What Are You Thankful For? | Chris Kresser

What Are You Thankful For?


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picture of sylvieWhen I was in my early 20s I started what has become a personal tradition of reflecting on what I’m grateful for at the end of each year. It’s a natural time for this kind of reflection, as the days begin to lengthen once again and the promise and freshness of the new year approaches.

Gratitude is a powerful practice. Shifting our attention toward what we’re thankful for and what we appreciate, rather than what’s lacking or missing, can profoundly affect the quality of our lives.

Frankly, this isn’t something that comes easily to me; on the contrary, I’m some what of a connoisseur of “what’s wrong” in the world and in my own life.

So the end of the year is a good time to remind myself of how important gratitude is. And this year I thought it would be a good idea to share what I’m grateful for with you, and ask you to share what you’re grateful for with this community. This is not the same as “positive thinking; it’s consciously shifting our attention to what we are thankful for and choosing to cultivate the emotions that we experience in that appreciation.

Here’s what I am grateful for as 2012 comes to a close:

My family. I’m blessed to have a kind, wise and unconditionally loving wife that I can share both the joy and pain of life with, and who supports me in so many ways. And I am head-over-heels in love with my daughter Sylvie, who continues to stretch the boundaries of my heart until I feel it will explode!

My health. 10 years ago I was still so sick I could hardly work or function. Today I have a successful practice, a wonderful family and an active life.

You. I wake up every day feeling excited about the work I do, and without you, that would not be possible. I’m so thankful for this thriving community of people dedicated to improving their own health and helping others to do the same. I truly feel that we have the potential to change the world, and I’m grateful to be a part of such a smart, passionate and caring group of “revolutionaries”!

My patients. It’s an amazing gift to be able to use my knowledge and experience to serve others. Seeing a patient that has been sick for years get their health and their life back – when they had all but given up hope – is the most rewarding work I can imagine doing.

An ancestral perspective. The more I learn about health and medicine, the more grateful I am for how an evolutionary perspective informs my approach. There are some questions that can’t be answered and contradictions that can’t be resolved with modern clinical science; studying ancestral health can fill in the gaps.

Real food. We’re blessed to live in an area with a strong local food movement. We get our beef and pork directly from a farmer in Sebastopol. We get our A2 raw milk from a farmer in Santa Rosa. We buy our produce from vendors at the farmer’s market. I can’t imagine living in a place where this fresh, natural food isn’t available.

Now I’d like to hear from you. What are you grateful for this year? What changes have you seen in your health? Who in your life are you thankful for? What accomplishments are you proud of? What else in your life do you appreciate?

  1. I am grateful for people like you and the sense you make. I am grateful for having a wonderful husband and two beautiful healthy kids (that I hope to keep healthy by following as much as possible healthy eating habits etc) I am very grateful for having lived for 23 years in the beautiful country of Iceland and that my kids had a free and wonderful childhood there. I am grateful that we now have a new life in Australia and hope to make the most of it. I hope that I can be grateful that I have not done too much damage to my health and my kids, before I found low carb paleo (whatever you want to call it)

  2. I am grateful that I was born abroad away from the luxury, crassness and idiocy of California and was raised to value ethics instead of pretensions of the “cultured.” The culture of Nazi Germany was enough for the world.
    And yes, I like your website.
    dr anna

  3. I too am slowly learning to see things in a brighter light. I have a daily boatload of blessings from my family, my friends, and in truth even the people I work with and the fact that I have a good job.
    I am incredibly thankful for my improving health. I have lost 123 pounds (Jan 1) and was able to participate in the Resolution Run (Walk) 2013 this morning with my friend & my daughter.

    This learning journey is made so much easier by people like you Chris, who put a lot of work into providing information in digestible forms (LOL!). Seriously tho – the “blogosphere” as you put it, is an amazing resource that has allowed me to un-learn my university level nutrition courses and manage my own health improvements.
    All the best in 2013

  4. Top of my list you’ll find two people I’m grateful for who have only been making a difference in my life for the past 6 months. Not long but what a difference! I still remember crying every other day in pure desperation and thinking if this is life then all there is for me is retirement – migraine almost every day and medicine not working – been a test bunny the past 6 years getting all kinds of bad medicine that was supposed to make me better but only made me worse. 6 months ago I was in a dark pit but stumbling onto paleo sure made a difference and continues to have an improving effect on my health for which I am forever grateful – so this year I’m thankful for Robb Wolf for his book that caught my attention and turning me onto the paleo track and Chris I’m thankful for u for your podcasts helping me understand different aspects and being a guiding light I have faith in (you’d be surprised how little faith I usually have in doctors). So thank you both for giving me a gift better than any I could ever have wished for myself – a better health and renewed hope for my future – may you have a happy new year! sincerely Tina.