The importance of taking care of oneâ€™s physical health as a way to ensure a healthy mind cannot be overemphasized.
Eat regularly and do not skip meals. Hunger could make the blood sugar drop, which results in feeling tired, irritable and depressed. It also affects concentration since the brain is deprived of nutrients.
Eating regularly keeps sugar levels stable. Foods that release energy slowly keep the sugar levels stable even between meals. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, oats and compound carbohydrates are good examples.
Healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds are a healthy way to keep the body, and the brain nourished when there is a delay in taking regular meals. Avoid unhealthy snacks such as greasy, calorie-rich fast foods.
Whether your routine is 3 full meals a day or 5-6 small meals spread out throughout the day, watch what is on your plate. The brain requires adequate proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and fatty acids for it to operate at optimal levels.
Fresh fruits and vegetables give the body vitamins, minerals, and fiber; which keeps the body both physically and mentally healthy. The more color there is on the plate, the healthier the diet.
Fruits and vegetables ought to form a rainbow on the plate. Eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Avoid overcooking or reheating vegetables to minimize the risk of losing nutrients.
Adequate proteins help to control blood sugar levels. Amino acids help to regulate thought processes and feelings. Fish, eggs, lean meat, nuts, seeds and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are important for proper brain function.
Avoid processed, refined or canned foods which usually contain excess sugar, salt, artificial coloring, sweeteners, and preservatives. They are high in calories while empty on nutrients.
There is a lot of noise about how unhealthy fats are. Do not cut out fats from your diet altogether, but ensure to get your fats from healthy sources such as oily fish, eggs, milk, yogurt, avocados, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chicken or nuts such as almonds or walnuts.
Make healthy choices of cooking oils such as olive or coconut oil. Avoid fatty meats.
Keep hydrated. Drink adequate water daily as well as herbal teas such as green tea. Diluted fresh fruit or vegetable juices are also a great way to stay hydrated.
Cut down on caffeinated and carbonated drinks as well as alcohol. Too much caffeine leads to feelings of anxiety and low moods and also reduces the quality of sleep. Adequate rest and sleep are very important for productive feelings and stable mood. Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, sodas, and energy drinks.
Alcohol dampens the mood and should be avoided or taken in moderation. Avoid taking refrigerated water but take it at room temperature.
A Healthy Gut
Pay attention to the gut and address any concerns there such as constipation or diarrhea. A healthy gut is important for the proper functioning of the brain. Include adequate amounts of fiber in the diet from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and live yogurts which contain probiotics that aid in digestion.
Listen to your body and be alert about food intolerance, which is a major cause of digestive tract disorders. If you often experience symptoms such as constipation, bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhea, that could be a sign of intolerance.
Monitor your diet to identify which foods trigger those symptoms then cut them out from the diet. Some of the foods that trigger food allergies are those that are rich in lactose or gluten. Switch to healthier alternatives.
Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powersÂ of Self-Acceptance,Â Appreciation, and PersonalÂ Achievement.Â We ask that every contributor and expert answerÂ Â the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with theÂ current article they have written.Â In that way, and as a team, we hope toÂ encourageÂ and motivateÂ each other, thus inspiringÂ you to Get All A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally?Â Additionally, what are youÂ still working on accepting? Now, weâ€™re talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.
When I was little, I was a victim of bullying, which I later came to understand was because I was considered a privileged child since my mother was a senior teacher in the school I was attending early in life.
I was especially bullied by children from disadvantaged backgrounds, whose aim was to bring me down. The bullies made fun of everything about me, including my personal appearance.
I grew up to discover that I am a beautiful woman and that I am highly talented too. I still encounter bullies from time to time, who are usually people who feel that I am doing better than them.
Nothing bullies say can have an impact on me; it is like pouring water on the back of a duck. I already know that the problem is not me but their own pain which they project on the wrong people.
It took a lot of work on myself from positive self-talk to working on my mindset before I could reach a point I am able to ignore bullies. They did have an effect on me for many years.
I am still working on certain areas of my life such as time management skills. Once I get something I really love, I can focus too much on it and end up neglecting other areas that need attention. I not only need to accept myself in that area but to improve on it.
2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally?Â On the other handÂ OR in contrast,Â are there elements of who you are that youâ€™re still working onÂ appreciating?
I have learned to appreciate that I am a creative being and that I cannot always conform to the majority. I do face criticism for being different but that no longer bothers me.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell usÂ not onlyÂ what makes YOU most proudÂ but alsoÂ share theÂ goals and dreams that you still have.
My most rewarding achievement is my public speaking career. I have spoken in front of all kinds of audiences in different parts of the globe, and the response I get is overwhelming.
I am also a talented writer and many people contact me to tell me that I have transformed them with my words.
I still have goals that I am working on top on the list is reaching millions in the world through videos and blog articles which I plan to share widely on the World wide web. My dream is to reach one million people in the next 2 years. My plans are on course.
4.Â Of course, weÂ all have imperfections,Â orÂ so we think.Â In truth,Â we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways?Â Likewise,Â what imperfections and quirks create who you areâ€”your Identity?
I am still working on my time management skills. Once I get something I really love, I can focus too much on it and end up neglecting other areas that need attention. I not only need to accept myself in that area but to improve on it.
I also feel that I do not spend enough time with my kids because I work way too hard. It makes me feel guilty when my kids need my attention, and I am busy working away. I still need to work on balance in that area, among others.
5. â€œI Love Myâ€¦â€ is an outlet for you toÂ appreciate and expressÂ all the positive traits that make youâ€¦wellâ€¦YOU!Â In fact, sharingÂ what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (We assure you!)Â Therefore,Â Identity challenges you to complete the phrase â€œI Love Myâ€¦?â€
I love myself despite my weaknesses and imperfections. I love this go-getter woman that I am. I love my creative side and the fact that I am always open to new ideas and ready to learn.
I also love my body image. I have adult children, and I am in great physical shape and great health.
I do not beat myself up too much about things in my life I cannot change. I am already blessed in very many ways, and that is good enough. There is still a lot that I need to work on, and I am not yet there, but I am making progress. We all have our imperfections, and I have mine; many of them. But they cannot stop me from realizing my dreams.
Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash