Optimal health exists when we adapt our lifestyle and diet to support our health. Failing to recognize that everyday habits contribute to the root of health problems, we can end up chasing symptoms endlessly and develop more serious conditions. Quality of life is the goal of healthy habits. Watch your pain, systemic inflammation, bowel habits, energy levels all shift with improved routines around food.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to take in foods that will make you feel amazing. Cultivating body-based mindfulness can help you drop into your body to gather information on how useful something is for you. While you’re eating get in touch with your bodily sensations and notice how you feel after you take those mouthfuls in. Do you feel energized? Tired? Thirsty? Foggy? Satiated?
Healthy Habits to Remember
Chew your food thoroughly. Break down all the large pieces of food to increase the surface area the enzymes in your saliva have to work on.
Half a meal at a time. If you have a habit of overeating, halve your portion and assess how you feel after that portion is consumed. Overeating contributes to that hot swampy state of the intestines, especially if it’s a chronic habit. Imagine yourself finishing until you’re satiated but not stuffed.
Save the beverages. Speaking of enzymes, don’t wash them away with fluids before and during your meal. Try to enjoy your meals without an accompanying beverage, this will force you to do a better job of chewing through all of your food.
Fast and take a break from snacking. Give your internal machinery a break regularly. If fasting is right for you (not recommended for every person, please take this up with your healthcare practitioner if you’re considering it) taking a break from processing food for several hours at a time can be beneficial. At the very least, give yourself a four hour break between meals, avoid snacking throughout the day.
Exercising promotes healthy circulation and body temperature regulation. Instead of using food to warm up with, try going for a run or brisk walk.
Avoid raw food trends and iced beverages. Uncooked foods take more energy to process and break down in your body. Raw is generally not recommended unless you have a digestive system that is perfectly happy or you’re in the warmer months of the year. This goes for iced drinks as well. Warm water, tea and soup are ideal.
Be patient. Change is gradual. Stay open to reminders of where you want your health journey to go. Habits around our relationship to food and our bodies change that take time to develop, are more likely to stick than an overnight revamping of habits. A set of new habits may not make it in the long run if the stress of taking them on is overwhelming. Chinese herbs, acupuncture and stress management techniques go hand in hand with using diet to improve your health.