Nourishing Our Body, Mind, and Spirit for Improved Health

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In my early childhood years, we lived with my grandmother, who cooked warm, nourishing meals each day, complete with dessert. Since I can remember, I have always enjoyed savoring my meals. My body would wiggle with delight, and I’d utter guttural happy noises when I was pleased with the food.  Today, I still do this! It’s how Nvictus knows I am super happy with how a recipe turned out.

We eat when we’re hungry ~ our body needs fuel. Like gas is to a car, food is to our bodies; Food is our go-go juice; Nutrition, as defined by dictionary.com is 1. the process by which organisms take in and utilize food material and 2. the act or process of nourishing or of being nourished.

Shall we start with nourishing our minds?

Equally important as nourishing our bodies, have you considered being intentional with what your mind takes in? What you’re watching and reading?  Is it a fluff piece or something that’s going to cultivate your mind by learning something from it?  Positive thoughts are critical. There is data indicating that negative thoughts have a negative impact on our bodies. Let’s begin the process of kicking those negative thoughts to the curb, permanently,  and replace them positive thoughts, shall we?

Even better, why not take a look at our beliefs?

What do you know about your beliefs? Are they true? What proof do you have that they are, in fact, true? Are they having a positive impact on your life? Do you have beliefs that are no longer serving you? Is it time to kick some of them to the curb and take on new beliefs that are in alignment with your life and what you truly believe? We all have self-limiting beliefs, brought on mostly from our childhood, and they’re getting in our way. It’s time to say goodbye to them and open ourselves up to new opportunities and what we truly want in our lives. Let that shit go…..

Be kind to yourself.

If you need to rest, by all means, take a nap. Take breaks during the day. It’s OK! Remember to take vacation days.  Ifphoto of a small waterfall under a tree with a steps beside it and lush vegetation all around you can get out in nature, that is a great way to take a break! Go for a walk, get some fresh air, clear your mind, and unwind. Another mood boost is hearing the continuous movement of water, such as a little running waterfall in your [home] office. If you can get out on a greenway to walk along a river or happen to have a creek nearby,  that would be beneficial and soothing to fall asleep to.

Think about all of your senses.

I am big on either having a candle lit or running a diffuser while working.  Essential oils offer a vast array of aromas to boost your mood and help with focus each day. Likewise, what do you hear? Do you hear birds, car horns, or sirens? Are you listening to music or perhaps you have some binaural beats going? Depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, whether that’s cranking out a report by Friday afternoon, or you’re being creative writing a blog post, what you hear can help.  

Are you able to look outside a window and see the weather?

Do you have decorations on the wall? Perhaps there is a vase of cut flowers on your desk?  How you enhance your environment to incorporate all of your senses can impact your day.  What perks you up and gives you joy in your work day? What little touches have you incorporated into your office space? My office always has greeting cards with landscapes on the front or favorite quotes I like having around for inspiration.  When I worked in an office, it was usually cold, so I had one of my favorite blankets that I would put on my lap when I got chilly. It was soft and gave me comfort while providing warmth.

How often do you take a moment to make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and just sit with it and enjoy a quiet moment? In that same fashion, a nice herbal tea, or water topped with a few drops of an ingestible essential oil that gives it a nice flavor, can give you a nice little extra energy boost in the afternoon without the caffeine that could possibly interrupt your sleep at night.

I love being outside.

Working from a patio is my happy place!  It gives me such a positive mental boost. I think nature is something that we do not get enough of. We’re typically in an office all day (pre-covid) then at home all night.  If we don’t make it a point to get outside, we usually don’t see much of the light of day.  Could this lack of sunshine, unplugging, and time spent outdoors be contributing to our various degrees of anxiety and depression that many folks are experiencing these days?

If getting outside during the work day isn’t an option, why not consider meditation? Two sessions a day, for 15 minutes each, can have a positive influence on your wellbeing. Emily Fletcher shares her data here. If you’re religious, perhaps you read from a holy book each day? Journaling is another wonderful way to get thoughts and feelings out of our heads, onto paper, so that we may enter a more positive headspace. If we are concerned about what we wrote, we can always have a little ceremony and burn the paper our thoughts were written on. Listen to your heart, and tune in to your intuition.

How often do we tune in to our intuition?

I think women are better at this, or, at least, tune in more frequently. Connecting with our intuition and really listening to it, for it, focusing on what it is telling us, can bring a much desired sense of ease into our lives.  What is your heart telling you? We are in our heads so much. We need to get out of our heads and into our hearts, focus on our intuition, and what our gut is telling us.

Perhaps you enjoy a drum circle? Maybe you’re into Kabbalistic astrology? Human Design and the Gene Keys? Perhaps you like to partake of weed, or, every once in a while, participate in an Ayahuasca ceremony?

Healing traumas can be so freeing!

Even recognizing and honoring them, knowing that they’re there, can be enough. I like to set my fears, metaphorically, in the corner with a nice cup of pretend tea, thank them profusely for looking out for me, tell to them to enjoy their tea, but right now I’m going to focus on what I want to do today without their guidance.

Breathing exercises are a great way to create focus, come down from anxiety, or put a pause on our emotions. Take some nice deep belly breaths; really push that diaphragm out. One technique I use frequently is to breathe in for the count of three then out for a count of six. Once I’ve don’t that for several rounds, then I push myself a little more by breathing in for four and out for eight. Keep doing this until you’re calmer or you get into a nice meditative state. Don’t do this technique while driving!  yoga matt with candles overlooking a forest

How about some sensual dance to unleash your inner god/dess?

Yoga is another great way of moving our bodies, bring us out of our head, and into our heart space. Did you know there’s even yoga for anger and trauma?

How was your lunch?

Was it nourishing and tasty? Were you able to eat til you felt sated? Did you eat away from your desk? If you are in the habit of eating at your desk, I strongly encourage you to have lunch at the dining room table, at a picnic table outside, in the cafeteria (when safe).  By slowing down and focusing on your meal, allowing yourself 20 minutes to eat, it will have a positive affect on your body. This free white paper shares how you can lose five pounds just by being mindful at meal time.

Not to mention, protein and fats are essential.

Carbs, in the form of fruits and veggies, offer far more nutrients for your body than carbohydrates in the form of ultra-a bowl containing foods of various colors with the words Healthy fats are your friend Eat good fats at every meal such as avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil (healthy fats are your friend, not your enemyprocessed foods; things like muffins, bagels, pasta, crackers, and bread, which provide zero essential nutrients that you can get from other foods.

I have an exercise I like to do with my clients where we we test different foods and how they make my clients feel after eating them.  This data gives us clues about how their energy is an hour or two after they’ve eaten certain foods.  Helping my clients find the foods that give them the most energy, while providing the nutrients their bodies need to run optimally, is typically a key goal for them.

Ultra-processed foods contribute to lifestyle diseases.

What I mean by this are diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.. By limiting these foods: muffins, bagels, crackers, chips, pasta, etc., folks I work with notice a few things about their bodies. Their energy goes up, the brain fog clears, their aches and pains diminish or completely go away, and that’s just to name a few!

Did you know that sugar is in approximately 80% of the ultra processed foods?

Buying foods made by big food corporations (big name brands) usually have added sugar in them. Instead of buying at the big box stores, is there a local co-op or another small, local store that you know sells items that have ingredients your grandmother would recognize?

‘Was it made in a plant or by a plant?’ 

If it was manufactured in a plant, there is a list of ingredients on the label. Let’s say we’re looking at a can of tomato paste. Are there more than five ingredients listed on the label?  Can you pronounce all of the ingredients?  Are any of them considered a known carcinogen? If the item has more than five ingredients listed, can you find the same item, from a different manufacturer, that contains less ingredients?

Can you find one with five ingredients or less?

Is sugar listed in the first 5 ingredients?  If yes, is the total carbohydrate count more than 6 grams per serving? If there are more than 6 g of net carbs per serving (total carbohydrate minus number of grams of fiber = net carb) that item is considered high in carbs.  See if you can find a different brand with less carbohydrates. As a side note, do you know how many words there are for sugar?

Another important suggestion is to make your own food; Bonus points if you can use ingredients bought from local farmers and seasonal ingredients!  I’ll include some links down below so you can find such things. Visit your local farmers market and invest in the farmers who live nearby. It used to be we could only eat what was in season. Now we get foods from all over the world. Yes, it’s wonderful and cool to be able to try foods that we otherwise would not be able to.  It’s fortunate to have the luxury of buying ingredients to make our own ethnic dishes!  At the same time, I am curious to know how many nutrients were lost during the long voyage here?

In general, there are some supplements to consider taking.

Especially, if you are limiting or eliminating fruits and veggies from your way of eating. Most folks in the US are deficient in magnesium, and it’s one to consider.  Magnesium comes in a variety of forms, and it may take some trial and error to find the one that works best with you. Perhaps the research I’ve done can help narrow down which one might work best? You might want to consider this form or this one here.

I do recommend taking it at night.

Start slow, taking only 1/3 to 1/2 of the recommended dosage, until your body acclimates to it.  Otherwise, you may end up with disaster pants! You’ve been warned!

If you’re limiting ultra-processed foods, then you’re going to want to also add salt and potassium to your way of eating since they probably won’t already be in the foods you eat. I add a pinch of cream of tartar (potassium) to my morning glass of water and salt my foods.

Another important supplement is Vitamin D. If you can get outside each day, that’s great!  Working from a patio or byimage of a turkey on a brown background with the words Did you know Vitamin D is found in poultry liver cod liver oil and works best when paired with Vitamin A the pool is ideal. Otherwise, eat foods high in this vitamin or add a supplement.  Cod liver oil, liver, and poultry are great sources of Vitamin D.

In addition, it’s recommended for folks over age 50 to take CoQ10. I like for my Type 2 diabetics to take Berberine. Finally, for those of you with achy joints, who need a little more flexibility and mobility in your joints, I recommend collagen each day.

We want to keep our mitochondria functioning at optimal levels for as long as possible.

For my ladies, did you know that peri-menopause typically starts around age 41 or 42 and lasts for about 10 years? If you are in this age range, keep tabs of what your body is doing and how you’re feeling each year. You may need to tweak things along the way. Dairy may be causing more problems than it’s helping. I went dairy-free and saw results immediately. Also consider a low-oxalate way of eating, especially if you are having aches and pains, arthritis, and pain that has gone undiagnosed.  Please keep tabs on your mental well-being and find fun ways to manage your stress.  I know I had suicidal thoughts for years due to peri-menopause.  If all that isn’t enough, hormones fluctuate during this time and can impair our sleep and cause of weight gain. Ugh!

During this go around on the physical plane, what is it that you want to be, do, have, and experience?

What are you waiting for? What’s holding you back? If you’re ready to improve your health, take your personal growth to the next level, live abundantly (whatever that means to YOU), and reach your goals, we should talk.  Text me at 540-404-2692 or schedule an 18 minute chat with me here.

Will you exist or THRIVE?

With love and hugs,

Suz

How to discover what’s in your area:

www.asapconnections.org

www.eatwild.com

www.almanac.com/cooperative-extension-services

www.locallygrown.net

www.coopdirectory.org

https://www.westonaprice.org/category/get-involved/local-chapters/

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered Health or Mental Health Advice. Consult a health or mental health professional before making any major health decisions

 

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