Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning!

We are on the tail end of spring, and I can smell the coconut oil of the south Florida summer's already. This time of the year always motivates me to get my body buring clean and nutritionally balanced for the impending heat we will be living in until fall. It's hard to function in our summer temperatures alone, with out added baggage, so simplifying and perfecting your diet now, before the heat, will prepare you better for the extra calories burnt and save you from binging on ice- cream cones and slushies.

Any food choice, depending on where you live, is of great advantage when it complements the seasons. If your local growers are displaying georgous citrus, beautifully colored squash and crunchy apples, jump on it! Don't go for the fruits and vegetables that are out of season just because you like them. Get creative and go with the "ripe" picks, so that your body starts naturally turning over for the new season ahead. Aside from naturally occurring, in- season and indigenous produce, it is very important to not "get hungry" through out the day and especially at night before bed. We have to keep our gas tanks full, or else we will stall and CRASH and be in dire need of a quick tow to functionability. And the quickest "tow trucks" are the easiest to find; candy bars, sodas, muffins, cookies, chips, or pizza slices. Prepare your self for eating consistently through out the day. Pick and plan your meals when you wake up. This is when your body is at its optimal chemical balance. You've slept, rested, regenerated and re- saturated your body with all the neccessary hormones to "survive" the day. This abundant and balanced state is why some people claim to be "not hungry" when they get up in the morning, causing them to skip breakfast and not eat until they are "hungry" for lunch. This is how we set our bodies into an unbalnced hurricane and tend to be "starving" around dinner. Our bodies are in tune with what it wants, unfortunately our minds, sometimes are not. When the cravings in our mind, caused by chemical imbalances (ie; low blood sugar, high estrogen), overtake our good judgement, we begin a destuctive cycle of poor food choices that lead to more chemical imbalances, causing a domino effect towards unhappiness. Our bodies crave whole foods and when we deprive our bodies of fresh, in- season produce, humanely grown livestock, and pure, dominantly water- based fluids we begin to crave the latter; sweets, salts and grease. Our bodies know that when it is deprived of proper fats, known as Omega's, good sodiums such as sea salts, or good sugars such as fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates (tomatoes, potatoes, and strawberries), it will send a chemical message to the body saying " survive! find! obtain nutrients immediately! This is when we have that sudden, unescabable urge to eat potato chips, french fries, chocolate bars or soda. These are all high- sugar, high- sodium or easy fixes to our bodies imbalance, the absolute INCORRECT way of obtaining our nutrients.
Stay on top of the natural neccessities of your body. Try to limit your "binge days' down to a couple days a week, and eventually 1 a week. These are the days that you can eat your treats, however, on the other days, saturate your body with fresh produce and whole grains. Even if your mind is craving a burger and fries, over power it and replace it with lean red meat and a baked potato. This way, when you do have that burger, it is well deserved, moderated and enjoyed so much more. Try to notice how much whole food (produce, fresh cooked meats, grains and beans) you eat in a day, compared to non- whole foods (sliced bread, lunch meat, applesauce, yogurt, salted peanuts). Anything that has been processed in anyway, ie; salted, pasturized, pre- cooked, preserved, cured, canned, dried, packaged for shelf life, or sweetened unaturally is non- whole. These are the foods you should be restricting from your diet. Focus on a goal. For every non- whole food meal or snack you eat, balance it out with 2-3 whole food meals. You will find that your body is much happier. This is not easy to do! I am not super woman, and no one is perfect. However, it takes dicipline to stay on track regularly so that a couple binge days a month don't off- set your internal health and spin you into a unhealthy lifestyle.

I often hear people say "I take a multi, I feel fine." Define "fine". Are we conditioned to deal with and ignore certain symptoms that our body gives out about our internal health? It is of much importance to self- educate ourselves on the basics of our bodies. This allows us to focus on preventative measures, rather that dealing with an illness or disease. We age everyday naturally, and illness, sickness and obiesity is a way our body tells us that we are off somewhere. There are so many unfortunate situations that we may not have control of. Babies are born with issues that cannot be cured, kids develop autism, adults, kids and infants are diagnosed with cancers. It is these situations that grab our hearts and make us wonder why? and how? However, if we are lucky, we are born with healthy bodies and sharp, open minds. Among the many years we travel through to get us to the places and situations that arise that demand our healthy bodies and open minds, we can only hope that we have learned the correct lessons that keep these vehicles in good, naturally intended health. We are hopefully born with a clean- slate, it should be our primary focus as the human species to keep that slate shiny and clean in order to preserve our longevity and better our generations to come after us.