Live Well. Eat Better. Feel Great.

by Linda Byam

Hello Tolland! I was thrilled when I was invited to write this blog about health and wellness, but honestly, my first thought was “What do I know?” I’m not a doctor, a registered nurse, or dietitian. What can I offer of value that these people can’t? My next thought…

Hello Tolland! I was thrilled when I was invited to write this blog about health and wellness, but honestly, my first thought was “What do I know?” I'm not a doctor, a registered nurse, or dietitian. What can I offer of value that these people can't? My next thought, after reflecting upon my journey, was that my experience is probably similar to that of many others. My hope is that many of you can relate to and identify with me as a mom and a wife seeking to improve the health of herself and her family.

My husband and I have lived in Tolland for 20 years. We raised our three boys here, and I've done a ton of volunteering in the schools and the community. I thought I was doing a decent job. I thought we ate healthy foods. We were physically active and our boys were multi-sport athletes. I experienced a brief bout with gestational diabetes and my husband was prescribed a low dose of cholesterol-lowering medication, but we seemed to be doing well compared to lots of other people we knew. A decision to take a nutrition class completely changed my perspective. I was horrified to discover that my belief system about health and wellness was completely misguided. Instead of improving my family's health, my current path was leading us toward diabetes and heart disease.

I have an undergraduate degree in biology so I have a fair understanding of how the human body functions as well as an appreciation for the science behind nutritional studies. I was shocked to learn that what I thought was "healthy" food marketed to us by large food corporations and agribusiness was actually far from what I should have been feeding my family. The Standard American Diet is causing an epidemic of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other health problems. It is easy to understand why, when even educated people such as myself and many of my friends have been so misinformed.

The actual, undisputed facts are staggering. Google the statistics and you will see for yourself the exponential increase in chronic diseases in the American and global population over the last few decades. Almost two thirds of the American population is overweight or obese. One in three children born in 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes, and the list of terrifying statistics goes on.

After my nutrition class, I got mad, and I took action! I instituted what I had learned into my family's diet. But I also wanted to share my epiphany with others. I was inspired to go back to school and get my health coaching certificate. I also became a certified facilitator of LiveWell, a chronic disease self-management program developed by Stanford University. Most recently I have become certified to teach Food For Life classes, nutrition and cooking programs developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Through this blog I will share advice, ideas, recipes and tips to improve your health through better eating habits and healthier lifestyle choices. You don't need to have a medical degree to understand how to improve your quality of life through nutrition and good health. Small steps can make big differences in your health over time. I look forward to sharing information with you and improve the health of our community!

Linda Byam
Written by:

Linda Byam

Linda is a Health Coach working to help individuals improve their health and overall wellness in simple and attainable ways. By gradually introducing healthy eating habits and lifestyle practices, Linda helps her clients take control of their health. Through classes, workshops and individual sessions, she works to create a personalized action plan that supports each client’s short and long-term health goals.

Linda is a certified instructor of Food for Life, an award-winning Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine program that offers classes that focus on the lifesaving effects of healthful eating. Linda is also certified facilitator of Live Well, a chronic disease self-management program developed by Stanford University.