“Simple Shifts that Last a Lifetime”

It’s hard to believe that autumn is already here. We had an incredible summer on the West Coast and with that, all of the delicious overindulgences that social gatherings bring. I can honestly say I don’t regret a single moment of the BBQ bliss but it’s definitely time to fall back into some good habits.

My year has flown by in a flash but there’s been a few milestones worth mentioning. Term 3 of Yoga Teacher Training is completed and term 4, my final term, is in full swing. In May we moved into a dream house with the perfect yoga space overlooking the gorge waterway. I opened “Solae Studio” in June and have been offering 2 beginners classes a week. I dabbled in website design and created: www.dezyoga.com And finally I completed the Level 1 Certified Nutritionist program through the BodyMind Institute. Its been a busy 2013, but my “tri-fector” of studying yoga, permaculture and nutrition is almost complete.

The moto of the BodyMind Nutrition program is: “Simple shifts that last a life time.”

When it comes to eating and all its rules… I like easy!!! I have tried many of the difficult routes with little success so here are some of the simple shifts they recommend. I personally have been following them for that last couple of months with great success and wonderful results.

  1. Start every morning with a lemon water. Squeeze half a lemon in
    to room temperature or hot water. This gets the bowels moving and energizes me as much as a cup of coffee would. We have millions of cells that die when we sleep and the newly born cells are surrounded in the waste of the old. Starting your morning with this alkaline boost will help flush out the dead cell waste. Your liver loves lemon and this has been a great helper in clearing my skin of acne. CAUTION: Do NOT brush your teeth right after the lemon water. The acidity of the lemon will soften your enamel and you will literally be brushing micro-layers of your teeth away creating sensitivity (The concoction doesn’t turn alkaline until it hits your stomach) My routine is:  Get up, brush my teeth, drink my lemon water, wait 5-15 mins, do my pranayama, then have my coffee and breakfast before leaving for work. OR Wait until after my breakfast to brush my teeth.
  2. Put a pinch of Himalayan salt in every litre of water you drink. Electrolytes, obtained through high quality, unprocessed salt, are required to activate the communication systems of the body. A healthy electrical environment will support healthy hormonal communication. Salt also lowers the surface tension of water allowing for easier cell osmosis and mineral absorption. Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals and minerals activate all enzyme functions. Since our metabolism is completely enzyme based, adding a pinch of HM salt to your water will boost your metabolism and also help alkalize the body. Salt also signals satiation. So by adding a pinch to my water, I’m finding that I eat less and that my cravings for unhealthy salty snacks have been seriously reduced.
  3. When to drink water and how much. Liquids during a meal will dilute your digestive fluids resulting in slower and poorer digestion. On an empty belly the stomach emptying time or GET (Gastric emptying time) for liquids is 5 – 15 mins. Fruit GET 30 mins – 60 mins. Meals GET 2-4 hours. This means I drink a big glass of water with a pinch of salt 15 mins before eating. If I’m thirsty after I’ve eaten (because I forgot to drink my water before) for fruit I’ll wait 30 mins. For a big meal I try and wait 2 hours before having a drink. They say no more then 1/2 cup of liquid with a meal so at dinner I do my best to have my water 15mins beforehand and then if evening calls for it, I save the allowed 1/2 cup for wine ;) Average person should drink 2L/day. If you’ve exercised intensely add another 1L.
  4. Never combine fruit with your meals. Fruit is the perfect in-between-meals snack. If eaten on an empty stomach, it will pass by your tummy and digest in the upper part of the small intestine at an alkaline PH. When you eat fruit with or shortly after your meal it gets locked in the stomach and begins to breakdown in the wrong environment. This creates fermentation that will cause bloating, gas and decreased digestion efficiency. If you need something sweet after your meal have a piece of quality dark chocolate; it will digest easily with the rest of your meal and leave a sweet, satisfied smile on your face. I eat fruit alone and stick to my personal rule of waiting 1 hour after fruit before having a meal.
  5. Where is your head while your stuffing your face?  Digestion is one of the most important body-mind connections. If your stressed and eating your digestion efficiency will decrease by 50%. When we’re stressed our bodies release the stress hormone, cortisol, which signals to the body that we are in a fight or flight mode and our blood flows from the core into the extremities. This means our body is ready to run not digest. Bringing yourself back into a parasympathetic (relaxed and digestive) state is as easy as taking 5 deep breaths and thinking positivity about your meal before it goes into your mouth. Negative thoughts also release cortisol so no matter what your eating, even if it’s chocolate cake, tell your body, “Chocolate cake… Your going to be delicious and give me lots of instant energy. I am going to enjoy you and your going to make me feel good.” Avoid eating when your upset, on the run or watching stressful TV like the news or scary movies.

The word diet literally translates to “way of life” yet 95% of “diets” don’t make it past the 30 day mark. What I love about this information is that it doesn’t tell you what to eat but rather how to eat. For me it was the missing piece of my DAUX puzzle. (DAUX = digestion, absorption, utilization and excretion) I found it easy to implement into my usually good paleo style choices and now I don’t beat myself up for making a few wrong ones. The better choices you make eating means the more energy you’ll have. More energy means you’ll want to be more active. More exercise means you’ll look and feel better. Looking and feeling better means more motivation to make better choices. It’s a revolving circle of success. Start with the simple shifts and the rest will follow.

My average day breakdown:

7:00- Get up

7:05- Drink lemon water and prepare for the day

7:15 – Pranayama and yoga time

8:00- Coffee and getting ready for work

8:20- Breakfast

8:30- Leave for work

10:30- Drink big glass of water

11:00- Eat 1 piece of fruit

12:00- Drink water

12:15- Eat lunch

2:30- Ok to start drinking water again

5:00- Eat 2 pieces of fruit or a small meal

6:45- Drink water

7:00- Yoga class

8:30- Drink water

8:45- Small meal

10:30- Bed time

This is obviously ideal and since everyday is not ideal I’ve learned to listen to my body, know when it is ready for food and time my fruit and water based on above info. It’s worked for me. Will it work for you? Do you have anything to add or comment on? Knowledge is power so if you disagree or wish to add a further comment please share