Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies Every Day   

Yes, it seems everywhere you turn health and wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables. 

You totally get it.

 Yes, they’re full, and I mean FULL, of nutrition (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, etc.).

 Yes, people who eat more fruits and vegetables live longer, healthier lives. Not to mention protecting their bodies and minds from just about every chronic disease out there.

 Yes, eating more vegetables can help you maintain a healthy body weight, and even lose some fat (as long as you don’t bread and fry them, or cover them with cream sauce).

 Your question is not “Should I eat more fruits and vegetables,” but “How can I actually do it?”

 Believe me, as a health coach I’m chock full of amazing, creative and delicious ways to help you eat more fruits and veggies.

And before we dive in, always start from where you are. If you’re not used to any fruits or veggies, try for just two per day. Build up from there. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to overhaul your entire diet I one day. Wherever you’re at now, I challenge you to increase it by two per day.

Now, let’s dive into my helpful ideas on exactly HOW to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet!

Sneak them into other dishes

OK, this one may be, shall we say, “sneaky,” but I’m all about your health, so hear me out.

Some dishes are super-easy to enhance with a bit of strategically placed produce. What do you think of these ideas?

  • Add ½ apple, a small handful of spinach, or extra berries into your smoothie.
  • Dice or shred up an extra bit of carrot, broccoli, zucchini or pepper into your soup.
  • Love sandwiches? Why not add an extra slice of tomato, lettuce or cucumber to it?
  • How about chicken, tuna, or salmon salad? Dice up a stalk of celery and throw it in.
  • Love to bake? How about substituting ¼ cup of the sugar for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce?
  • Used to having a small salad? Why not try a larger one?
  • Making tomato sauce? Add in some extra mushrooms or peppers.

 Make them taste more delicious with a meal

  • Steam some frozen corn and add a touch of olive oil and your favorite herb or spice.
  • Use veggies as your sandwich “bread” by making a lettuce wrap.
  • Don’t be afraid to spice them up! Try sauteing them for 10 minutes with a drizzle of oil and flavor them with pepper, garlic, ginger or cumin.

Opting them for snacks.

  • Why not throw a banana, apple or a couple of clementines into your lunch bag?
  • Ditch the chips and dip – Instead try some carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber or cauliflower with a dip like hummus, guacamole, or even your favorite salad dressing?
  • Love sweetened yogurt? Buy plain, and immerse it with fresh or frozen berries.
  • Buy a bag of sugar snap peas or snow peas for a snack. 

Your challenge

Take two of these suggestions and try them tomorrow. Just add two more fruits and veggies to the number you’re at today. Two more.

And if you’re not an instant fan, well, try again. Research shows that sometimes it takes our taste buds several tries before actually beginning to like a new flavor. Try it; you might just find some new faves. 

You can do it.

Let me know your favorite ideas in the comments below.

Diet and Fibromyalgia

Diet and Fibromyalgia

The food we put in our body is the building blocks for our physiology.

When we put in healthy nutrient rich foods that our bodies know how to utilize we are creating a strong physiology.  The human body is a miracle in motion.  There are literally hundreds of thousands of processes going on in the human body at any one time.  When we fuel our body with healthy foods, these processes are efficient and the body has the resources to ongoingly heal, rejuvenate and balance itself.  This results in physical health and endurance.  The body is also the foundation for the emotions and the mind.  When the body is healthy and functioning optimally, the mind will be clearer and focused and the emotions will be stable and more positive. 

Eating foods that are not healthy for the body is a factor in fibromyalgia

 When foods are highly processed and refined, many of the essential nutrients the body needs are removed.  Furthermore, the many additives and chemical preservatives that are added to the food are not in harmony with the physiology of the body.  The thousands of processes going on in the body cease to function properly.  The body loses its ability to heal itself and malfunctions causing illness.  By eating a healthy diet we can allow our bodies to regain health.

There are many factors to healthy eating. 

Some of these have to do with the actual foods themselves.  But it also includes other factors such as cooking styles, how you eat, and the balance of foods and nutrients in your diet. 

All bodies are different and unique. 

As such, there is not one diet that will work for everyone.  There are many factors to consider such as how your body metabolizes food, your blood type, your body type (lean or sturdy), your ancestry, your dietary history, your age, sex and activity level. 

Addressing all aspects of healthy eating giving you the foundation of a strong healthy body.

Below is a summary of some of the important aspects to health eating. 

Basic Steps to Healthy Eating:

  1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  2. Upgrade your carbohydrates . . . eat more whole grains.
  3. Choose Healthy Proteins
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Say yes to good fats and no to unhealthy fats.
  6. Eat a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
  7. Eat mindfully
  8. Vary cooking styles.
  9. What you include is more important as what you exclude.
  10. Eat nutrient dense foods.
  11. Eat a moderate amount of natural salt.
  12. Deconstruct food cravings and understand how to get your real needs met in a healthy way.
  13. Understand how to eat for your unique body type.
  14. Eat with love and respect for your body.

 

Please share your comment and questions below.

Bindu

Please Hear My Pain Pt 3

Please Hear My Pain Pt 3

What is your pain trying to tell you? 

Last week we explored the art of listening to our bodies.  Is there a message our physical, emotional or mental body is trying to send us?

In my experience of rebuilding my health, I have had to address many issues outside of the physical realm.  I had been raised to not trust myself or anyone else, to suppress my emotions, to not speak my voice, to do what others told me to do, to be a perfectionist . . . and the list could go on and on.  All of this was impacting my health.  It was suppressing my authenticity and my power.  Part of rebuilding my health was to reclaim my power, my voice, my intuition and my pwn trust.

If you have fibromyalgia, you are already listening to your body.  You know that there are things that you cannot do, or the body erupts with pain.  By learning the language of the body, you can hear the messages before the body needs to yell at you.   Here are some examples of things than can be underlying physical pain and dysfunction.  Do any of them resonate with you?

I just need to be felt, to be heard

Sometimes our pain just needs to be felt, to be heard by you.  Can you just sit with your pain and give yourself loving attention?  Can you simply be present with your pain?  There is a voice inside of each of us that need to be heard.  So many time, we think we need someone outside of us to hear us.  But maybe, we are the only one who can give ourselves what we need.  Our own loving attention.

Is there unheard emotional pain?

Under the physical pain there is often emotional pain. Are you willing to feel your emotions?  We are trained in our society that emotions are bad and not to be felt.  Because of this we suppress our emotions and they become lodged in our body and interfere with the functioning of the body.

Are you ignoring your own inner knowing?

We are not hearing our own inner voice and wisdom. Can you hear and trust your own inner knowing?  Has your own inner wisdom been drowned out by the conditioning of parents, schools, religion and society?  What do you want underneath under all of the shoulds and have to’s?

Do you need to make a change in your life?

Is your body trying to tell you about a change you need to make in your life? Are you allowing yourself to be mistreated in some way?  Is there something you want to do but have reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do that?

Are you not taking care of your body?

Are you abusing your body? Not listening, over working, eating the wrong diet, pushing yourself to achieve external goals?   How long have you been ignoring your body and not giving it the care and loving attention that it needs?  Sometimes we have become so sleep deprived that it can take months or years of needed sleep and rest to catch up.

Does your diet need to change?

Is there something in your diet that your body doesn’t want or like? Are there foods that your body needs?   So many of us eat unhealthy foods and yet expect our bodies to function.  Imaging pouring water or oil in you gas tank.  How long do you think your car would function?   We need to eat the foods that provide our body with the right kinds of energy and nutrients to allow the body to function properly and to rebuild and heal.

Are you using your creative gifts?

Are you or were you working in a job that is sucking the life out of you? Perhaps your body and spirit finally rebelled and said, this isn’t working.  I need to be expressing my gifts in the world.  I’m out of here . . . . literally.

Do you have unresolved situations from your past?

What painful situation from your past have you pushed under the carpet and have not dealt with?  Did you suffer a trauma, physically, emotionally, spiritually?  Were you raised in a household by abusive parents?  Did something happen that frightened you?  Our body retains cellular memories of these kinds of events.  Until the cellular memory is neutralized, the negative energy will disrupt your health and your life.

Are your beliefs holding you back?

What beliefs are you holding onto that no longer serve your highest good?  Many of us adopted beliefs as a child from our conditioning or from the need to survive a difficult situation.  We needed them at the time to fit it or to feel safe and loved.  Are those beliefs still operating in your life?  Are they still needed, or can they be updated to reflect who you are today . . . and who you are growing into?

What are you not saying?

Is there something that you need to say to someone that you are afraid to say? Perhaps you feel like you will hurt their feelings.  Maybe you don’t trust your instincts enough to speak up for yourself.  What do you withhold that needs to be said?  Maybe you speak and others don’t hear you.  How can you communicate in a way that gets heard and gets your needs met?

Do you have physical toxicity, metabolic chaos or biochemical imbalances?

Pain in the body, can also be a result of metabolic chaos, bio-chemical imbalances or toxicity. This can be investigated by a practitioner trained in functional medicine or bionetics.  Not all pain is based in metaphysical elements.  In addition to exploring our psyche, we need to address underlying physical toxicity, imbalances and malfunctions.

Listening to your inner voice

As you practice listening to your inner voice, notice if any of these resonate with you . . . or not.  Are there other things that come to mind that your inner voice would like to have heard?

Acknowledging these things doesn’t mean you need to make radical changes in your life.  By acknowledging them and continuing with the inner listening process, you will receive guidance as how to proceed.  Sometimes things will shift and resolve, simply by acknowledging what is true.

One of the main factors in rebuilding my health was to listen to my inner voice.  I was thinking today about the many gifts I have received from having fibromyalgia.  I wish I could have gotten these messages without the pain and suffering, but if this is what it took to get past my hardheadedness and ridged approach to life, so be it.

Our psyche holds many wonderful things and many difficult and painful things.  To embrace both polarities is to embrace the fullness of life and brings a rewarding and fulfilling life.

May you enjoy the experience of getting to know yourself at a deeper level.

Bindu

 

If you can relate to any of this,

1) check out my free mini-course on how to identify and resolve inner stressors.

2) sign up for a complimentary Discovery Session.   Talk one on one with Bindu about your health challenges and goals.  Explore natural solutions to rebuilding your health. 

Please Hear My Pain Pt 2

Please Hear My Pain Pt 2

Do you hear your own pain beyond the physical pain? 

Last week in Please Hear My Pain Pt 1, I talked about the need to feel heard and how other people couldn’t understand our experience.  This week, we are going to explore a deeper level of hearing your own pain.

Is your body talking to you?

The body holds an intelligence of its own, separate from your mind.  When the body is in pain, it is trying to tell us something.  For those of us with fibromyalgia, the body is literally screaming at us.   It may have something to say that we are not hearing. This does not mean we do not support the body on a physical level.   It means that we take into consideration our body’s input when making decisions about our health.

Your body is a valuable resource

Often in the experience with fibromyalgia, we think of the body as the enemy.  The body has betrayed us.  What if the opposite is true?  What if your body is your friend?  What if your body is trying to guide you to improved health?  What if your body and inner knowing is trying to guide you to discovering a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life experience?

Are you listening?

Are you listening to your body?  Can you hear what your body is trying to tell you?  So often, when we feel pain, we look outside of ourselves for the solution.  In today’s society, we are conditioned to do that.  The doctor or alternative health practitioner is the expert on our illness.  We look to them for answers. We don’t understand that if we learned to listen to our body and understand what it is telling us, that we could unravel our own pain.  We don’t know that we are the expert on our own body and that our body is the expert on our health.

After a doctors appointment where I felt dismissed and misunderstood, I realized that in 15 minutes I was trying to convey how I felt.  I was with my body 24/7.  I was very intimate with my own body.  It wasn’t possible for me to communicate the depth of my experience with anyone else or for them to understand it.

At the time, I wasn’t sure what to do with this.  As I began to take more responsibility for my health and make my own decisions, I realized that I knew my body best and needed to be proactive about my health choices.

How can we understand what our body is trying to tell us?

The body speaks through the vehicle of sensation.  We can learn to communicate with our body.  By being present with the sensations/pain, we can begin to tap into the underlying wisdom of the body. The first step is to learn to be present with your body.  Here are some steps that you can use:

  1. Turn off music, phones, television and put a do not disturb sign on the door.
  2. Get yourself in a comfortable lying position on a firm surface.
  3. Slow down and deepen your breath.
  4. Begin to feel the weight of your body against the surface you are lying on.
  5. As you breathe, focus on letting your body soften into the support of the surface.
  6. Do this for several moments.
  7. As the body relaxes, take time to be present with the sensations / pain in your body.
  8. Notice the tendency to recoil from the pain/sensation or drift into thinking.
  9. When you notice this, focus on your breath and invite your body and mind to relax.
  10. Breathe in deeply and exhale with a sigh.
  11. Allow yourself to be present with the sensation.
  12. Repeat steps 7 through 11 until you can feel more comfortable with the pain/sensation.

As you remain present with the sensation, begin to explore it. Here are some questions you can ask to go deeper:

  1. Where is the strongest sensation?
  2. Is there a color, shape or texture to the sensation?
  3. Notice if you feel an emotion.  If so, allow yourself to feel the emotion.
  4. Ask the sensation if it has a message for you or is trying to tell you something.
  5. Notice the conversation that comes into your mind. What are you thinking about?
  6. Be aware of pictures or images that arise.

This process will begin to open the communication with your body.  Sometimes tension will release just by being present with it.  As you work with this, you can begin to create a healthy, loving, harmonious relationship with your body.  This is a first step in reconnecting with your inner wisdom.

Weekly Practice

Take some time this week to explore connecting with your body.  Take 15 minutes a day to spend focused on your body.  It will help you repair your relationship with your body.  Your body needs to be your ally rather than your enemy.  It wants to be healthy.  It wants you to be happy and fulfilled. 

Next week, I will talk more about listening to the body and hearing your own pain.

May you and your body become friends, Bindu

Power of Breathing

Power of Breathing

Breath is Life

The most important nutrient that we take in every minute of every day is air.  Breath is life.  Your life begins with the first breath in and ends with your last breath out.  Without breath/air, you would cease to be alive in 3-4 minutes.  You can live for up to 3-4 months without food and up to a week without water, but you cannot even live 5 minutes without air.

Breathing and Life Energy

Modern research shows that slowing down and deepening our breath shifts us from the stress response to the relaxation response.  Slowing the breath down slows the heart, normalizes blood pressure, increases blood flow to the digestive system, deepens sleep, increases energy, focus, concentration, and memory.

Conscious movement of breath can be applied to achieve a state of relaxed vitality so that optimum health is reached and maintained.  The breath is one of the few body systems that is both voluntary and involuntary.   We can use the training of breath as a tool to achieve heightened energy and awareness and to resolve specific problems such as lowering blood pressure, stop smoking, and lower stress.

The Natural Breath

Have you ever watched a sleeping baby?  Its little tummy moves outward easily and fully as it breaths in air.  This is how we all breathed as a child, fully and deeply.  A full deep breath will bring in as much as 2 quarts of air with each breath, which includes energy, oxygen and other nutrients for the body. 

For a minute place your hands on your belly and inhale slowly, and deeply letting your abdomen expand like a balloon.  Let the abdomen fall as you exhale slowly; you are releasing old stale air.  Inhale easily; feel your abdomen expand again.  Press the air out as you contract, as you pull your belly toward the spine in while exhaling.   How do you feel? 

Reversing the effects of stress through deep breathing.

The abdominal breath is a first step in reestablishing healthy breathing. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Increases the flow of oxygen to the body
  2. Exercises, relaxes and strengthens the diaphragm.
  3. Massages the abdominal organs
  4. Releases toxins from the body
  5. Helps the body to relax and release tension.
  6. Release trapped emotions from the body.
  7. Grounds and centers you.
  8. Breaks up the constant flow of thoughts. 

This week’s practice

This next week, experiment with the following practices and notice what happens. 

  1. Upon waking in the morning, before you get out of bed, place your hands on your abdomen and take several slow deep abdominal breaths. You can stop after several breaths or continue for 5-15 minutes.
  2. Several times a day take a belly breathing break. Stop what you are doing and place your hands on your belly.  Take several deep belly breaths.  Don’t force, just do what is comfortable for you.  Once complete, stop for a moment and notice the difference.
  3. Before you go to sleep at night, place your hands on your belly and take several deep abdominal breaths. Then let your breath find its own rhythm and pace.  Continue to watch the breath for a few minutes.  If you have difficulty falling asleep, break up the flow of thoughts by bringing your attention to the breath. 

Share with us on Facebook 

If you have any questions or would like to share your experience, connect with us on facebook and post your questions there. 

Until next week, happy breathing. 

Bindu