What's on your plate ?
What's on your mind ?
The basic rules of healthy eating are very simple
The closer your food is to its natural state-the closer to ideal it is. Stick to fresh, where possible organic, avoid foods that have been manipulated with (processed, de-natured, bleached, refined, genetically modified, fortified or stripped of natural ingredients etc) as much as you can.
"Moderation" is the word. Do not overeat! Endless health conditions are simply a result of our overindulgence: we consume much more than our bodies need. Whatever is not needed settles in the form of visceral fat and excess circulating blood sugar leading to Diabetes, Insulin resistance, high blood pressure, allergies, PCOS, Rheumatism and many other problems.
Water - I am not a supporter of 3+ litres a day (yes, you can drink yourself to death), but sufficient amount of healthy fluids (herbal teas, water, natural juices, juicy fruits and vegetables, rice milk etc - are all considered part of your fluid intake; alcoholic drinks due to their diuretic effect are not included). It is vital to keep your body hydrated so your blood and lymph systems are operating optimally.
Don't obsess about "no fat/low fat". Healthy Fats are paramount to our hormonal system. Cold pressed unrefined olive, sunflower and other oils are extremely good for you as they deliver valuable fatty acids that feed your cells, particularly in the brain. They also have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect.
Natural animal fats are fine, as long as you don't go over the top and choose organic over homone-inhanced mass prodused meats.. It is all about the amount you consume."Man-made" fats such as margarines, and refined oils should not be a part of anybody's diet.
Ratio: Fruit & Veg should make 2/3s of your diet, and 1/3-protein. For most of us our genetic make up and environment doesn't support an "all meat" diet, so stick to a proven formula: lots of fresh fruit and veg and some good quality protein ( plant or animal based).
Mind the Sugar: the simple rule is the less the better, and yes, that includes fruit sugar too. Choose whole local fruit and berries over high sugar tropical vriaties. Occasional fruit is ok, but don't full yourself by thinking that you just did a fabour to your body by replacing your lunch with a banana. It spikes your blood sugar levels and gives the same short-term "high" effect as chocolate. Stick to vegetables in the main.
Supplement. It is a myth that we get all we need from the foods we eat. If we did we would be living in an ideal world. Mass farming & production culture has been depleting soil and natural resources for a long time, as a result the foods we eat often lack basic nutrients. If you happened to have digestive problems as well, which many of us do - the result is inevitable deficiencies that the modern population suffer. The type of supplement is equally important. There are a lot of low quality products out there that make big statements, but in fact contain very little active ingredient and plenty of indigestible bulking agents, that our bodies can neither digest nor assimilate. These products are simply a waste of money. Invest in high quality supplements that have been well researched, have good reputation and are as close to Nature as possible. Yes, they do usually come at a higher price, but always remember you are investing in yourself!
Where does our mind come into equation?
The human body is a self-repairing system. In order to function properly it needs to be in a state of homeostasis or balance. By balance we mean a stress-free positive environment that supports the body's functions on all levels, by stress - any kind of physical or mental disturbance that throws homeostasis out of balance and prevents our self-healing mechanism to function at its optimum capacity.
Our mind is a very powerful tool that can affect how our self repair mechanism works and, in fact, can completely switch it on or off.
Our attitude to ourselves from early childhood forms the reality of our lives: our feelings of self-acceptance, worthiness, adequacy, belonging and love are just a few basic "non-material" ingredients that create our sense of emotional wellbeing and directly affect our physical health throughout our life cycle.
There are numerous studies that show that the human mind has an amazing capacity to influence our health and perception of life.
The well-recognised Placebo effect is nothing other than our inbuilt ability to self-heal, activated by the power of the mind.
Those who learn to recognise the link between emotions and health, inevitably start changing their thinking patterns and tend to make positive changes in their lives to ensure mental wellbeing as well as physical. A dreaded job, unhappy relationships, loneliness, prolonged anger etc can easily create a whole host of different illnesses if they linger in our mind long enough. The damage can manifest itself on a very real physical level, and can be turned from just "all in your head" - type to something that is very much in your body.
Our goal is to make changes to the way we live before disease manifests itself in the physical body.
However, if we did not catch it in time - we still can improve the situation in most cases, if not reverse it completely, by returning to a state of original homeostasis and allowing our system to start self-repair.
Think about it: if you have cut yourself all you need is to make sure the wound is clean and leave it alone for a little while so your tissues naturally repair itself. If however you are constantly interfering with this process by pocking at it, scratching it, making it bleed again, natural healing processes will never fully occur.
For a modern person living a busy life, often all that is required is to stop bombarding yourself with toxins (alcohol, tobacco), and/or allergens in a form of foods that don't agree with us and create inflammatory responses, and allow the mind and body to have some rest.
Add to this a few healthy changes to your diet, good natural supplementation to support your body where it needs it and a bit of quality "me-time" and you will be surprised what a difference it will make to your life.
Our Health is an intricate combination of physical, emotional and spiritual interaction. It’s a team work of different realms of physical and non-physical: tightly interconnected and interdependent. One doesn't exist without the other. The ways we treat ourselves in everyday life: what we think, how we feel, what we put into your body - all of these create our reality: who we are and our state of health
"The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant systematic duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune. Our nervous system isn't just a fiction, it's a part of our physical body, and our soul exist in space and is inside us, like teeth in our mouth. It can't be forever violated with impunity"
Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago.