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Feb. 22, 2024

E013 | Start anywhere: 5 Small steps that lead to major healing

In this episode, our host Anindita shares five small steps to kickstart your healing journey and find relief from chronic symptoms. Drawing from her own experiences and client successes, Anindita emphasizes the power of small, consistent changes in diet, self-care, and mindset in achieving sustainable wellness.

She highlights the transformative impact of embracing a body-guided approach and fostering an active role in one's healing journey. Tune in to discover practical tips to cultivate resilience and support your body's innate healing capabilities.

Are you exhausted from trying the same ineffective treatments over and over?

You may be stuck in a vicious cycle of trial and error without addressing the root causes of your symptoms.

And this feeling of being stuck in a cycle of trial and error can lead to a sense of hopelessness and defines what I call a WEARY WARRIOR.

But this is NOT what I want for you!

What I want for you is to be an EMPOWERED WARRIOR

An EMPOWERED WARRIOR is a woman who has learned how to create a healing environment so that she can support her body's healing process and now she knows how to listen to what her body needs and give it the support it needs. 

And the good news is that instead of continuing on this path and taking a passive role, you can play a more active role. This starts by taking some steps to ensure that you are creating a strong foundation for your body to heal

Small, incremental steps prevent you from getting overwhelmed and giving up when progress feels out of reach.

Plus, it empowers you to take an active role in your own healing journey  instead of passively relying on others. This kind of approach not only improves symptoms but transforms relationship with your body in the long run. 


  • The common mindset trap that keeps women stuck as a "WEARY WARRIOR" in their healing journey
  • 5 tiny positive changes you can make TODAY to reduce symptoms long-term
  • Why taking small, consistent action creates compound benefits over time

Take the first step by trying one small change today - it could transform your healing journey.



Women's bodies, women's wisdom by Dr Christian Northrup

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A must listen for anyone dealing with such chronic illnesses or anyone looking at improving their overall health and wellness” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!

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@aninditarungta | nourish heal connect | Embrace Your Healing Journey


01:15 - TODAY"S INSPIRATION "For healing to occur...."

04:17 - Is testing really necessary?

05:40 - How the healing process is like learning a new language

07:58 - Being a WEARY WARRIOR

09:15 - Becoming an EMPOWERED WARRIOR

09:46 - What stops women from being an EMPOWERED WARRIOR?

11:30 - The connection between Kaizen, a Japanese philosophy and healing

13:55 - How to create health that is sustainable

17:13 - Here are 5 small steps that you can take starting today

21:06 - This is why small steps make a difference


In today's episode, I'm going to share with you five small steps that you can start taking today to see improvements and finding relief from your symptoms. And that's all coming up right here on Embrace Your Healing Journey podcast.

 Welcome to Embrace Your Healing Journey, a podcast for women with autoimmune and other chronic conditions to help them navigate the illness without fear of isolation and uncertainty, and find relief from the symptoms. Your body is your guide and ally in healing. If you're ready to embrace this journey with compassion and awareness, then the show is for you. Tune in as I, a Functional medicine Certified health coach, delivered tips and insights but demystify the healing process, guiding you towards the relief you deserve so that you can feel healthy and happy once more. 

So in each episode, I will be sharing with you pieces of inspiring poems, quotes, stories that may help you to draw strength from them. Like I have to be inspired to stay motivated on your healing journey. And for today, here's an excerpt from the brilliant book, um, Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom by Doctor Christian Northrup. 

She says for healing to occur, we must come to see that we are not so much responsible for our illnesses as responsible to them. The healthiest people I know don't take their diseases or even their lives to personally. They spend very little time beating themselves up about their illnesses, their life circumstances, or anything else. They take their life one day at a time as it unfolds in its own way and its own time. A young woman stated this attitude beautifully when she wrote, I take full, responsible responsibility for not forgetting cancer in the first place, nor for ultimately surviving it, but rather for the quality of the way I'm responding to this bit of chaos thrown into my life. I think that's a lovely way of embracing life and all that it, you know, gives us. 

Now back to today's episode. Often when dealing with any kind of chronic condition, whether it's autoimmune disease or something else, a lot of people get stuck because they feel that the process of healing is very, very complicated, much like their disease. That's not true. I remember a client who is a medical professional and I worked with several years ago, and she was dealing with multiple health issues. She was on several medications, and she was already doing a lot of things at that time. She used to meditate regularly. She lived a pretty simple and very clean life. But even then, she was confused as to what direction she should be moving towards. What are the foods she would be consuming? She was already doing a lot of things, and we worked only, you know, for three months together. Uh, and she saw significant improvements by making changes to her diet. You know, simple things like practicing mindfulness, self-compassion, self-forgiveness, and that this is not something that she had done earlier. Nobody had told her about this part of the healing process. Right? Everybody focuses on diet supplements and, uh, maybe lifestyle changes at the most. And she did not actually have to end up doing complicated, expensive testing or take 30 to 40 supplements to see major improvements. In fact, it was basic groundwork and laying a strong foundation for supporting our body's healing process that she saw these improvements. And even when when I speak to her now, I mean very much in touch with her. She has actually managed to sustain many of these improvements, and that's actually one of the hallmarks of the methodology and the philosophy that I believe in, that you have to find a way to not only get well, but stay well. 

And the only way to do that sustainably is to actually be guided by your own body, by transforming a relationship with your own body and making it your friend, rather than treating as you're treating it as your enemy. So, but before I go any further, I just want to make a point here. 

Are is testing helpful? Yes. Of course. Uh, basic lab work with this. Basic lab work, whether it's functional medicine, functional testing, uh, stool test, Dutch stage. There are so many tests out there, they are certainly helpful and necessary at times. But they are not compulsory, especially right at the beginning of the healing process for many people.  It of course depends on from individual to individual. But in my practice, I found that a lot of the basic things that we overlook when we do that, a lot of the symptoms seemingly vanish and we don't need to do that particular test. And in fact, what I've also found is sometimes these tests can actually distract you from doing the real world. So you keep waiting for the test reports for getting the test done. You know, these are not very easy to do in the first place, but the real work actually needs to be done in your house, in your kitchen, in any case, right, with or without getting the test. So whether it's changing, making changes in your diet, whether it's taking out processed foods or junk food, maybe it's eliminating dairy, maybe it's eliminating certain skincare products that you've been using and they're filled with toxic chemicals. These have to be done whether you do the test or not. 

And that's that's where people actually often get stuck because they don't realize this. So they keep waiting for getting the testing done and waiting and waiting and waiting. And the disease continues to progress. So it's like saying that you want to learn a new language and you want to, you know, immediately start writing essays. You need to start with the basics. So you need to start with the alphabets. And maybe they start stringing together 2 or 3 letter words. And then you start creating, you know, forming sentences. And then you move on to paragraphs and then essays. So it's it's like pretty much like that because health, you know, you need to have a strong foundation for healing. Your body needs to have that kind of groundwork so that it can actually do its work and then stay. Well, that's that's actually the key for sustainable wellness. And because this does not happen for most people, they do not see this, they either do not see the significant improvement or they don't find sustained relief from their symptoms. And you can start with where you are right now. You don't as I said, you know, where no matter where you are in your healing journey, no matter which autoimmune condition or other chronic condition that you are dealing with, you can start where you are right now, today. And it's the same thing as building. You know anything, right? Whether it's a construction of a building, you start with that one brick. You start by laying the foundation, digging deep enough so the building can stand, stand tall and straight, uh, and you lay brick by brick. That's that's what health creation is about. And we can make it as complicated as we want, or we can make it as simple and, you know, convenient for us to follow. 

So maybe you've actually tried your best. Of course. Uh, and sincere efforts have gone into this, but you're just not getting any better. Or maybe you see slight improvements, and before you know it, something else comes along and you're back to square one. Or you are just tired of people not understanding what you're going through because, you know, this is something that you're dealing with day in and day out. And maybe you look well on the outside and, uh, and nobody seems to understand what's really going on inside. And you are simply frustrated with the medical, uh, you know, system and ineffective treatments. And maybe you've also been told that it's all in your head. This is so common. And this feeling of being stuck in what I call a disease, Merry-Go-Round, it's actually a cycle of trial and error. It can lead to a sense of hopelessness and frustration. 

And I call this, uh, being a WEARY WARRIOR. Of course you're trying your best. Of course you're putting in your effort sincere efforts, but you're not seeing. So this very warrior is a woman who is dealing with a disease like autoimmune condition who feels tired, exhausted and defeated. She has been on medication for years without getting any better, and maybe has gone on to develop yet another autoimmune disease. She's lost and confused by all the information that she's bombarded with, and she doesn't know which way to go anymore. And so she gets more and more sick as she waits for somebody to guide and support her to address the root causes of her condition. This is not what I want for you. 

I do not want you be to be stuck being a very warrior for the rest of your life. And in fact, listen right till the end of the episode where I share five small steps that you can start taking today. As I said, irrespective of your diagnosis, irrespective of where you are and what you have tried, because this can have a positive impact on your life. Of course not overnight, but over a period of time. Because what I want for you is this I want you to reach, you know, reach a phase in your life where you are actually an EMPOWERED WARRIOR. 

An EMPOWERED WARRIOR is a woman who has learned how to create a healing environment so that she can support her own body's healing process, and she can do it on her own terms. She is able to make plans and once again do the things that she used to once enjoy. She treats her body with kindness and allows it to guide her as a friend would. She knows how to listen to what her body needs and give it the support that it needs at that point in time. So this is what being an empowered body of feels like. But what actually does stop someone from becoming an empowered warrior? I have found that usually it's the belief that personal struggles must be faced alone. Otherwise it's going to be perceived as a show of weakness, or we don't often end up reaching out to others or sharing what we are going through.

 And uh, personally speaking, I have been guilty of this myself. When I was dealing with severe sciatica and back pain. Initially I did of course see doctors I was traveling at that time, etc. but initially I did not really reach out to people and I. I am someone who is well connected in the functional medicine and wellness community, and I actually did not end up reaching out initially. I did much later on, uh, because I also perceived it to be a show of weakness. So we sometimes do that. We think that we are being too dependent on them all. It may be that you have tried to reach out and, uh, you know, you're lacking the community support that is necessary for dealing with such complex chronic diseases because they take a long time to bring under control. And you may not be getting the support. And you've tried already. Um, the most common reason I find that women, why women remain stuck as a very warrior, never getting out of that phase, is because they have never been made aware of the transformational and compounding effect of small, incremental changes that can lead to big outcomes over a period of time. It's actually the compounding effect that happens not only in business, but it also happens in our lives. It's habits. Anything that you know that builds upon itself, compounds over time and has big outcomes. But it takes time. 

And in fact, I want to share a Japanese philosophy here, which you may have heard about, because that is all about continuous small improvement. So it's called Kaizen, and it's about continuous small improvements that add up to something big over time. It's as I said, it's much like compound interest, tiny incremental gains that build on each other for an exponential. But it's not just for money, for your money, it's also for your health. Right? So all the things that you do every single day matters not in the negative sense of the word. Will you beat yourself up every time you do something you know, by mistake or you, you know, maybe you slack off somewhere? It's not about that. Which is why self-compassion, self-forgiveness forms such a big part of my program. But it's about understanding that what you do every single day matters, and it adds up in the long run. So it the same thing. Kaizen applies on a healing journey, because we often think that major transformation requires massive action all at once. We need to do this, this, this, this and this, and that's a recipe for overwhelm, which is why so many people give up midway. 

 So when, uh, when I work with clients in my program, which is called Healing from within, it's what is the one coaching program for women with autoimmune conditions? I make sure that I simplified the process and in fact, this is the way I do. It is through a three pillar BODY WISE HEALING healing framework. And the first pillar is SIMPLIFY. So this process is simplified. And that's how they understand what steps they should take first and then second and then third. And the gains build on you know each other. And that's exactly what happened to the client whom I mentioned right at the beginning of this episode. That's what happened. Even in three months. The, uh, you know, these small gains actually led to exponential outcomes and transformation. And just like Kaizen, subtle positive changes, of course, but they have to be consistently implemented. They can create significant impact on our health. So it could be something like five minutes of meditation. It can be an extra hour of sleep, uh, you know, a few days a week. It can be one more serving of fruit or vegetable. They all gradually add up over time. Or it can be 15 minutes of walking or 15 minutes of movement if you are too tired to actually do, uh, you know, a major exercise. It's not about doing all of it. It's about doing these small things. But they can pretty much add up. 

Because when we focus on such minute but mighty improvements, we create health that is sustainable. And that's what you want. You don't want to get well for a while, take supplements, do testing, you know, change your diet and then go back to square and slip back to square one after six months after one year. Right? So that's not what you want. You want to see sustainable improvements. But what a lot. For many people, what happens is that they may be focused on getting the right medications and treatments, and you may be doing this that you're so focused on getting the right medications and treatments without ever finding out what your unique body needs from you in terms of self-care at this point in time, because body's requirement also changes. 

Nothing wrong, obviously, for going looking for a diagnosis, getting the medicines, getting the treatment because they help prevent further tissue damage, organ damage, etc. so I am not discounting that at all. At the same time, you know, if you're focusing only on that, you never actually get around to addressing what your body really needs, right? Which, which can be which is in terms of diet, uh, emotional self-care, physical self-care, maybe even spiritual self-care. So you may even be trying to copy what someone else is doing because they may have seen some improvements. So they may have, you know, taken off certain foods from their diet. They may have been taking 20, 30 supplements, but they and, you know, you may not be seeing any improvements because you've not really, you know, you have not really been able to understand what your body's requirements are, right? Each person is unique and we each have different requirements. And that also changes.

 And that is why the approach that I follow in my program, which is a body- guided approach, is so important that you are always tuned into what your body needs. And when you feel that something is off, you can actually do something about it. And you may also be trying to figure out all this. You know how to deal with all of this alone, because you believe that personal struggles must be faced alone, and there's no point reaching out to anybody either because they may not understand or it will be perceived as a sign of weakness. And that's not something that is helping you. And that's why maybe you've not been able to see any substantial and sustainable improvements, both on important and I and I said, I shared, I have done this in the past and I suffered for it. 

But the good news is that instead of continuing on this path and taking a passive role, you can choose to take a more active role starting today. So and this would start by taking some steps to ensure that you're creating a strong foundation no matter where you are. And here I'm going to share with you the five small steps that you can take. But note that consistency is the key. So it's not about doing it one day and then, you know, uh, or a few days and then that's it, right? No, because you're not seeing any improvements. You have to consistently do it. And you will know that, you know it's working because you will start feeling better and you will have to stick to it for a period of time. And that will depend, uh, you know what's going on and what what are you planning to do? So I'll give you five examples to get going. 

So the first thing is starting a daily journaling practice. So setting aside even five minutes each morning to check in with your emotions, your thoughts and any bodily sensations, it can actually reveal a lot of insightful patterns, right? It'll give you answers that you were not aware that you were seeking earlier. You know that what is suiting you, what is not suiting, etc. it can also be a food, mood and energy tracker, so you actually may be tracking your symptoms for a while, maybe a month, maybe two months. And that also can reveal some patterns. 

The second step that you can take is identify one repeating trigger of stress or symptoms and then creating healthy boundaries. So understand what is actually stressing you. Or maybe it's your phone. Maybe it's your work email. Uh, maybe it's the screen time that you exposed to at night, the Netflix that you're watching right before bedtime. So maybe silencing work notifications such as emails after 6 p.m. or, you know, so that you can actually start rest. You know, your brain can rest and relax and so can your body. Or maybe just set a rule of no screen time at least an hour before bed, you know, as as tiny as that.

 Number three is having an open conversation with someone who is supportive can be your spouse. It can be a friend. You know who's going to support you, uh, because you don't have any judgment, you know, fear of judgment or advice because you may not be looking for that by necessarily just need somebody to hear you out here. A coach can also help. A health coach, uh, you know, is specifically trained to do this, to listen, actually. And, you know, healing starts when somebody is there to listen to you. So it's about just sharing how you're feeling and maybe, uh, you know, just sort of seeking a supportive community.  So a supportive community can go a long way in making you feel less alone. And in fact, we have a community called Embrace Your Embrace Your Healing Journey. For women with chronic illnesses where, uh, you know, we hold space for women who are feeling isolated and stuck as they deal with all these kind of health issues. 

Number four. Add one nutritious anti-inflammatory food to each meal. All plant foods are anti-inflammatory. I'll make it as simple as that. Rather than going by what diet you should be consuming, just add one plant fruit, specifically vegetable, to your diet. Fruit also has sugar, so I'm going to get into that right now. But even small tweaks like spices that are those are ultra and anti-inflammatory. So maybe I'll give you an example. Maybe add some mushroom and spinach to your eggs in the morning. So having instead of having plain eggs and mushroom and spinach. So see if you can add one anti-inflammatory vegetable to each meal in your day. Or maybe have different colored suits 3 to 4 days in a week if you're struggling to add bags. 

And number five establish a ten minute daily relaxation ritual. As simple as that. Whether it's deep breathing, whether it's meditation, whether it's yoga, whether it's stretching, uh, just lying down for ten minutes before bedtime. It's just to counteract all the stress that you're bringing through the day and making it sure that, you know, making sure that you are in the repair and digest mode and switching out of the, uh, fight or flight mode. There are two modes of a nervous system, and you're moving from the fight or flight to the rest and digest mode. Um, so for example, can be also diffusing lavender oil and putting a few drops on your pillow before sleeping. 

 So there are so many beautiful ways of, uh, you know, incorporating these small, uh, steps, no matter where you are and where you are starting, the key is to start tiny. Whether it's, as I said, um, no screen time. Uh, one, one vegetable, ten minutes of, you know, uh, journaling. So all of these matters, and they, they can actually spark positive momentum and build emotional, physical and social resilience and give you the confidence to keep moving. 

So the thing is, implementing just one of these steps can have a huge impact in the long run, giving you the energy and confidence you need to take even bigger steps in the future. Because small steps, uh, actually can prevent you from getting overwhelmed and giving up when the, you know, progress seems out of reach. That happens with big goals. And also these small steps help you, helps you to empower, empowers you to take an active role in your healing journey instead of being a passive recipient. And this not only helps to improve your symptoms, but transforms your relationship with your body so that you can sustain those improvements in the long run. And it also allows you to listen to your body's unique needs so you can sustain this more easily as a part of your lifestyle for the rest of your life. 

I hope this has been, um, you know, useful for you. If you have any questions, you can connect with me on Instagram at the rate and in the room. To thank you so much for joining me today for this episode of Embracing Your Healing. Embrace your Healing Journey. 

If you love this episode, do take a minute to leave a five star rating and write a 2 to 3 line review. It would help me to bring more such content in the future. In the next episode, I will talk about how you can cultivate resilience through building your coping toolkit. Even when you are dealing with unpredictable and fluctuating symptoms. Don't miss it. Your body knows how to heal. Are you ready to support it?