So, in my previous blog post (Life, skin and aging… part 1) wrote about wrinkles and skin care. This time I’ve turned my attention to our curves, diets and food.
Food is our fuel, without it we die. Full stop, end of story…right? I wish it was so simple. The slick advertising, marketing and airbrushed photographs of models that apparently have perfect figures, and the advertising appeal of ‘healthy’ food versus ‘bad’ food, can confuse us to say the least. Advertising and slick marketing has hypnotised us into believing that a thin body is a healthy, happy and successful body.
Over the years, during conversations with people who’ve come to see me for acupuncture and/or hypnotherapy for help with weight loss, I’ve witnessed the shame and guilt that some people feel when they are over their ideal weight and when they eat the ‘wrong’ food (whatever that is) and the people who can tell me how many calories are in a polo mint or a tic-tac. Food has become the enemy. In our fast paced life, it’s easy to forget that food can be an expression of love, nurturing and caring, it can be sociable, enjoyable, tasty, fun and sexy.
I believe that excellent nutrition is the basis of good health – you are what you eat, and that our diet is responsible for a lot of what we experience in our day-to-day life. Our typical Western diet is so far removed from the diet which we evolved as humans to thrive on that it often no longer provides the nutrients we need to maintain a healthy body and healthy lifestyle. The modern Western diet of fast foods and highly processed chemical laden foods has been attributed to so many health problems:
- Heart disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Skin problems
- Immune system problems
If I’m honest my diet could be better. I could eat more nutritious food, consume less sugar and do more exercise. I know that sometimes I eat when I’m not hungry – sometimes I eat when I’m sad, angry, frustrated, happy or bored. I also don’t take enough time to enjoy my food – sometimes if I’m very busy I just grab a quick snack or skip meals. I’ve also noticed that when I eat certain foods (mainly processed sugary foods) my energy levels plummet and so does my mood.
I’m passionate about teaching people to eat well and regain their health and vitality. The main approach I take is the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy which is based on the belief that healing can take place with the use of natural foods instead of, or in addition to medications (you can read more about this on my other blog here) The TCM perspective recognises the fact that every human being is unique and encourages us to connect with and follow the inherent wisdom within our own body. It views our cravings as our bodies’ attempts to bring us into balance and closer towards our equilibrium. Our cravings tell us that we need to find the most appropriate balance of foods for our individual unique health and lifestyle circumstances. We will only crave what we know – so if all we are familiar with is chocolate, cakes, fast food etc then that’s what we’ll think we’re craving. If we pay more attention to those cravings we might discover we are guided towards the foods and flavours that our bodies need exactly how and when they need them, and we can trust our bodies’ cravings and desires knowing that they will nourish, build and replenish us. You might discover that your body needs some fruit, a green salad, a big bowl of warm hearty soup, a juicy steak, a drink of water or even just a hug. (I’ll talk about food and our emotions another day 😉) Fundamentally, from a TCM perspective, it is not what we need to avoid but in fact what we need to include that balances us.
So, keeping it simple, I reckon that if we consciously decide to pay attention to our cravings, enjoy our food and take pleasure in our food we’d probably eat less, achieve our ideal weight and be happier too. OK let’s be clear, I’m not condoning eating everything in sight giving no thought to your health or weight! (If you have health problems please ensure you are supported by a qualified health/nutritional practitioner before making any big changes to your diet.) I am however, wholeheartedly and passionately encouraging you to make a conscious choice to ENJOY your food and make it as natural and chemical free as you possibly can. If you’d like some tips on how to get started you can find some in my blog post Adele’s 8 diet tips for health and vitality – getting started is easier than you think!
Food can be a powerful sensual experience that engages all your senses, so allow yourself to be seduced by the sight, smell, taste, and touch of your food – savour the flavour, texture and the appearance, make time to prepare your food with care and love, give yourself permission to enjoy your food, don’t feel guilty and for goodness sake just occasionally don’t count the calories.
At the end of these 2 blog posts then what I’m saying is that in our efforts to preserve our youthful looks, health and energy levels perhaps we’re somehow missing the point. There’s so much more to life that surface level appearances, obviously.
Wrinkles tell the story of our lives, they say so much about you, your hardships, your joys, your life – they are beautiful – care for and love them.
Beauty – some of the most beautiful faces I’ve seen have been those of wrinkly youngsters in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I could tell they were young by the sparkle in their eyes.
Curves, food, diets and wobbly bits – we’re supposed to have soft bits and curves. Skinny bodies aren’t necessarily healthy, happy, successful bodies. Love your curves.
Everything in moderation…most of the time.
The best anti-aging and feel good product is a smile. It’s easy, it’s free and it’s also contagious. Try one, get one free.
Life is for living. It’s rich, diverse, ever changing and joyful – if you pay attention. Make a decision today to engage and participate in life’s richness, live your life well and mature like a fine, full-bodied wine.