practices.
Kezia: Ancient practices is where it all began. In our school IHN, we do learn from ayurveda, to realize that even 6,000 years ago they did what we’re doing today, without even as much knowledge about how the body works, which is really fascinating. Holistic practices are coming back!
Graydon: Was there anything else you’d like to add before we sign off today? Any messages?
Kezia: Sure! My message I want to hit home is that I think we should all stop waiting to feel content with ourselves, and feel happy now, today. Regardless of all the companies and products that tell us we need to change. And when you go on your wellness journey to really enjoy it. And always eat fermented foods. That’s a huge, huge, huge one that will help anybody under the sun.
Graydon: From gut health, to anxiety to your skin…
Kezia: And it’s all connected. It will really, really help.
Graydon: You’re not talking about high sugar yogurt though? [laughs]
Kezia: [laughs] Not exactly! You can read the ingredients, if there are more than two ingredients, gone, for yogurt specifically. There’s coconut yogurt though, which is incredible and fermented. Everyone needs more magnesium, and whatever you do, it should be what you love. Like you said, not everyone loves yoga, so whatever you do make sure you love it. Whether it’s exercise, what you’re eating…even go for a walk!
Graydon: Yes, go for a walk! It can be great meditation. Thank you for coming in today!
Kezia: Thank you so much for having me!