Lately, I’ve been treating my body better and coming to greater awareness about nutrition and how the body works. Finding that when I fast for a few days, it’s like rebooting the computer: lotsa the errors just seem to correct themselves, as long as I remember when things are going “badly,” that it’s time to reboot. So in March 2002 I fasted a few days and when I decided to eat, I ate some homemade miso soup (easy – hot water and a tablespoon of golden barley miso, a dash of Bragg’s liquid aminos and some scallion slivers on top) for the next two days. Then I wanted pears and apples so I had 2 each the next day. I wasn’t dieting, mind you, I was as usual eating as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted (not my brightest idea the past decade *hehe*) and was thrilled that my body wanted so little and felt so energized without much food intake. Then I began craving tofu and carrots and kale. I’ve been eating tofu 5-6 times a week since then, along with raw salads and sometimes a slice of Ezekial bread and so far my old eating habits are gone. Foods that appealed to me for years just aren’t appealing anymore.
I’d fasted in the past and never had this occur, but then my eating habits had never been as atrocious as they’d become over the past 20 years. I tell young women, “Remember – 5 pounds a year for 20 years is 100 pounds!” My favorite foods were meats and bread – no cake and ice cream for me, but oh yum, a 7-11 hot dog or fried steak sandwich! Although 50 pounds over my ideal weight, I was always surprised that I didn’t weigh more or have health problems because of the foods I ate. I believe it’s because I have never been a snacker, and sweets and alcohol don’t appeal to me. I don’t like milk, I don’t eat much cheese and I’m not a fan of french fries, fast food or pizza.
Maybe it was just time for me to change my eating habits. I’d never really paid attention to nutritional requirements. I (incorrectly) assumed that since I ate enough to be overweight, then I was probably getting plenty of vitamins and minerals. Of course, that was before I knew how much nutrition got lost in processing the foods, and microwaving the foods. I took the fact that I was craving fresh, whole foods to be an indication that my body was requiring particular vitamins and/or minerals that it wasn’t otherwise getting. Kinda like in the garden – we can water and fertilize all season long, but it takes just one day of rain to fall and the plants eat it up and explode with vitality and new growth.
I assumed that it took a few days of fasting to reset my internal mechanism (which had gotten used to a lot of fat and starch) to begin coming back into balance. Like rebooting the computer.
I was surprised that I could eat baked tofu once a day and feel no desire for anything else. Maybe this was Nature’s way of telling me that if my body needed protein, there were alternatives to fried ribeye and Cheddarwurst.
Sometimes I added a salad or some vegetables just because I thought I should LOL. ‘ve always taken daily multi vitamins, iron and vitamin B complex twice a day. I’m not a breakfast eater, but sometimes I’ll make an iced coffee Slimfast or Spirutein smoothie in the morning with nonfat dry milk or orange juice, and that tides me over until I eat about 2pm. Sometimes I eat a pear mid morning or noonish.
I remember reading a few things Deepak Chopra said about nutrition that have stuck in my mind. One was that the best diet was “to eat nothing with a label or a smile,” meaning of course, no processed foods, no animals. He also said, when talking about keeping fat in your diet to a minimum, to “eat only what would, when left overnight in a paper bag on the counter, not leave a stain in it.” Interesting, huh? That sounds like a good way to reboot a sluggish system.
One thing that surprised me was that when I stopped drinking diet soda, I had lots more energy and strength, and I dropped about 5 pounds of water weight. I do yoga and bike some each day and my level of energy went up when the only thing I’d changed (up to that point) had been stopping the diet soda.
It’s interesting to think that we may not have to take pills to feel better but rather just “remove” from our systems anything that is not natural, and allow our bodies to reboot themselves. And we don’t have to do it all at once; we can take small steps, like begin doing exercises to strengthen our will power and self discipline.
We can set an intention that we’d like to be guided to foods and eating habits that naturally give us the vitamins and nutrients we need each day. That means, rather than always thinking “ooo, what would taste good tonight?” we might sometimes consider what food choices might give us lotsa B vitamins and magnesium.
ACCELERATED HEALING DUE TO PROPER NUTRIENTS
In March, I’d had a few minor skin cancers on my face treated and was thrilled to see how quickly the skin healed itself afterward. Once I’d fasted and switched to natural foods, I noticed the healing accelerated, and I saw that cell repair was directly related to ingesting the proper nutrients. I’d never really, really given that any thought in the past. So this is a whole new way of thinking for me.
So, in case you want to join me in rebooting your own sluggish system, here are some things I’m going to do that you might want to join me in. And note, this is really basic information and lots of you already have a much healthier routine than this – this is for the newbies to nutrition, like me, who are considering changing from their heavy meat & processed food for years diets, and want to take it slowly.
16 NUTRITION TIPS FOR NEWBIES LIKE ME
1. Set an intention that you’d like to take authority over your own body. I didn’t realize for a long time that I was in control, and once I learned that, I began to make wiser, more informed choices.
2. Set an intention that you’d like to be guided to foods and eating habits that fuel your body most effectively for the activities you do or would like to begin doing. Voice this intention during your daily prayer and meditation.
3. As often as you are able, eat mindfully. That just means give some thought ahead of time what might be the best to eat to fuel your next few hours’ activity.
4. Give your system a break from processed foods for a week. A break from fast food, burgers & fries, a break from sodas and breads. Cook that burger at home and eat it between giant leaves of romaine (lotsa vitamin B – iceberg lettuce has no nutritional value.) Use mustard instead of mayo or ketchup. Make a giant salad to go with it, or corn on the cob, kale and a giant baked potato.
5. Consider cooking fatfree in a nonstick pan or using only a small amount of Pam or similar cooking spray. Take a break from butter and oils in your foods and see what your foods taste like au’ natural. Experiment with spices and seasonings for flavor, or a dash of Bragg’s or soy sauce.
6. Try healthy, natural substitutes for fats. I’ve just discovered All Natural Butter Buds Sprinkles and now enjoy that on my veggies, with no fat and no cholesterol. I know there are “foods” like no fat sour cream, etc. on the market, but I personally don’t care for artifical ingredients. Buy some nutritional yeast flakes in the health food store and put it in a shaker to sprinkle on veggies – it has a cheesy taste and is loaded with B vitamins.
7. Snack on fruit. Grab an apple or pear for a snack, instead of crackers & cheese or chips. Baby carrots made great road trip food, and I like hanging a bunch of grapes from my rear view mirror and nibbling those as well.
8. Drink a protein shake once a day, preferably in the morning. I buy Spirutein powder at the health food store. Mix with milk or juice. Oooo, remember Orange Julius? Mix vanilla powder with orange juice and a little ice and blend it for a delicious, frothy treat, full of vitamins and minerals for the day. Sometimes I add instant decaf coffee to the chocolate mix, add some vanilla and lotsa cinnamon and use nonfat dry milk. A great frappuccino to start the day! Plus you’ll feel full for hours and have lotsa energy and mental clarity.
9. Buy some 8 pound barbells and put them next to wherever you “sit” when you’re relaxing. No, I’m not suggesting you start an actual exercise program – I’m not THAT radical *hehe* Just have them nearby and do a few repetitions every so often to encourage your body to get active. You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll begin doing it and how inspired you get to be more active.
10. Take a walk around your yard or neighborhood. Notice what trees and shrubs and flowers you see. Notice if there are birds or butterflies; are the lizards green or brown? Look for squirrels. How many gardens can you see? What are they growing? You may get inspired to plant some flowers or herbs, or to set a bird feeder out.
Connecting with nature in even small ways helps reduce stress and encourages contemplation. Plus it can be as fun and active as you’d like it to be. I go out to water each morning and sometimes find myself hours later up to my elbows in mud and mulch, transplanting a dozen baby loquat trees or weeding out miles of wedelia. It’s nice to be carried away like that, it’s refreshing to the mind and strengthening to the body and immune system.
11. Stretch often during the day. Just reach up and stretch out; twist your body from side to side and bend over and reach for your toes. Doesn’t matter if you can touch them. Or your knees. Just get some good stretches in.
12. Be as active as you can during the course of your day. Even if the only physical exercise you get is housework, you can sweep vigorously and iron joyfully. Housework is a great way to keep the chi in the house flowing.
13. At the end of the day, bring to mind all the things you did that day that you feel good about. Don’t kick yourself for anything you did that you wish you hadn’t done – tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning. Jus reflect and bask in all the things you did that you feel good about. This helps you become more aware of them and helps program you on a subconscious level as well.
14. At the end of the day, eat your lightest meal and make it interesting with a buffet of fresh veggies and fruits.
15. At the REAL end of the day, make a decision to get up off the couch and go to bed and turn the lights out. This gives your body a real signal that you’re going to sleep. A lot of people say they can only fall asleep in front of the tv, and lotsa these same people say they have trouble sleeping. Interesting that these people have challenges with will power and self discipline in other areas of their life as well. It’s not just the retina of our eyes that register light and react to it, and it’s not just our ears that register sound and react to it. The cells of our body also react to light and sound and remain on active standby while we’re asleep. Just as poinsettas in the garden need 6 hours of darkness every 24 hours in order to bloom and grow, just so our mind and body does better when we have quiet darkness to sleep in. And you’ll be surprised how quickly you can fall asleep after shutting off all external stimuli.
16. Don’t beat yourself up for your “bad habits.” It’s enough for a beginning that you’re making small changes along the way. This time next year you might be surprised how different your eating habits are and how much more vital and alive you feel.
Consider Edgar Cayce‘s words: Do not worry as to whether you are fat or thin. Worry rather as to whether you use your body, mentally and physically, as an expression of thy ideal.
In case the FTC is wondering, I am not endorsing anyone.
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