Monday, March 31, 2014

No One Does It Perfectly!

So how's your Lenten journey going? Or your spring cleanse ... Or your New Year's resolutions ... all aimed at eating healthier?

As long as we're doing as we always do, or thinking as we always did, things probably have not changed a whole lot.

Disappointing as it may be, there's a nugget of truth there. Nothing changes unless we really want it to, and that usually means leaving a part of ourselves ~ our ego ~ behind. Few of us consciously want to do THAT because it will probably be uncomfortable.

It's called growth ~ that level of transformation that finds us different today than we were yesterday.

Food can do that.

There's an alchemy that awaits when whole foods are allowed to work their magic. Well, it's not really magic; it's just what food can do. That's why food rituals have been so prominent a part of religious customs, because it was recognized that the body is where the spirit resides and the quality of the spiritual experience can be tied to what's going on in the body.

When we can get out of our heads and be present with what our body is telling us, we can usually make better food choices and actually feel the benefits.

Consider this: processed foods laden with sugar, fat and salt build up a level of toxicity in the body that can affect our level of sleep and our ability to focus, not to mention increased feelings of anxiety and stress. Switch to whole, high-fiber foods like fresh fruits and vegetables for a week or two, and you begin to feel the difference. You don't have to analyze it. When you feel better and have more energy, you know it's a good thing and you naturally want more of it.

Make it a daily practice to drink more water, eat more whole foods and add a 10 or 15 minute walk each day, and see what happens.

It's my mantra: healthy eating is affordable health care!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lenten Season Supports Mindful Eating

Lent is once again upon us, offering the opportunity to be more focused on healthy eating.

Most would associate this historically religious season with fasting and abstinence, a period when we "go without", while we eagerly count the days until Easter when the Lenten season concludes.

Framing it as a period of penance, we fail to see the advantages. 

But there are many.

Biologically, eating foods and drinking beverages rich in chemicals and preservatives gradually builds up a toxicity that fertilizes our internal environment for inflammation and illness.

However, even making slight, but consistent changes during this six-week season could be framed in the context of a cleanse.

For the most part, the guidelines call for meatless Fridays, and only one full meal a day, except on Sundays. Those who participate are also called to give up something they really like ~ in the old days it was TV or candy. Now it could be any of the many forms of digital entertainment, or a whole realm of junky foods we might regularly and mindlessly ingest.

The desired outcome, of course, is to become more in touch with our inner selves.

So while we might resist cutting back on all that stuff that tastes so good, but is so bad for us, we're delivered this golden opportunity to dial it back.

Our bodies are the temples where our spirit resides. To the degree that we clean out some of those pollutants, we enhance both our bodies and our souls!