Have you ever had a morning where you have woken up feeling sluggish, bloated, nauseous? or a day when you haven’t drunk enough water and you end up with a headache and feel tired and irritable? These symptoms are your bodies way of trying to tell you something is wrong, in the same way that craving certain foods can often tell you what vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body is lacking. Do you know how to listen to YOUR body?
We have forgotten how to listen to our bodies
We have forgotten how to listen to our bodies, and we have forgotten how to eat to nourish our body!
For example: When you don’t drink enough water it effects every organ in your body, your mood, your skin, slows brain function and your metabolism, and stops your kidneys from being able to remove waste and toxins from your body correctly. Your body is made up of over 60% water, it needs that water for you to survive!
In the same way; When you eat processed foods, junk food, refined sugar, prepackaged meals, or anything full of chemicals and E-numbers, but not enough fresh natural foods. Not only are you depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to fuel itself, renew your cells and keep you healthy. With all the chemicals and toxins found in manufactured food nowadays, you are essentially feeding your body poison. If you aren’t nourishing your body, how can you expect it to heal?
I like to think of it as a two way relationship. If you look after your body, if you listen to your body & what it needs: it will look after you! We should all be making the effort to take are of our bodies, after all, its the only place you have to live!
Eat to Nourish your body
So just to be clear, this isn’t the part where I start telling you what you should or shouldn’t eat, or that there is a particular diet you ‘need’ to be following. I don’t believe in labels.
Every body is different, only YOU know what is best for yours, and what makes you feel good.
For me personally, over the last few years I have intuitively lent towards a mostly plant based diet. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, pulses, I still eat a good natural yogurt but avoid most other dairy products, if I fancy a bit of meat or fish I eat it, and (apart from the occasional rye baguette) I mostly avoid bread as well as pasta and rice. I have always had a sweet tooth, but I started to bake my own ‘healthier’ sweet treats so I know what goes in them, choose dark chocolate, and shy away from shop bought chocolate bars. Because that’s what works for me.
If there is one thing I have learnt from this illness and the last four years that I am grateful for, it is that I am so much more in tune with my body. I’m aware of the slightest change in how I’m feeling, and how different foods affect me. I have cut out what makes me feel worse, and included in my diet more of what makes me feel good.
Funnily enough I recently read up, via a homeopathy for disease book, on the recommended diet for ME and Chronic illness. What I have worked out myself intuitively is pretty much the diet that is recommended.
I believe that when your body is dealing with so much inflammation and pain already, that anything you can do to reduce the work it has to do is a positive. Not adding in more problems and toxins for it to deal with! The more you can do the more it will thank you.
How do you listen to your body
So what exactly do I mean by listening to your body? When I say listen to your body, I think the simplest way I can describe it is to learn to look for and recognise the symptoms and triggers your body gives you when it isn’t happy.
I’ve found the more you learn to look for and recognise these markers and symptoms, the easier and earlier you are able to spot them and the more in tune you become.
If this is something you want to try for yourself one of the easiest ways to start is to keep a simple food diary. Just have a notebook handy & list all the foods you eat each day. How you have felt throughout the day. What symptoms you had after eating & the following day.
How to keep a food diary
The effects of what you eat will materialise from 2 to 48 hours after eating. If something doesn’t feel right to you look at what you consumed over the last 24-48 hours. The food that was different to usual, is often the culprit. Symptoms can include feeling sick, stomach cramps or bloating, headaches, gas, heartburn, digestive discomfort. Or any other out of the ordinary symptoms you notice.
If you can pin point what you think is the cause, cut that food out for a few weeks. Over this time monitor how you feel. Do you feel any improvement? Does your mood improve? Does our skin clear up? Do your digestive issues go away? etc.
If your mood and energy levels improve, you feel less sluggish or there is a lessening in any other symptoms you had, then it is likely your body is telling you to eat less of that food.
I’ll admit it’s a bit of experimentation to begin with. But if you can improve your health I believe it is SO worth the effort!
If you would like to read more on how to safely eliminate foods (& deal with digestive issues) you can read my post: Healing IBS | Tips & simple natural ways to reduce flare ups & increase gut health
You can also download my PDF to take you step by step through an Elimination Diet. Just pop your email below & get it sent straight to your inbox!
You don’t have to cut things out of your diet entirely if you really don’t want to. If you find that a food you love is actually the cause of discomfort, try have it a little less often. At the end of the day only you can decide what’s right for you. If the side effects of a food are worth the pleasure you get that’s your decision to make!
Everything in moderation, right?