5 Guidelines for Discovering Your Nutrition Needs
Diet and nutrition are common topics being discussed in yoga class. When I first began practicing yoga, through no mindfulness of my own, my diet began to change. I started to notice that certain foods I enjoyed made me feel heavy and lethargic. Through yoga, I became aware of the effects the food I ate had on my body and so I naturally began to adjust my diet. Yoga helps us to tune into Nature’s rhythms and allows our true nature to resurface.
Just as no two people have matching fingerprints, we need to take into account our human uniqueness when discussing nutrition. Exercise your own judgment as to what is right for you. Our food choices reflect the ongoing evolution of ourselves, our life values, and our sense of purpose. There should be no forcing or struggle when it comes to what you eat (much like your yoga practice). Trust the wisdom your body has to offer and modify based on what your body is telling you.
Listening to and supporting our unique needs takes conscious effort. With nutrition information changing on a daily basis, it is hard for us as consumers to make informed choices. Technology, the media, and poor examples from those who raise us contribute to this separation from our intuitive abilities. We can honor ourselves and the planet by being aware of where and how our food is being produced, and understanding how our body digests and assimilates it.
Food gives us energy and helps us face life’s challenges. We should eat to nourish ourselves and not devitalize ourselves.
“Keeping ourselves clear through light and simple eating allows our full energy to be available to us so that we can be the true ‘spiritual warriors’ or ‘spiritual athletes’ we were intended to be.” – Elson M Haas, MD
5 Guidelines for Intuitive Whole Health
Here are some basic guidelines to follow:
1. Eat natural, fresh, good quality, organic, GMO free foods. Limit processed foods. The quality of the food eaten affects our well-being.
2. Diet varies with activity level and time of the year. Create meals based on foods available at Farmer’s Markets. Don’t be afraid to eat more if your activity level increases.
3. Meals should be simple. Big meals, or combining lots of different foods, can act as a mental and physical sedative.
4. Develop the habit of relaxing around eating. This supports the bodies digestive functions.
5. Exercise keeps the body healthy and helps our bodies utilize the nutrients we consume.
Gaia Herbal 101: The Powerful Elderberry
The humble elderberry, of the genus Sambucus, has been a multipurpose herbal workhorse for centuries. Species of Sambucus are found throughout the Northern hemisphere from Asia to North America — throughout the world, elderberry has been used for medicine, food, and wine making.
In Chinese medicine, elderberry is called “Jei Gu Mu,” and is used to treat the “damp” conditions we call colds or flu. It is also used to reduces fevers and treat urinary tract and bladder imbalances — Jei Gu Mu is said to work specifically in the bladder, kidney, and lung meridians.
Eastern woodland Native Americans made tea from dried elderberry plant leaves, poultices for wounds from the flowers, and cooked the berries to make throat-soothing syrups for winter cold and flu symptoms. Evidence of cultivated elderberry plants has been discovered by archaeologists near early native settlements and sacred sites.
In Europe, Elderberry was attributed with magical qualities — folk wisdom said that a person could hide under an elderberry bush to escape goblins, trolls, and witches. There are several stories of elderberry bushes being portals to fairy realms.
Elderberry Medicinal and Protective Properties
Elderberry has been called “the medicine chest of the common people.” As a folk medicine, elderberry has been used to treat constipation, stomach upset, colds, sore throat, and rheumatism. The fruit, or berries, contain antioxidant flavonols and have high levels of Vitamins A, B6, and C as well as iron, potassium, and calcium.
While it is known that cancer cells may appear in the body at any time, it is the combination of robust immune function with a diet rich in flavonoid antioxidants that helps to stop rogue cells in their tracks, preventing tumor formation.