Friday, September 5, 2014

Steps for Learning Your Own Body

This week I've given a bit of an introduction on Nutrition and my story of learning to listen to my own body. What I'm going to say today about "Nutrition" is pretty contrary to everything you've probably heard. I'm basically telling you to eat anything you crave without any guilt or need to "exercise it off!" We've taken classes on Nutrition in college and how useless is that information! I don't even live by the modern day food pyramid, and does any of us use any of the information they taught us in Nutrition 101? I surely don't. In fact I had to get all of that information out of my head and learn what Nutrition really means. It's not at all what we've been taught. It doesn't mean eating food that tastes yucky or bland-- please believe me on this one! It doesn't mean constantly eating or doing things that we don't want to do-- like drinking water instead of soda or exercising when we feel like resting. Nutrition does not mean any of those things-- at least not to me. I shared my story about nutrition with all of you on Wednesday. I hope it wasn't too boring for you to read through. I know I can be lengthy when I am writing out stories, and it's hard for me to shorten my words. I hope you were able to tolerate the post and get through it to the actual meat of it. Today I wanted to give you a few practical suggestion for how you can get into a really good rhythm with your own body, life, and eating. I'm not a doctor of course, so I can't tell you how to care for your body. The interesting thing though is that even if I could, me telling you how to care for your body wouldn't be my main goal. My main purpose would be to empower you to learn how to care for your own body. The truth is, I can't listen to your body for you as adequately and wholly as you can. You are your best tool and asset in your own healing and wellness. Let this post be a sort of sit down session between me and you, chatting casually about how to learn how to pay attention to your body and learn to listen to what it's trying to tell you. I realize, before you even start reading, that these things below might sound self-explanatory and as if they will have no actual affect on your life. All that I can do is to tell you from personal experience and research that these things if done fully will make a huge difference in learning to listen to your body. I hope you will be able to experience the amazing benefits that I do on a daily basis of being able to hear cautions, cues, and warnings of things my body communicates to me on a daily basis. It's amazing to be able to use the tools God has given us and I can't wait for you to experience the fruit of it! Let your own mind and heart be your best asset in your own healing and wellness. 

Click Below to Read My Steps for Learning Your Own Body:

Start From A Good Foundation:

This part may sound as if I'm telling you to go on a diet. I'm not-- believe me, I'm not. All that I would say is to start from a good foundation for a certain time. I went through a period where all that I ate was organic for a certain time. I didn't eat any food out of a box or a can and I ate organic whenever possible. I just made organic my rule, and didn't eat anything that wasn't organic. Obviously, I'm sure food passed through my mouth that wasn't organic, but for a long length of time I just ate organic as my default to sort of re-set my body. I remember being at the store shopping and everything in my cart including sour cream, butter, milk and a few other ingredients were organic. The sales clerk said, are you eating all organic? I said yes I am. She said she had just started eating all organic and not changing anything else. She ate the same ingredients, but switched to eating all of those
ingredients organic. She said she lost 40 pounds and she was eating all of the same foods, just the organic version of them. My focus is not on the weight loss. I am just sharing that because chemicals can have a host of harmful effects on your body. Weight gain to me is just a symptom of other things going on, but weight gain or weight loss is never the main issue in my opinion. So the point of this step is to just re-set your body and start from a good foundation. You don't have to diet or eliminate certain foods in general, but deciding and purposing to eat all organic will allow your body to reset and breathe for a bit. Do this for at least a month, without any cheats. It's important that you do it in this sense and not in the mindset of being on a cleanse. When you're doing a cleanse like the candida cleanse it's important to buckle down and just get through it. With something like this, I stay away from that mentality. I want the deprivation mindset to be as far away as possible, and move towards a mindset of almost indulging. Don't have a mindset that you're cleansing or depriving. Whenever those thoughts enter your mind, get rid of them and indulge in what you actually want, which leads into my next point. (I know that some people are not aware of what organic actually means. Organic means that there are no gmo's, pesticides, hormones added, and other harmful chemicals. I always buy organic and non-gmo whenever possible. Plain and simple: gmo's have chemicals that CAUSE you to gain weight and cause your immune system to be weakened. Yes, I said they cause you to gain weight. If you don't believe me, do your own experiment and see how it affects you! There is a difference, but we have already wrote a few posts on that and I don't want to get into all of that in this post. If you have questions about that you can email me.)

Eat What You Crave & Don't Eat What You Don't Love:

Try to get all of the things you've heard about eating healthy out of your mind. Unlearn what you've heard about nutrition. Clear your mind and get rid of the guilt food noise in your brain. Stop yourself from thinking you can't have xyz or that you should exercise if you "ate too much." Shut all of that down. Go back to the basics, and I mean the simplest basics. Ask yourself, "what do you feel like eating?" Just what sounds good to you? So many times when we are trying to eat healthy we are trying to shut out the thoughts of what sounds good to us. I want you to not shut those thoughts out. Pay attention to your cravings, because I operate under the assumption that your body actually craves things it needs and is deficient in. I used to crave potato chips or french fries every day. Instead of grabbing french fries I would eat organic potato chips if I really wanted them. Organic potato chips is much better than fast food french fries. One day, I did realize I was really just craving salt all of the time and potatoes was one of the first things I associated with salt. So, instead of going towards the chips I eventually would just dash a little bit of pink himalayan salt on my hand and lick it. Yes, sounds crazy! However, I was craving actual salt and that satisfied my craving. If I would have still wanted french fries or potato chips I would have found a way to indulge in that craving for a time. I paid attention to what my body was actually saying that it wanted and I wouldn't deprive myself by eating something entirely different. I wanted to hear my body out and listen to what it wanted. This step is important, and I would even suggest writing down what it is that you crave because it's your body sending out signals to you of what it actually needs. It's okay to crave french fries, that doesn't mean you need to stop at McDonald's for lunch. There's other ways to indulge your body by giving it what it needs. When you purpose to eat organic for a time being, you can find what you're craving in an organic version and eat that. Don't ignore your cravings. Give into them, while still eating organic.

Just a quick side story, there's been many times where some things just didn't sound good to me. It's not that I didn't like them or think they were gross- it just didn't sound good to me at that moment. It's so funny how that works, because the two times I got food poisoning were some of those times. Now whenever something doesn't sound good to me, even Ben will say not to eat it! So eat what sounds good and stay away from what doesn't. Now, I will say boiling vegetables to their death does not make them appealing to anyone, even me. I suggest experimenting with ways of cooking vegetables, because honestly they're more tasty to me and delicious than meat these days and that wasn't always the case. Last night I made an all vegetarian meal for my family at the beach. I didn't even realize there wasn't meat in the dish until my uncle Al asked me if I was a vegetarian. He wasn't too sure about my non-meat meal, but after eating he said I won him over and have made him consider being a vegetarian the meal was so good! So, experiment with healthy foods and find recipes that you absolutely love full of flavor. You can look in our Recipes page for ideas.

Make Time To Listen to You:

Do you know that feeling of your head feeling heavy and your stomach aching and feeling just gross? On the other hand do you know the feeling of eating a good meal and feeling light afterwards without any sickness? It feels amazing to eat and not feel sick afterwards. Many times though some of the healthiest foods can be things that we are essentially allergic to. It's important to stay away from the foods that our body has adverse reactions to. I don't want to get into this in this post, but I do believe our body can heal itself from certain allergies and you can get over allergies in time if you take very good care of your body. However, I don't want to get into that in this post. In this post, I want to say that it's important for us to pay attention to what makes us feel sick. Go back to the last moment you felt really well and amazing. When did you start to feel sick again? What was the last thing you ate before that? If you can't remember the last time you actually felt really well and amazing then you're probably allergic to something you eat regularly. The reason it's important to make time to listen to yourself is that many of us are running around doing a thousand different things throughout our day. We are focused on tasks and our friends and relationships, that we don't often stop for our headaches or stomach aches and we often push through those things. It's fine to push through those things, but it's important to stop every day and allow your body to just speak to you. We've already established on Monday and on Wednesday that God made our bodies in amazing, fascinating ways and He made them to work beautifully and perfectly. It's innate in our bodies to know how to heal themselves and to work well. Given that premise alone, it's important to take the time to assess what our body is trying to communicate to us. We can do this through listening to our cravings to see what our body is deficient in, and we can also do it by just sitting and waiting and listening. Start with ten minutes a day. I usually have time to read and pray, but I have also had to make about ten minutes to just sit in silence and let my mind run or stay still and just think about my body and what it's trying to communicate. Whatever works for you, it's definitely a must to listen to ourselves. Make the time and make the space. It may feel weird at first. I realize that. However, do it anyway. Just sit for about ten minutes and let your body speak to you. Think about the blood running through your veins and the millions of jobs your body is doing faster than you can imagine all on it's own for your good. Think about how amazing your body is and think about the gift you have caring for it. Let it speak to you and see what you hear. Write down your thoughts or just sit and mull over your thoughts. It's important to just make that time to listen to what your body is saying and to be grateful for all that your body is doing for your health and wellness. Start to trust your body. Your body is not something to hate and scorn, but to be grateful for and trust. 

To see the first part of this series you can view it here and the second part here.

P.S. I'm still at the beach with my lovely family. We've been eating amazing food and enjoying abundant life together. I've definitely taken some time to listen to my body since I've been here and to be grateful. Of course being in the water and waves is a great opportunity for those things. You can be sure that I've applied coconut oil and lavender on my sunburn many times-- and I happily report that the all natural organic sunscreen and sunburn relief that I whip up are life savers. 

Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.
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