April 22, 2008
Ten Ways to Feed a Healthy Mind and Body
Springtime is often a time when women tend to think “Oh no, I have to put my bathing suit on soon!” Here’s an idea: Give up the worries for good and reframe your own image of yourself. Turn away from the unrealistic ideal of “the perfect body”, and instead focus on your health and enhancing your body through consistent exercise.
Coming to terms with the body God gave you can be a long time coming, but the truth is, other people like you because of who you are, not exactly how you look. If we work on being a little nicer to ourselves, we can find a peaceful place that is relaxed and calm, and we will feel quite satisfied. This inner peace can help us make healthier food choices as well.
So instead of worrying about how big or small the pinch of fat is at your middle, or that flab on your arm, or how you may be aging, think about what you are doing to maintain your internal health and well being. Think about eating well because it is the right thing to do for your body.
Ten ways to feed a healthy mind and body:
1. Eat your fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants. Take advantage of fresh berries in season, watermelon, cantaloupe, and apples for a good dose of fiber and antioxidants.
2. Sip water all day long. Adequate hydration keeps our skin looking healthy and helps our bodies mobilize fatty acids.
3. Have a healthy breakfast. A small bowl of whole grain cereal with non fat milk or yogurt, fresh berries or a sliced banana; a 2-egg omelet (whole eggs or 3 whites) with whole grain toast; a small bran muffin with peanut butter and 8 ounces nonfat milk
4. Eat fish. The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish such as trout or salmon are good for you. They may help ward off depression and lower your risk of heart disease and arthritis. If you can’t eat two servings of fish weekly, take a fish oil supplements daily. Look for uncontaminated versions of up to one gram of fish oil per day.
5. Try yoga. Yoga practice is a great way to find your mind-body connection. It allows you to view yourself from within and focus on the positive aspects of your body.
6. Get your calcium and vitamin D. Pre-menopausal women should take in 1000 milligrams of calcium daily or 1200 milligrams if post-menopausal. Drinking two or three glasses of nonfat milk daily is ideal. If you are not getting the calcium you need daily (3-4 servings of non fat or low fat dairy) then consider a supplement.
7. Be mindful. Try to set some rules for eating. For instance, do not do anything else but eat when you are eating. This means no more lunches at your desk or breakfasts standing up. Sit down, look at your food, chew slowly and enjoy the taste of the food.
8. Focus on the positive. What can you do with your body? If you can do five push ups, celebrate that. Keep working at it each week until you can do eight, and then have another celebration. Watch your body with your mind and see how good that feels!
9. Take a walk. Getting fresh air is good for the body and mind. Studies have shown that we utilize more calories walking or jogging outside than on a treadmill. Put your sunscreen on and enjoy a brisk walk out of doors.
10. Keep a journal. Writing down your eating and exercise habits will help you stay mindful and will help you set and achieve goals.
One step at a time, you can develop a better, healthier you, imperfect yet beautiful all the same. Smile!
©Rosanne Rust, 2008