As wellness culture continues to progress and make its way to the forefront of conversation and popular culture, it's becoming more and more clear how our relationship with food affects our quality of life. Our bodies are designed to work in beautiful synergy when given the proper collection of nutrients. When we listen to our bodies and become conscious of how the various aspects respond to the food we eat, we can tailor our wellness experience and thus, the type of life we live.
Our bodies are designed to be self healing and food is intended to not only satisfy our senses temporarily, but strengthen our bodies internal intelligence and ability to perform, both mentally and physically.
Health and wellness is a very personal journey, as each individual body operated and responds uniquely to various foods and environments. However, there are certain food groups that make the path towards optimization more challenging and work counter intuitively with our bodies natural mechanisms. Constantly consuming foods that we do not tolerate well, can hinder our body’s ability to heal and defend itself against dis-ease.
Gluten is a protein molecule found in wheat products and most processed foods and although the intolerance severity is to scale, gluten is not helpful to anyone. It deteriorates the inner lining of the small intestines (leaky gut) and attacks the blood brain barrier (the protective filter which blocks harmful agents from damaging the mechanisms and cellular contents within the brain) causing inflammation and a host of subsequent issues within the body. These linings and barriers exist to keep harmful particles away from highly sensitive environments where they are not welcome. Over time gluten is very damaging as it triggers and weakens both the immune and nervous system.
Symptoms of this process include, bloating, brain fog and confusion, forgetfulness, constantly feeling lethargic, increased colds, allergies, skin irritations, the list goes on.
Sugars damaging effects may be common knowledge but it’s important to understand why, so that we can be more proactive in our efforts to eliminate or manage our intake of it.
Aside from its tendency to destroy most tissues and membranes at a cellular level, it steadily attacks our immunity by feeding and enabling the growth of harmful bacteria, which intern, threatens the quality and quantity of our beneficial microbial culture. This delicate balance between good and bad bacteria, is what determines the strength of our immune system and when tampered with, leave us susceptible to a host of dis-eases. The list is never ending when it comes to how sugar negatively affects our body and eliminating its refined forms while limiting the natural ones will yield some impressive results when it comes to how you feel and function.
Other common allergens worth exploring and eliminating include:
- GMO’s, pesticides
6 Habits To Adopt To Support The Elimination Process
1. Pick one group at a time to eliminate. Drastic and abrupt changes are hard to sustain. When you master the successful elimination of one ingredient or food group and you feel ready and motivated, eliminate another.
2. Increase your water and fibre intake. Once you cut out a food group that is not serving you, your body will begin to detoxify and heal itself. Fostering this process with the help of water and fibre is very important and will help your liver and other supporting systems process and remove toxins faster so you can start feeling better sooner!
3. Keep a journal before you start and throughout your journey. Jot down how you feel and symptoms you may be experiencing. This will help to identify and compare results during your process.
4. Incorporate helper herbs. Herbs such as Echinacea, Elderberry, Astragalus Root, Dandelion and Milk Thistle can strengthen your immune system and foster detoxification. Teas, capsules and tinctures are all helpful forms of utilizing these amazing herbs.
5. Increase your nutrient intake. When your body has a healthy balance of nutrients; vitamins and minerals, you are less likely to suffer from cravings that can set you over the edge and risk breaking your health streak. Try incorporating a quality whole foods multivitamin that also has a balanced selection of minerals. You may also consider blending and or juicing green veggies. These super vegetables contain high amounts of nutrients that our bodies rely on daily to feel our best.
6. Amp up physical activity with walks, runs, yoga flows etc. Changing up our lifestyle or eliminating certain habits can be challenging mentally. Exercise will help to release feel good chemicals in your brain such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins and will encourage you to continue on your wellness path.
It’s important to remember that health and wellness is a personal journey and we each have a unique path towards achieving it. Be gentle and patient with yourself. Slow and incremental improvement is how you sustain a positive change!
MEET THE CONTRIBUTER
Carter is a Toronto-based wellness enthusiast and holistic nutritionist. She works in digital advertising for The Star and The Kit and is a mother of one.
When it comes to wellness, Carter believes it starts with the commitment to love and honour yourself in all forms, and that cleansing and nourishing your body, mind and spirit, is the path towards your truest and highest expression.
Through writing and content creation, Carter connects with her online community and advocates for wellness, the growth and development of women, and other social issues.
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