In hindsight I can take a deep breath and be grateful that I lived through the times of intense hyperactivity and anxiety – moving as fast as a locomotive. Learning to be still and quiet was not part of my nature. Feelings of calmness and being at peace were only ideas in theory. Unless I used a substance, I was unable to maintain what I most longed for. Peace. Feeling well was a constant battle and peace of mind in a natural state eluded me. Everything I put in my body fed my disease including the foods I ate daily.
On the journey from that state of hopelessness of mind, body and spirit, the crack in the door opened ever so slightly. The saying “To thine own self be true” slowly took on a new meaning. As a person who lacked discipline on my own accord, the acronym “HALT” that stands for Hungry- Angry- Lonely- Tired, gave me a place to start. So, how do I feed the Hunger in support of my recovery? How do I feed my body to honor the spirit ? Can I help prevent relapse and feel well from the foods I eat daily?
The most soulful foods on the planet are all around us yet many of us eat few of what is available. It is not uncommon for us to just pick the foods we like. Some of the ones we “Should” eat, others fill in with less thought, and finally our comfort foods. I like to remind people that when we learn to add the foods we are missing, we can still eat the foods we enjoy. By learning to respect food as a healer and maintainer of health we can feel good, help prevent illness, and move into the best state of being healthy.
It is common for people to right off physical symptoms, blaming them on a disease or disorder. The other saying often used is “I’m just getting old”. Granted, each diagnosis has real symptoms, and aging is a process, but feeling better, feeling well, and helping to slow down the aging process is up to you. Even in the midst of a health storm making the best choices possible, one can help to minimize the discomfort and prevent more issues associated with them. The fact is that what we are feeding our body will cause or complicate ill health or move toward better health.
The problem for most of us is that we lost our way a long time ago. We forget how important it is to feed our body at the cellular level. Similarly, the recovery process offers us a way out of our addictive lifestyles and teaches us new behaviors along the way. As we learn to think differently and learn to have a better relationship with food life takes on a new meaning. Most of us live from the neck up and the body is an afterthought. It is interesting to me how easy it is to just expect our body to stay healthy without too much effort on our part. Unless we get sick, most of us forget this fact. Becoming mindful and having a changed attitude, changes everything!
5 Typical foods people eat that are harming the body and building on a disease state.
Soda~ Highly acidic, high in sugar and corn syrups, and many have caffeine. Soda causes sugar highs and lows. They can lead us to dehydration and symptoms like fatigue, headaches, mood swings, and feed our anxiety levels. They give us a false sense of hunger that slows down the metabolism and contributes to weight gain. Sugar free is not the answer for less calories or sugar intake. They are filled with negative results from chemicals linked to cellular destruction and other serious illness.
Pasta~ High in simple sugars at the digestion levels the pasta family of foods is quick easy and inexpensive. Many people make these dishes as a main course and the balance of proteins and veggies are not served with them. A portion size of pasta is 1 cup and typically a plate full is at least 2 or 3 cups. It is helpful to have a dish with a lean protein choice. Lots of colorful vegetables and a salad offers a great balance and a variety to keep the palette happy.
Frozen Dinners~ For a quick fix these can be good fill-ins for the busy stressed out professional or simply a day you are not into cooking. The concern for many people is the high sodium content. Anyone that retains water or has high blood pressure this is not a good option. Look for the low sodium options and add 2 extra servings of veggies to keep it more balanced. It is best to limit this option and create your own favorite and enjoyable meals when possible. Keep in mind that most boxed foods are high in sodium and processed. Fresh is always best.
Cereals~ Talk about quick and easy. Again the portion size chosen is usually 2 or 3 times as much as suggested on the box. Starting out the day with this option feeds the carbohydrate trigger and the body signals more. It sets the stage for the day in the wrong direction. Choosing a high protein option, eating a suggested portion size and adding a piece of fruit is a better choice. We teach our body to respond differently as we eat with balance in mind.
Breads~ White flour is bleached and wheat flour is not what it used to be back in the early 1900’s. Read labels as many multigrain breads are high in sugars. The best options are Whole Grains and a variety of them. 1 slice of bread is a serving size and the daily amounts of grains needed are around 4 servings a day. An abundance of grains is an overload to the system causing health issues related to obesity, diabetes and celiac disease to name a few. Many people have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten. Alternatives and tests are available today.
When we do the right thing with food, apply a little bit of discipline, our physical being starts to thrive. We will learn to respect and enjoy carbohydrates and simple sugars as a special enjoyment. As we reeducate our minds with new ideas, we start making simple choices that lead to freedoms we didn’t know we had. Our body does the rest for us!
So where you are now is “Not as GOOD as it GETS.” If you are someone who currently eats a very high consumption of simple sugars and carbohydrates please DON’T just STOP eating them. Sugar is like a drug and just like all addictions careful consideration needs to be taken. You can walk slowly into new habits with healthy substitutions and guidelines.
A Fresh Start ~ “Easy Does it But Do it”
Do an inventory and read “What You’re Eating” on the package ingredients part of label.
Look for satisfying snacks to replace just ONE habit.
Remove the binge foods from your environments.
Add a water filter in your home for pure and safe drinking water.
Eat fruit instead of cakes, cookies or ice cream.
Add extra servings of veggies to fill the “Hungry” instead of extra servings of protein.
Look for non GMO and No MSG products.
At the start of each day ask yourself, What can I do different today?
“Variety is the spice of life” think outside the box.
I invite you to take advantage of a complimentary health assessment at my website today!
Disclaimer:The information above is meant to be suggestive only. It is recommended to consult with your primary care doctor before making any changes to your diet.