How To Listen To Your Body For Optimal Health

in #life4 years ago (edited)

Eating healthy is something more and more people have passion and interest towards. It's a positive movement, and a vital one if we want to change the state of our health for the better, but is the information that is available to us aligned with the desire for improved health?


The year is 2018; still, there is no fundamental agreement on what food is healthy or not in the general population and society as a whole. Nutritional science is incomplete; research data is being interpreted in more ways than you could imagine is possible, contradictory information is two words that describe the nutritional-scene very well. One day we're told that eggs are healthy, the next day it's not, and on and on it goes...


Who or what do we listen to? 


It exists more diets than I can count on my two hands and feet; Paleo, Mediterranean, alkaline and the blood type diet are just a few of what comes to mind. We are so used to be taught what to eat, instead of learning how to go about eating. When we base our food choices on patterns of thinking and unquestioned beliefs, we easily overlook that the real answer might lie in doing just the opposite, by moving away from what we think we should eat and instead get sensitive,listen, to feel, what is right for my body? To have faith in ourselves - that we don't need an expert to tell us what to eat. All animals in nature instinctively eat what is best for them, why should it be different for us? 


"If you listen to your body when it whispers, you will never have to listen to it when it screams"


Cultivating your capacity to listen - bring yourself into harmony 


To listen is to pay attention. By paying attention, we become more aware of whatever we are focusing on. Just imagine paying attention to your reactions when you encounter a ripe, juicy mango. Your whole body is designed to tell you “I want that!”

If you look at a piece of bread, you can notice that it is in no way the same reactions that surface your being. If you’re used to eating bread, you might want that even more than the mango, but is it merely your habitual tendencies and your desire for something stimulating that is speaking? Or is it coming from a place of passion for health and vitality, that doesn't seek anything less than real nourishment? 

All of our sense are attracted to fruits, the smell, the touch and the taste. We're hardwired to notice fruit in nature; we're one of the few animals that have the eyes to admire and get drawn to its alluring colors. However, the bread is dry and made of elements that we never would get attracted to coming upon in nature. (try to eat raw wheat) It soaks up our bodily fluids and doesn't support hydration. It's not something that our body naturally recognizes as food. What foods do we eat because we're conditioned to, and what foods are designed to be consumed by us?  


Remember to notice how you feel before, during and after the meal. If you’re eating very fast and unfocused, almost as though overly rushes - it might be that what you are eating is very stimulating and maybe even addictive to you. You can observe this in yourself or other people who eat candy or typical comfort foods. Some people eat incredibly fast, and they just can’t stop. It’s almost as though they lose themselves in the food they eat. It’s obsessive and addictive, notice how you feel after indulging like crazy on refined sugar. You might get a little high, but this is often followed by feeling unfocused and lazy, When we become aware of these reactions within ourselves, we create the potential to become free of them.

It's not so much about what we should do, it's more about becoming aware of the cause and effect of what we already do. In some way, we must unlearn what we have learned. So we can change our destructive habits, and stop eating for stimulation and comfort instead of health and vitality. The most effective and sustainable way of doing this is to rely on yourself instead of all the information and false knowledge you’ve been exposed to since childhood, put it aside for at least a while and try out something new and potentially groundbreaking; be your own authority and start experimenting with yourself.


Strengthening the body’s feedback system 


Firstly, when we pay attention to what we want, we often realize that our signals are not always as trustworthy as we would like them to be. Sometimes we don’t know if we are craving something out of habit or if we truly need it. Some cases might be obvious and some not. Ask yourself: What happens if I postpone it until the next day, and the next day, and so on? Does the desire grow, or lessen and disappear? If the desire increases after a few days it might be a clue that you actually need it; if it diminishes, it’s probably a harmful habit that’s losing its hold on you.


The signals become more trustworthy the more we develop a sense of awareness around our eating habits. We become more sensitive to what serves us, and what doesn't. An excellent place to start is to completely remove the foods you usually crave, which is often the stimulating kinds that involve cheese, meat, eggs, sugar, oil, fats, salt, and wheat, to name a few.

In my experience; all cooked food is stimulating (to varying degrees) and may interfere with your feedback system, simply because it's not our species-specific foods, which is raw, fruits and vegetables and maybe some nuts and seeds. 

The best options, if you are eating cooked food, is to base it around potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin or other root vegetables, which is very similar to fruit in their nutrition profile, while they also taste delicious on their own without adding habit-forming substances like salt, sugar, oils, etc. However, the most efficient way to cultivate your feedback system is to experiment with raw, low-fat fruits and vegetables. Juice and water fasts are also helpful in the process of removing your current cravings and negative habits; it can give your system a restart.  

When we stop consuming what our body has created minor addictions to and eat food that is kind and supportive to our digestive system; we can realize how much of a role food actually plays on our wellbeing on a day to day basis, which is not limited to only the physical aspects of life. 

 “What we eat not only affects us physically, but it affects our mental attitude, our aggressiveness and our ability to make good decisions.” – Victor Valley


Failing is the means to success 


When we first start to observe, reevaluate and change our food choices, it is not necessarily easy. It is useful to approach it with a light attitude of curiosity and discovery. You will fail again and again, but if we learn from our failures the potential to start making the right choices grows. 

If you give in to old habits by eating a pizza, you’ll most likely suffer the consequences of that. I’m not saying that you should not eat pizza if you want to. It’s probably not the best choice regarding your health, but sometimes we make sacrifices. When we do make a sacrifice, we tend to experience the negative effect of our decision, and by being aware of this, we might notice that we feel better eating fresh, nutritious foods than a soggy pizza.We can start asking ourselves why we chose what we do and if it's worth it. 

The symptoms resulting from making less than optimal choices might show up differently from person to person.(e.g., tiredness, heaviness, mucus, lack of focus, bad digestion, dry skin, etc.) However; don’t be too focused and rigid on doing everything right; the central piece of advice is to cultivate awareness, curiosity and to experiment. If you do want to eat something that isn’t going to be the healthiest option, take it as an experiment and a learning experience and don’t forget to enjoy whatever you choose to eat. If you stay consistently aware - you will learn for yourself what works and what does not. And if you don’t take it too seriously while making the right choices things might fall more effortlessly into place. You might fall more and more into your own body, and the body will give you more trustworthy signals as you do so. 

 

Trust your body 


Imagine that you could be in total control of your whole body, of everything that spontaneously happens within you right now. The activity of a trillion cells, the workings of your organs, nervous system, immune system and so on. Just imagine the capacity of the intelligence that governs everything that takes place within you, If you had the controlling sparks in your hands, you would not live more than a minute. 

The body is literally made up of what we eat, every cell in our body is built from the food we eat. Would it not be likely to assume that it wants alive, vibrant and healthy food to support its own intelligence and well-being? By untangling our habits and conditioning, we set the stage to learn how to listen to our body, gaining more and more trust in what it asks for, in that way we can start to act in behalf of it as we also recognize this immense intelligence - that might be worth trusting? 



To conclude, how do you listen to your body? You simply start to remove whatever stands in the way of you hearing it, trusting it. It always speaks - but does it not always express itself coherently with health. 

Become aware of your addictions, negative eating patterns and begin to eat pure, alive fruits and vegetables to make it easier for yourself to distinguish between, appetite and cravings, between healthy and harmful foods, between giving your body vitality and life or sickness and death. When the body become clear from addictive patterns and unhealthy foods, it becomes more trusthworthy - And it can rise to it's optimal levels of health and wellbeing if you follow its lead. 

 

In order to trust your body as a guide, the first step is to begin to understand it” -Deepak Chopra


Leave your comment and #upvote if you like this post. Truly grateful for any support - stay healthy and be well! 

(Image sources: http://pxhere.com)


Recommended posts

Sort:  

Aho! Yes! For me, fasting has been incredible helpful in strengthening the feedback system! Great post!

Thank you! Fasting is one of the golden keys :)

Beautiful feature with a lot of excellent points! Well done!

Thank you Yasmine, Glad you liked it :)

I only eat when my body tells me to. Most times that's once per day around 2. I am trying to go fully raw as well. I think health comes from an organic vegan diet, a righteous heart, strong mind and clean air in your lungs.

I see you put a lot of effort into writing this post and I appreciate it much.

Thank you man, Looks like you're very much in tune with your body, I wish you all the best and hope you find some benefits of eating more raw food, will follow you for more :)

Thank you. I swore I was already following you but I just did. There is a raw vegan restaurant in my country called Mi Hungry. If you eat there you will fall in love with food all over again.

That's awesome! I've been to Bali, Ubud (raw food heaven) with over 7 raw foods restaurants and have plenty to compare it to. Sometimes I think "gourmet raw food" can be a bit heavy, the restuarants have a tendency to use lots of oil, sugar, nuts and all that. It can become very hard to digest. I'll definetly visist Mi Hungry if I ever go to Jamaica, rastafari land :)

Rastafari land indeed. Mi Hungry doesn't use any thing artifical or processed, not even oil. Everything is made with coconut water. It's really good. And the girls there are pretty hot.

It sounds just the thing for me then, hope to visit your country a time in the future :)

awesome sauce

Ital is vital. Coconut wata good for yuh daughta. Hot gyals make healthy food taste that much better, yes sah.

Yea man, fi real, coconut wata good fi yuh, wash off the heart. Much respect mi link

Done know bredda always good to see other jamaicans in the crypto space

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.68
TRX 0.10
JST 0.075
BTC 57684.07
ETH 4591.62
BNB 627.38
SBD 7.24