We humans come in all shapes and sizes, and our bodies are amazingly able to adapt to our environments. Without our being aware, our miraculous machines — my temple, as I often refer to mine, are busy each day absorbing the nutrients we ingest to repair tired muscles, sick or injured cells, and a host of other bodily functions. On a conscious level we can help, or hinder. Remember, we only get one body per lifetime, and the clock is ticking. Why not take a few simple steps to take care of it? There are so many things that are out of our control, but truly, eating a healthy meal is not one of them.
(Side note: For this blog I am speaking to those among us who actually have food to eat in the first place. I am obviously painfully aware that there are millions of people around the world facing the real and tragic issue of poverty, hunger, and in some cases, no food at all. This is another issue entirely, and the subject for another blog).
For this audience — those among you who do have access to a regular source of groceries and food, I would say that you have the ability to enhance your health, to increase your sense of well-being, and to up your happiness quotient. One of the easiest things to do to keep your body running efficiently, and to honor your temple, is to eat fresh, clean, healthy food — in moderation.
You’d have to be living under a rock somewhere not to be aware that our nation is facing a crisis with food; both with obesity and sadly, with other eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. We’re practically bombarded daily with articles about food-related disorders from one media source or another. So, consider yourself special, and treat meals with a little more dignity. Nibble on the following tidbits to get you started on a healthier, happier you.
Eat breakfast, and include protein, fruit, and perhaps some yogurt with probiotic cultures. Studies suggest that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It gets your engine running! It is important brain food for kids too — kids can’t function well at school without the fuel their growing brains need.
Eat lunch and dinner too, with a couple of snacks in-between. A snack can be a piece of fruit, some yogurt, some vegetables, a couple of ounces of walnuts. Please, please, please pay attention to portion sizes. That’s where most of us over do it. Our stomachs can’t really handle as much food as we give it in one sitting. On the other hand, most of us don’t eat as many vegetables as we need either, so try eating more of those, and while you’re at it, experiment with a variety of more colorful vegetables too.
Many veggies have added health benefits, for example, white fruits and vegetables, such as apples, pears, and cauliflower may offer extra protection against stroke. The skins of apples and pears are rich in the protective flavonoid, quercetin. Who knew?! And cruciferous vegetables, or leafy green vegetables such as Kale are especially good for the immune system, and may even help strengthen the function of immune cells in the skin, which is good news, since our skin cells are our body’s initial defenders against the germs that can cause colds and the flu. One delicious way to eat kale, and a simple recipe is as follows:
Wash raw, organic kale leaves carefully to remove all dirt/sand. Shake off water. Toss with a little olive oil and sea salt. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp. Serve as Kale Chips. Yum. This is my daughter’s recipe, and even my grand kids love them.
It’s never too late or too early to start taking care of our health, or learning how to be happy in our own skin, in the place we’re in. While it’s true there are many things in life that are out of our control, we do have the power to interpret our own experiences, and in many ways to decide what kind of lifestyle we will pursue.
How will you feed your temple today? I hope you will be kind to it, and feed it well. Namaste.