Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Stay Healthy During the Holiday Season!
Ahh.. The holidays.. Indeed, a busy time of year.. For many people there are gifts to make or purchase, parties to go to, family gatherings to attend, and lots of planning to do. I’ve been affected by stress already. Of course, I admit I put these stresses onto myself. I want to find just the right gift at an affordable price, make dozens of raw food sweet treats to give away, have friends over on New Year’s Eve, and while shopping for others I tend to self indulge myself beyond my means.
Then, there’s a deeper experience that can happen. A time to reflect on the past year and what has been accomplished and valued or what is lacking and challenging in our lives. Yes, I’ve heard it all before. That dear awful slogan, ‘It’s the Best Day Ever!” That’s fine and should be kept in mind, but the reality of the moment my not feel quite so uplifting depending on what’s happening. Let’s be Real!
So, while there is so much to be grateful for and many reasons to celebrate our blessed lives, there may be some of us who feel a little less fortunate or gloomy at this time of the year. You may be doing pretty well with your healthy diet and exercise all year, and then it may be easy to become distracted or thrown off right now. For some reason parties and celebrations tend to be an excuse for individuals to destroy themselves with unhealthy, clogging foods, alcohol and binging. When you really think about it it’s rather bizarre. A celebration should be when we gather and exhibit our very best part of ourselves with great love and caring in a supportive environment of loved ones. Right?
So, whether you feel alone, or very social it is important to keep as clear a head as possible of how well you are taking care of yourself. If you are feeling a little stressed or have the holiday blues then by all means drag yourself out of the house and get connected to other people. The best thing to do is the volunteer with an organization you believe in. Feeling useful and connected in the world is the best prescription to feeling really good about your self. Take it from me I am a volunteer queen! Get connected spiritually and fill that inner void with self -love. Call it God, Creator, Mother Earth, Divine Energy etc. Whatever, you want to call that life force inside you is the foundation for inner peace and love in your life. I am no expert on spirituality, but I do know that it has had a tremendous force in my life. True healing of the body often times will not manifest unless one is centered spiritually.
Perhaps, you are a happy soul. Holiday time means party down! How well do you fair in social circles on your new raw foods diet? If you are still new and transitioning the ground may become shaky right now. You have been planting the seeds of health and springtime is several months away with a long cold winter ahead. What is one to do when cravings occur? This is definitely a big topic and here are a few suggestions.
Plan ahead. If you are visiting family or going to a party eat before you go, bring food with you, call ahead and ask what kind of food will be served, bring a dish that will be big enough for you to eat and share with others. Say as little as possible about your diet. Be an example of a healthy person and that will speak for itself. If you talk in detail about your diet you will welcome the possibility of a debate, others may feel uncomfortable and threatened, and you will feel like a freak.
If your host feels sorry for you because you don’t want to eat/drink toxic substances, say “ I love salad!” or “I feel so good eating this way and it’s worth it!” Your enthusiasm will shine and no one can ever tell you how you feel. If others are insulted that you are not eating their dead animals and you have explained that it may make you sick to eat that then they are not being considerate to you. When you are a guest in someone’s home they should be concerned that you are comfortable and happy. Right? Answer: make sure you bring your own chow.
Cravings. A beast. The definition of a craving is ‘to long for’ or ‘a desire.’ Temptation will be everywhere and whether happy or gloomy anyone can find cause to loose his or her head.
Ready for the answer? Stay conscious and present in the moment. It really is your choice. The question is if the payoff of giving into a craving is really worth it. So, when I have a craving I tune in. What is it that I really want? Is it the taste? Do I want sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, spicy, or creamy? Or is it that a gal can’t resist free food? How about the numbing out experience on starch overload? When we overeat we get so sedated from the chemical reactions in our body it causes a stimulating effect. Foods such as meat, dairy, wheat, sugar all have opiate like substances that induce pleasure sensations in the body and can cause dependency. That means food addiction. So, if you reach for the bread or the pastries your healthy diet may go down the drain. Caput! Chances are you will be dreaming about when you can eat those cupcakes again. If you think you can get away with eating just one think again. Remember how you felt last time you gave in. Fool!
Solution. Try having some great substitutes on hand. Raw food desserts are delicious. Break open those cookbooks and get the dehydrator on. Mine is on right now!
Negotiate. I do this all the time and I have been eating raw food in great abundance for almost 20 years now. So, you want a potato chip. A good tactic is to ask yourself if you can avoid having it today, and make a deal with yourself if you want it tomorrow that you will consider it. Usually, the craving is long forgotten. However, if the next day you are still thinking about that dam potato chip that you missed eating at the party you went to consider finding a healthier substitute. How about dehydrated crackers or air popped popcorn? If you work with this you may be able to let it go.
That is the true question. Can you let it go? Are you ready? As long as you feel it is okay to still eat that food that you know is toxic it will continue to be a temptation and have a hold of you. I haven’t eaten pizza in 20 years, and I can watch someone eat it and it doesn’t do a thing for me. I used to love pizza.
Of course, this blog would not be complete without mentioning the good old colonic. Often, when one is holding old food in the body this will interfere with good digestion and assimilation. Cleansing the colon will help to heal food cravings and improve digestion. Any illustration of a human colon will reveal a thread running along it also known as the nervous system. A full toxic colon will aggravate the nervous system and can create irritability, anxiety, mood swings and those crazy food cravings. So, no better time then now to wipe the slate clean and have a colonic!
Finally, tuning in also means looking deeper inside yourself to see what your craving is really about emotionally. Perhaps, this holiday season you don’t have a mate, or it feels stressful to visit family, you may be grieving a loss in your life, or struggling financially. We all have dilemmas that we contemplate on a daily basis. Instead of feeding the problem with a fast fix of food indulgences why not think of something else. Feed your soul with a walk in the park, call a long missed friend, take a hot bath with essential oils, schedule a massage or sauna at Gravity East Village, (my office) or put on your favorite music and sing and dance. I do!
Gratitude is the best medicine on earth. Even if you can only be grateful for each breath you take. Your life is a treasured gift to cherish during the holiday season.