My New Years Resolutions And Why
The image above courtesy of SMS shows ten of the most popular resolutions that we make after the excesses of Christmas and New Year celebrations. For many of us it is a time when we reflect on the past year and give thought to what we would like to change in our lives and achieve in the next twelve months.
This year along with many others I have embarked on dry January. Now I'm not a big drinker as such and can easily take it or leave it, enjoying alcohol more on a social basis in the company of good friends. But taking something away altogether is quite different and I confess to my surprise, sometimes I miss it. You know, that feeling that it's Friday, end of the week and "oh I could just fancy a nice warm glass of red" The upside though is I'm not experiencing so many 'warm' epsiodes at night!
Not content with giving up alcohol alone I decided to tackle my possible (in fact probable) addiction to sugar or sweet tasting foods. Now Mandy and I are certainly not the food police, anti sugar, anti carbs etc. But the more we learn about the effects of sugar on our bodies, on our hormone regulation, gut health and much more, plus the growing realisation of just how much added sugar we all consume often unwittingly in our western diets, I knew that I needed to address my own love of sweet foods. On the second day of removing cakes, biscuits, puddings etc I was suffering from quite a strong headache which wouldn't shift. I felt quite lousy in fact for the first three days or so, taking this to be an affirmation of just how much my body has been used to the sweetness and a sign of withdrawal. It actually took a glass of fruit juice (high in natural sugar, fructose) to take the edge off it. Nearly two weeks on I am still missing something sweet but I'm not craving it. My blood sugar is more stable (less highs and lows), my mood more even and my energy levels are improving.
While studying for our naturopathic diploma we were told the importance of not expecting a client to experience anything that we are not prepared to do ourselves. I firmly believe this to be correct. When clients come to see me for advice regarding a health problem and I ask them to try this or that, I should be able to understand and appreciate first hand the effects good or bad that they may encounter on their health journey. And to this end I have previously given up all wheat, dairy, tried Castor Oil Packing to heal the liver, eaten more fermented foods, experienced regular colonic irrigation, tried water and coffee enemas etc.
Essentially what I am trying to do here is listen to my body. I will doubtless enjoy a glass of wine or two again next month and probably resume a nightly couple of squares of dark chocolate. But I wanted to see and feel how my body functions without sugary foods and no alcohol. It's important to learn your own tolerance of these foods. I'm not just talking about weight issues here, but moods, brain function, bowel and gut health, energy levels and skin problems.
Our bodies are marvellous and given the right tools, ie nutritious food, lifestyle changes and regular exercise, they are more than capable of repair. Many of the health issues that we see in the western world today are a direct result of the changing habits of a population, in diet, movement and environment. The resolution I would really like to see people make this year is to start taking more responsibility for their own health. Not just run to the over worked GP to treat their symptoms, but to try and discover the root cause and find ways of managing that.
We are both passionate about helping people on their journey back to health so if you think that you may need some help figuring out how to get there, we would love to hear from you.
Health and happiness