When we decide to set out to become fit and healthy we begin to think about changing our food choices and incorporating regular exercise into our daily routine. Despite knowing about the benefits of positive choices what causes us to slip back into our old habits?
I recently read an article that discussed the idea of primary and secondary foods that was produced by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which gave me an A-Ha Moment….
This article goes into the idea of primary and secondary foods. The philosophy of this article is that anything that we consider to be a source of nutrition, i.e. anything that we eat throughout the day, is only a secondary source of nourishment. All of the foods that we eat and drink are secondary to all other aspects of our lives that truly feed us.
These primary foods are things like our:
- Spirituality and
- Physical Activity
Think about how much these things actually consume us. Ask yourself how these aspects are feeding your life, are you letting your job devour more time than your personal life? Do your relationships give you energy or do they drain you?
The article draws on the idea of how much you enjoy playing outside when you were a child and suddenly your mother tells you dinner was ready but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all of your attention. You were able to forget all about food and were high on life.
The secondary foods are able to nourish our bodies but they are unable to give us the joy, meaning, or fulfillment that primary food provides. Its human instinct to yearn for play, fun, touch, romance, love, achievement, art, music and adventure. The extent of how much we incorporate all of these things will actually determine how worthwhile your life feels.
What feeds you more?
If you would like to read the whole article you can find it here:
I have a mantra that I say to myself before I go to sleep at night – if I died tomorrow would I regret anything from today? Maybe this is a little bit morbid but I believe that this has helped me change my life.
Just over two years ago a friend of mine died in a car crash; she wasn’t even 21 yet. This was a massive wake up call to me, it made me realise that time is something that we are unable to buy from shop. That our dreams, friends, wishes and happiness are all things that we are in charge of and need to actively seek out. That it is important not to put things off until tomorrow because what if you never got the chance to do it?
I hear from people who are stuck in jobs they dislike, they have dreams that they aspire to follow but are too nervous to actually go out and do it. Perhaps I am naive in thinking that everything we do has a purpose and that everything will eventually slot into place but so far my life has worked out that way. Our struggles are things that will only make us stronger and that pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone is not only good but necessary to ensure that we live life to the full.
I was once told a quote by Hunter S. Thompson….
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Now this quote was used to try and convince me to not go sugar free but I saw so much more in it. Over the last two years I have done more than I ever thought I would; there have been some amazing thrills, experiences, a lot of laughter and tears all because I decided to step outside of my safety bubble.
There are so many things that I want to do but when death does finally arrive he will not find a reluctant victim who is sorry to leave this world but a grateful youth who has been awed by the opportunity to experience this life, this great adventure.
We need to ensure that we have a healthy relationship with food. Food can and should be enjoyed as when it is eaten mindfully it actually brings health to our bodies. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case.
Emotional eating is something that I struggle with. I eat when I am stressed, I eat when I’m bored and I eat when I’m sad. I have come to recognize that my emotions can cause me to eat foods that are low quality and high calorie which, in the end, only make me feel worse that before. I have begun to realize that instead of turning to food to feel good I can rely on other avenues.
Keeping myself busy and distracting myself when I feel like gorging myself on chocolate and ice cream because I’m feeling sad or stressed is something that I believe I will always struggle with. Despite being (mostly) sugar free for the past month when I faced a week at university full of exams and assignment due dates my fall back was to bake a cake.
The best starting point with this is to look at why you are hungry and see if its being cause by emotional hunger or physical hunger.
If you have concluded that it is just emotional hunger then here are some ways to beat the feelings feeding…
- Watch a movie
- Play a board game
- Go for a long walk
- Pick up the phone and talk to your friends
- Listen to your favourite music and have a dance around
- Do some yoga
- Take a hot shower
There are lots more avenues that you can do at this link, in fact there are 100. http://www.coachcalorie.com/feel-good-without-food/
Emotional eating will never really make you feel better, only doing the things that you love can do that
The other day I stumbled across this quote that helped me put a few things into perspective…
“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30am by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?” – Charles Bukowski
This quote sums up perhaps what our lives are these days.
This year I have found that we are breeding a generation that is funneled into the idea that they need to go to school, go to college and get a job. We are teaching them that in order to be valuable citizens they need to be able to contribute in someway to the society that they live in – this is an idea that has been around since the industrial revolution.
I don’t deny that, that life is going to suit some people in fact the job force that I am currently trying to enter is one that is 8-5, Monday-Friday and I love it; I just feel that we need to stop ramming this idea down children throats as there are many things that are just as important.
We need artists in the world – visual art, music, and dance. All of these things help us become happier, healthy people. I was talking to a lady I am currently studying with who told me a story about a man who was working with gibbons. One day he decided he would join in with the ‘song and dance’ that the gibbons do together and after taking part in this he became elated, describing it with the feeling of being completely drunk, but instead of on alcohol it was brought about by pure happiness.
We need to teach the generations coming in and perhaps teach ourselves that we need to follow our hearts and do what we love as this is the only way that we can ever truly be happy.
Sometimes the word ‘forgiveness’ can seem like a four-lettered cuss word. It seems that most people find it really hard to let go of people, memories and situations that have hurt us. I believe that holding on to these kinds of grudges are going to create prison for ourselves.
It is important to be able to liberate ourselves from our hurt in order to gain inner peace and to be holistically healthy. Now I’m not saying that as soon as you forgive someone that you should invite them over and instantly become best friends but holding a grudge is repeatedly bringing anger and bitterness into every aspect of your life. You can become so wrapped up in the past that you forget that you actually need to enjoy what is happening in the present.
Forgiveness is making the decision to let go of the resentment you hold, the act that hurt you is still present but forgiveness can help you focus on other positive parts of your life. It’s not about accepting or dismissing what someone has done but rather setting yourself free so that the past has no longer got control over your thoughts or the way you feel.
It isn’t just people and situations that we need to learn to forgive but actually our bodies as well. There have been times in my life were I feel like my body is betraying me. I am detoxing and yet something that I am eating is still making me slightly bloated and sick. I feel that my body is letting me down by not realizing that all of the foods I am putting into it are actually good for it. Today I am trying to let this go and re-frame the issue. I am now thinking of body as a kind of ‘professor’ and try and figure out what my body is actually trying to teach me.
Forgiveness is never going to be easy but it is definitely something that we all need to work on.
As I have said previously I am undergoing an elimination diet to try and get information on foods that I may be intolerant to. There are many different signs that show if you disagree with a certain food but my most obvious is bloating.
Until I did my first elimination diet I didn’t really understand that it wasn’t normal for my stomach to be THAT extended. During the detox I have found that I will drop anywhere from 2-4kgs within about two days and my stomach shrinks markedly. This is all my bloating!
When I had a bit of a baking session with a friend we happened to make something that contained oranges in it. Now, I knew from my first elimination diet that I am pretty intolerant to oranges but I thought that perhaps having the orange diluted down in a whole cake might make it better for me. I snaffled a piece and within around four hours I was bloated and was having some pretty crazy stomach cramps. Definitely not the nicest.
Now there are some ‘quick’ cures to try and help get rid of the cramps that come with bloating:
- Drink lots of water
- Apple cider vinegar
- Aloe vera juice and
- Dandelion tea
I do think though that you just have to give your body time. If you’ve eaten something that you are having a bad reaction to try and eat raw, healthy foods for the rest of the day so that your body can focus on getting rid of only one bad thing rather than many.
I believe that it is important to undergo detoxes. Not only to give our bodies a break from all of the bad foods that we may put into ourselves but to get everything back to its normal working order. It’s amazing to see the difference eating a clean, raw diet can make on our digestive health and well, once you realize how good you can feel there really is no turning back…
I introduced myself to apple cider vinegar after reading some of the benefits that it could have for my digestive health and it has become my new obsession.
Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing fresh apples and allowing them to mature in wooden barrels. It is then left in these barrels to ferment and when ready it should contain dark, cloudy foam which is called the ‘mother’ – this is the most important part. Cider vinegar is an effective natural bacteria fighting agent that contains many different elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, chlorine and iron all of which are vital for a healthy body. (info retrieved from here http://www.healthintel.co.nz/nurturefamily/apple-cider-vinegar-benefits/ )
Now I’m not going to lie, apple cider vinegar does not taste delicious. It doesn’t taste like apples and it definitely doesn’t taste like cider so that only leaves vinegar. Yep. It has a distinct vinegary taste which I am unsure you can ever truly get used to… fortunately the benefits of it out weigh its disgustingness for me. Some of the benefits include…
As this cider vinegar is rich in natural minerals and vitamins it a good addition to any type of detox. Apparently apple cider vinegar is able to bind to toxins in our bodies and actually help us eliminate them more effectively and efficiently.
Promote weight loss
I probably had you at weight loss but apple cider vinegar can stabilize the blood sugar for long periods of time which helps to control our appetites – it does need to accompany a healthy, balanced diet though.
To help with digestion
This is the main reason I begun taking shots of this cider vinegar. It can help with common indigestion problems and helps to get rid of bloating that we get after meals.
It has been found that using apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment can help clear up acne and when used as a shampoo it can help make it extra shiny
It is recommended that you take around 1-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water around 2-3 times a day – so before each of your meals. Get into a good habit and do this religiously to get the full benefits of it.