Saturday, October 27, 2007

Integrate your Nutrition Education

How many times do we read about a miracle food or supplement that promises to give us better eyesight, lower our blood pressure, or reduce our cholesterol? Sometimes these foods or supplements do help some people. Sometimes it is just marketing buzz. How do you discern what will help you become a whole person? And, is it really only about the food? What about other forms of nourishment which address more than just our body? We need to be nourished on many different levels. Our spiritual selves need a healthy dose of “nutrition” just as much as our mental, emotional, and physical selves. In order to integrate all forms of nutrition, you must learn to nourish yourself on all of these levels.

Whole-istic Eating

Feeding your physical body is imperative to surviving and thriving in your life. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Experiment with a variety of foods and listen to your body’s response so that you can figure out what works for you. Typical problem foods are sugar, caffeine, dairy, and wheat gluten. Foods that most people thrive on are WHOLE FOODS such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Fruits are generally tolerable unless you have unstable blood sugar conditions. Try replacing cereal and milk with a breakfast of whole grains. Take cooking classes to learn how to prepare new foods. Go food shopping with a friend to add excitement to your experimentation. Integrate what you hear and read by trying it on yourself if appropriate. Maybe bananas are not what your body needs right now. Maybe you need more water or more vegetables. The key is to try it on yourself and see how your body feels. Are you more or less energetic after certain foods? Are you able to think more clearly after a week of increasing your vegetable intake and decreasing refined flour and sugar?

Mental Nutrition

What helps you to clear your mind? For most people sitting in silence only serves to increase the volume of our thoughts. Movement can be helpful because as you move, your work out all the thinking that is happening. I encourage you to find the stillness in your mind. We all have that place of silence and peace. The hardest part, until you become proficient, is accessing that still quiet place. If you find yourself doing a lot of thinking and you just cannot figure out how to quiet the voices, change what the voices say. Your way of thinking is part of creating a healthy you or an unhealthy you. If you cannot quiet the voices, then it will help to re-program your thoughts. As soon as you notice a disturbing thought creeping in, flip your “thought switch”. In other words, think about something that brings you joy or create a positive scenario in your mind instead of thinking about the worst case scenario. I am not telling you to neglect your responsibilities or avoid your duties, but I am saying you can change your perception about what is happening in your life. Mental health is key in being a whole person.

Emotional Nutrition

What makes you feel good? As long as it does not involve harming yourself or others, DO IT! Developing emotional stability involves becoming in touch with all of your emotions. If you feel joy, express it by passing it onto others or integrating it into your work. If you feel despair, get some support and dig a little deeper to get to the core so that you can let it go and move on in your healing. When you feel angry, instead of stuffing it down as many of us have been taught, find a healthy outlet. An intense workout or a phone call to a friend may suffice. Like food, find what works for you. Experiment with healthy ways of expressing and releasing your emotions. You are human. You are supposed to have a wide range of emotions. It is natural and normal to feel them and express them. I repeat, as long as you are not hurting yourself or others, please express them. People want to see the real you! Do more things for yourself that bring you pleasure. Your friends will want to be around you when you feed your emotional body with pleasure and joy.

Spiritual Nutrition

This may well be my favorite layer of my wholeness. Integrating more ways to connect to Spirit will go a long way in nourishing all of your other layers. Make an extra effort to seek Divine guidance in your life. Whether you find this through attending church, meditation, or spending time in nature, find YOUR way. Living as someone who is connected to God means that you follow your heart in all that you say and do. In the most complete sense, you are who you say you are. You live your true passions. You are free to be the person that you know you are.

You- a Whole Person

Work on yourself. Work on each layer. Educate yourself and then practice integrating new concepts into your life to develop your growth and healing. Experiment gently with your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. This is your life. You deserve wholeness.

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