How to Listen to Your Body and Find Health Within

In Digestive, Health, Mindful Living, The Smart Health Project, Wellness by Mariana CallejaLeave a Comment

A tiny drop of body wisdom and advice from my personal observation experiments within the last year and a half.

I live in Barcelona since 2010. And recently I decided something: I would stop living on my own for a little while as a mean for saving money and venturing into a larger life and professional project this 2015. It feels about time to keep moving and growing forward. It’s been a great and intense ride so far!

I’m loving my new neighbourhood and the lifestyle that I’m getting from it. Since the next months will be filled with hard work and lots of focusing for this website and lifestyle that I’m building for myself, I decided to join yoga classes after looking for several options around the area. I’ve just done some at home in different periods of my life but nothing more than that. It was great and nice every time.

A few yoga lessons have gone by and it’s already awesome. My body feels thankful for the good stretches! Not to mention the peace of mind, which is quite me. A few months back, I went into meditation while in Thailand and it changed my life.

I decided that I needed a healthier routine, more than before.

And this includes several aspects of life and our body, not just physically.

I’ve been observing in detail my food habits for more than a year. But also my emotions and the way they make my body react.

I had a nice first encounter with meditation that hooked me completely.

I’ve been learning and getting to know my body like never before by mastering the art of pure and deep observation, all after a major digestive issue and severe constipation since last november (and my entire life, really). I went almost crazy thinking the worst about my lower-abdominal pain, mostly in February, when I decided to try Ayurvedic medicine, after other attempts on traditional medicine, ironically. It’s been more than a month now.

Magic!

My bowel feels clean. I never thought this was possible. Not like this. I’m still mastering the observation art and paying attention to details, drinking proper amounts of water daily (which I never did).

I love sweets, pastries and chocolates, you see, even more as I travel! And I was having a hard time having to avoid them due to my constant constipation problem. I was sad about this fact! But now? A whole different story. Aahh yeah.

Also, I’m eating in an intuitive way, after going crazy reading on “the best diets, the best foods, the best ways and so many articles out there. All good indeed, but they are just a general concept for specific body needs. Be careful.

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So what’s this intuitive way of eating? 

I eat what I feel like eating but I keep a schedule. Meaning? I listen to my body’s needs. Let me explain what I’ve been doing and learning:

I eat one or two fruits and two vegetables per day. I don’t eat meat other than seafood and delicious spanish ham occasionally, but I’m not a vegetarian. I’ve just found out that when eating meat frequently my body feels heavy and bloated.

I eat lots of natural yogurt (not sweetened ones), seeds, dried fruits, no soft drinks and packed sugary juices or beverages. And I use raw honey instead of sugar to put in my tea or others.

After my bad case of constipation and after trying so many things, I started drinking chamomile tea every single day plus quitting coffee, only in special occasions maybe every 2 weeks. It’s more than perfect! I can drink as much chamomile tea as I want and I won’t be suffering from reflux or acidity in my stomach like I used to when drinking black tea on daily basis. I love black teas such as Earl Grey but 3 a day was not being good for my digestive track. That’s when I learned that black tea makes your track acid, which makes a complete imbalance leading to constipation, reflux, pain and more. I just had to accept this fact and how my body works.

I’ve learned that the alkaline state of your body is the best way of body functioning. Amazing how I went to medical school and years of practice and there are things that I keep learning from how the body works. In the end, it’s not as complicated as it seems really.

I’m no vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian or whatever other tags there are. I just eat what my body tells me, and generally, it’s a very healthy diet with little restrictions but also, in a wise quantity of everything. I like the “eat half of what you really want” rule. It worked for me since I listened to it back in my teen years, when I used to be overweighted. A good rule for eating a bit of everything without cutting yourself into non-sense and rough diets. Just common sense.

I enjoy having a nice breakfast most of the times and then my body seems to be better organised throughout the day. It works differently for everyone, but again: it’s just a matter of observation. Listening to your body’s needs.

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The “One Handful Rule” for Eating

I measure the food I’m cooking with my hand instead of going crazy with grams and weight and more. A handful of _____ plus extra ingredients is enough for your stomach. That’s a real and easy measure and you can take it anywhere with you! How cool is that?

Also, I have a journal, which gives me perspective and lets me know what’s been going on. It works for me pretty well. I found this system to be effective. Each person has to find their own. Maybe sharing mine could help you.

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I’ve been going through lots of inner processes and they’ve been amazing and needed. It’s been a great journey, this one of truly getting to know and understand my body functioning. And it’s just getting started.

Your body is unique. It has everything it needs to survive and to live well. It’s not complicated and even when we have chronic conditions, the body is extremely grateful when we decide to make some changes towards a healthier lifestyle.

Listen to your body, it is awesome. And it’s your home. 

Sincerely,
Dr. Mariana

Mariana Calleja MD


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*Image Credits by Google*
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