As I go about my yard hand watering all the plants and trees, I note the bamboo grows several feet in a day sometimes. “Ouch,” you might be thinking, “that sounds painful.” Well, we’ve all been feeling growing pangs lately, haven’t we? All around me I hear people talking about how time is speeding up. I believe it’s not that time is speeding up, it’s just that whoever thinks it is, is merely experiencing the quickening that is the psychological component of the evolution of their own consciousness. Some of us integrate knowledge by talking among friends about our new ideas. Some find writing and journaling helpful, and others meditate on new ideas to come to greater understanding. I always find my life runs smoothest when I follow a disciplined daily practice. By doing a mental review each evening, I consider my day and take note of any changes I might wanna make in the future. I give some thought as to how I’d like the next day to go. By sitting for meditation first thing in the morning, I feel more prepared for the day since I’m beginning from a centered and peaceful place. The last few years, I’ve been coming to greater awareness about nutrition and how the body works. Finding that when I take a break from old eating habits and even fast for a few days, it’s like rebooting the computer: lots of the errors just seem to correct themselves, as long as I remember when things are going “badly,” that it’s time to reboot.
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 years ago 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.
You can set an intention that you’d like to be guided to foods and eating habits that naturally give you the vitamins and nutrients you need each day. That means, rather than always thinking “ooo, what would taste good tonight?” you might sometimes consider what food choices might give lots of B vitamins and magnesium. You might be surprised to find you enjoy those foods as well. I was real surprised.
So, in case you want to join me in rebooting your own sluggish system, here are some things I 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 and processed food for years diets, and want to take it slowly.
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. This helps reprogram your subconscious.
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 and fries, a break from sodas and breads. Cook that burger at home and eat it between giant leaves of romaine (lots of 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 flavor. 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 and cheese or chips. Organic 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. 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 – 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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. Housework is a great way to keep the chi in the house flowing.
12. 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.
13. At the end of the day, eat your lightest meal and make it interesting with a buffet of fresh veggies and fruits. I am seldom drawn to buy fruit, but experience tells me that if it’s at home in the evenings and I walk into the kitchen, I grab the apple and don’t open the fridge. So I discipline myself buy fruit.
14. 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. Especially if you’re in menopause with a crazy sleep schedule. 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 lots of 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.
15. 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.
You might get inspired at my Goddess Grub website: Healthy and luscious lowfat meals for the goddess on the go.
Keep me posted.
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