We are Pleased here at Sweat Nation to feature those that are out finding their path. Today we have a guest blog post from a Student in the Aryuvedic studies. Lisette Luna. Today she will share with us some of the lessons of her journey and how we can apply those lessons to achieve greater life energy.
In the course of the last 10 years, I discovered a passion for health-related matters. With a burning intention, I started looking for information that would lead to a stronger, healthier me.
On this path, I became a “walking lab”, so to speak, trying different diets and spiritual exercises that would make my life a more awaken one. I went from fierce carnivore to conscious raw foodist in the course of three years. Along this rocky path and after experiencing gastritis as a result of a sudden and drastic change, I realized the importance of balance. Being gentle to ourselves and transitioning smoothly can go a long way in this path.
As a result of my experiments, I came out with a list of 10 things that have significantly improved the quality of my life. These are habits that have made me strong, healthy, even reversing the occurrence of incurable ailments, such as Neurocardiogenic Syncope.
I hope these suggestions help you regain the lost energy and zest you deserve to enjoy. I suggest you try them for at least two weeks and then assess any improvements. While I believe staying healthy is a lifestyle, two weeks of commitment is a great place to start.
1. Drink high quality water
The subject of water, all by itself, could take pages of lengthy discussion. My suggestion is that you to do your own research and dive into the pro’s and con’s of the different types of drinking water there are available. In a nutshell, if you are drinking tap water, you are not getting high quality.
Our bodies are mostly formed by water. For this reason, staying hydrated is essential for several functions to take place. Drinking high quality water not only keeps your body from having to filter all the garbage that is dumped into tap water (such as the neurotoxin Sodium Fluoride) but it also has a positive and almost immediate effect on the system.
Overdoing does no good. Listen to your body and hydrate yourself accordingly.
2. Mineralize your body
Minerals are an essential part of our constitution and one that is often overlooked. Iron, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium are among the most important ones. Without them, our bodies can suffer from serious ailments.
Statistics show that a substantial percentage of Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables to meet minimum mineral RDAs. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in Potassium, 7 out 10 are deficient in calcium and 50% in Magnesium. The solution is to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables or drink supplements enriched with minerals.
3. Avoid having a heavy meal before bed
In my experience, which has found confirmation in studies of Ayurveda, skipping dinner whenever possible seems to have a beneficial effect.
For most of us, nighttime is when we relax and start getting ready to rest. This means that the calories we consume will not be spent. Also, even when the body is an incredible multi-tasking machine, sleeping while digesting a heavy meal is not ideal. This is a time for the body to repair whatever is not functioning optimally, so you may feel revitalized the next morning. Going to bed with a full stomach does not allow for this to happen the way it is designed to.
Skipping dinner has also contributed to me staying around 118 lbs for over 10 years. It is not the only factor, but it is one of importance. The trick lies in listening deeply to the subtle messages your body sends out. If you are not hungry on a particular night, take advantage of it and fast until the following morning.
I find wisdom in the saying that goes: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
4. Be creative
Engage in activities that unleash your creativity. Take constant actions towards the realization of your goals and your mood will improve significantly, along with your energy and zest for life.
When we are engaged in creative projects that feed our souls, we have a source of additional energy available to us. Sign up for the acting class you always wanted to take. Learn a new dance, a foreign language, and work on improving your value as an employee or develop your business. A healthy, active mind usually reflects in an active physique.
Look for ways to express yourself, to contribute to others and to your own development. This will bring a new surge of energy to your everyday.
5. Increase the consumption of “intelligent” foods
Intelligent foods are those that carry smart information, which is transferred to your organism once consumed. These refer to foods that are, in a sense, “alive”. Think fresh fruits and vegetables; foods rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals & fiber.
These foods are also easy on the digestive system, freeing up energy for other activities. A good sign of consuming intelligent foods comes when you start feeling light and with more clarity of mind. Intelligent foods create fewer impurities that accumulate in the organism, avoiding illness and slowing down aging.
As a general rule, consider that the longer the shelf life of the food, the shorter yours is. When it comes to it, the closer you stay to Nature, the more nutrients and benefits you will receive.
I suggest you take a field-trip to your natural food store and explore it. While not all of supplements will have the promised effect, some could substantially contribute to your energy levels and overall health. Consider that each organism could react differently to the same elements. For this reason, it is important to 1) take half the recommended dosage when first experimenting with a new supplement 2) pay attention to your body’s reaction to it and act accordingly.
Some health items worthy of exploration are: kombucha tea, raw cacao (powder or in solid form), chlorella, spirulina, acai products, blue algae, organic cold pressed oils, chia & raw shelled hemp seeds.
Find a physical activity that you enjoy and practice it at least three times a week. Get creative with it, the goal is to keep moving. This will increase your endorphins; making you feel happier, healthier and stronger.
Sometimes you will find that it is hard to keep the motivation, so find a partner who will encourage you to work out when you’re not in the mood. Another way to stay committed is to play a sports you enjoy.
Surprisingly, you will find out that the more you exercise, the more energized you will feel when you are performing other tasks throughout the day. Keep going!
7. Indulge in restful sleep
Sleep is one of the body’s natural medicine. If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite.
A good night of sleep requires certain elements to be present. Darkness is one of the essential ones. With the advent of the modern world and invention of the light bulb, we can extend the time of brightness well beyond the sunset. Many leave a few lights on and while they do fall asleep, the quality of their rest is not as complete as the one who sleeps in total darkness. I have experimented with this myself and the difference was pretty remarkable.
So, make sure all lights are off when you go to bed. If light comes into the room, whether insignificant, get shades or sleep with a mask on. This alone will substantially improve your sleep quality.
8. Eliminate certain foods from your diet
When obesity, diabetes or heart disease strike, we feel compelled -almost forced- to make drastic changes to our diet. At that time, we imagine our life filled with cups of tasteless steamed broccoli & a strange-looking meat substitue called tofu.
Truth is making a significant change in diet does not have to feel like torture. While it is essential to add different foods to our diet, it is also possible to get creative with it, enhancing flavor.
Consider adding spices which have been scientifically proven beneficial; such as rosemary, turmeric, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Get a new healthy recipe book, search online or create your own culinary masterpiece.
Having said this, there are certain items that have no business in your body. This is especially crucial in the face of an illness. At this difficult time, the body needs all the help it can get to get rid of the invader.
Consumption of refined sugar, which can be in the form of candy, bottled juice, sweets, sodas, etc. is a major killer of energy and a good state of health. Soda especially holds no nutritive value in my book. The only good use I have seen with it is utilizing it to clean a rusty car battery. Just think of what it does to your body…
Fast foods are also off-limits, if you wish to be healthy. I find many of the ingredients used mysterious in origin and the calorie intake is quite unforgiving.
Canned foods or foods packed with preservatives are also to be avoided. Remember, the longer the shelf life of the food, the shorter yours is.
Indulgence in any of the aforementioned a couple of times a month is not going to cause much disturbance. Just like eating a plate of salad one single time is not going to result in you losing weight or becoming healthier overnight. Consistency is key.
9. Eat less
Have you ever notice the less you eat, the more energized you feel?
As a general rule, it pays to listen to your body and comply with its requests. If you are hungry, eat; if not, don’t. The body knows best! Also, avoid eating out of stress, anxiety or boredom. Emotional eating is a significant cause of weight gain and it can be avoided by being conscious of why we are eating. Ask yourself if you are hungry or reaching out for food out of one of the states mentioned before.
Keep your portions small and never put on your plate more than what you will really eat. This by itself can substantially improve your health and make you lose weight, if you are on the heavy side. When dining out, ask for an additional plate and as soon as the food arrives, place the portion you will eat on one and have the rest of it bagged.
When our bodies are busy with constant digestion and elimination of the toxins we consume, there is little energy left to fight and prevent disease or go about our day energized. Give your body a break whenever you can. Consider a 3-5 day juice fast or skip dinner sometimes.
10. Go easy on Tamasic foods
In Ayurveda, Tamasic foods are those that make you sluggish, slow and tired. Cheese, meats, pastries, alcohol, fermented, processed or stale foods are some examples.
In Ayurveda, it is said “you are what you digest”. Thus, slow digestion of sluggish foods will make you sluggish. By eating vibrant, light and easy to digest foods you become just like them.
In all, make sure you use your body as a compass of what benefits it. We all have this capacity. I invite you to be cautiously explorative and committed to a healthier, more vibrant you!
~ by Lisette Luna
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