When I first started feeling unwell I would blame it on a million other things instead of just stopping and listening to what my body was trying so desperately to tell me. There were days where I would eat something and then bloat and feel disgustingly uncomfortable but oh Cat theres work to do and oh you have to finish this and oh you have to go to that place and… before i knew it, I had pushed that uncomfortable feeling so far to the side that not only would I forget my body had an issue in the first place, but more importantly, forget what could have possibly caused it.
I think that’s our weakness and where we can falter with our communication with our bodies. We know that our beautifully intelligent human machines and are trying to tell us something, but we get so ridiculously busy that we miss the most vital moment in which we could stop and listen, and start to do something about it.
But what about when you do start noticing, and you do want to start doing something about it but you don’t even know where to start?! Here are 5 tips that I wish I knew when I first started feeling unwell!
Keep a Food diary!
Before I started using a food diary I was in a downward spiral of feeling crappy, but not remembering why and what had perhaps caused it. I wish someone had told me earlier to start this simple practise of keeping track. You would be surprised at how often you are tricked to thinking that you’re eating well when in fact you’re not. But hey, I don’t blame us! We’re absorbing so much information on the daily, it’s sometimes hard to remember what’s real and what isn’t. “But I swear I had a Buddha bowl for lunch yesterday!” No Cat honey – that was @fit4lyfgurl1998.
When you consciously keep track of what you eat the benefits are overwhelmingly positive. You become accountable for what you put in your body because you can physically SEE it, instead of mindlessly shoving something down at your desk during your lunch break. Keeping a food diary also allows a health practitioner to see where you may be lacking in feeding your body vital fats, protein, fibre and nutrients in your daily diet and how perhaps nothing is actually “wrong” with you, you just may not be feeding your body enough of something! (Omega-3 and Omega-6 for example)
What does your Stool say?
Not a pretty topic to talk about, but one that quite literally rushes to tell you that your gut is not happy.
The shape, frequency and type of stool we produce is a direct reflection of our insides. Quite often we will eat something and run straight to the toilet and then proceed with our day and think nothing of it, forgetting about it… until it happens again, and then when you do find yourself running to the bathroom that 2nd, 5th, 10th time you can’t possibly remember for the life of you what you ate that first time it happened (enter point #1)
Gastro stop is a great bandaid and allows you to move on with life but it doesn’t reveal nor does it HEAL why your body needed to get rid of whatever you fed it so damn quickly! So pay attention to your stool as it can reveal a lot about what’s going on in deep inside, what your body may not be able to tolerate or that perhaps there may be a little virus hiding somewhere.
Track your sleeping!
When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed? Or maybe woke up without an alarm clock ringing in your ears? I was that girl who needed 8 alarms set up in 10 minute intervals and it sent Mr #Everythingandanythinginmybelly CRAZY!
Now a days, all I need is one and my body is instantly alert. I had NO idea what it meant to wake up feeling refreshed until I started feeding my body what it needed. I couldn’t even imagine the idea. If you can’t either, this may be a sign for you too. If you’re waking up tired it may mean that your body is spending too much time during the night trying to break down or heal something inside that it isn’t actually switching off to rest! You may also need to re evaluate what times of the day you are eating. Aryuvedic medicine and tradition believes that the heaviest meal should be eaten at noon and then only a light meal should be eaten for dinner. Now this is super hard depending on your life style. I know for me that being a dancer there are days that I don’t get home until 10pm and I am starving. The choice you can make here is that instead of having something heavy, opt for something that is lighter on your belly but still fulfills your hunger! It’s all about compromise baby, no one is perfect!
Mindfulness – Ask your body NOT your brain!
Early on in my days of trying to self diagnose I became “Vegetarian” and to be quite frank, my daily snacks were basically variations of the infamous melted cheese toastie. Now I knew that I was feeling worse, but I had such an emotional attachment to cheese and bread that I mentally couldn’t even consider the fact that they were the very foods causing me so much harm.
As humans we become emotionally attached to certain foods. Like coffee for example. How attached are you to waking up and making that hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning, or buying one out? Or that insta-worthy cheese platter when your friends come around (or at home by yourself who are we kidding), or how about those DVD nights where it only makes sense to order Pizza. Now ask your self, does my body crave it? Or is my brain attached to the emotion that comes with it and the habit of doing it? Because if your brain is getting in the way, there is no chance that your body is going to be heard above the screaming cravings!
So if you find that you’re feeling unwell, make time to sit, close your eyes and listen to what it is that your body is trying to tell you. Remember, It’s not about what your brain wants or thinks it wants, but what your body truly needs!
See a Naturopath/Kinesiologist
If you are suffering from a lot of gut pain then this is probably the first thing you should do! But do the above homework as you will make their life so much easier when you finally go see them.
Please do not completely eliminate something from your diet or drastically change your way of eating without first seeing someone . Like I have said in many of my blogs, you could in fact do more damage and become deficient in vital nutrients!