Listen to your body, it’s smarter than you. In fact, when it comes to healing - nothing is as powerful as the innate immune, repair and healing system within us. This system needs the best support you can give it. Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, lifestyle choices and the toxins that we consume, breathe in or absorb puts huge strain on the body’s ability to heal and manage our health. Optimum nutrition and the physical form of Yoga has been proven, over thousands of years of observation, to create and restore good health.
I have been fascinated by what’s in food that can harm or heal us since I experienced digestive health issues in my 20s. I have observed in the 11 years that of practicing Nutritional Therapy that it is in our early to mid-twenties when the first tell-tell signs of a potential health issues usually manifest. This could be in the form of digestive discomfort, re-occurring minor or major infections, fatigue, skin issues; all things that we may see a GP for and get a ‘Sticky plaster’ treatment. By the time you get to mid 30s onwards those early signs generally have gotten worse, but many people just live with it as they accept that it’s just part of them. It doesn’t have to be. Optimum nutrition and Yoga can have a profound effect on physical and mental health.
Listening to your body can be difficult at first as you may be unaware of what to listen or look out for. What foods to add or cut out, what diets to follow can all get very confusing with the inordinate amount of good and bad information on social media and internet. Yoga can help as it helps you to take your mind and breath to different areas of the body, as you do this you can take note of how that muscle, organ or joint feels. Stiffness in joints not only can indicate that you need more regular stretching to keep it healthy, but there may be inflammation in the joint accumulating from toxins, food sensitivities, repetitive strain injury and general metabolism. Your abdomen may feel bloated, unsettled or generally sluggish, your muscles may feel tired, your breath may feel shallow and even wheezy, your nasal passages and sinuses may not be as clear as they should be. Making a note of it during a class means you can address it, whether through dietary changes and nutritional support or getting it checked properly.
Diet and exercise should NOT just be about losing weight and getting fitter. That approach will not necessarily lead to health and well-being. Counting calories without fully understanding your nutritional needs, I believe is one of the most depressing things you can do. Learning about good nutrition and what’s right for you gives you the tools to create good health that will support you through all your life stages.
Every single cell in our body, including muscle cells, are intimately connected to all our organs of detoxification, the liver, the kidneys and the lymphatic drainage system which works with our immune system. The immune system is what we rely heavily on the clear toxins from all tissues and joints, heart and our brain and nervous tissue. If this system is hindered by lifestyle, dietary choices and nutrient deficiencies, inflammation will build up year after year, eventually leading to health issues.
Taking some time to think about what you are putting into your body and learning what optimum nutrition means for you, is vital on the road to better health now and in your future. Supporting your body to reduce inflammation from any age, will protect your quality of life and NOT make you feel that general fatigue, stiffness and digestive issues are just part of you.
Becoming more connected to your body and how you can physically care for it through Yoga and the mindful nutrition could be life changing thing. It was for me.
10 things to get you started on the road to Nutritional recovery:
1. Remove sugar and white carbs from your everyday diet and only use as occasional treat
2. Remove wheat and reduce gluten products – choose non-wheat grains
3. Remove/Reduce alcohol and caffeine
4. Remove damaged fats: deep fried foods, vegetable oil spreads (even olive oil spreads) only use
butter or healthy oils, seeds and small amount of nuts.
5. Reduce restaurant, pink meats, smoked foods, take away foods, even ready-made sandwiches
and increase home prepped or reliably healthy foods.
6. Eat a full breakfast – with fats, protein and complex carbs
7. Drink plenty of filtered water (avoid plastic bottled water)
8. Increase green purple and red fresh vegetables and fruits
9. Reduce all animal products and increase plant-based foods
10. Find out which are the best nutritional supplements for you – this can make a noticable difference.