Strength Comes from Within
By Lois Hamilton
Strength does not come from a dogged determination to push through circumstances but rather it comes from letting go and listening to our inner selves. Within each of us lies the wisdom and ability to achieve optimum physical, mental and spiritual health. What naturally follows is the ability to realize and experience our personal goals.
It is my belief that to realize one’s strength, it is best to begin by providing optimal nutrition to all 100 trillion cells that make up who we are. To nurture our brain, for sharp focus and resolve, it is necessary to consume healthy fats such as those found in wild cold water fish, like salmon, fresh sardines or herring. Plant sources of healthy fats include walnuts, flaxseed, hemp seed, avocados, olives and their oils. When choosing the oils, it is imperative that they be cold pressed, extra virgin so that the healthful properties remain intact. Amino acids are the brain’s messengers and directly influence how we feel. They are the body’s building blocks so it is critical to for a solid foundation to consume high quality protein from fish, hormone free meat, eggs, beans, whole grains such as quinoa, legumes such as lentils and fresh nuts and seeds. To stay strong and vibrant, include these with every meal. B vitamins, specifically B6, B12 and folic acid are important for brain health and mood boosting. Give yourself a positive frame of mind with whole grains (millet, oats, quinoa, brown basmati rice), seeds, nuts and legumes. Choosing fermented foods such as tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi and miso provides the body with vitamin B12 but the best source is animal meat, especially hormone and antibiotic free beef liver. One of my favourites! Fermented foods also provide beneficial bacteria to keep our digestion on track. Green leafy vegetables are the way to go for folic acid consumption and a delicious way to enjoy these is in a juice. The juice combinations are endless and making your own creations at home is quick and fun!
Water consumption is essential to carry the electrical charges throughout your body so that messages may be sent and received. Water also helps to clear toxins out of the body, helping to create an optimum state of health. Drink at least 4 litres of good quality water daily. For enhanced detoxification, squeeze a half lemon in a tall glass of tepid water and have this upon rising in the morning. I find it useful to carry a water bottle and keep track of how many times I fill it up, to ensure I get my daily quota. My smart phone comes in handy for this – I just mark it in my notes each time I fill up, delete it at the end of the day and start all over again!
Blood sugar levels must be kept even throughout the day so that hormones remain stable and to avoid sugar/carbohydrate cravings. Stable hormones equal stable moods, making it easier to stick to your goals. The way to achieve this is to consume high quality protein foods, high quality fats and nutrient dense vegetables – all in moderation. Overeating at meal or snack time, raises blood sugar levels. Even whole fruit, all by itself can raise blood sugar levels and bring them crashing down moments later so eating small amounts of fruit at a time and or consuming a small amount of protein with it (hemp seeds, walnuts, etc) will help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Equally important is to avoid, or better yet – eliminate ALL refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, refined and rancid fats and oils as well as ALL highly processed foods, preservatives and additives. Caffeine also plays havoc with blood sugar levels.
Stay focused, Listen to your inner self! Feel your strength!
Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner
Holistic Health with Lois