7 Days of Self-Love (part 2 of 3)
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
(This is a continuation of our week of Self Love. Below, I provide suggestions for days 4 and 5. I'll post days 6 and 7 on Friday. Enjoy!)
Day 4: Explore Ways to Improve your Food Intake
The more I study Ayurveda, the more I realize how closely tied we are to our food. Dr. Vasant Lad says in his book, Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing,
“It is food that nourishes the body, mind and consciousness. How you eat is very important…taste does not originate in food, it originates in the experience of the one who eats.”
Dr. Lad goes on to explain the importance of eating only when hungry and drinking when thirsty. He encourages us to chew our flood completely, and to have food when we are hungry, instead of grabbing a beverage, thinking that will fulfill our nutritional needs. We are hungry! He also says that water plays a vital role when served with our meals. “Water taken with meals becomes a nectar that aids digestion.” Note that it should not be full of ice, because the cold puts a damper on your internal digestive fire.
In Deepak Chopra’s book, Perfect Health, he explains much of the problem is not so much what we’re eating, but how we’re eating – carelessly or compulsively, on the run instead of sitting down… Certainly the more natural the better. Think of those who constantly eat processed food – those with lots of chemicals, colors, etc. those chemicals enter the bloodstream – and the consciousness – and affect your attitude as well as your health.
Chopra recommends three rules for a blissful diet:
Eating fresh food suitable to the season and your geographical area.
Make lunch your largest meal because that is when you digestion is at its strongest. Dinner needs to be digested before bed and should be your smallest meal as a result.
He recommends eating at the same time each day. In addition, avoiding late-night munchies and snacks.
Believe it or not, eating alone or with people you genuinely like is best. Negative emotions have harmful effects on digestion.
Finally, be grateful for what is on your plate – respect nature in all it provides.
Day 5: Give Someone a Hug
When was the last time you had a hug? When was the last time to freely offered one? My husband is a strong believer in a hug every day. When we experience a friendly, affectionate touch, our bodies release oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone - especially fitting this Valentine's week). Oxytocin's effects include lowering blood pressure, decreasing the stress-related hormone cortisol and increasing pain tolerance. It is released through friendly touch, including contact between breastfeeding moms and their babies, cuddling couples and even pets and their owners. So, giving someone else a genuine hug makes you feel better too. It’s a two-fer!