A couple people have asked me about the changes I alluded to in my previous post. These are not major changes and upon reflection they seem so obvious.
So what have I changed since starting at IHN?
1- Drink water, lots of it. I know, duh! The funny thing is until I truly understood why drinking lots of pure clean water was so important I just couldn’t get myself to drink it, now that I’m informed I can’t get enough! Water is needed for every single bodily function. It is needed to help move fiber through the body and GI tract, it flushes toxins, it lubricates the joints, speeds up your metabolism, it assists in protein and enzyme production, it acts as a solvent in the body, aids in transport, aids in chemical reactions in the body, is needed for the transmission of messages within the body, etc… It is needed for everything! Since I started drinking water I have noticed my skin is clearer, my digestion is much better, my cravings are reduced, I’m not as stiff first thing in the morning, I have more energy, I could go on and on. Moral of the story drink more water! I used to think herbal teas were sufficed, nope! Your body needs clean fresh water to perform all of its many jobs so make sure your drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses a day.
2- Food is for fuel. Again, duh! But until I started at IHN I really only saw food as something super delicious and something to make the hunger pains go away. Now I see food as a way to support my work outs, support healing and support my well-being (emotional, physical, mental). I used to look at food as a certain amount of calories, fat, carbs… Now, I could care less how many calories or grams of fat a food has, I much more care for how it is going to support me in feeling my best. I used to be hungry all the time, never ever feeling fully satiated. Now, because I focus on including as many minerals and vitamins in my diet, I never feel that voracious hunger.
3- Slow down, especially at meal times. I used to almost always eat on the run or when I was working but now I’m trying (note: still trying, its tough) to take a step back and eat in a more relaxed, present state. I don’t know about you but when I’m eating in front of the computer, TV, while driving etc., I often don’t even remember what I’ve just eaten and how it tasted. It’s so easy to think of eating as something that just slows you down and gets in the way when, like I said in #2, food is our fuel and if we want to live optimally we need to not only be conscious about what were putting in our bodies but the state in which we eat. Our bodies have 2 different autonomic nervous system responses: sympathetic-fight or flight and parasympathetic-rest, relax and digest. When we are stressed, working, distracted, on the go, etc., our bodies are not designed to digest, they are designed to either fight the lion or run from it however, when we are relaxed and present, we are able to digest and assimilate our foods. You often hear the saying ‘you are what you eat’ but really it should be ‘you are what you digest and assimilate’. By taking time out of my day to prepare and enjoy my food I’m actually tasting my foods and enjoying them much more, I’m also able to detect my hunger and fullness factor which is very important for weight loss/weight management.
4- The importance of chewing your food properly- your stomach doesn’t have teeth! I already wrote about the benefits from properly chewing your food
5- If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. This was a big change for me, before IHN I didn’t own a single organic natural beauty product. All of my shampoos, conditioners, detergents, soaps, lotions, etc., were chemically laden goods. If you really think about it, your skin is your largest organ and is highly absorbable; whatever you put on your skin is going to end up inside your body. I would never ever think about ingesting some of those un-pronounceable ingredients so I decided to change things up, out with the old in with the new. Another resource that helped me learn the dangers associated with each product and each brand was the Environmental Working Groups consumer guide website- it’s so eye opening, go check it out! My skin and hair has never looked as good and my poor liver finally has a chance to do it job instead of being overloaded by all my chemical producsts.
6- Choose organic foods when possible, especially produce. Really this picture says it all…
Clearly I have learnt a lot, and I could go on and on for hours (just ask my friends and family). Again, these all seem like duh! Things to do but I was not doing them prior to IHN. It is so easy to get brain washed by the ever constant flooding of advertisements and social media telling us to eat a certain way, use a specific product, live a certain way that we are no longer listening to our intuition. Our bodies know what they need to act optimally, we just need to slow down and listen.
If you are keen to make some changes you can start small. Here is a really effective homemade deodorant: ¼ cup melted unrefined coconut oil, ¼ cup baking soda (aluminum free), ¼ cup corn starch, 10 or so drops of essential oils (I like using lavender and tea tree oil) and a glass jar with a lid… basically all you do is mix everything together really well and pour into a glass jar. I like to put it in the fridge to set but I keep it out on the counter for easy application. This easy to make deodorant has complete bacteria and odour fighting power and is completely chemical free!