Recovering My Health: Part Two
As with any recovery, it’s helpful to have a plan. For me, this included years of reading and research on health, emotions, nutrition, alternative therapies and lifestyle. In this blog, I’d like to discuss the ones that have had the biggest impact on my healing. Coincidentally, these same modes of healing seem to have healing effects on everyone. So, no matter what you’re dealing with; whether it be a mental/emotional condition, such as chronic stress or anxiety, or a physical condition, these healing methods can make a big difference to your whole being.
That’s what I love about wholistic healing. It’s aim is to address the WHOLE body, including the mind and spirit. When you embark on whole self-healing, miracles happen. When you attempt to heal parts of yourself in isolation, no healing can take place.
Let’s talk about diet and nutrition. There are about a zillion diets on the market right now claiming to be the ‘be-all-and-end-all’ of nutrition plans. And obviously, because we are all different, you’re going to have to decide which mode is best for you.
Let’s talk about a sticky subject: Gluten. It’s in all of the wheat products you consume and in many prepared products as well, such as store-bought salad dressing. While it was believed that only those with celiac needed to eliminate gluten from their diets, wholistic health practitioners now feel that everyone would benefit from eliminating this gluey substance. Gluten, like its name, becomes a sticky substance as it moves through your digestive tract. It can cause irritation and inflammation even in healthy individuals. If you ever notice puffiness in your face (particularly around the eyes) or if you’ve got a soft or bloated belly, this is your body telling you you’re not digesting gluten well. ”Wheat Belly” is literally a new term that has emerged to describe what wheat products, and their ingredients like gluten, do to our health. Wheat has also become one of the more common allergens.
Several years ago when The South Beach Diet hit the bookshelves, the quick and astonishing result was the loss of belly fat. The diet saw the complete removal of carbs (which includes all wheat products…hence, the gluten). Men, who had carted around beer guts who went on this diet, lost said gut, very quickly. There goes the wheat belly!
Anytime the body puffs or bloats up in response to food, it is showing you that it’s literally have an inflammatory response. When the body sustains this inflammatory response (due to the daily intake of gluten), the immunity becomes compromised. Without going into the scientific jargon, suffice to say, the body’s pendulum will start to swing further to one side in order to create a balance. So even though the body is attempting to create a balance, something is going to suffer. This is what is so awesome about the body. It is always trying to create a balance. It’s entire goal, in fact, is to create a balance.
And speaking of balance…
When our mind and emotions are out of balance, we are simply not well. You could be doing everything “right” with your physical health, and the benefits you would otherwise be deriving from that care would be lost. Our mental and emotional states are so crucial to our health because they’re not separate from the physical parts of us. Scientists can now confirm that cells in our guts “speak” to our brain cells, and vice versa. What this means is that if I’m feeling bad or anxious or negative, my gut is going to know it and respond accordingly. Louise Hay, who is a pioneer in metaphysical healing has a wonderful book called, Heal Your Body, that outlines the association between specific emotions and specific body parts. For example, the lungs are associated with sadness and unshed tears. So when someone experiences repeated issues with the lungs, such as chronic bronchitis, asthma, breathing difficulties or pneumonia, there is likely an association with sadness or unshed tears. The breasts correspond with nurture…breast cancer can present as an inner conflict with maternal nurture. Bowel disorders are very often about an inability to let go. Muscle problems often point to control issues. Joint and bone issues can be about inflexibility.
So rather than run out and take a pill for whatever is ailing you, sit with it for a while. Figure out what your body is trying to tell you. Make peace with your past. Make peace with yourself.
Quantum physicists have been conducting incredible experiments for a century now where they’re able to watch a cell change according to its environment. Put the cell in a hostile environment and the cell responds accordingly. Put the cell in a supportive environment and much of the same happens.
Look around. How supportive is your environment? How supportive is your workplace? How supportive are you to yourself? How do you speak to yourself? Are you loving and compassionate and understanding with yourself? Or do you berate yourself, feel guilty and tell yourself that you’re simply not enough? What kinds of foods do you put in your body? Are they whole, live, colorful foods that are prepared in a calm, nourishing environment? Or are they prepackaged, full of preservatives, sugary, lifeless? ALL of it will either make a healthy human being or a sick human being. It’s your choice.
Start small. Don’t try to overhaul your life all at once or it will overwhelm you and you’ll quit. Make one change a month. Notice the little gains that you derive from that one small change. It might turn out to be not so small!
I have a challenge for you: Let go of gluten for 1 month. This means, eliminating all wheat products, including barley, oats and rye. Aside from the obvious forbidden foods (bread, breadcrumbs, rolls, muffins, bagels, donuts, croissants, cereal, pizza, fried food, pasta, beer (that’s right, beer), crackers, pretzels, cookies, cake, brownies, pie crust) allow yourself to eat as many whole foods as possible. Rice is a great alternative to wheat products. Quinoa, known as a superfood, is a wonderful “grain” to cook with that you can make countless numbers of meals from. Eat good quality meat (if you’re not vegetarian). Eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Health food stores offer a ton of gluten-free snacks, muffins, breads and pastas. Once you get a lay of the land, you won’t feel deprived.
In fact, you may find that you shed some pounds, look brighter and younger in your face and body, have a much improved mood, rid yourself of headaches, and sleep better. Not bad for simply cutting out one usual suspect.
If you embark on this, please contact me to tell me your story. I’d love to write about your experience in a future blog.
Stay tuned for a great recipe for brownies that are, your guessed it, gluten-free (and just so happen to be dairy-free AND sugar-free).
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