Just don’t ask me to give up my bourbon
He was referred to me by his doctor with pre-diabetes and the first thing he said to me as he walked into my cooking school and nutrition center was, “just don’t ask me to give up my bourbon.” I didn’t. Instead I started him on a meal plan that over the next six weeks reversed his pre-diabetes and when he started to feel better the bourbon fell away (well, mostly) of its own weight. I have many such stories, but the point is sometimes it’s one thing that can make all the difference. Sometimes the one thing is listening.
My one tip for 2019is simple: listen to your body. Granted it’s not easy. Humans have lost touch with what their bodies are trying to tell them. We’re busy, always connected to technology, don’t stop to listen to our bodies or we just power through the signs that something is amiss.
Perhaps some examples would help you.
Do you feel bloated? When? An hour after a meal? What did you eat or drink? Keep a food log with places for detailed notes and perhaps in a week or two you’ll figure out if a certain food or drink is making you bloated. It might be an ingredient in a meal that you ate hours or even days ago. With persistence you can figure it out. Let’s say you had marinara sauce with many ingredients in it. That might be tricky to figure out if it’s the tomatoes or the garlic or onions. Keep precise notes and eventually you’ll figure it out and thank your body for the bloat because now you understand it and can make changes accordingly.
Do you always crave a glass of wine late afternoon or as soon as you get home? You might just be hungry. Eat something, preferably a protein food (nuts, a hardboiled egg, slice of chicken) and then pay attention to that wine/sugar craving. It might be an ah-ha moment for you. Personally, alcohol is a gateway drug to food. With less alcohol, comes less food for me. You?
Do you have aches and pains in a particular area of your body? Yes, it might be an injury and you might know exactly why it’s sore, or perhaps you don’t. Now comes the risk now of sounding a little new agey and loosing you — please keep an open mind on this next example. I am fortunate at sixty-one years of age not to have aches and pains. That said, ten years ago I had some major life changes and with those changes came a terrible ache in my sacrum. I couldn’t rub it out: foam rollers didn’t work, hot baths didn’t work, you name it, and nothing helped. I went to a friend who was a masseuse and she told me that that area of the body represents survival and to go home, walk up the hill, sit on the dirt and visualize releasing negativity into the Earth. Let it all go. OK…. Well, I did, although I felt a little guilty for all the negativity that was now in the dirt. This is where I might loose more of you, but when I was done and walked down the hill, I felt no aches and pains and haven’t since. I tell folks that story and it’s up to them if they believe it and want to try. It couldn’t hurt could it?
There are so many examples of pushing through and stuffing down the signs your body is giving you. Perhaps we can all help each other and tell our stories.
I look forward to hearing your stories of connection between you and your body and between all of us with each other.
Happy New Year everyone!
Patty James M.S., N.C.
Nutritionist. Natural Chef. Researcher. Mom. Hiker. So-So Artist. Loves to Travel. Doggies Pals are Wilma and Boots. Avid Reader.