{Nourish.Breathe.Thrive.} Conscious Whole Living 101

Conscious-Whole-Living-101I revamped the blog a few months back to better represent my healthy living philosophy and I realized that I never truly laid out a solid set of Conscious, Whole Living Intentions.  There is an abundance of health information available to all of us but the truth is, it can be downright confusing and conflicting at times. I hope this helps to clear things up a bit as it is my mission to empower and inspire you to feel excited about living and eating well!  I truly believe that living well is about loving yourself and keeping things simple–then the rest truly seems to fall into place. Here are a few easily digestible morsels to inspire you.

 

{Nourish}

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”  ~Hippocrates

  1.  Ditch Dieting and Deprivation. Say good-bye to calorie counting and the misery of stepping on the scale. Banish the negative associations you have with food, dieting and yourself and instead set an unwavering intention to nourish your body and be compassionate if you stray–it happens to the best of us! This simple mantra will help you rebuild your relationship with food, create more nutrient dense plates and and feel more satisfied in your food choices. Ask yourself why you eat and seperate emotional triggers from physical triggers like hunger and health. As for those emotional triggers — you can tend to them later with non-food tools like those in the {Thrive} section below. For now, keep your focus on nourishing your body with foods that make you feel good!
  2. Eat Whole Foods. Whole foods are far more nourishing than their processed and packaged counterparts and they are void of nasty additives, preservatives and non-food ingredients. Want to weed out the processed foods from your cart? Ignore the front of the package which is essentially advertising and head straight for the ingredient list then ask yourself the following questions to weed out the crap!
    1. Can I purchase all of the ingredients in the grocery store?
    2. What ingredients would you use to make this product at home? Look for a product that contains only those foods.
    3. Remember: Ignore the front of the box…its an advertisement. Read the ingredients and check out the nutrition information to decide for yourself if the product is as nourishing as it says!
  3. Limit Sugar! Sugar is highly addictive, void of nutrients and inflammatory to your system–the same goes for refined carbohydrates! A great way to decrease sugar is to avoid processed foods as sugar lives abundantly there. No-calorie sweeteners are just as bad–even the natural options. They encourage your need for sweet and feed into your dieting/calorie-counting mentality. Instead, choose to enjoy small amounts of natural sweeteners like raw honey and grade b maple syrup (remember: quality counts!) but retrain your taste buds to enjoy the slightest amount of sweet–oh, and avoid feeding your emotions with sugar–it won’t change ’em!
  4. Clean up. Your diet that is. Choose high quality ingredients like organic produce, pastured and grass fed animal proteins and wild-caught fish. Your body and the planet will thank you.
  5. Indulge…in good for you foods like colorful vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits as well as smaller amounts of high quality animal proteins, whole grains and legumes! I always weigh out the risk to benefit ratio of a nutrition recommendation and, thankfully, when it comes to eating more vegetables it is a total win! Vegetables are at the top of the list when it comes to protective, nutrient dense foods…so go ahead and eat up! When you fill at least half of your plate with colorful vegetables this naturally crowds out other, less healthful foods.
  6. Variety is key. People often ask me, “What is the best vegetable, nut, seed…” and my answer is always the same, there is no ONE superfood. Each food has its own unique nutrient profile and considering a healthy diet is comprised of a diversity of nutrients it’s a good idea to eat a diversity of ingredients!
  7. Feel Good. Enjoy a food that makes you feel good while your savor each bite as well as a few hours later. Avoid foods that cause you discomfort in any form be it physically or emotionally. Remember that nutrition is not one size fits all. Be your own advocate a choose a diet that supports your individual needs and empower yourself to choose feel-good foods!
  8. Heal Your Gut. A healthy belly is often the foundation of a healthy you! There are billions of healthy bacteria in your gut that aid in digestion and support your immune system. A crappy diet as well as medications and anti-bacterial EVERYTHING can deplete the army of good bugs in your gut. Help them flourish by eating a healthy diet rich in colorful vegetables as well as fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, kefir and more. You might even consider a probiotic supplement.
  9. Cook. The best way to control what you eat is to prepare it yourself and cooking can be a really rewarding experience. Let go of the notion that you need to spend hours in the kitchen and start with something simple that feels approachable and easy! Cook with friends and/or find inspiration from your favorite cookbook or blog. Kitchen fears have you sidelined? Check out my tips for overcoming them in a cinch! 
  10. Savor. It is no secret that we prefer foods that taste good–but when is the last time you truly tasted your food. Deprivation need not exist is you revamp the way you enjoy your food. Be mindful at your meals and truly chew your food and taste each bite. Engage your senses and revel in the enjoyment of whatever you are eating. 

{Breathe}

When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace. ~Author Unknown

  1. Breathe. Few things are as grounding as the power of our breath. Deep, purposeful breathing has a bounty of benefits including stress reduction, clarity of thought,  improved oxygenation, increased awareness and even improved relationships and happiness. Mindful breathing can be as simple as pausing to connect with your breath for a few meaningful inhales and exhales or beautiful as a daily meditation practice. Start where you are and remember that there is not right and wrong and it all helps.
  2. Pose. Does the thought of meditation overwhelm you? You are not alone. Active meditation like yoga or walking meditations may feel better to you so play around with a few different techniques. When it comes to yoga, my all-time favorite pose is heart bench. It is a a way to surrender, open your heart and truly let go and connect with your breath. This is a must try pose as far as I am concerned! 
  3. Shake it out. Our bodies love to move–that is what are muscles are made for! 

    Did you know the yoga is a way to prepare the body for meditation? Think about it…it is hard to simply sit and meditate when our mind is racing so before you try to meditate or sit quietly—shake out all of that pent up energy.

  4. Be Mindful. Mindfulness gives us the opportunity to connect with ourselves and offers you the space to make a decision that may be different than your norm. Mindfulness practices allow you to react to many situations in a more positive way including our food choices. When we are mindful we are more able to be compassionate and loving with ourselves and others.
  5. Be Present. When we are able to live in the present moment we can find clarity and peace. When we are present  we recognize that the current moment  is all there is. Worrying about the past (which you cannot change) or the future (which is unpredictable) simply takes you away from the joy of NOW  Now is all that exists.

{Thrive}

“Shine like the whole universe is yours.” -Rumi

  1. Plan. A little planning goes a long way when it comes to wellness practices. From planning your meals to scheduling time for exercise, meditation, prayer, socialization and you-time, the more organized you are the less stressful and overwhelming it will seem. Make sure you set aside some time your yourself to do something that you love…something that truly fills your heart as you deserve it. Scheduling is important but so is saying NO. be conscious not to over schedule yourself as you need time to relax and recuperate as well.
  2. Detox. No, this is not about starting another juice cleanse. It is about being more aware of the toxins in your life!  There are environmental toxins you can set an intention to avoid (think cleaning products, beauty products and quality of food). You can try to limit your exposure to toxic relationships that may exists or focus on ways to mend them. This detox also includes shutting off your TV, your cell phone and your computer and truly taking the time to be present with yourself and others. 
  3. Abandon Your Need for Perfection. It doesn’t exist and instead, constantly striving for perfection keeps your detached from the present moment and can lead to frustration as well as other negative emotions. Instead, set meaningful intentions to keep your focused on your overall goals like “I eat to nourish my body, not my emotions”, “Choose Joy”, and the most important, “Love Yourself”.
  4. Love Yourself. Truly loving yourself is the foundation to a well life. I often remind my clients to treat themselves as well as they treat their loved ones and this recommendation is often met with resistance. Why?! It is so important to love ourselves, all of the time. When we treat ourselves with compassion and truly take the time to be with ourselves we are capable of pretty amazing things. When you love yourself you will feel motivated to care for yourself, to eat well, to exercise and to make time self-care.  For example–take time to do something you love each day and take the time to tell yourself, in a meaningful way, how much you love yourself. Give yourself a hug. 
  5. Gratitude. I was once reminded that it is up to me to choose my attitude and, let me tell you, this is so true. My daily mantra is “Choose Joy”. This remind me that joy always exists–even in sorrow or illness–why, because I am alive. Challenge yourself to find gratitude in each day as it is one of the most rewarding practices you can adopt. 

“Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.”  ~William Shakespeare

 Be Well,

Katie

3 thoughts on “{Nourish.Breathe.Thrive.} Conscious Whole Living 101

  1. Great info, Katie! My husband is trying to lose weight for health reasons. We’ve eliminated grains, pasta, potatoes and bread for over a year. We eat lots of vegetables where we get fiber. This is working for losing weight so I believe this will be our new way of life. What’s your thoughts…Should we add any grains, oats, quinoa. Coucous, barley? If so how much a day? Thank you

    1. Hi Nancy: some people thrive without grains in their diet. You will have to see how your feel if you remove them! I would recommend 1-2 servings of grain per day with an emphasis on GF grains! Limit everything refined!

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