When it comes to the best eating plan, I can’t tell you what’s right for your body. The truth is you have to figure that one out on your own because everyone is different. For instance, I don’t eat red meat because . . . well, I’ve never really eaten it. I just don’t like the taste of it.
It’s the same way for me with sour foods, which I detest. And I’ve determined that certain foods, like green and yellow peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and all other nightshades, don’t work for my body. When I eat them, I feel sluggish and my stomach responds in a negative and often violent way. I love sweet potatoes and eat them several times a week, but don’t like the taste or feeling after eating white potatoes.
I ultimately discovered that my digestive system is better off with whole, clean foods that are not genetically modified or filled with toxins.
It’s quite helpful to keep a journal to write down how your body responds after eating certain foods. I also recommend doing a food-sensitivity test to help you and your family determine the specifics. This is particularly helpful with children, so they don’t spend decades eating things that cause their immune system to work overtime.
Ask yourself: Do you have high energy after eating? Do you feel sluggish? Does your stomach easily digest certain foods? Or do you suddenly feel like enough gas has inflated your gut that you seem pregnant? It’s about being conscious of what goes into your mouth because you don’t want your body filled with toxins.
Rid your life of foods that don’t work for you, and then plan your meals accordingly. If you are busy and will be out most of the day, try to pack your food ahead of time. I always have a protein shake and shaker in my car in case I’m stuck without food and about to hit a blood-sugar low.
Sometimes my days are very full, as I go from executive to mom to wife, back to executive, then back to wife and mom again. I’m sure many of you know this drill. Even so, I remember that low blood sugar is very damaging to the thyroid and can be avoided by having protein every four hours. I keep my blood sugar balanced throughout the day because if it tanks, so does everything else.
If you’ve decided to try a gluten-free lifestyle, one of the most common things to do is to immediately go out and buy all of the gluten-free foods you see so that you’re not missing out on anything. Yet most of these items that are currently on the market contain too many different grains all in one product, which can be equally as distressing on the digestive system.
Some can contain potato starch, brown rice flour, tapioca powder, quinoa dust, and some type of guar gum to bind it all together. Would you ever sit down to eat a plate of all-white foods like potatoes, rice, corn, and tapioca? Not likely. So why would you eat all of that in one slice of bread? When you chose your gluten-free products, make sure to choose the ones with minimal ingredients.
Many of us have gone fat-free or sugar-free or gluten-free as we try to process the latest health news and adapt to what everyone else tells us is the right way to eat. The only way to really know where you are in your eating habits is to check in with yourself — again, it’s all about awareness.
One of the best techniques I have used is this: Buy a little notebook that you keep on you 24 hours a day. It goes everywhere with you, including the car, work, and room to room in the house. Each time you eat or drink anything, you must write it down and the time you eat it. This includes your little snacks or sneak foods. If you eat two spoonfuls of mac and cheese from your child’s plate, you need to write it down. If you take a big sip of her chocolate smoothie, then it goes in your book.
This is especially helpful if you’re working out like crazy but never seem to lose weight. My workout burns over 600 calories, for instance, but I wasn’t losing any weight — this simply meant that I was eating too much and eating the wrong foods for my body.
Note that if you’re grabbing food on the go, you’re probably unconsciously eating much more than you think. You can’t fix the problem until you truly identify what you’re doing, so pay close attention over the span of a week or two.
At the end of this time period, you will easily be able to pinpoint the unnecessary and often unhealthy calories that you’re consuming, perhaps without even knowing it. Do you come home and have a glass of wine? Do you eat a handful of crackers while you answer e-mail? While you’re making your child’s lunch, do you eat the peanut butter off the knife? Once you know the issue, you can easily do a pattern interrupt.
I exercise in order to feel good, regulate my system, and heal faster. I need to get my blood flowing. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean mountain-bike racing — but a nice, easy, slow, long-distance ride does wonderful things for me these days. I also love my spinning class and instructor, so we train together a couple days a week to lift my mood and sweat out toxins. Basically, I’m someone who wakes up not even knowing her first name, so I need to drink a little water and get on the bike to kick my system into gear. Literally.
If I’m traveling, I’ll still get 30 minutes of moving in — the point is to work up a sweat because the brain chemicals released during even a short workout gets me functioning. If I don’t work out early in the morning, I know I won’t operate at full throttle that day, and that’s reason enough to get me going.
I make working out an essential part of my morning routine. I drive my daughter to school and the minute I leave that car-pool area, I’m off to the gym or home for a bike ride. Yes, I really do want to just go grab a cup of coffee or even try to fall back asleep, but I don’t. At the gym, I’ll start by walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes to wake my brain up again, and 15 minutes later, I’m running or jogging while thinking about what I need to do that day.
I have great ideas while I’m working out, which is an other plus for getting in that early-morning movement. I also work out with four other women and an incredibly positive trainer, and we keep each other totally account able as we’re coached through our routines. It’s usually two of us on the treadmill with the other two doing weights and then we switch.
By the end of 60 minutes, I’m drenched in sweat and completely spent, but still mentally ready to charge into my day. I’ll go on to work on my show or on a coaching call or whatever else the day calls for, knowing that I’ve done something wonderful for myself to get the entire process in motion.
I believe that exercise is incredibly healing, both mentally and physically. You can feel the chemistry in your body changing as your blood flows and you release dopamine and serotonin.
There is a reason why cyclists are so addicted to the bike, because we know that our bodies and minds are healing and working at maximum levels while we fly across the dirt. But you don’t have to be a work-out-aholic to get this release, as 10 to 20 minutes of movement will get you there.
©2015 by Lisa Garr. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. www.hayhouse.com
Watch the book trailer: Become Aware (with The Aware Show Host, Lisa Garr)
Lisa Garr hosts a popular US radio programme called The Aware Show, along with a weekly show on Hay House Radio. In addition, she has her own show on Gaiam TV, as well as a popular online personal development series. She reaches a combined audience of more than four million globally a month. Visit her website at www.theawareshow.com