Hello my friends, I’m so grateful to be here today and teach you a bit about how to build a strong foundation of health and wellness, using immunity and food as medicine. The last few episodes talked about systems and paradigms that I see as crumbling and falling apart, and this is about building something new.
Many people have pieces and parts of wellness and I’d like to lay it out in a way to make it a strong foundation for your life. For me, well-being is the basis of all the other aspects of my life and the Centered Wellness Framework. For most people when they think of health, they tend to pigeonhole it into the body, and when that happens, they tend to run into problems in carrying out the actions it takes to be healthy.
So to build a healthy foundation, I’m NOT going to start with the body. It’s the opposite of what most people do and I’ll explain a little of this. What I see with my clients and the groups that I teach is if you focus on the physical body first, it can easily slip into this ‘Do/Don’t Do” category. So many people will then rebel, and this is when you see people either not being able to start (I refuse to give up sugar!) or they start off strong. When they can’t do it perfectly, it falls to the wayside.
Using the Centered Wellness Framework, we’ll go through how to build a strong foundation to wellness.
Connection to Self
The first foundational piece is a connection to yourself. This seems very basic and many of you might brush right past this. My encouragement is not to gloss over this part, or assume you’ve already done this. Building a connection with yourself includes several pieces. First and foremost, it includes listening. Listening to the sensations of the body, the emotions that arise, the thoughts in your head, the energy available (similar to the sensations), and also information that life or spirit guides provide.
This is a multi-layered approach, but the skill is really just one: paying attention in the moment without judgement to what is going on internally. It includes mentoring yourself when things are hard or challenging, and being able to compassionately hold your own hand to do hard things that matter to you. This is a skill set that will serve you for building resilience, for decreasing stress, and for allowing you to do courageous things in your life. You show up for yourself, over and over again. All of these pieces actually help you on a physiological level of decreasing cortisol and increasing your immune system functioning, which is quite important in the time of COVID.
Exploring the Options
The second foundational piece is Exploring the Options: you’ve been building this connection with yourself by listening on the various levels. Listening and being with what is there. Who do you want to be? What do you want to believe?
Many times this requires changing the thoughts that are present; First you were listening to the thoughts that said that you were tired of being sick and that nothing was working – and what do you want to feel? Hope? Peace? Energy? What thoughts would you need to feel hopeful, peaceful, and energetic? Finding a thought that feels better in the body and believable allows you to explore who you are and who you want to be. If you want to have more energy, or you want to have a better immune system, you could be thinking “I am willing to care for myself.” or “I can do hard things.”
The final aspect of building a Healthy Foundation is then taking action to make the change. The first two were more internal processes, and this is something you would do in your life to make that change and create what you want. Without working specifically on the first two, there isn’t the groundedness to making the change. For this episode I’m going to be talking specifically about food, and using food as medicine.
I’m going to provide some specific suggestions here because part of a Wellness Foundation is to decrease inflammation in the body. Inflammation is part of the Standard American diet and blocks immunity. It also creates emotional disruption (for example, sugar leads to anxiety), and leads to a decreased ability to handle stressful situations. So here we have the circle that we were describing previously, we want to increase resilience and decrease stress. By following these steps and treating food as medicine, we will ensure that the foundations of wellness and wellbeing are strong.
Things to eat:
- Green tea or white tea (2-4 cups a day)
- Ginger, turmeric, fresh basil
- Cooked shitake Mushrooms (or other Asian mushrooms)
- Beans and legumes (1-2 servings a day)
- Healthy fats at every meal (Extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, walnuts, hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds)
- Organic raw/cooked veggies (4-5 servings a day), especially leafy greens (broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.)
- Organic Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries; 3-4 servings a day)
- Probiotics and fermented foods (ex, kimchee or sauerkraut)
- Drink lots of water(1/2-1 ounce per pound)
Things to Avoid
- Sugar and artificial sweeteners
- Fried foods
- Hydrogenated oils
- Vegetable oils (soy, corn, canola, safflower, or palm oil)
- Animal products (meat and dairy)
- Mayo, salad dressings, barbeque sauce, potato chips
- GMO foods
- Refined carbs (breads, crackers, buns)
On top of that very specific list to begin to see food as medicine, it also means showing up for yourself in getting enough sleep, and moving your body in a way that feels good to you. It’s honoring and showing up for your body each day. What does the body need today? How can I take care of this one body I have?
Those three pieces: connection to yourself, exploring the options and, taking action – are the three pieces of creating a healthy foundation. Please note that while I focused on food as medicine, specifically in the taking action portion, it applies other places. This can be taking action in finding your purpose, or in your business. There are so many other places this applies.
Try these three steps, in your life as you build a new foundation, and let me know how it goes.
Alright friends. Thanks for listening today, and I’ll see you next time.