Feeling gluggy, tired, bloated and generally unwell? If you’re good at listening to your body then its likely you can decipher pretty quickly what’s wrong. But what about if you’re not sure what’s wrong? Never fear – even if you are completely overwhelmed with all the signs and symptoms you’ve been experiencing, don’t over overcomplicate it. Just take it one step at a time.
I’m not a big believer in ordering rafts of pathology tests to see what’s going on. I prefer to rely on physical evidence and a little bit of old fashioned instinct. It’s just looking at cause and effect, and listening, really listening, to what our bodies are saying. For myself, I know things are starting to go wrong when I feel bloated all the time; my digestive system has always been the best indicator of my overall health. Most people will have their one weak spot that acts up when things are starting to go south. It could be those persistent headaches, joint pain, skin flareups or overwhelming fatigue. These are the signs that you need to pay attention to. Sadly, our modern lifestyle forces us into ignoring and masking these tell-tale indicators with pain killers or other easily accessible methods of pushing the discomfort into the background, including alcohol.
Getting back to basics – it doesn’t have to be that hard.
Confronted with the thought of overhauling your diet and lifestyle? Don’t be. It shouldn’t all be done in one go. In fact, it’s a really bad idea to even try. Start with smaller goals that will contribute to your bigger end goal. Don’t be afraid of a little trial and error either. Our biochemistry is so unique, that this will be different for everyone so it’s important that you take the time to figure out what makes your body tick.
Suggestions that may help are:
- Keep a health diary – notice how your body feels each day.
When you feel discomfort, think about what may have contributed to this. Write down your symptoms and try to establish patterns. This is how I discovered I had a gluten intolerance!
- What foods make you feel good? What foods make you feel bad? What foods do you instinctively feel may/may not be that great for you? Remember – some foods that are ‘healthy’ may not be beneficial for you. A good example of this is bone broth – if you suffer from high histamine levels like those seen in people with hayfever, bone broth is definitely not for you.
- Do not make any drastic changes in a hurry. Sudden changes to your diet can be traumatic both for your gut and your biochemistry. Make small, sustainable changes with the larger goal in mind.
- Trust your instinct – if you have a feeling something isn’t good for you avoid it! If you have a feeling that something is beneficial for you, try including more of it in your life.
Better health is a result of sustainable changes.
It’s important to remember that a health reboot doesn’t mean you try something for 2 weeks and then give up. The changes you make need to be sustainable and something that you are able to do for the long term, if you want to see results. This is one of the reasons that fad diets don’t work – and if they do work, it’s usually not for long.
Think about what you want very carefully, and what you think you’ll be able to maintain. Be honest with yourself. And as I said earlier, don’t be afraid of trying a few things, even if it’s just to see how they resonate with you. You might be surprised what sticks. Write your health goals down and remember that good habits take time to form, so be kind to yourself.
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