19 Apr 2011
In a world where outer beauty is emphasized, it’s easy to forget about inner beauty. And when I say inner beauty I’m referring to how healthy your body is functioning. I often to refer to my body and how it runs as a Ferrari. Not because I think I’m as hot as Ferrari, but because it helps me visualize myself in a positive way. And also because it’s as close as I’ll ever come to actually owning one.
When I was younger I wasn’t as aware as I am now of the effects of food choices. Hence the pints of Haagen-Dazs consumed. As you age, your body becomes less efficient, so it’s of utmost importance to take care of what goes inside.
Your digestive system responds to those choices in a positive or negative way. It directly affects your overall health in not only how the machine runs but all of its functions.
My 6 personal rules to staying healthy on the inside:
- Portion control: Your body can only process so much at once and when you stuff yourself you’ve now put your body into overdrive. I try to make an effort to eat slowly, although I somewhat lost that skill when my children were young. When trying to get a meal in I’d practically inhale my food. Now I have to work at slowing down. It’s easier to overeat when you hurry through a meal.
- Spacing meals: I find that my body functions much better when I space my meals out. I try to eat about every three hours and about six times a day. I find I eat less per meal and have steady energy throughout the day.
- Probiotics: The more I learn about probiotics the more I find them essential for good health. They are part of a healthy immune system and you can easily make them part of your everyday diet, not only in a meal but in a yummy chocolate bar too!
- Food quality: It’s funny how we’ll spend four dollars on a coffee drink but not pay one or two dollars more for a quality cereal. This is where my Ferrari thoughts really help. If I owned one, I would learn whatever I could that would help me avoid repairs or damage. Not only do I want to keep driving it, I don’t want to pay for repairs or *gasp* have it completely break down! Aren’t we worth more than a car?
- Exercise: My whole body runs better when I exercise consistently. You have to run the engine to keep all parts functioning. The times that I’ve been unable to exercise, my whole system really suffered. I try to balance intense workouts with flexibility training like yoga. I find the combination keeps my body running at its best and helps me relieve stress that wreaks havoc on my digestive system.
- Sleep: This is one I’m still working on. Based on most studies the magic number is seven hours. I generally follow the rule not to eat about two hours before bed. I find it helps me sleep much better. When I don’t get enough sleep I tend to crave food that’s not good for my body, and if I give into those cravings, it affects my whole body that day. If you can avoid setting off a craving for bad food, you’ve won half the battle. Sleep is an important connection to overall health.
Although these are simple tips and probably not a big surprise, the challenge, as with most things, is in the consistency. Taking care of and improving your inside health is an ongoing process. If you treat your body like a junkyard car, that’s ultimately what you’ll get. See yourself as wonderfully crafted, priceless, and deserving of the best. Not only will your body thank you by running better, but you’ll be a vehicle of healthy living for your family and friends to see themselves the same and be healthier too!
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