When we look at a processed foods we need to be aware that additives and preservatives (excluding those for flavour) are added to foods primarily to maintain the shelf life of the food or make it look a certain way.
In the processing of foods the nutritional value can be compromised (pretty significantly!) not to mention all the ‘trace nutrients’ found in whole foods that we’re still learning about the role they play in our nutrition and overall health.
Chemicals are put into processed food to retard spoilage so that the food doesn’t breakdown before you have purchased it. These chemicals also reduce your body’s metabolism, as once the food has been eaten by us, our bodies automatic response is to digest the food BUT often heavily processed foods require very little digestion. We can eat more, in a short amount of time and our digestive system doesn’t do much work – read: sluggish.
There is also the question of how our bodies process these foreign ‘chemicals.’ In some cases our digestive system can’t breakdown the chemicals effectively and people can become intolerant to the chemicals or develop digestive problems.
So, what to do?
We read labels but even doing that can be incredibly overwhelming.
So here’s a few tips to avoid processed foods (as best you can):
Δ Make stuff! We regularly cook up a batch of muffins or ‘snacks’ on Sunday in preparation for the week to avoid having to reach for heavily processed snacks when we’re feeling peckish. We know what (and how much) goes into them! Cooking in bulk can be a time saver, a money saver AND maximise the availability of quality food on hand when you need it. Make life easier for yourself and your tum.
Δ Grow stuff! Get outside and plant and grow your favourite veggies, herbs, fruit trees etc. Even chat with friends or family to see if you can share/swap your produce to share the work but still enjoy the rewards of nutritious (fresh from the garden) food! Or, is there a local co-op that you can connect with to source quality produce?
Δ Buy the good stuff! Head to your local farmers market or try to buy organic fruit and veggies. At least this way you’re avoiding any fertilisers etc used. Also we often hear ‘avoid the middle aisles’ at the supermarket. We know that you can’t always do that – but even just reducing the amount of processed foods you purchase a little bit over time will help you end up fuelling your body with nutritious foods and change your mindset (health comes first!)
The ‘take away’ message (pun intended) is that the primary role of food additives is to prolong shelf life, not to enhance nutrition. And so, fresh is always best (particularly where peak nutrition and fuelling your body effectively is concerned!)
Additive Education is a great online resource that chats all things preservatives, colourings etc and additive free living.
Any tips you use to avoid processed foods and additives? We’d love you to share them here – teamwork!
We made it! Thanks for following along over the last few weeks as we’ve explored the power of connecting with our mind, body and the world around us. It’s been the perfect lead up to launching our free Meditation Guide.
So, let us share a little more information about the guide we’ve created for you.
Why did we create ‘Get Connected’ your Meditation Guide?
‘Mind-Body-Earth’ is the interconnection between your consciousness, your physical self and your environment. The links between mind, body and earth all play a part in your health and wellbeing.
With this in mind, we created our Meditation Guide because connecting inward (mind and body) as well as outward (environment) is becoming increasingly less of a priority in our lives, despite the importance it plays in our health and happiness.
We’ve focused our Meditation Guide around connecting with your mind, body and earth because when you make connections between different aspects of yourself and your life you really SEE what’s there – you are self aware.
Through self awareness you begin to know yourself, and when you truly know yourself you’re able to live with your own best (health) interests at the heart of your decisions and actions – you start to put YOU first!
This Meditation Guide is about simple and practical Meditation tips you can use anywhere and at anytime. It’s about creating connections (even little ones) in some small way everyday to improve your health and happiness.
What is the ‘Get Connected’ Meditation Guide?
We can tell you all about the WONDERFUL health & wellbeing benefits to gain from a regular meditation practice but we’re hoping that by following our practical and easy to implement tips in this guide you’ll see (and feel) the benefits for yourself.
This guide offers three meditations that focus on creating connection with your Mind, Body and Earth:
// 5 Mindful Breaths Meditation – a super simple (anywhere, anytime) tool you can use to take a second to regain your calm in those stress-filled moments of life.
// Mindful Eating Meditation – a mindfulness practice to link your mind with your body so that you can enjoy every bite of food and rock positive eating habits on the daily.
// Sight Scape Meditation – a present moment awareness practice to have you feeling grounded and grateful to be connected with the wonders that Mama Nature has to offer you.
The ‘Get Connected’ Guide shares practical meditation breathing techniques and different types of meditation you can use to create connection in your own life each and every day.
It’s about simplicity, practicality, better health and happiness.
Thanks again for being part of the journey and here’s to ‘Getting Connected’ for better health and happiness!
If you use our Meditation Guide and have some insight for us we’d love you to comment below or share your experience using #getconnectedguide on Facebook or Instagram.
Join our community & get your FREE ‘Get Connected’ Meditation Guide to living a connected life with Mind, Body & Earth.
Practical Meditation tips to help you create connection in your life for better health & happiness.
Our relationship with food and movement are at the heart of our ‘mind body connection.’
Let’s start with food. Diets (eg. low fat, high carb, raw food, atkins, vegan etc.) suggest that there’s one approach to fuelling the body that works for everyone – and that’s where the whole idea of a ‘diet’ comes undone. Diets don’t work long term because a) we’re all unique and b) we change across our lives.
The same goes for anything ‘body’ related – like the ‘ideal’ exercise regime or the ‘perfect’ amount of sleep we need etc.
Everyone’s needs are unique. What works for one person may not work for someone else. That’s why you need to tune into YOURSELF.
Your Mind Body Connection
Our feelings and thoughts can impact on our biological function (and vice-versa.) Science has shown us that our mind and body are connected, so it’s safe to say that the way we fuel, move and rest our bodies is linked to our mental state. Let’s think about these examples:
Δ Have you ever eaten something you know doesn’t sit well with you, and then felt like crap and beaten yourself up about it?
Δ Have you run on empty (read: had no sleep) and been fuzzy and unproductive at work the next day? (Maybe you even got the latest ‘cold,’ were knocked out with a migraine or had an upset tum?)
Δ Have you been sedentary for so long that you feel heavy, rigid and so grumpy that no one wants to be within 5 metres of you?
We can all answer YES to each of the above. We can all say that we’ve experienced the link between our body and our mind in some way.
How can you strengthen your Mind Body Connection?
Mindfulness and Meditation are the perfect tools for strengthening the mind-body connection because they can help you focus your attention and create presence, which allows you to assess your feelings, thoughts and needs in any given moment.
Let’s think about this – Do you need:
Δ An early night?
Δ A home cooked meal packed with veggies?
Δ A stretch on the yoga mat?
Δ Time out with a good book or your favourite album?
Δ A massage appointment?
Δ Less time eating on the run?
Δ A cry with your best friend?
Δ A walk in the sunshine?
Once you accept what you need and create space to have it, your mind can relax. It doesn’t have to be in ‘stress-mode,’ crying out for you to provide it with ‘XYZ’ because you’ve actively acknowledged and addressed your needs. You can only do this when you are self-aware and mindfulness/ meditation is about creating self awareness through presence.
Mindfully eating, moving and resting is positive for both your body and your mind. Our ‘Get Connected’ Guide shares a simple meditation technique that you can use to create presence and mindfulness around fuelling your body and enjoying your food – so stay posted, it will be available for download in a few short weeks!
PS. Here’s a short video sharing a handy ‘acupressure point’ to help you with relaxation. This is a great to try as you meditate or even as you’re trying to drift off to sleep at night. Be present as you try it out – strengthen yourmind body connection as you tap into the rest & digest part of your nervous system and aid your relaxation.
Check back to the blog next week as we explore connecting with your environment and how powerful it can be to your health and wellbeing.
How do you connect with your body? Do you eat nourishing meals? Do you practice yoga or head to the gym? We’d love you to share your ‘tried and tested’ tips for connecting with your body.
Is there someone that inspires you on your health journey?
My health inspiration is my Grandma.
When she was in her mid 20’s she lost both her father and mother whom were in their late forties/early fifties. My Grandma was the eldest of 8 brothers and sisters and she was the eldest and became the sole carer for all her siblings. She had a very strong constitution – she was tough with a strong will and confidence. She never took out a loan and paid cash for everything, she wasn’t wealthy but she knew how to manage money and owned her own home.
She also knew how to nourish herself and this is where she has inspired me the most.
My Grandma’s diet consisted of:
Δ Breakfast – One slice of wholemeal bread spread with real butter and homemade marmalade and 2 cups of freshly brewed tea with a dash of milk.
Δ Morning tea – Another cup of tea with a dash of milk.
Δ Lunch – Sardines on one slice of wholemeal bread spread with real butter.
Δ Afternoon tea – A cup of tea with a dash of milk (are you noticing a trend?)
Δ Dinner – Fish with seasonal vegetables – one was always pumpkin.
Δ Dessert – Only occasionally, usually after Sunday Roast, she made an apple pie, jam tart or stewed fruit with custard.
She was also rather partial to anything with ginger in it – glazed, fresh or otherwise, you name – she loved it!
Grandma was rarely sick. She’d have the occasional cold or chest infection, usually during the colder months of the year. My grandparents lived in the Dandenong Mountains in Victoria (read: very cold during Winter!) She rarely took any medication and was a big believer in Rawleigh’s Ready Relief – an inhalation that cleared the sinuses and the chest.
She died at the ripe old age of 98 years old.
I honestly believe that her diet contributed to her longevity and she obviously handled her stress levels very well, particularly after inheriting 8 siblings from her parent’s early deaths!
She always lived with the ethos –
‘Life happens. You deal with what happens, you accept it (you don’t have to love it) and get on the best you can.’
She wasn’t always an easy going person but she always did the best with what she had and always enjoyed what she was doing. She lived a happy and fulfilling life – with its challenges and all.
I take inspiration from the way she lived her life, her attitude to life, her diet – and I’ll remember all those things as I continue on my own health journey.
Having a mentor, or someone to look to that encourages you on your own health journey can make things a little easier. They can act as a reference point to remind you of the direction you want to head in. They can be a sounding board for questions, ideas and the like. They can help you stay accountable. Mentors (in all aspects of life) can help you on your way and that’s all you need to do after all – just one step after the other towards your happiest, healthiest self!
We’d love you to share ‘that person’ in your life that acts as your health inspiration – what do they inspire you to do (or not do!) on your journey towards you happiest and healthiest self?