The Internal Pharmacy

Our bodies can take multiple hits-every day, every week, every year. Our immune system is designed to help our body correct itself. We often forget that our bodies know how to heal way better than we could ever understand. Today, I want to talk about the mind body connection, and how you can become the architect of your own healing. The body is not just a physical device. Your autonomic nervous system mobilizes every second of every day ensuring that your major organs are functioning. Thoughts, food, energy and emotions shape the relationship with our body and our world.

Dr. Mark Hyman believes, “When our foods are biologically addictive, the notion of a person’s choice and will power is a fiction.” Have you ever wondered why, in the middle of the night, you walk through your dark kitchen, open the refrigerator, grab your Ben and Jerry’s pint and finish the whole thing? Foods that spike our blood sugar are biologically addictive. This doesn’t mean that you’re lazy or lack self discipline, we know now that foods that spike blood sugar are proven to be addictive.

All of our imbalances show up in different ways. Sometimes it’s back pain, sometimes its bloating or constipation. We can’t be on autopilot when it comes to nurturing our bodies. Once we realize that food is actually medicine, we think very differently about what we put into our mouth.

When we consciously decide to eat the right foods, it actually sends a message to our brains to shut down these crazy cravings so you can burn fat and feel energized. Let’s make a choice to cook our way out of our addiction- to sugar, to processed foods-and begin one meal at a time.

Strategies for getting optimal nourishment from food

Safe Training Strategy shares a few basic principles to follow when preparing and eating food that will help your body receive the highest levels of nourishment and energy from every bite.

Eat in a calm and quiet environment.

Never eat when you’re upset—wait until you have calmed down.

Always sit down to eat—preferably in a place where you can eat mindfully and peacefully.

Eat only when you feel hungry—think of your appetite as a fuel gauge with 0 being empty and 10 being full, wait until you are a 2 or 3 before eating and stop at a 6.

Reduce ice-cold food and drinks—your digestion functions better at room temperature. Avoid soda at all times.

Eat at a moderate pace—try to chew thoroughly (20-25 chews) before taking your next bite.

Wait until one meal is digested before starting the next—wait until you start to feel hungry—if you are not sure, drink some water and see how you feel.

Sip warm water with your meals—this aids the digestive process. In the morning have a full glass of warm water with lemon before your coffee and breakfast.

Eat freshly cooked meals—fresh ingredients as close to the source as possible has more life force and the body absorbs the nutrients more efficiently.

Reduce raw foods—they can be harder to digest for some; light cooking or steaming helps to ease digestion.

Experience all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent) at every meal—this helps to ensure satiety.

Drink milk separately from meals, either alone or with other sweet foods—Ayurveda considers milk to be a complete food by itself.

Leave one-third to one-fourth of your stomach empty to aid digestion—like a washing machine, it’s best to leave room for churning to help optimize digestion.

Sit quietly for a few minutes after your meal—this is a time to savor the meal and contemplate gratitude for all that nature has provided.

You don’t have to do all of these at once! Choose one or two that you can try today and you can add on from there. At first it may seem awkward, but with consistent practice they will become part of your regular routine.

Breathe before you EAT! #STS