Tuesday, July 16, 2024
HomeViewpointsJanice CarterThe ELIA Wellness experience: Health, healing and hope

The ELIA Wellness experience: Health, healing and hope

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The ELIA Wellness Summit, held in Sydney in March, was so impactful that I’ve truly struggled to find words to describe this incredible event. The passionate, gifted and talented summit keynote speakers, all experts in their Lifestyle Medicine fields, inspired and motivated all 200-plus attendees with excellent presentations containing a wealth of information.

Overall, it was a truly memorable event, and to top it off, its whole food plant-based meals were inspiringly creative and delicious.

ELIA Wellness is a health promotion charity that empowers people to whole-person health.

“When people think about health, they often think about physical health, which is of course important, however, wellness is so much more than this,” executive director, Dr Geraldine Przybylko, told those gathered.

“For example, if we are only focused on being physically energised and not socially connected or emotionally thriving, it may lead to unsatisfying relationships and poor mental health. We value the importance of whole-person health and investing in each of the seven dimensions (see below) to achieve optimal health. Our goal is to support you on your journey to whole-person health so you can live your best life”.

ELIA partners with expert health professionals providing evidence-based resources to help manage and prevent disease. These resources are available at your fingertips through an app. The app provides sound, evidence-based advice, through face-to-face and online programmes. Used regularly, it will help bring health, healing and hope to you, your family and your community.

My experience with ELIA has shown me that, with the support of its advocates and facilitated programmes, improving your health in a well-rounded, holistic way is much more doable. In short, it’s now easier than ever to take charge of your health.

Doctors’ visits for illness have become a non-event in our household since adopting a whole food plant-based lifestyle. This can only be a good thing. The snowball effect of the debt burden on our countries’ health systems proves that programmes like ELIA are urgently needed.

ELIA stands for Empower Lifestyle Innovation Advocates. It is designed to empower the community to improve its health outcomes. This is done by targeting the 7 Dimensions of Wellness.

These are:
• Physically Energised: Eating and drinking well, moving, resting and sleeping well
• Emotionally Thriving: Having a positive mindset and outlook, emotional intelligence
• Environmentally Attuned: Living in an uplifting physical environment
• Intellectually Engaged: Keeping the mind healthy through learning and thinking
• Socially Connected: Through a social network, engagement and relationships
• Spiritually Empowered: Having hope, gratitude, purpose and meaning in life
• Vocationally Enriched: Serving others with kindness and compassion

Under the platform of ELIA Wellness, the mission is to educate and empower the community by providing user-friendly programmes that help people transition to a whole health experience. The deep desire of every human is to be healthy but more often than not, we just don’t know where to start.

By using the 7 Dimensions of Wellness, you can check in with yourself as to how you are doing in each category. From there, you can plug into one of its many wonderful programs to start your wellness journey.

For me, using the app has been motivating and self-empowering. I’m more accountable to myself for my daily actions; to think more about what I am doing and be more mindful.

When you create a free ELIA Wellness Member account, you will receive:

• Free access to 100 plus whole-person health articles and videos
• Free access to 30 ELIA Fitness workouts online
• Free 30-day Reduce Your Risk of Cancer plan
• Free access to healthy plant-based recipes
• Access to evidence-based whole-person health online courses and more.

Some examples of evidence-based whole-person health programs available through ELIA Wellness are:

Enhance Your Gut Health

This section takes you on a journey toward a healthier microbiome. Brought to you by experts in the field of nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine, this programme teaches you strategies that are aimed at helping you to achieve more balanced gut health, reduce your risk of disease and improve your quality of life. Learn how caring for your gut could give you a new lease on life!

De-stress and Thrive

Here you develop emotional intelligence and resilience so you can buffer the stresses of life. It offers simple solutions for complex problems and shares principles and skills applicable to most stressful situations. Why do so many people feel so stressed? Learn what is triggering your stress and how to activate the relaxation response.

Empowered and Purposeful Living

This carefully designed guide enables you on a journey of personal growth and transformation. Its aim is to empower you to strive for success and experience the joy and happiness that comes with accomplishing your goals and fulfilling your purpose in life.

The Live More Project

Live More brings together scientifically proven strategies from Neuroscience, Psychology and Lifestyle Medicine into a fun, experiential and life-enhancing programme. Developed and presented by Dr Darren Morton, the Live More Project is helping people improve their health and happiness around the world.

Retirement Ready

Retirement Ready offers a personal and practical guide to making the most of the exciting opportunities of retirement and meeting its inevitable challenges. While life is uncertain, planning for this stage of life gives the best possibilities for living well in retirement.

Forgive to Live

Everyone has a story. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anybody can start today and make a new tomorrow. Forgive to Live can help you start a better journey. In conjunction with Florida Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr Dick Tibbits conducted a study of how anger and forgiveness affect health. The findings of this study became the Forgive to Live programme.

Reduce your Risk of Cancer

In partnership with the leading Sydney Adventist Hospital Integrated Cancer Centre, this four-week programme helps to educate and empower participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle to reduce their risk of cancer. Here, you’ll find daily short videos and easy-to-do activities that will make a real difference in your life.

ELIA Fitness and ELIA Kitchen

This section includes wonderful, easy, everyday whole food plant-based recipes. The app will help you track where you are going and help you stay on the wagon. And, of course, if you fall off the wagon, which we all invariably do at times, the Wellness app helps you get back on track and feel good about your journey without beating yourself up.

From what I have seen and experienced in becoming an ELIA Wellness advocate, there is no other programme like it that I am aware of. It’s a complete package, well thought out, and beautifully put together.

ELIA also offers free online training for health enthusiasts who are passionate about promoting health to their community. You can become an ELIA Partner and learn how to run and lead community groups using ELIA’s health resources.

As part of the summit, one of the big highlights for me was attending the opening of the new ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, in Wahroonga.

The mission of this newly opened centre is to transform healthcare by providing evidence-based Lifestyle Medicine consultations, programs and interventions that address the root causes of chronic illness or disease.

The ELIA Lifestyle Medicine Centre interdisciplinary team include lifestyle medicine doctors, registered nurses, health coaches, exercise physiologists, dieticians and psychological care to help support and coach patients through the four pillars of health: nutrition, movement, mindset and connectedness.


Contact Janice at Hidden Valley Retreat:

To become a partner

Download the app
Go to Google Play Store

ELIA’s 12-week diabetes programme helps patients to:

1. Prevent, manage or remit Type 2 Diabetes
2. Optimise their weight
3. Reach their health goals
4. Become empowered to live their best life

I’m strongly convinced we need more centres such as this scattered throughout New Zealand and Australia. Imagine the impact on society when all people are easily able to access what this system offers. Personal health would be greatly improved, hospitals would be under less pressure, the debt burden to support our health sectors would be dramatically reduced and waiting lists would disappear.

They say dreams are free, but I’m going to keep dreaming big. Really big! The more we can help people, in a (w)holistic way, the better things will be.

My father told me when I was young that there are three types of people in the world. Those who make things happen those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. Let’s make things happen!

For me, becoming an ELIA advocate has been incredibly rewarding. Running my ongoing whole food plant-based cooking school and creating an ELIA kitchen has been amazing.

The flow-on effects are wonderful to watch as people tell me they no longer suffer from many common Western-style illnesses. The joy on their faces and in their voices, when they feel empowered to become well, encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing.  Support from a platform such as ELIA makes the journey for me and for those I am working with, easy.

Janice Carter
Janice Carter
Janice Carter is dedicated Lifestyle Medicine Coach passionate about spreading the word on Whole Food Plant Based eating. Tucked away in the most delightful bush setting Janice runs plant-based retreats. She has developed hundreds of WFPB recipes.

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