A couple of people have requested a little more information about my eating and yoga habits. I have to first begin by saying, well, please just know that every person is different and has different needs. I have discovered my unique little combination that makes me feel comfortable and healthy and good and it took a very long time but was so worth the attention and effort. I am a bit reluctant to include this information because I would rather encourage anyone to find their own unique needs.
First, I think of the body as a whole organic machine. At a certain point last year, I knew my machine was not running well (very tired, weak immune system, sluggish digestion, emotionally unstable, sad, bloated, puffy face, reoccurring infections) so I went to the doc and got a full physical with every blood test that seemed applicable. My doc is a D.O. and practices Osteopathic Medicine. These Doctors see the body as a whole and treat the whole body rather than just the negative symptoms that manifest. Many docs would have given me an antidepressant and sent me away, but she took the time and eventually diagnosed me with Hypothyroidism. Once the proper hormones were replaced and my body regulated, the machine eventually began running more smoothly and is, I feel, a year later, at its optimal function. I have not been sick since December (a record). There are external variables that provide my machine with greater performance though:
- Sleep. At least 8 hours of it and of very high quality.
- Yoga and Spirituality. I practice yoga every day in some form or another but at least 4 times a week, my practice includes a period of centered breathing, 8 - 10 sun salutations, warrior 1, 2 and 3, triangle post, chair pose, tree pose, seated forward bends, half bridge, twists and other combinations of postures as I feel are needed, always ending with a nice long savasana and an offering of Meta (unconditional loving kindness) to myself and someone else. I am not sure how important the postures are in comparison to HOW I perform the postures. I am partial to Yin Yoga, a style where the postures are held for several minutes or breaths. I sometimes mix it up with Yang as well though integrating more flow. I just do what I feel my body needs at the time. (I know I just outlined my physical yoga practice, but far more important than any of that is the spiritual peace I get from my practice, A WHOLE huge topic in itself and one I feel is best reserved for personal conversations)
- Food. I got very interested in Blood Type and its effect on our metabolism and body functions for a while and think it is worth looking into. The basic concept is that according to our blood types (which have an anthropological genetic history) certain foods are utilized more efficiently in the system, and certain foods slow shit down. Each type has different characteristics. I am a type AB. An eating style outlined in the book "Eat Right for Your Blood Type" by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, has been proven by trial and error by conducting my own experiments on myself. I feel sick when I eat red meat, and sugary things, I feel better when I avoid most dairy products, I feel really good when I eat lots of vegetables and sprouted grain breads, I NEED protein with every meal either from eggs, beans, turkey, or nuts, in addition to Carbs and Fat, and I have to eat a little bit every couple of hours. Type O and B blood types have very different needs, while type As are very similar to ABs. I could probably write a full research paper on this subject but the main thing to note is that I pay VERY close attention to how foods make me feel physically, and avoid the ones that make me feel bad. I am fortunate that food has never been an emotional thing for me. This all sounds so complicated as I am typing it but it is really not something I even think about any more. I have trained myself to just reach for things that my body wants and needs when it wants and needs them and it works out.
- Love. I am fortunate to have a lot of love in my life. My family is very loving and my husband and son provide me with more love than I thought possible. Perhaps even more important though, is the fact that I am truly and madly in love with myself. As narcissistic as it seems, I am not ashamed to say that I have a healthy love relationship with me. I think it has helped me to treat myself with care and respect.
Finally, please note that I still falter and get off my tired and true path. When any one of these elements begins to get off balance I see degradation in the others. My machine sensors are pretty sensitive though and I have the tools to repair things as I need to before very bad things happen. And like I said, this is just what works for me. This feels good to me. Acquainting yourself with your own machine is not only worth the effort, but may be the very best thing you could ever do for yourself and those who love you.