Children are wonderful and so very smart! When they are hungry, they eat. When they are sleepy, they sleep. They truly listen to what their body tells them. Children are also pretty keen in knowing what they want to eat and ask for it. We adults often try to persuade our children to eat or do things they don't necessarily want to do because we think we know what they want or what is best. That's not to say, that children don't get it wrong. It could be the child is asking for candy or sugar because that's addicting, and what their body really needs is water. But for the most part, children listen to their bodies and know what it's saying. Adults on the other hand, well, that's another story.
We, as adults, often "go with the flow," "follow the crowd," or say "it's the in thing." How many times do we stop to really listen to what our body is trying to tell us? Often we are so busy, we just don't hear and feel what is happening to us. There are so many distractions that take our minds away from how we feel that we simply loose touch with ourselves. For instance, have you ever eaten something that your body just didn't like? How did you know? Did you get a stomach ache or didn't feel very well? Likely, your body was telling you that isn't good for you. Sometimes it is subtle and there's only a small discomfort. Other times, our bodies really reject what we have given it. How about sleep? Do you go to bed or take a nap when you are tired, or do you just stop by the nearest Starbucks or 7-11 for some coffee? Sleep is so important in staying healthy, but the average person doesn't get enough sleep.
Over the last year, in particular, I have really made an effort greatly reduce simple sugars in my diet. Over Christmas there were a lot of goodies in our office. One snack that really got my attention were some candied pecans. I love nuts...just about any kind, so these were tempting. I've had them in the past and really enjoyed them. I took a handful and devoured them in a matter of a minute or two. Feeling pretty happy, I went back to work. About 30 minutes later, my stomach began to hurt, and I didn't feel so well. Any other time, I would have said, "Well, that's weird," and thought no more about it. Because I'm trying to listen to what my body is telling me, I thought back about the nuts with the sugary coating on it. My body was telling me it wasn't happy with my choice and it's not good for me. Needless to say, I didn't have any more. Ordinarily, I would have had another handful later that day, and so on. In the past, I would have just ignored what my body was telling me because my tongue and brain were in charge...especially if it was sugar! Since giving up the sugar foods, my body does not them when I give into temptation and lets me know pretty quickly! Please understand, my brain LOVES sugar and tells me to eat more, but when I do, my body tells me I messed up! It takes discipline to say no to certain foods. Maybe it's sugar for you, or gluten, or caffeine. Whatever your body is telling you, take note and listen. Our bodies know what is best for us and each person needs different foods at different times in life. Tastes change over times and that's okay. We are individuals with individual needs.
Health-bite: Your body is talking to you....are you listening?