Hello, I’m Tanya Penny, Occupational Therapist, Vibrant Body & Abundant Life Coach. In this post we will be focusing on key #6 of the Vibrant Body and Abundant Life Blueprint – Nurture Your Body. If you haven’t signed-up to learn about all 10 keys yet, you can receive the 10 Keys Blueprint Guide, audio lesson and guided Therapeutic Meditation Practice by clicking here.
Most of us didn’t learn how to properly nurture our body. Perhaps like me, you didn’t see your parents doing it. Of course, we are not here to blame anybody, they were doing the best that they could and they were doing what they learned. But I’m sharing this because a lot of us beat ourselves up for not doing something… but in truth, we didn’t know how because it wasn’t modeled for us.
Even if we now know how, why do we often continue to do the old things that were modeled for us growing up? You might be wondering “God why can’t I change?!” The truth is that these are habits. They were modeled for you, you took them on to be the way things should be in the world and how to nurture your body. Be really gentle with yourself. Don’t beat yourself up because there is really no point in doing that, it’s a waste of energy, time.
We are going to move into the 3 areas we are focusing on to Nurture Your Body:
1) Nutrition– First of all I don’t believe in diets. I was on a diet from the time I was about 10 or 11 years old. My mom was always on diets. Did they help? Yes and no, because you have to continue to eat the way you’re eating on the diet for the rest of your life in order to keep the weight off and that sucks for most of us depending on the diet. I really encourage you to think about healthy ways of eating that can be consistent. Something you can consistently do over time vs “fad” diets. One of the things I like to teach in my Vibrant Body and Abundant Life Mastery Program is the 80/20 rule. 80% of what is “good” or “healthy” for your body and 20% of the “bad stuff”.
I believe in moderation. For most people, when you are strict and tell yourself that you can’t have anything, you might be able to do it for awhile but then you’re going to end up binging and beating yourself up over it…or it’s going to put a lot of stress on you to completely restrict. I know there might be some cases where it might be life threatening to have something and of course that is not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about in general, let’s have a little bit of moderation, let’s have a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of sweets, coffee once a week, or a glass of wine or beer, etc.
Some foods are inflammatory. If you have an inflammatory illness such as MS, pain, GI issues or any autoimmune disorder, there are four things that I recommend you limit. Notice I didn’t say completely cut out, never have again. They are soy, sugar, wheat and dairy. I still put half and half in my coffee every day. I still will eat a piece of bread every once in awhile, I might have some pasta. Typically I find rice pasta, quinoa or other things to replace that and I really don’t miss it anymore. Once in awhile I’ll have regular pizza but I don’t eat it daily. I do put a bit of sugar in my coffee everyday, I do have a little bit of a sweetie in the morning and then a piece of dark chocolate in the evenings. I pretty much never have soy, unless I’m eating sushi and I usually use Bragg’s Amino Acids. I try to find replacements. I don’t drink milk, I drink coconut milk. There are lots of other options of things that are not inflammatory. Food does matter when it comes to healing and health, even though it’t not the only piece of the puzzle for most of us (hence the 10 Keys I teach).
The most important supplement (for myself) is to add more oil into my diet. I take a Nordic Naturals fish oil pill one to three times per day with meals. Oils are really important to healing, health.
2) Movement– I don’t like the word exercise because I think a lot of us have equated the word exercise with something negative, a chore, have to/should do mentality. I recommend that you find a way that you love to move daily. I highly recommend to have it be out in nature as much as possible- walking, running, jogging, hiking, biking, dancing or swimming, as nature is very healing and stress relieving. Moving your body is not just for weight reasons, but also for stress management. Your body loves to move, it doesn’t like to sit or lie down all day (especially at a desk). Finding a way that you love to move even if just 15-20 minutes per day. Throw out the “all or nothing”.. I used to have the mentality that if I didn’t work out at least sixty minutes a day on the treadmill at a certain pace, it was pointless. I would also over exercise. I went through a period of time that I would exercise for two to four hours a day. That’s not moderation. So again you want to use moderation. These days I love trail running – sometimes very slowly depending on the day and taking walk breaks. I really listen to my body as to how long and how much intensity, and recommend you do to. You want to check in with your body every morning by asking it, “Body, what do you need today in terms of nutrition and movement and rest?” That is really important to do, not to just go by what people tell you to do, but ask your body every day… because it will likely give you a different answer every day. Mine often does.
3) Rest– Probably the most important of the three areas. I’m not just talking about sleep, although sleep is included. For those of you who are in the middle of a health breakdown- mental, physical or emotional, rest is going to be at the top. You’re going to need more rest than your ego-mind tells you you need, than your Superwoman/man tells you that you need. That was one of the biggest wake up calls for me when I got sick. Even if I was getting enough sleep, I was not slowing down enough and having enough time to just be, do restful activities like a guided Therapeutic Meditation Practice, taking a midday nap, gentle yoga, a bath, reading for pleasure, sitting/laying in nature- nature is a master healer. So, not something that you’re doing for work, chores at home, social/play time, etc. Having periods of down time, alone time.
Again, moderation is key, asking your body what it needs every day and then following that guidance.
As always, progress not perfection. Baby steps. Small changes every day and keep building on that. If you fall off the wagon, please be gentle with yourself. Compassion will help you get back on the wagon a lot easier than beating yourself up.
xoxo Tanya 🙂