I recently saw a infographic that said “Listening to your body can be like trying to hear a pin drop at Niagara Falls”……
It took me years to work out how to listen to my body. To see and feel the signs when something wasn’t right.
Actually noticing that whenever I ate coloured lollies my head would start aching 20 minutes later.
How when I had a healthy wholegrain bread sandwich for lunch I’d be fighting off the urge to curl up in a corner and go to sleep an hour later
How whenever I ate anything sugary, I would yell at my daughter for the smallest misdemeanor – totally out of proportion and undeserved.
How when I ate gluten I would yell at my daughter for the slightest misdemeanor – sometimes she didn’t even have to do anything wrong – I was just in a stinking mood! (notice a pattern here with these last two foods?)
Let alone waking up on Saturday morning with a bloated belly after pizza night.
Feeling foggy and not quite right after eating cheap bar chocolate
A little bit sick – not much, just a little, after eating from a bag of potato chips (it may or may not have been the whole bag)
And the red itchy circle in the centre of my right palm that would appear every time I ate oranges
The list goes on.
And I haven’t even mentioned the weight gain.
All of these responses were inflammatory reactions.
My brain was being inflamed, or it was my stomach, or my intestines, or my skin, or my muscles.
Inflammatory responses happen when your body is trying to protect itself from something – in this case, something that’s been eaten. The problem is, inflammation can be quite sinister and hard to detect when our diet is full of poor quality foods. This happens when we are young vibrant adults, fit and energetic, we feel like we are bomb proof. We don’t notice little niggles of pain and mood swings. We are at Niagara Falls having a great time!
But the game changes as we get older. Years of eating the wrong foods (often ones regarded as health foods) catch up with us. We start to feel stiff and sore, our digestions starts to misfire and things just don’t work like they used to.
We’ve been programmed to think this is all a natural part of the aging process. You know…”Gees, as soon as I turned 40, I started getting all these aches and pains’, or, ‘I feel like I’m starting to fall apart’. And these reactions are caused by the aging process, the simple act of breathing air is aging us. But, we are aging faster than we need too.
The results of years of eating the wrong foods, putting the wrong products on our bodies and in our environments build up and start to cause system breakdowns. Substances that we can’t process, build up or break down in our bodies. Even though our bodies are amazing, they can only do so much to cope with what we throw at them. Often they (our bodies that is), take these toxins and store them in the only safe place they know, our fat cells. We get leaky gut, IBS or are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
So much comes down to our own unique bio-individuality. We are all so very different on the inside just as we are on the outside. Particularly in the Western World, we are each a product of thousands of generations of mixed up ancestry, each ancestor making their own contribution to our genetic make-up.
You will find as you begin to clean up your diet and remove processed foods including processed sugar, wheat products, artificial colours and preservatives, vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats, that you will begin feeling, seeing and hearing your body’s reactions both to processed foods and real foods. It’s not a case of doing it all at once unless you want too of course, in which case – go for it.
It is easier though, (and less shocking for the rest of the family) if you do this gradually, one thing at a time. Be aware of changes in the way you are all feeling. And watch what happens when you fall off the wagon? What happens when your kids eat a certain food, or your partner? Keep notes, journal, put favourite recipes that work for everyone on high rotation, a sticky note on the fridge – Kate doesn’t do well on dairy, Zac melts down when he has tomatoes.
Just be mindful of bio individuality – the fact that we are all different inside and out. From a whole household perspective that may be inconvenient, but it’s the truth!
Don’t we all wish we had this information years ago. Unfortunately it’s really only just starting to be accepted that food and our environment can have such a dramatic effect on our long term health. A lot of damage may have already been done, but it’s never to late to change and reap the benefits.
I’d love to know if you have noticed any reactions to food in either yourself or your kids. And what difference has it made
For more information on this and how to improve the health of your family and my personal story, get my eBook Natural Ways to get Happy Kids.