Healthy Beginnings

Malnourished? Add a Little Meditation, Exercise or Sunshine to Your Diet

How do you nourish your body and mind? These days it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest nutrition information. On Monday the news media might inform you of a recent study that indicates eggs are bad for your health because they’re too high in cholesterol and then, by Friday another report might show that eggs are the best source of vitamin B on the planet, and they don’t raise cholesterol after all. There seems to be a daunting amount of information available, but how on earth are we supposed to sort it all out? Which studies are accurate and which aren’t? The consistent change in nutrition information can lead one to question how much the specifics of what science can tell us really matters. We often get hung up on food as our primary form of nutrition, but what about other forms of nourishment like water, clean air, exercise, sleep, meditation and love? How are those elements present in your life?

At some point we stopped listening to what our bodies need to thrive, and we started listening to other authority figures. When we lose the connection to how our body and mind respond to simple things like food, we aren’t just being deprived of nutrients, we are being deprived of something much more. We are missing out on the deep satisfaction that comes with being truly connected to ourselves at an intimate level. I always ask my yoga students why they practice, and 90 percent of the time the answer is: “It’s the only time in my day that is just for me.”

Fortunately, the practice of yoga and meditation has a trickle-down effect and the same awareness that is practiced on the yoga mat starts to seep into our lives. We start to make healthier choices in our diet and lifestyle. There is a deep intuitive knowledge in the body. If you listen carefully enough you will find out that you know exactly what foods your body needs to thrive. Eat slowly and mindfully. Take a moment to breathe and then give thanks for where your food came from. Consider how many people were involved in bringing this one meal to your plate. Notice how you feel in your body and your mind after your meals. You will learn a tremendous amount about yourself and what is required to truly nourish your body.

The next time you feel malnourished sit down, breathe deeply and consider what is actually missing from your plate. Maybe it’s certain foods, perhaps it’s self- care or more rest, maybe it’s quality time with friends and family or a shared meal with your loved ones. Listen to that deep intuitive knowledge and feed yourself from that well.

Lisa Cook is a Carson City native and she has been practicing yoga and meditation for thirteen years and teaching for six. She is the former layout designer for Well Being Journal and has recently joined The Change Place as a full-time yoga, meditation and mat Pilates instructor. She is currently enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and will soon be offering integrative nutrition health coaching services.


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