This month I would like to close out the year by summing up what I find the most beneficial for your well- being at this time, that is both evidence based and from my experience on earth. Here goes!
1) Immunity boosting is about holistic health (what you have done over time and not snap shots in time). So be consistent! For instance:
a. Daily moving – Dedicating an hour to exercise is fantastic, but also think about reducing sitting time in a day (<5 hours). Fidget a lot! Haven’t you noticed neurotic people who never sit are always slim?
b. Daily fruits and vegetables – at LEAST 3 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit per day. Eat different colors, seasonal, and organic when possible (I don’t know about you, but I don’t like chemicals on or in my food). These foods fight for you in the inside and outside (skin). Those colors are cancer and disease fighting machines. Those fibers don’t let carcinogens stick around in your gut. Makes sense right?
c. Daily mindfulness and positive thinking by bringing your nervous system into the parasympathetic state and controlling your negative self-talk: Mental health has a lot to do with how many Killer T-Cells you have in your body. These bad boys kill pathogens! Just to be clear, we want that. Watch that doomsday attitude that the world has going on right now. Not helpful for keeping your immune system firing on all cylinders.
d. Daily Sleep – Holy crap this one is fundamental. Try really hard to have a proper sleep hygiene most of the time. Cold, dark, around the same time every night, a light meal 2 hours prior, caffeine before 11am, no phone/computer, limit blue light (if you watch tv, wear amber glasses), and you’ll hate me for this one… no alcohol. The importance of sleep is paramount.
e. Daily Nature – get outside at least 20 min a day to get some sun on large body parts sans sunscreen, and definitely take vitamin D if your levels are low. I just take 600IU’s in the winter no matter what. Nature is also about connecting with the natural elements, and grounds us and creates more mindfulness opportunities (like I mentioned earlier).
2) Work on body image. Make an intentional practice to speak into existence how grateful you are forwhat your body does for you.Even if you don’t love how your body looks, focus on honest intentional thoughts that make you want to take care of yourself. An example is: “Thank you legs for letting me walk around from place to place.” Another: “Thank you eyes for seeing those sweet smiles of my children.” Get down to the bare bones of what your body does for you. Not the aesthetics. I promise this practice will make you happier over time with your body.
3) Work on correcting cognitive distortions (especially regarding food practices and exercise). Check out the cognitive distortions here. Big ones are black and white thinking, and should statements. How often are you like “I should eat this.” “I should go to the gym.” Or “if I don’t run everyday I’ll never lose weight.” This way of thinking sabotages heathy habits that are ready to emerge. If you didn’t have such rigid thinking, you wouldn’t have built up the road blocks so high; so going out for a walk or adding that spinach to your sandwich will happen with ease. Trust me. Try it out.
4) Boundaries. With family, friends, work… it can be VERY uncomfortable starting this process if you arenot accustomed to it, but you will watch how you start to thrive. This enables us to fill our cup back up and teaches us we are worthy of being protected and cared for. If you don’t form solid boundaries, you might watch how misery floats in more and you don’t care for yourself as much.
5) Connect with your body signals. Shhhh… your body is telling you something. Listen closely. If we even knew how much wisdom our body contains, it would blow our minds. It wants to be a healthy weight, balanced, strong, vital… why wouldn’t it? Stop trying to override signals. Insert Intuitive Eating Principals here! Listen to your body. Learn from your body. When you are hungry, eat. When you are full, stop. When you are needy of a hug, ask for it. We are in constant flux and if we are attuned to our body, we can give it what it needs and in turn our body feels amazing. Let’s keep trying to do that.
6) You’re doing just fine. Keep going. This is only temporary. Whatever ails you, say these three things. Flexible thinking is SO key in how we perceive the world and ourselves, therefore affecting our abundance of joy. Do you want to suffer less? Then focus on this. So next time you want to say “Nothing is going right,” ask “What is going right?”. Then answer and revel in that.
We are constantly in flux and it’s important not to hold on tightly to what was. Sink in to what is now and how you can feel powerful now. Start with self-care and watch as you blossom and are now capable of pouring more love and light into the world.
With so much gratitude,
Miriam Jirari MPH, RD, CPT, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor
Studio SWEAT Dietitian