Monday, August 21, 2017

FARMACY: EATING YOUR WAY

F A R M A C Y   |   E A T I N G   Y O U R   W A Y
A guide on listening to your body instead of this-or-that diet, digestion, & reclaiming indulgence with balance  . . .


Digestive Balance
primary or baseline requirement of an enjoyable diet is digestive balance. If and when we experience sluggishness in this area, we consequently experience it emotionally from our appetite to our willingness or desire to make wholesome meals. What usually ensues is a belly reminiscent of a balloon, often afloat with less-than-favourable, unwholesome foods that we might have reached for. First, achieve digestive balance with only two essential steps: take a probiotic first in the morning and create an elimination routine. This is the probiotic that has been an end-all, cure-all for me i healing autoimmune damage to my gut and creating regularity. I will never be without it. 

I M B I B E | If you are having digestive troubles on either end of the spectrum, prepare the following concoction to sip before bed to regain homeostatic balance. Triphala is an Ayurvedic blend of three fruits—Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki—which tonify, cleanse, and strengthen the digestive tract. It does so gently, withut stripping the body of essential nutrients or electrolytes, which conventional digestives or laxatives can do. 

D I R E C T I O N S | Heat preferred nut milk until hot but not boiling. Pour into a high-speed blender along with one teaspoon each of triphala, raw honey, and carob along with a tablespoon of coconut butter. The carob sweetness complements the earthy quality of triphala. Raw honey before bed aids in the body's usage of liver over muscle glycogen (stored sugar), which assists brain function & recuperation at night. Coupled with coconut butter's MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) fats, the body is satiated before a nightly fast and is able to avoid blood sugar drips that can occur when we go to bed too hungry.


Rest
Many of us are guilty of eating sad desk lunches, surrounded by our often stressful work environment. If you do eat at your desk, make sure to rest your eyes and mind before your meal. Step away from the screen, get up, and stretch your body out beforehand. I love side-stretches and backbends to optimise then release my muscles for digestion. I close my eyes during these short stretches to rest my eyes in the meantime. Only then can I truly feel present in my hunger, body, and surroundings, allowing my lunch to be my focus rather than my sad desk . . .

Pause
We aren't designed to multitask amidst eating. There was an anthropological and primal need beyond fueling and nomadism that kept us together around the fire—it was kinship and the pause in recognising the sacredness of food. The wash of a thousand waves is contained within a grain of sea salt, the touch of a labouring farmer, or the heart of a mother. Energy is infused into our food that must be acknowledged and equally digested. If we cook in anger, we eat in anger—chemicals react and shift from our food to our bodies. Have a conversation, release your anger or sadness, pause before you prepare and eat. 

Pleasure Medicine
We have moved away from listening to and honouring our cravings. Here is a handy tool to guide you into understanding the possible deficiency issues that may factor into your cravings as well as how to feed them in a medicinal, nutrient-dense manner. I used to crave completely unsweetened dark chocolate every single day and, it turns out, my magnesium levels were slightly low. A friend of mine also experienced odd cravings for orange juice until they detected very low Vitamin C levels. Our bodies are wiser than we give them credit for and much more intuitive than our calculations

Attune yourself to your body's signals. If you're craving something, your body will keep humming for it until it's satisfied. Don't ignore them. If it's a treat that you're after, ignorance or depravation will merely make the craving more ravenous until you one day allow yourself in entirety and probably too indulgently. Recall that at least one time you've persistently said no to a cookie then ended up eating more than one . . . My beautiful friend Sophie of Philosophie explained this recently in a very honest, raw account. Happiness out of moments like these can re-wire our physiology out of habitual reactions into newfound vibrant perspectives . . .

Word Vomit
Any 90s child can recall this phrase from Mean Girls where one wrong mutter leads to an uncontrollable snowball of many other ones that would have otherwise been unuttered. Hence, my interpretation of the phrase here where you projectile vomit negative thoughts and consequently spoil your food in the process. Sure, it's a bold account but nonetheless a real one of what we do to ourselves when we eat with guilt. 

What we think to ourselves as we ignore our cravings for or eat certain foods also has an effect on our digestion then overall wellbeing. If you allow yourself a cookie but experience guilt with each bite or feel eater's remorse afterwards, ask yourself frankly: what was the point in your eating it anyway? If there is a food you enjoy but struggle in accepting or acknowledging that pleasure, simply allow yourself to have it without distractions. Don't overthink it as a "treat"; most foods are not going anywhere. However, when we deprive ourselves of them consistently, that's exactly what the mind thinks with a desire to stuff or squirrel away every single bite when it is given access to it. Approach your food casually and with compassion. Give yourself allowance. 

Reads
For further reads in mindful eating, sip on the words of Thich Naht Hanh in "How to Eat" and Charles Eisenstein in "The Yoga of Eating: Transcending Diets and Dogma to Nourish the Natural Self"

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