Such fun to meet with a fellow health (and breakfast!) lover while I was in LA. I’m excited to introduce you to the energetic, dynamic and extremely well-traveled Lisa Bryan, the wellness coach behind Downshiftology, in the latest installment of The Healed Life series. She’s sharing how her diagnosis of four autoimmune diseases actually changed her life for the better – and her secret to the best poached eggs you’ll ever taste.
Name: Lisa Bryan
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Health Coach, Wellness Blogger, Recipe Creator, World Travel
Tell us a little about who you are and how you got here:
I seem to describe myself with a lot of commas nowadays – health coach, wellness blogger, recipe creator, world traveler and life lover. Which, I have to say, is quite a bit different from my corporate days when I had one distinct title!
In a nutshell, I’m passionate about health, wellness and happiness. I’m also a huge proponent of life restarts and do-overs. Because, it’s never too late to make positive nutrition and lifestyle changes – at any age.
Just a few years ago, my life looked very different. I was your quintessential, “type A” corporate workaholic, burning the candle at both ends. My days consisted of long hours, high stress and poor eating. And in the span of two years, I was diagnosed with four autoimmune diseases. Not good!
At that point, I figured I had two paths – I could continue status quo (and most likely have deteriorating health) or I could make some changes. So I opted for the latter. I figured out how to really nourish my body, through nutrition and lifestyle, and I prioritized things that make me happy, like traveling.
Within months, I felt like a new person and in less than a year, I reversed virtually all symptoms of my autoimmune diseases. That drastic change inspired my new path in life, to become a certified health coach helping others take life “down a notch.” And that’s really what Downshiftology is all about – inspiring positive change for a healthier, happier life.
Has health always been a priority?
Unfortunately, no. In my teens and 20’s I ate way too much fast food and processed food. I was also quite the sugar monster and massively addicted to sweets. On my lunch breaks from work, I’d drive to the nearest store and buy a bag of gummy peach rings (my “go-to” candy) for the sugar-spiked energy to get me through my day.
I wish I could say otherwise, but my health didn’t become a priority until it became compromised. Yet, despite the fact that I took my body for granted for far too long, I learned a big lesson. Our bodies are enormously resilient and want to be healthy. That’s their natural state and equilibrium. We just have to provide a little support so they can thrive.
What helped heal your relationship with food and your body?
Something that’s not talked about as frequently in health circles, but I think is critical for healing is who you surround yourself with. Do you have positive, lift-you-up, optimistic friends? Do the people you spend the most time with value wellness? Mindset is huge in healing and surrounding yourself with like-minded friends can significantly improve your own wellness.
What is the most rewarding part of living The Healed Life?
That life seems so much more colorful and vibrant! I didn’t realize previously how much my energy was lacking or how exhausted I was…as I’d felt that way for quite a while. Sadly, it had become my “new norm.” But now, I wake up happy and energized for each new day. Healing your life gives you such a boost – not only physically, but mentally. And I feel fortunate that as a health coach, I get to help others feel the same. That’s by far the most rewarding part of my day.
What is the number one piece of advice you would give to someone healing?
To follow your own healing path. It can be confusing with conflicting health information all over television and the internet. But all that highlights is that what may work well for one person, may not work for you. I learned much from my days in biotech how different we all are genetically, but it goes beyond that. We also have different lifestyles, microbiomes (gut bacteria), ancestry and environmental triggers. The most important thing is to listen to your own body…and be gentle with yourself.
What is the most bizarre thing you’ve tried – and ended up loving?
I have to say, I was definitely not a meditation gal until last year. And it’s not that meditation is bizarre, it’s just something I had never done before. But after much research on ways to calm the immune system, I kept stumbling on meditation. So I tried it – and wow! The impact is profound. I would even go so far as to say it was the final lifestyle tweak that helped to reverse all my autoimmune symptoms. So yes, I’m a total convert.
What is your favourite way to “switchoff”?
Oh, it’s always travel! Traveling for me is my happy place. I love to explore and seek out new adventures. I’m fortunate that I’ve traveled all 7 continents (yes, including Antarctica!) and more than 35 countries. But there’s still so much to see! When I’m traveling, I’m calm and “go-with-the-flow.” My brain switches to relaxation mode almost immediately.
What are you manifesting next?
I’m very excited about a few projects I’ve got brewing – but the ebook I’m working on currently takes the cake! It’s my first ebook (to be released this summer) – all about healthy travel! It’s geared to those who are gluten-free (as I’m celiac) and who follow a real, whole foods approach to life. My goal is that the ebook will inspire and motivate others to get out there and travel, even with food sensitivities and allergies. And of course, there will will be lots of tips and tricks in my books on how to travel safely. I can’t wait!
What is your favourite recipe when you need to feel truly nourished?
I’m a breakfast-lover, so for me, it’s super important to get my day started right. One of my favorite nutrient-dense recipes is my Poached Egg with Truffle Salt Grilled Zucchini. I’m slightly obsessed with truffle salt – it makes everything divine!
Poached Egg with Truffle Salt Grilled Zuchhini
- 3-4 zucchini, medium
- 4 eggs, poached
- 15-20 cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 tsp truffle salt
- pepper, to taste
- Poach your eggs (3-min eggs are my favorite), then set aside in a bowl or luke-warm water.
- Using either a mandoline or a vegetable peeler, slice your zucchini into thin ribbons. Lightly brush olive oil on both sides, then sprinkle with truffle salt and pepper.
- Heat your grill pan on medium-high heat. Place the zucchini ribbons on the grill pan for approximately 30 seconds, then flip. Remove and divide evenly between four plates.
- Place your tomatoes on the plate, then top with a poached egg and a few leaves of basil. Add any additional pepper before serving.
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