Chew Your Food
Dr. Kelly tells us that when you chew your food long enough, your body will tell you if you should be eating it. Start chewing your food to the point other people wonder if you ever plan to swallow it. Pay attention to how it feels. Digestion begins in the mouth. Chewing well is the first stage of digestion. Not only will you be preparing the food for the second stage, but you’ll be sending signals to your entire digestive system to prepare itself for what is to come.
When your body doesn’t want the food you are chewing, ironically, your first impulse is to swallow it. Your body is saying, “I don’t need this. Nothing good is happening here. There is nothing to figure out.” Your body wants that food out of your mouth. The next time this happens, resist the urge to swallow. Spit.
When you chew your food well, you become in tune with your body. You will begin to know what your body wants.
Pay Attention To How Things Make You Feel
Like chewing your food, paying attention to how things make you feel is “living in the now.” Don’t put moisturizer on your skin just because it’s a habit. Does it make your skin feel better? How long before you need more? Does it actually make your skin drier in the long run?
If you smoke and you plan to quit on New Year’s, right now is the time to start paying attention. Smoking causes headaches through sinus pressure and by causing tightness in the muscles of the neck. It also causes migraines and allergies (including food allergies), wreaks havoc on your adrenal glands, makes you tired, lowers your overall productivity (making it easier to concentrate right after you smoke, but lowering your ability to concentrate and focus in the long run), and causes your body to stay out of alignment.
Did you know smoking inflames your cerebellum causing your neck to go out of alignment? This causes pinched nerves which can led to a host of problems and misalignment including carpal tunnel syndrome.
Smoking slows down your kidneys causing them to be more susceptible to infection and also causes lower back pain and hip misalignment. Smoking clogs your liver and kidneys leading to acne.
Of course, there are many other problems caused by smoking. And you may notice many of the same problems stem from an energy drink habit. The point is, pay attention. If you hadn’t noticed these reactions before, you will now.
How much energy do you have? Are you running on fumes? Are you pushing through your day more on will power and mind over matter than energy and vitality? It will catch up to you if you don’t pay attention now.
The hardest part about paying attention to our bodies is allowing ourselves to feel the aches and pains, the tension and dysfunction we have spent years learning to ignore. When you first tune in, don’t be surprised if you feel pretty crappy. You might even think you’re sick more often than before. Really tuning in to your body is a tough change, and for many, not pleasant, but in the long run it’s the only way to live a long and healthy life without medication.
Pick New Year’s Resolutions You Know You Can Keep
If you never go to the gym regularly and you’ve signed up every January, don’t do it again. January is the worst time to start going to the gym. It’s crazy! You won’t be able to get the equipment you want or the help you need to learn how to use it.
Try starting with body weight exercises at home. Try Hindu pushups (YouTube) and squats. There are hundreds of body weight exercises you can do without ever going to the gym. You can manipulate your center of gravity to create very challenging body building routines without using weights (and many argue this is a better way to exercise). If you don’t believe it, see how many one-legged squats you can do while holding the other leg out in front of you.
If you are too overweight or too weak to do any exercise you find on the Internet, try “get ups.” Lie flat on your back on the floor and get up into a standing position. Lie back down. You might be so out of shape you have to start with one or two get-ups. But you’ll be amazed what this simple exercise will do for you and how quickly you’ll build up to doing 20 or 30 (or more!) at a time. Two things to note: Alternate legs, changing both the one you use to get up, and the one you use to get down. Also, this is where we are legally obligated to tell you to consult a physician before starting any workout program. But if you do decide to consult with a conventional doctor who tells you that you are too unhealthy to work out in any capacity, please go get a second opinion.
Vow to Begin a New Resolution Every Month or Every Week
On the first week you can vow to start exercising. Try a few pushups on your knees and a ½ mile walk. On your second week, you can vow to start recycling. A few weeks down the road you can vow to remove any and all toxic body care products from your bathroom. A couple of months later you can vow to start going to the gym (after things have settled down, of course) when you know you are ready to stick with a routine.
Most Importantly – Don’t Give Up
If you fall off the wagon with any one of your resolutions, that doesn’t mean you need to wait until next year. You don’t even have to wait until next month, or next week, or even tomorrow. Health is a choice we make every minute of every day. Almost every time we are choosing anything, our health should play a part in the decision.