Archive for June, 2011

Mind Your Mind

I don’t always trust my mind. I don’t always feel like my mind has my back and I’m sometimes left wondering if it’s my friend or enemy. True friends encourage and support us when we’re feeling low or having a bad day. Real friends listen and gently help us to see how amazing and accomplished we are. Sometimes good friends help us to understand that we need to make a change to become happier and healthier.

My mind does not always act like a true friend and sometimes I feel misguided. It does not promote confidence at all times. It certainly does not always cheer me up and sometimes it’s downright cruel. I can’t imagine my mind is trying to raise my spirits when it feeds me thoughts like, “Who are you kidding. Wow, that’s seriously terrible. You suck. You’re fat. You’re never going to be able to do that.” Luckily, I’ve come to realize just how tricky my mind can sometimes be. When it suddenly turns on me and starts treating me badly, I try to remember I have a bag of tricks to keep it more kind and loyal.

I find negative thoughts draining. They also lead to negative emotions and then I spend a great deal of energy feeling crappy about myself, trying to dig myself out of my tormented mind-hole. So, I choose to utilize my energy upfront, before the negativity wraps me in its web. I work my martial arts mind magic and override the negative thoughts. I say things like, “I’m amazing. I’ve got this. I’m healthy and look great. I can totally do this.”

When my mind says, “You’re not good enough,” I say, “I’m better than good enough.” Sometimes I don’t really believe what I’m saying, but then I say, “I’m better than good enough,” over and over again, until miraculously I begin to believe it. I’ve been playing this mind game now for so long that the negative thoughts have lessened. I don’t assume they will ever completely go away, but my mind and I have become better friends. Whenever it gets nasty, I remind it that friends’ love, nurture and support each other. Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.” I agree and say, “I see you, enemy mind, and we’re going to hug out every negative thought until you grow into my best friend.”


Top Ten Foods

Every day we should eat at least one serving from the following food groups. Repetition within the vegetable groups is always recommended. The following foods have one or many healing properties. Examples include; anti-cancer, antioxidant, colon cleansing, bacteria balancing, immune building, blood cleansing, and enzyme and antibody building. I eat at least one serving from every group every day.

  1. Dark leafy greens – like kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet greens and so on.
  2. Cruciferous vegetables—my favorite is broccoli, but all cruciferous veggies have anti-cancer properties, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and kale. 
  3. Berries—like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and others.
  4. Whole grains—like millet, quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.  
  5. Legumes—like black beans, split peas, lentils, chickpeas, adzuki beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and so on.
  6. Nuts and Seeds—for example, a handful of almonds, Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds.
  7. Fibrous vegetables—artichokes, peas, green beans, broccoli, sweet potato, yams, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collard greens, kale, spinach, pumpkin, raw beets and so many others. Apples, dried figs, and pears are high fiber fruits.   
  8. Plain yogurt—As long as you are not lactose intolerant, yogurt is a great food packed with healthy bacteria that helps to keep the flora of the gut in proper balance. Choose plain yogurt, adding sugar defeats the purpose.
  9. Protein—proteins are involved in almost all cell functions. If you are vegetarian focus on whole eggs, nuts and seeds and incorporate whey or a plant-based protein powder into the diet. Meat eaters should incorporate more fish, like salmon or halibut. Choose lean meats like chicken and turkey.
  10. Healthy “fatty” foods—flaxseed oil has a very high content of EFAs (essential fatty acids). Deep water fish like salmon, anchovies, albacore tuna, cod, halibut and others are high in omega 3s. Eat hemp seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flax meal, chia seeds, avocados and other foods. Use grape seed oil on salads and cook with olive oil.   

Every morning, I blend up my green smoothie giving myself a significant head start to the day. On top of adding banana, wheatgrass powder and water to my smoothies, I cover six of the ten groups listed above by putting the following raw ingredients my blender:

  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen green peas
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • A handful of nuts or a non-sweetened whey powder
  • Chia seeds

The key is to keep it simple—eat lots of vegetables (especially the green ones), whole grains, legumes, lean proteins (increase fish) and some fruits and nuts every day.