Self Care

Your Oxygen Mask Goes on First

What is the first thing you think of when you see the words Oxygen Mask and why am I writing about them?  The oxygen mask that drops down when the pressure reaches a certain level in a plane, has become a symbol of the importance of taking care of yourself before you take care of others, when the instinct might be to do the opposite.

When it comes to caring for yourself before others, it can be difficult for many of us to be honest about what we should do more for ourselves so that we can be the best version of us to go out into the world.  Are we talking about making sure we get that manicure and massage this week, perhaps color our hair, have coffee with a friend, or spend a night out with friends?  Or are we talking about going for a run, drinking a green smoothie, making time for Pilates and spinning class, ditching refined carbohydrates, or embracing dark leafy greens?

When it comes to caring for yourself by choosing the right food for your body, do you know what that is?  

Do you ever struggle to know what foods are healthy for your body and what foods are harmful?  We get practically pummeled every day by articles in the news, on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and even delivered directly in our own email (did we even sign up for that newsletter?).  We see pictures of perfect foods on Instagram and Pinterest.  Surely we know from all of that information what foods we should be putting in our refrigerators and pantries, so when we get that pang of hunger, we can simply reach into the kitchen and grab a quick snack or meal.  We know that snack or meal will be delicious and give us what we need to feel energetic, light, and ready for whatever activity we need to conquer next.  Right?  Or do you sometimes find that the more images you see of that perfect smoothie bowl or avocado toast, the more confused you are about what works for your body?

And then what about the fact that one diet that claims to solve all your weight loss woes and energy dips but that it is directly conflicting to the advice of the new diet that claims to prevent chronic diseases and give you great abs??  How do you know which diet is right for you?  Should you buy all the books, read them through, and get to the bottom of it by trying each, one at a time?  Well, that’s one approach, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

So then, what’s a human to do?

I’ll let you in on a well-known, but still sometimes hard to follow secret: Listen to what your body is telling you.  

If you find that your body is telling you to put on your turn signal, get off at the exit, pull into the Burger King, and then down two giant Whoppers with fries and a super-sized cola, then I think we can agree that your body may not be in the right place to be giving directions just yet.  This is where many of us find ourselves, and when someone says ‘listen to your body’ we think “no, that can’t be right, because my body wants that pint of ice cream, and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t on the list my nutritional therapist gave me!”

So what do you do next?  

Think about how to give your body room to think.  Right now, you may be so cluttered with toxins that your body is just sifting through them trying to get rid of them as best it can, but there’s a proverbial line of overflowing garbage trucks waiting at the door to your liver, because your liver isn’t able to get through it all fast enough.

The best way to move forward and help your body to function as it is designed is likely not a ‘DETOX’ so please don’t even go there.  I’m not saying detoxification is not good - it’s wonderful and I highly recommend it.  But the thing is, your body is constantly detoxifying.  It’s already been built to do that.  So there’s no need to go out and purchase a 5 or 7 day detox meal delivery plan that will only bring you juice, water, or ‘perfectly combined shakes’ in order to help your body clean out the gunk.  And you don’t need to buy all those diet books either.  

So what’s the secret?  

All you need to do is give your body what it needs to do it’s job effectively, and stop giving it extra junk to process.  Eat Real Food.  Buy it yourself, buy things that do not have ingredient labels, and go home and prepare it yourself.  This is the secret to the effectiveness of diets and cleanses.  When you give your body the nutrients it needs to do what it naturally does, efficiently, without overloading it with additional toxins, it will clean itself out.  You are an amazing being capable of so many things.  Sometimes putting on that oxygen mask just means keeping things simple and getting out of your own way.

Enjoy your clean, real, food, prepared by you, so you know exactly what’s in it.

If you still feel that you’re not sure which foods work for your body, or find that you still experience issues even when you have simplified, gotten out of your own way, and eat good nourishing foods, consider asking for help.  I know three nutritional therapists in the area (myself included), who would be happy to work with you to learn your body’s unique diet and lifestyle needs.  Contact me directly to find out more at: www.StrengthInNutrients.com/Contact