Your body is an amazing machine. Each day, that fist-sized heart of yours beats about 100,000 times and pumps approximately 2000 gallons of blood through your blood vessels, your body digests the foods you eat and works hard to maintain an internal state of balance, keeping you healthy and strong. Your body is an intelligent and sophisticated system that works hard to not fail you, but how often do we fail to listen to our bodies?
Small, subtle signals are sent to you daily from your body. Are you sleepy or energized? Calm or happy? What foods are you craving? Is it really because you’re “weak” that you long for an ice cream or that you’ve put on a few extra pounds? Instead, maybe it’s your body trying to deliver you a critical piece of information to protect itself?
From a dietary viewpoint, we get hooked on the quick-fix. What’s the latest fad which will require the least amount of “work?” We often separate our physical habits from how we feel and act. Perhaps craving that ice cream is insight to what your body really needs to be nourished? A craving for something sweet could mean that you need more protein, more water or maybe even more time with people who nurture you and fill you up with “sweetness.”
Many times, we are just too busy to deal with the small annoyances in our bodies, ignoring a slight headache, cold sore or muscle pain, carrying-on, business as usual, without thinking what those signals really mean. Think of your body as a car. If you turn up the music and ignore that rattle, what might be a small fix, may quickly turn into a big problem. The same is true for your body.
Be sure to tune in to your own “check engine” signs. Of all the relationships you have, the relationship you develop with your body may be the most important. As with all relationships, it takes time, patience, love and energy to learn how to nourish yourself. As you become aware of your body’s unique needs and how to care for them, you will create a lasting level of health and balance.
The next time you have an ache or food craving, think of it as a message from your body, working to help you get back to optimal health.
Tip: When you have a food craving for something that is less than healthy...
1. Have a glass of water and wait 5-10 minutes and then, re-evaluate. Often times we crave foods and feel hungry when we are dehydrated.
2. Have a healthier version of what you crave. If you are craving something sweet, try having some fruit or some cooked, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, to help curb the craving (with some really great, nutrient dense foods).
3. Think about what is out of balance in your life. Are you stressed, tired or lonely and looking for some quick hits of energy? What do you really need?
article resources: www.webmd.comwww.integrativenutrition.com