The Harvard Healthy Eating Pyramid represents the latest nutritional science. The widest part at the bottom is for things that are most important. The foods at the narrow top are those that should be eaten sparingly, if at all.
While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in our diets to sustain a healthy body. You don’t need to eliminate certain categories of food from your diet, but rather select and eat more of the healthiest options from each category.
Source and further reading: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm
Eating a healthy diet is not about strict limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your health, and boosting your mood.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to be overly complicated. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite. The truth is that while some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important.
The cornerstone of a healthy diet should be to replace processed food with real food whenever possible. Eating food that is as close as possible to the way nature made it can make a huge difference to the way you think, look, and feel.
By using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create—and stick to—a tasty, varied, and nutritious diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Here are a few tools I have put into place to get me into balance:
Sleep- Have a bedtime, remove cellphone and electronics from bedroom. Melatonin works great and so does magnesium.
Diet- Eat whole foods, watch caloric intake, stop eating at night, avoid salt, oil, and sugar. Aim for 1 gallon of Distilled Water a day.
Exercise- Moderately, rest and digest more.
Herbs- Shitavari, Licorice Root, Evening Primrose, Black Cohosh, Tulsi are just a few herbs that work
wonderful. Oh yeah and don’t forget your Gaba!
Other- Organic Progesterone Cream for breast pain.
GOOD Skin Care practice
Limit use of Caffeine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Processed Food and Toxic Chemicals such as cleaning products, petrochemicals, and even many supplements are loaded with metals, preservatives
and poor quality.
These are a few easy fixes. There are many more.
To put in or take out? Honestly, do we really need a supplement in order to detox, or a vitamin or mineral for what we are lacking? Don’t get me wrong I use them sometimes as well. But why not try this when going on a "get healthy kick." See what you can take out rather than what you can put in.
I have worked with hundreds of people and have personal experience. It really is not good for the body to take in too many herbs, oils, or powders unless the proper lifestyle is in place already. Transformation will only be painful and temporary. Detoxing the blood, the intestines, burning fat is a process that needs a continual healthy environment to support the desired outcome.
Next time you consider purchasing a cleanse or taking a supplement ask yourself first, “What can I give up or fast from in order to be healthier?” Get off coffee for thirty days and notice the transformation when your adrenal glands aren’t being saturated by caffeine. Maybe you go without salt, oil or sugar for a week and enjoy a fresh new palate. Take out processed food and see how your belly gets smaller and your skin gets brighter. Sometimes I wonder if we just want to fill a void. After all we are programmed to be consumers.
Put more water into those areas where you take things out. Every time when faced with putting in or taking out, have a glass of water, take a breath, and put your mind on something else. If that doesn’t work do it again. Stay with it and I promise the effects will be lasting.
Home and Hearth is more than a collection of physical things that provide shelter from the elements. It exists on a spiritual level as a place to rest and regenerate our souls. This is an ancient paradigm that is being transformed by modern technology and First-World entitlements. Our homes are full of devices that afford time efficiency, entertainment and instant global communication. We use cell phones, computers, toilet seat warmers, time sensitive coffee makers and crockpots. We can even raise and lower our garage doors from the other side of the world if we want to. The speed in which our day moves is incredibly fast and directly relates to our frantic chase for money, security, and material possessions. I'm not saying these things are bad. I am saying that the chase doesn't come without a cost.
In all these conveniences the silent sacrifice is real communal interaction, and natural circadium recognition. Lifes daily grind is robotic and forced and leaves no time for seasonal shifts that are natural to Body, Mind and Spirit. This has disempowered us into ignoring our innate reset button and the necessity for rest and digest gets overrun.
Sleep and how it relates to Home and Hearth in our modern day world is described best by John Lennon's song; "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night" where he makes the clear distinction "It's Your Money Or Your Life", and "it's Going To Be All Right, All Right". How we rest and when we rest is just as important as the quality of sleep we are getting. Sleep has become like gold in our modern day world and manufacturers make a ton of money off the consumers' sleep deprived vulnerability.
We are bombarded with many toxins that inhibit good rest. Most of us are out of touch with our natural circadian rhythms. Many suffer insomnia from eating too late, others lack sufficient melatonin for quality sleep. Over stimulation of electronic devices, blue rays or, high frequency sounds and other Electro-Magnetic Frequencies (EMFs) inhibit proper sleep hygiene and have consequences to the endocrine system. All these are factors affect quality sleep and overall health of the individual and the population at large. In order to be in one’s right mind, right mood, and right motivation restfulness must exist. Our day starts the night before. Proper preparation is crucial to how we awaken.
A primal need is to be safe at night in our home and hearth where we surrender our eyelids and traverse our inner landscape. The best strategy for this trek is to be well prepared, properly suited and with the right astral footing. Vitality is ensured with 3 to 4 sleep cycles a night. They may last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours long. Low lighting for two hours before bed will produce melatonin secretion. Have your last meal of the day at least 4 hours before sleep for insulin regulation. Give yourself a bedtime of 10:00 pm and be asleep before midnight. Remove wireless devices and televisions from your room. Meditate or do yoga before bed and rub oil on your feet. I know it sounds weird but it helps. All these will allow for the brain, liver, kidneys, lungs, blood, lymph and skin to detoxify overnight and leave you feeling fresh and alive upon waking.
Clarity of mind, better mood, increased stamina, nurturing relationships and resilience to life's pressures, are a result of good sleep habits and cultivate a Healthy Home and Hearth. Weight loss, less body pain, and pure radiance are all byproducts of an attitude and discipline focused on health and gratitude. Training for wellness doesn't happen overnight. It is a journey that requires giving something up and implementing something new.
Training for wellness is a path of discovery and empowerment and well worth the effort for yourself, your family and your community!
Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.