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.
The Herb Purslane Is A Nutritional Powerhouse
The lovely, moist succulent known as purslane, is 93% water, features dark magenta stems, and rich green, rounded leaves. Also known as Portulaca oleracea, this nutritious, edible weed has collected some colorful nicknames over the years, including: little hogweed, pigweed, and fatweed.
A first-century historian named “Pliny the Elder” suggested that Romans used purslane as the primary vegetable during dinners and as a crunchy addition to salads. Some 18th-century French farmers were known to hate the plant, saying “it’s a mischievous weed meant for pigs.” The herb can be found in Africa, North America, Asia, and Australia.
Some say that Europe is purslane’s native home, but given its succulence, it most likely originated nearer to deserts. The plant has been native to India, Greece, and Persia for centuries, but may have first appeared in North Africa some 4,000 years ago. Some archeologists suggest the plant is prehistoric. Slightly sour and infused with nuanced flavors akin to watercress and spinach, the fleshy purslane is loved by millions throughout the world.
This jade-like plant can be sautéed, juiced, boiled, pickled, drenched in butter, or featured in a delicious salad with oil, salt, and vinegar. It’s a versatile weed that can be grabbed from the Earth and immediately consumed. As it’s often found in plentiful heaps strewn across the countryside, the plant is easy to grow and has provided helpful sustenance throughout the ages, especially during times of famine.
“I have made a satisfactory dinner on several accounts, simply off a dish of purslane, which I gathered in my cornfield, boiled, and salted.” — Henry Thoreau