Nourishment comes in many forms. Today I am sharing five ingredients to nourish yourself. These five do not represent my full list, but they are what I consider foundation ingredients.
Image credit: Unsplash, Andrew Welch
#1 Nourish yourself with food
As Hippocrates said “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Eastern Medicine well before the time of Hippocrates, also promoted food as a foundation for good health and wellbeing. So why has eating nourishing foods become so complicated? As mentioned before, we often seek guidance from popular diets that restrict certain foods and provide rigid guidelines. This approach is more like a prison sentence than a pathway to health and happiness. For some, this starts an emotional battle with food. We also have to navigate the rows of highly processed foods in supermarkets.
Since graduating as a dietitian over 20 years ago, the principles of eating well have not changed greatly:
- A balance of dietary fats is more important than the total quantity
- The amount of grain and cereal foods recommended is related to how active we are
- Five vegetables and two fruit a day remains
- Good quality protein foods remains, but with clearer serve guidelines
- A few more eggs is now considered nutritious—up to 7 a week
- Two to three dairy or alternatives has also been a consistent message
#2 Move to remain supple and strong
Physical activity of all kinds is of benefit to our mind and body. As with food, too much exercise can be damaging. We can over do it. I promote movement for fun and for transport. This includes most activities: gardening, walking, cycling, swimming, horse riding and team sports. Personalised advice is recommended if you have health conditions, haven’t exercised for a while or wish to train for a specific event. You may like to re-read my suggestions from Exercise Right Week.
#3 Sleep to rejuvenate
An often underrated activity in our ‘DOING’ society, sleep is my favourite recommendation to nourish yourself. Personally, sleeping is one thing that I look forward to every evening. Good quality sleep is required to replenish our mind and body. Read my tips on enjoying quality sleep.
#4 Breathe completely
Abdominal breathing is our natural way to breathe. Infants breathe this way. As adults our breathing can become shallower, and the tendency is to breathe into our chests, rather than our stomachs. Nourish yourself with every breath by inhaling into your lower abdomen and exhaling completely. Watch your in-breath, does your chest or stomach rise as you breathe in? I recommended breathing practices as a way to pause in your day.
#5 Nourish yourself with mindful choices
I am a great advocate of creating supportive partnerships with your healthcare practitioners, with the proviso that you are the expert of your own mind and body. What I mean by this is that you know how you feel? Are you at your best, your worse or somewhere in between?
Mindfulness is the key to knowing yourself. It encourages you to be present in every moment, observing what you are thinking and doing. It is not a tool to judge yourself, rather a method to observe which choices nourishes you and which ones detract from your health and wellbeing.
Mindful eating is a practice that I recommend to reconnect you with your food and how to best nourish yourself through eating.
Eating for You promotes a mindfulness approach to nourish yourself, and encourages you to take a holistic view of your daily choices. If you would like to take a sneak peak at the Eating for You book, the first chapter is currently available as a free gift. You will see the pop up box on this website—just enter your email address. Wishing you a very nourishing year ahead. One of the simplest things you can do is be kind to yourself.