What is nutrition anymore? And, how do you understand what is right for YOU and YOUR body?
There was a time where I truly believed we should all eat one way. But, now that I understand nutrition doesn't just come from following a diet, I have shifted that concept.
You see, while we all must thrive off of micronutrients (if you get your Micros, you'll get your Macros) , there is much to say about understanding how to intuitively eat. This means, knowing what foods are meant for your body, when they are meant for your body, and why they are meant for your body.
To get here, it's simple. But, we have to leave a few things at the door first:
1. Your ego: stop with the defensive food fight
2. Diet Trends. & Labels: Let's not box ourselves in, leaving no room to evolve
Tapping into your intuition will benefit you throughout many ways in your life. How often do you hear that "intuition is your sixth sense"? Pay attention this time because it is oh so true! A few signals that your intuition is speaking to you: feeling anxious, uneasy, getting that "gut" feeling, physically feeling your body responding to a situation. This all applies in the food realm as well.
A top stressful moment that most people face, is when they feel the weight of the world narrowing in on them during a social anxiety session. For example; Everyone is going out to eat but I stopped eating gluten and now I don't know what to do and everyone is going to think I'm stupid and blah, blah, blah....
There is no reason to feel or fear these types of situations. But, walking into a situation confidently as your cool, calm, and collective self, means understanding what YOU need. What is best for YOU. It means understanding your intuitive self.
If you aren't sure where to start, I always find it best to create simplicity in your routine. Learning how to eat for you, means creating your own educated opinion based off of where your health is now. What does your diet look like NOW? Are you living with any type of illness? Food intolerance? Allergy? Body Image issues? Where are you in this present moment? And, instead of dropping everything overnight to try and do this cleanse, or that 30 day whatever, why not take a look into your schedule and implement some SUSTAINABLE habits. Sustainable = lasting. This means creating a lifestyle one step at a time vs falling off of one diet after another.
Not all of these 5 Sustainable Nutrition Tips include food, but they all nourish the body and are simple enough for anyone to start implementing TODAY. Within these positive habits we can: cleanse unwanted toxins, gain some fabulous micronutrient health, and create healthy consistency in your life :)
1. Create a morning and night routine
* How often do you wake up and just start DOING. This is where we go wrong. The dishes will always be there. Laundry will always be there. Long work hours may always be there. Waking with the kids is real and it's tough. But, are you able to look at your schedule and commit to falling asleep 10 minutes earlier so that you can wake 10 minutes earlier? Sure, it maybe take some time to transition to this place. But, whatever you need to do for YOU, I highly recommend you give it a try. Waking up 10 minutes before everyone else does gives you a moment to stretch, breath, and sit with yourself before the Go Go Go begins.
2. Drink lemon water when you wake
* I would love to tell you to start with 32 oz of filtered water and 2 lemons, but some of you might laugh at me and walk away. If that is you, then take it slow :) Start with 6 oz when you wake and increase little by little until you reach that 32 oz mark. Trust me, you will get to a point where you need that 32 oz of lemon water like you once needed your coffee. I find 32 oz with two lemons is just what I need to feel hydrated, cleansed, and to ensure I am already getting enough water in for the day.
But, why can't I start my day with coffee? Because starting our day on most anything other than water can create an acidic environment. Take coffee for example. Coffee is as acidic as it gets. If this is the first thing we put into our body each day, then we essentially take a step back and have to work that much harder at creating the alkaline body that we need to thrive. Don't know what I'm talking about? Take a peak at this Alkaline vs Acidic chart.
Why does this matter though? An alkaline body is a healthy body. When we consume foods that are lower on the acidic chart, our body is not supported in a way that we need to fight through the uncontrollables like environmental toxins and viruses.
When the body is too acidic, inflammation forms, and disease has a place to fester. When we are alkaline, inflammation has no where to settle in. The food we consume either supports a body or it breaks it down. Where are you on the Alkaline/Acidic chart with your diet?
Ok, so let's get back to the lemon water. Why lemon water? And, aren't lemons acidic? NOPE! Quite the opposite! Take a peak at your Alkaline/Acidic chart...where do lemons make the list? Lemons do not take the enamel off of your teeth like those Coke drinkers tell us. Think of lemon in your water as healthy Drain-O, making its way through your plumbing and pulling all of the unwanted gunk out. That is the power of lemons :)
Let's talk to Anthony Williams, Medical Medium, for a moment because he has some pretty amazing information about lemon water:
" Lemon water is the perfect way to hydrate, purify, and revitalize your body each morning. Water coming straight from the tap or a bottle has lost its vitality and its innate living structure. By adding fresh squeezed lemon juice, you “wake up” the water and bring it back to life. This allows it to travel more deeply into your tissues and cells and carry the essential nutrients and compounds you need in order to thrive.
Lemon water is a good source of vitamins C and B and minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Lemon water is excellent for weight loss, the immune system, alkalizing the body, controlling high blood pressure, anti-aging, detoxification, purifying the blood, and regulating body temperature. Lemon water is particularly beneficial for the digestive tract and can help relieve constipation, nausea, and even parasites.
Lemon water is also good for the cardiovascular and muscular system making it an ideal drink before and after exercise. Consider an early morning ritual of squeezing half a lemon into 16oz (or more) of your best quality purified water upon waking. This deep form of hydration will awaken your mind and energize your body for the day.
Lemon/lime water has the added benefit of helping to break up any sediment and stones in the gallbladder, allowing for bile production in the liver to increase, hydrochloric acid levels in the gut to rise, and reduction of the bad acids that cause acid reflux."
3. Add fruit, fruit, and more fruit
* Fruit sugar is NOT the same as refined sugar. Fruit sugar is NOT the same as refined sugar. Fruit sugar is NOT the same as refined sugar.
Did I make my point?
We have been taught to FEAR fruit. FEAR FRUIT?! This food is the most powerful of them all! I am so happy you get your serving of veggies in, but do not forget about your fruit. Fruit fights off those environmental toxins, the parasites, the pathogens, the viruses, the inflammation, the autoimmune diseases, the chronic illnesses, and yes...even Diabetes. Look into it.
Our diets have become so saturated in fatty foods due to the MARKETING of needing proteins and fat (so that the animal agriculture industry can take allllll of your money), that we have been taught to fear the one food that prevents disease, heals the body, and allows us to thrive.
So, choose your favorite fruit, eat and enjoy it in abundance, and slowly add in more fruit as your palette tells you it is time to expand.
* Omgoodness, I was once caught in the realm of believing I had to count my calories and run on a treadmill and exercise 60-90 minutes a day. All I have to say on this one is, move your body daily in a way that makes you happy. Don't overthink it. If you have goals of running a marathon or losing unwanted weight, then it is great to incorporate some rigorous training. But, nutrition always comes first. You can't exercise to that extent without supporting the body nutritionally.
Just moving your body each day is what we need to circulate the blood, the oxygen , and to release the unwanted stress and toxins our bodies hold onto. Go to a yoga class, stretch at home for 15 minutes, take a nice walk, dance, rock climb, jumprope. Just Move.
* No. It's not hocus pocus. There is actual scientific evidence that breath work can heal the body and prevent disease through alkalizing the body and regenerating the cells. It doesn't have to be complicated. Just take a few deep breaths in through your nostrils and exhale out your mouth. Every day. Start with three in a row once a day. Then twice a day. When you are in traffic and stressed out, breathe. When you are run down, stop and breathe. When you are hurt and crying, breathe. When you are anxious, breathe. Start here and you will naturally learn new techniques over time. Consistency creates sustainable health.
Here is an example of how I implement these sustainable habits into my lifestyle and what my daily routine looks like.
A day in the life of Patricia
1. Morning Routine
* Wake, stretch
* Scrape my tongue (stainless steel tongue scraper)
* Brush my teeth
* Drink my room temperature lemon water
* Meditate for 5 minutes. Focus on breath.
* Fruit for breakfast in whole or smoothie form
2. I typically enjoy a large kale salad for lunch and snack every couple of hours on fruit or possibly too many oat milk latte's. I do what fits into my schedule best.
3. Movement for me comes in the form of how I am feeling that day. While I cannot wait for the weather to warm up (Michigander here) to get back to running, I have reached a point in my life where I do not push myself to do anything I don't enjoy. Sometimes I take a class at the gym, sometimes I go to the yoga studio, sometimes I take a nice walk , and sometimes I do nothing. But, I make it a point to really move my body for 30-60 minutes 3-4 days a week minimum. The days I don't do that, I just like to stretch my hips, arms, and back.
4. Breath work is different for me daily depending on time and what type of breathing, but I very naturally implement breathing exercises into each day. If you truly aren't sure where to start, Yoga with Adriene, Yoga with Tim, and Wim Hoff are great places to begin.
5. Night Routine
* Sometimes I meditate. I try to do this a few times a week. I feel it helps my sleep, especially if I am feeling anxious. I also try to stretch a little bit before bed.
* I loveeee tea before bed. I typically make a cup about an hour before I want to fall asleep. Traditional Medicinals Lavender Chamomile is my absolute favorite. It is so calming for all of my senses. If I need a solid night of sleep, Traditional Medicinals Valerian Root knocks me out.
So, there it is. The 5 Sustainable Nutrition Habits that I feel can benefit anyone. As always, give yourself some grace, be patient with yourself, believe in yourself, and take it all one step at a time.
In peace, love, and health,