Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I'm 40. While some of my friends are starting to complain about
"age-related" aches and pains, I've been going in the opposite
direction. The chronic illness I developed in my early 30s is getting
harder to see in my rear-view mirror. It's gone, and I watch chronic
complaints disappear over and over with my clients. What a treat to
watch! Here's the road map for how to make that happen for YOU.
1. Eat Gobs of Vegetables-- Eat more of what you
already like. Try vegetables you’ve never had. Join a CSA and try to
really eat it all! That’s right. Eat MORE. Don’t focus on what to cut
out, just get more of these nutrient-dense, antioxidant-packed foods
into you. They clean out your liver, help you think clearly and make
your skin shine.
2. Do your inner work— If you go through life
without facing painful events that leave traces on your consciousness,
you naturally close down and feel less and less as you get older. When
you face your stuff, it can be very unpleasant for a short while, but
the reward is that you get reconnected with the full life force that is
available to you. It’s worth it. Be brave.
3. Make your exercise into your spiritual practice—When
you find ways to move your body that get you outside in any season,
connect with the elements, animals, plants, friends or God, you will be
drawn to it when you run into stress.
4. Cleanse— Do a 7-day cleanse at least once a year,
in the spring. Use this week to reset your metabolism, remove sugar,
caffeine, all refined foods and most animal products. Drink more water,
add superfoods and supplements you need and sweat often. There’s no need
to be hungry, just clean up your intake.
5. Find Your Food Fingerprint-- Use the week after
your yearly cleanse to re-introduce foods slowly and systematically to
reveal any food intolerances you have. Every human body has its own
“food fingerprint.” Only when your system is running very clean can you
find out exactly what works for you and what does not.
6. Sleep—get to bed before 10 pm to honor your
circadian rhythms so that the hours of sleep you get are deepest and
most restorative. Make your bed into a sumptuous haven with nice
lighting and yummy sheets. Back off on caffeine after 12 noon and make
sure you fully hydrate early on each day so you’re not drinking at night
and waking up to pee. Sleep deprivation has been clearly shown to
interrupt hormones that aid in weight loss. Sleep more to lose weight.
7. Take an annual retreat by yourself-- Whether it’s
a pilgrimage to the same place every year (Check out Omega, Kripalu,
Esalen and Hollyhock) or a new place each time, choose a contemplative,
restorative trip to somewhere without your friends or family (unless
they are ready to meditate!) As a cleanse reboots your body, this
retreat reboots your soul and helps you forge the future you deserve.
8. Explore your sensuality—Sensuality is life force.
Get off your devices and pick up a musical instrument. Buy flowers,
fill your home with velvets, silks, high thread count sheets and
fragrances. Dance, play with babies, sing in your car, go swimming, eat
amazing food and laugh.
Holly Noonan writes about self-nourishment and food empowerment every month in her Mind Body Nutrition Newsletter.