Spring to me symbolizes beginnings; gardens come to life after a long winter's nap and nature's little and large creatures begin to give birth to their young. So, why not take this season to (re) introduce healthy habits into our lives.
Healthy lifestyle habits are important for everyone, but especially important for people who are facing Life Transitions (LT). During LT, our moods are a rainbow of shades - from bright and sunny one minute to dark and gloomy the next. This affects our immune system, our physical self, our emotional and mental state. Add the various medications prescribed to help you cope with pain, emotions of our LT and you have the recipe for an explosive brew waiting to take you down.
Below are some things that I'm re-introducing to my daily routine to help me with the effects of my LT and the affects medication, physical pain and brain injury have taken on my mind, body and spirit.
I have been starting my day (again..lol..) with warm water, the juice of half a lemon, one teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and a drop or two (optional) of pure honey. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED: my belly does not bloat as often; I do relieve my kidneys more regular.
Balances pH ~ Though lemons have citric acid, once metabolized they do not create acidity in the body. Lemons are one of the most alkaline foods. Starting your each day with lemon water will help reduce the overall acidity in your body.
Aids Digestion ~ Lemon juice helps flush out toxins in the body, it encourages the liver to produce bile - an acid which is required for digestion. Heartburn and constipation may be reduced with properly functioning digestion.
Boosts Immune System ~ High in vitamin C, lemons are great for fighting colds. Lemons also contain high levels of potassium which stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
Assists with Weight Loss ~ Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps to reduce hunger cravings.
Meditation, is perhaps one the best alternative therapies for someone facing LT ~ ironically it is also something that requires focusing, being in the moment, and stilling the mind from thoughts of living in the past or worrying about the future.
For me guided meditation is helpful in staying focused, as there is quiet, gentle, constant reminder to let go of thought and just be. I'm not going to say it's easy - IT IS NOT-! WHAT I HAVE NOTICED: I'm learning to breathe better and improve flow of air to my lungs, my attitude towards my situation and life is changing (in a more positive out look).
Reduced Stress and Anxiety ~ by learning to switch off from the worries that fill our days and mind with all the various things that relate to the LT we are facing, we are better able to make more effective decisions in our life.
Creativity ~ by achieving the ability to live in the present, we are able to discover our creative potential, as things from the past that we can not change or the future which we have no control over are set aside.
Ability to Stay in the Moment ~ learning to stay focused in meditation will also help with keeping our thoughts on everyday tasks at hand, limiting disruption from our immediate surrounding.
Healthy eating is one of the first things to go when we are feeling down, sad, loss of energy. It is so much easier to grab a bucket of ice-cream; bag of chips; any fast food; you know what I'm saying - we have ALL been there. Then the weight starts to pile on ... you begin to lose confidence, you get angry with yourself for letting yourself go and what happens next -- "I know there is a half pizza , in this fridge!!" the poor eating choices turn to habit and you find yourself an the vicious cycle of the D words = Diet, Depression, Diet, Depression etc....
Consulting with a professional nutritionist was the best money I have ever spent. Together we went through my goals for healthy eating (feeling better, increase energy, lose weight), to develop healthy habits that will become part of my LIFESTYLE not a temporary diet plan. We started with the Mediterranean lifestyle way of eating, and adjusted some things to better reflect my life. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED: there really were no TABOO foods, moderation in consumption is very important. The foods are prepared using fresh wholesome ingredients and limiting sugars, and processed foods. Eating balanced meals - helps to reduce the amount of between meal snacking, North American lifestyle has made so accessible and easy for us to grab on the go.
Weight Loss ~ by eating healthy foods you will lose weight over a period of time, but more important since the weight is loss by eating healthy you will be able to maintain it.
Reduce Supplements ~ eating balanced healthy meals will give you all the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Stop Looking for the Fountain of Youth ~ healthy foods promote good cell growth and eliminate harmful free radicals and toxins in your body. your skin regains its healthy glow and suppleness.
You can start adjusting your eating habits, by just cutting back on the quantity of a specific item. For me bread - fresh baguette from the bakery, with smooth creamy butter - was my food drug! I didn't give up bread, but instead of having it everyday (sometimes multiple times throughout the day) I have a slice with breakfast one or two times during the week and if I indulge in a baguette I only have a small portion and the remainder is frozen or Mr. G is instructed to make sandwiches for himself ASAP (he can eat anything and because he is very active, it gets burned off!! ... Yes, I remember those days and wish my body still worked like that).
What's your food drug of choice?
These are 3 easy things that you can start incorporating into your everyday life, and get on with developing a healthy eating habit for your lifestyle. So, what are you waiting for? get going, start today!!