5 Ways to Honour Your Body Daily
It's easy to get confused and overwhelmed when it comes to wellness. There is so much information to consume on the topic, at times, I find myself in a rabbit hole.
From plant based diets to paleo, keto, the raw food diet, vegan and vegetarianism, etc. These diets are extremely beneficial and their concepts have much to teach us when it comes to living a holistic and healthy lifestyle. However, if you want to feel good, look good and make good it's simple, you must eat for your body. Meaning, you must eat foods that make you feel and perform at your best. Although it may seem straight forward and a rather simple concept, it's one that is greatly overlooked. It all comes down to our individual bodies. The science behind our cellular make-up and the inner workings of our bodies are extremely unique and differ greatly from one person to the next. Consider a Vegan Diet for instance, person A may benefit from this approach and find their body responds well, however, this may not be the case for person B.
Incorporating a trendy or popular diet into your life because you feel like you should or it proves to be otherwise healthy, is not always the answer and often times is a blanket approach to health, with little consideration and sensitivity to your own individual bodily needs, nutritional deficiencies and health concerns (if any).
So, how do you honour your body?
It starts with self awareness, physical and mental. Continue your typical routine, eating and drinking as you normally would but keep track of how you feel. Do you eat a lot of one or more foods and very little of others? Ask yourself, why? Write down a list of physical and or mental symptoms you are experiencing or experience after consuming certain foods. Does it result in bloating, breakouts, inflammation, muscle and joint pain, eczema, mental fog, loss of concentration, fatigue, digestive upset, etc.? Do these intolerances lessen or worsen when you eat certain foods? Below are five lifestyle suggestions to keep in mind and implement if or when your ready to make a change.
1. Keep a journal, and take note.
It does't need to be perfect and calories don't need to be calculated but keep track of what and when you are putting food or drinks into your body. It's also important to be aware of how you feel afterwards so jot that down too.
2. Knowledge is power.
It's easy to eat a bunch of healthy food because we feel like we have to or should be but unless you understand the ‘why’ behind a concept, it's hard to maintain consistency. Educate and liberate yourself! There are tons of food documentaries on Netflix that take a closer look at health and educate viewers in an entertaining way. If you have health issues, concerns or if there are particular conditions that run in your family, do some targeted research and learn how and why nutrition comes into play.
3. Be aware.
Start reading the ingredients of everything you buy and put inside your body. You might not make perfect choices all the time and that's OK but start to become aware of what you are putting into your body. If you are unsure about a particular ingredient, look it up! Food is food. Chemicals and artificially made flavours and ingredients have never been something our bodies know how to handle, let alone digest. Start to become aware.
4. Slow and steady.
Don't feel as though you have to move mountains and conquer your wellness goals in a week or even a month. Change that is genuine and sustainable takes time. It's always a journey and when it comes to your mind, body and spirit, it's one of self discovery. Allow yourself time to learn and discover, don't be so hard on you! Start by cutting out one item from your diet that you know deep down is not serving you. Do this for one week and see how you feel. Once you gain confidence in the absence of that food or drink, cut out another one. Sometimes it takes time to feel and see change, don't end the story before it even begins.
5. Water is king.
Water is everything. Our body is largely composed of water and each cell within, depends on it. Upon rising, try drinking 250-500 ml (ideally the latter) of room temperature water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. This will rehydrate your body after fasting (6-8 hours of sleep) and stimulates the flow of digestive juices, it also helps to alkalize the body. You will be amazed the difference it makes and how good you'll feel. Remember, on average, adults need at least 2 litres of water per day. Liquids such as coffee, caffeinated tea's, sodas and even juices, are all dehydrating fluids and our bodies require double the consumed amount in water to rehydrate afterwards and reach homeostasis (this is over and above the average 2 litres of water we require per day). Something to think about.
As we know, change does't occur overnight, in a few weeks or even a few months, it takes constant concern, focus and awareness and is something that is build over time; your health and wellness habits are no exception. Everyday, I continue to build on my overall wellness. It's a continuous journey; discovering and learning what works for me and what doesn’t. At the end of the day, we truly are what we eat; mind, body and spirit, so best to keep it pure and honest.
words: carter reid