When it comes to good health, there are five things I believe.

1. Wellness abounds for you.

No matter how sick or overweight you might feel, it is my personal belief that you (and your body) are not flawed, broken, or hopeless.

Sure, you may be carrying some extra weight. Maybe you’ve received a scary diagnosis. Perhaps you don’t feel well or can’t sleep or can’t stay away from sugar. But I believe there’s at least one thing that you could do—or not do—to feel better. Once you’re comfortable with that one thing, I think there will be one more thing that will help you feel better. And so on and so on, until you reach the wellness you want and deserve.

The road to wellness doesn’t have to be paved with hard work, despair, or feeling overwhelmed. It can be a time of discovery that gets worked on bit by bit, even if it takes some time. Achieving wellness is simply the process of closing the gap between your current health and the health you want to have.

2. You are not like anybody else.

Your body is not like anyone else’s. What’s going on inside of you is not what’s going on inside of anyone else.

Think of it this way: your internal biological terrain is as unique as your external, physical characteristics. Just as you may have brown hair, blue eyes, and fair skin and your best friend has black hair, brown eyes, and mocha skin, you (obviously) don’t look the same. What’s less obvious is what’s happening inside each of you; that’s not the same either.

Maybe you have a soy intolerance. Or a Candida imbalance. Or an emotional scar that is physically manifesting in your body. Your body has its own story, and it’s unique to you. Your body terrain is all your own, and this “biodiversity” means that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution to varying wellness challenges.

3. Your body talks to you.

Your body talks to you. Sometimes it whispers, and sometimes it shouts, but it instead of using the language of words, it uses symptoms. Examples include inflammation, a rash, exhaustion, recurring earaches, a flushed face, or weight gain/loss. These symptoms are our bodies’ language. The problem is, most of us have never been trained to listen.

Instead, we get trained to see a doctor. But often doctors are not gifted the time required to dig deep and get to the root cause of a symptom. They can often make us feel better—at least in the short-term—by offering a prescription, providing an ointment, or suggesting a referral. These solutions do provide relief, but may not get to the root cause of why the symptom occurred in the first place.

4. You are empowered

There’s good news. In many cases, simply by playing detective with the foods you eat, you can uncover your own relief. It may take some digging, trial-and-error, paying close attention to your body’s “voice,” and letting time pass to see what works and doesn’t. And while this may sound like a lot of work, there can be clear benefits such as feeling better, saving money, and/or preventing prescription drugs (many of which have a long list of side effects).

Trust yourself. You know more about your body than you think; you understand the nuances of your body’s unique language.

Design experiments. Play detective. Watch what happens. Reassess. Begin again.

5. Food is fuel.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Our planet is covered with an abundance of nutrient-rich plants and whole foods that are available to fuel our wellness. When we embrace natural foods with healing properties (and avoid those foods that don’t serve us), our bodies begin to restore themselves to their natural state of well-being. It’s the way it is.

Think of shifting toward wellness as a gift to yourself. Not to have wellness for wellness’s sake but so you can feel better, move easier, and live longer. These benefits are the fuel that will help you sleep well, stay active, and/or keep up with kids in your life.