Mindful Eating

How many times have you heard “You are what you eat”?
How many times have you thought, “I deserve this cookie.”

How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll eat better tomorrow. Monday, I’ll go on that cleanse.”
Fighting back and fourth between “Treat Yo Self” and “My body is a temple”.

I cannot tell you how much guilt and shame encompasses something so powerful and nurturing as food. We have grown up being told what to eat, how much to eat, what to avoid, what not to avoid, and yet- most of it was a lie.

We have walked away from intuitive and mindful eating because whatever we want is now at our fingertips. We can literally order from most restaurants and have it DELIVERED to our homes without having to leave our couch. It’s no wonder we are so sick!

Hunters and gatherers consumed food based on seasons. They consumed food that they had to work for, that they cherished, that they even prayed over. Their food was from the land. Natural and untouched. Food was nutrient rich and grew in the sunlight with pure air and water. Women used more and more natural resources to create and amplify the richness in their meats and berries. Men took every useable piece they could from their kill to pay respects and remain resourceful because they knew how important it was.

Disease did not exist like it does today. There were no such epidemics like obesity, ADD or allergies. Throughout the years man kind had it’s ups and downs with their resources and therefore nutrition suffered. Now, having more people than we can sustain, we have turned to science to feed the masses.

 

So it’s no wonder our nutrition is failing. Our food is no longer pure and our choices are made upon money. If you want something nutrient rich and untouched, it’s going to cost you. If you want to feed your family and are on limited income, your health will suffer. Although food is looked at as a necessary resource AND something most of us can grab quickly, it is also killing us.

Imagine a fish tank. It’s clean, clear, and filled with life swimming all around inside. The fish are vibrant. The plants are rich in nutrients and the water cycling through the pipes is fresh and filled with oxygen. Everything is working swimmingly (heh…) and you rarely need to clean it because everything has it’s purpose and is working well with one another.

Now in that fish tank, you introduce a cheap fish food. It says fish food so why wouldn’t the fish like it? Turns out it consists of chemicals, fibers, and foreign ingredients that fish have never eaten before. Once consumed, the fish start to get sick. Their PH is off in their feces, therefore it begins to kill the plants and the water starts to turn. When the water starts to become filled with bacteria, algae begins to grow. The glass starts to get a little green and the cleaner fish can’t keep up because they're not used to this type of algae nor does it taste good. Over time, the tank becomes polluted, pipes clog, fish die, and the once beautiful cycle of fresh water is stagnant. Sound familiar?

Food doesn’t always have to cost you. Making better choices and substituting your favorite go-to’s can be easy with the right research. If you begin to groan thinking about creating a new habit of eating healthy, would you rather groan about your hefty medical bill as well? Food has the ability to heal or harm you. Eating clean, rich, non-inflammatory foods is the health preventative we all need. Supplements, education, information, and learning how our body works is the criteria to live a better life. Eat mindfully. Slow down. One tiny little choice at a time. Changing your eating habits will not happen over night. So don’t freak out. Just give it a little more thought and see the bigger picture of what you are doing to your body. And remember, you are supposed to feel WELL. So EAT well. SLEEP well. LOVE well. I assure you over time, your body will TREAT you WELL.

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6 Steps to Protect Against Colds & Flu Naturally

Autumn is in full effect here in Northern California. Leaves are changing color, days are getting shorter, and we've even had quite a bit of rain! This is the time of year it is especially important to focus on boosting immune function. 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine take a preventative approach to health. This means taking steps to improve your health before you get sick! This year, consider incorporating these few tips into your daily practices to boost your immune system and avoid getting sick.

  1. Avoid sugary foods. High sugar intake is known to lower the body's immunity. One Loma Linda University study showed that intake of the same amount of sugar found in one soda (100g) significantly inhibited the function of phagocytes (the white blood cells which engulf harmful bacteria) for up to 5 hours after ingestion!
  2. Get 30 minutes of sun exposure a day without sunscreen or supplement with Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a key component in immune health. Study after study shows that a low serum Vitamin D level significantly increases your chances of getting sick, among many other health issues.
  3. Make sleep a priority. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults age 18-64. It has been shown that chronic sleep loss is a risk factor for immune system impairment. 
  4. Manage stress. This requires taking some "you time". Do something healthy to help you shut off your mind and get a break from the monotony and constant doing. Take up daily meditation or breathing exercises, incorporate yoga practices into your life, schedule a massage! 
  5. Exercise. We all know that exercise is key to good health. Exercise can effect immunity directly by improving blood circulation, allowing the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body and its tissues freely to do their job efficiently.
  6. Keep up with your acupuncture maintenance care. Acupuncture is incredibly effective at increasing the functioning of the immune system (this study demonstrates how a single acupuncture treatment improves immune function for 72 hours and continued treatment does so for even longer).

Follow these 6 easy steps and you may save yourself a couple of not-so-fun days. Who has time to get sick anyway?!