Listen to Your Body

Nutrition, diet, health; we hear these words frequently but how do we eat more healthily and keep things simple? How do we achieve wellness in today’s fast paced society?

A holistic approach to wellness requires quieting our surroundings enough for reflection to truly listen to what our bodies are trying to say. Our bodies will tell us if we need protein (ever crave a large steak or burger?), when we need more fruits and vegetables (ever crave a juicy peach during the day?) and a headache may even say our bodies are dehydrated. Aches and pains may tell us that our daily activities or exercise program need to change. Taking time to truly listen to our bodies can lead to greater overall wellness – without expensive diets or exercise programs!

There are many time and cost saving tips that can help you live a simply healthy life starting today. For instance, carve out quiet time each morning for a walk. Your body deserves the break, and gentle exercise will allow you to respond thoughtfully instead of react when distressed. This also keeps you in touch with nature, your spirituality to help soothe your upcoming work stress. Walking has been proven to be healthier than running or jogging. Walking in the daylight twenty minutes per day can drastically decrease depressive symptoms as well.

Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, in the car and on the go. If the bottle will not fit in your regular purse, many fanny packs today are made to hold a bottle and back pack purses are also popular. Wonderful for movie goers! Flavored bottled water is the best soda substitute on the market … opt for green tea instead of drinks loaded with sugar. The antioxidants in green tea are tremendous, including fighting cancer and the aging process.

For appetizers and snacks, try sushi rolls as a sophisticated and healthy alternative to chips, fried vegetables, or cheese. Check out your local organic food store as many make their rolls fresh, daily. also offers many sugar-free alternative snacks for hiking, fishing or lunch boxes. Decrease the mercury and toxins in foods by shopping the sales at the organic stores or markets. Mixed nuts are also a terrific source of protein.

If you struggle to get your daily vegetable intake, consider sautéed or roasted mixed vegetables, rather than boiling them in water; as this helps maintain their nutrients, instead of pouring them down the drain. Try baking organic broccoli; add a touch of shaved parmesan cheese and even kids may find it irresistible!

If you are having trouble finding time to prepare for a healthier tomorrow, try skipping one of your daily/nightly television programs in order to make time to grocery shop for lunch items. Packing a lunch, instead of opting for the drive thru again, will boost your energy level, keep more money in your wallet and improve your self-esteem. Opt for the local deli where wheat bread, with fiber, can be ordered rather than white bread buns. If you are planning to watch your favorite TV program, consider sitting in an open space where you can do stretches and breathing exercises while relaxing.

  • Remember: “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away!” Seasonal and locally, organically grown fresh fruits and vegetables are a staple in any healthy diet.
  • Buy organic eggs, meats, and cheeses as they are not laden with antibiotics. The less your exposure to dietary antibiotics, the more readily your body will respond to antibiotic treatment when needed.
  • For dessert, make a homemade fruit and fat-free yogurt smoothie. For an added treat, include any breakfast juice you already have on hand.
  • Drink a tall glass of water the next time your body craves an over-indulgence of chocolate or a McDonald’s value meal. A change of focus may change your cravings, too!

Becoming more aware of our choices is the first step toward holistic wellness. With each choice we become more centered or more distanced from our true being. Getting in touch with, and learning to listen to, our bodies is key to improving self-esteem, maintaining a healthy body weight and fighting disease. If we can listen long enough, we can assist our bodies in the natural healing process, the way the body was designed to respond.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in the red fruit autumn 2003 issue. All Rights Reserved by the author.