How do you feel during the day? Some of you don’t feel well and you’re probably looking for ways to feel better, but I’m sure there are a lot of you that would tell me you feel fine. You may wish you were a few pounds lighter, or had a little more perk in your mornings or afternoons, didn’t get that pesky cold every winter, or could avoid taking that prescription for this or that, but those things are normal and you feel fine.
Have you ever considered what GREAT feels like?
We’ve become used to comparing ourselves with a rather unhealthy average which leads us to believe that conditions like fatigue, overweight, poor sleep, PMS, stomachaches, headaches, regular colds and flu, allergies, asthma, etc. are normal and as long as we only have a few of these things, we’re fine.
When I hear symptoms like these, I don’t see them as normal, I see them as your body’s signal to look deeper into its chemistry and work out the kinks. Our bodies are strong and incredibly resilient, but give us subtle signals when things are out of balance that can turn into the loud cries of chronic disease when left unattended.
Many of you have goals of your own – you’re using diet, exercise and lifestyle strategies to help you feel better, to help you feel fine. My goal for you is to feel better than fine. Through nourishing your body with foods that specifically support you, I want you to feel great.
When you have a well-nourished body, you…
- Are in control. This means that you choose foods based on their quality and function in your body – foods that will nourish you and leave you feeling your best. You’ll conquer your cravings; not by sheer determination, but by regularly giving your body the nutrition it desires so you’ll stop craving “quick fixes” like fried foods and sweets. Making food choices based on cravings or convenience is a thing of the past.
- Maintain good energy throughout the day without the use of stimulants like caffeine or sugar. My hope for you is to supply your body with the mood and energy-boosting qualities of real foods in order to reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and keep you in good spirits all day. I’m not against the occasional cup of coffee, but when you can’t get out of bed in the morning or get through the afternoon without it, that coffee or sugar is controlling you. See #1; coffee isn’t in control – you are.
- Experience Smooth Digestion. A nourishing meal should leave you feeling satisfied, yet light and energetic. The idea of needing to unbutton your pants or take a nap after a meal doesn’t exist in your day. You don’t have to suffer from gas, bloating, indigestion, reflux, constipation, diarrhea or fatigue after your meals. Meals should be life-giving, not energy-draining.
- Maintain a healthy body composition without counting calories or feeling deprived. Diets that are too restrictive or remove food groups completely aren’t sustainable over the long term. They’ll leave you with strong cravings, your body’s cry for vital nutrients. Yes, your meals and snacks will look different than they used to, but they will be constructed to maintain a healthy body over your lifetime rather than achieve a certain number on the scale. Your meals should satisfy you.
- Love food and enjoy eating. Understand that food is sacred; it sustains life. You may find yourself spending more time planning and preparing meals. That’s okay. When you understand the far-reaching effects of nourishing yourself well, you’re happy to give a little extra love and attention to what goes into your body. You have a healthy appetite and find meals that are satisfying and delicious to you. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health. In fact, you may find healthy foods to be even more delightful!
Nourishing yourself well is a process of education and experimentation in which you answer your body’s subtle signals with real nourishment. Many of you may be eating all the “right” foods, but still don’t feel great. Each individual is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. Learning what’s best for you takes time. In fact, it’s a lifelong process where we become increasingly aware of how to achieve balance in our body. I’ve heard from many older men and women who tell me they continue to feel better and better every year – even better than they felt in their twenties!
I encourage you to remember these 5 markers of a well nourished body and challenge yourself to find ways to achieve each goal. These are goals I have for myself as well, so I look forward to partnering with you on this journey!
This post can be seen at the following blog carnivals: Fresh Bites Friday, Fat Tuesday, Strut Your Stuff Saturdays, Monday Mania, Better Mom Mondays, Inspire Me Monday and Traditional Tuesdays. Hop on over to check out some other posts you might enjoy!