How I cured myself with food

Every food that we eat impacts our bodies. Think about how different you feel after eating a huge piece of cold watermelon versus eating a doughnut… it effects your energy level, your digestion, even your creativity.

Understanding how food functions within your body can completely change your life. For Shira it started with an allergic reaction to medication… Her digestion was a mess, and no matter what she did, she couldn’t get back to normal again. Something wasn’t right.

“Doctors didn’t know what to do. They said they could put me on medication, but it was just going to remedy the symptoms, not fix the problem.”

Unsatisfied with her doctors’ suggestions, she decided to correct the health problem herself. A friend suggested seeing a naturopath, and pretty soon the answer to her problems was served up on a silver platter. Our bodies respond to what they are given. If they don’t get what they need to properly function, at some point they will protest.

Shira began to diversify her diet, hanging out at her favorite farmer’s markets and experimenting with new foods.

“A diverse diet is very important,” she said. “The more different types of fruits and vegetables you put in your diet, the healthier you are going to be. When you are eating the same things over and over, you are probably missing some important vitamins and nutrients.” Likewise, it is important to eat what is in season and local to your environment. What grows around you is there for a reason, most likely it can provide your body with nutrients that are specific to the climate and other environmental factors.

Shira loves shopping at the farmer’s market for this very reason, when you are “Eating what is growing that season, nature works inline with the body so what grows in the summer is best for you body to eat, and same in the winter.”

Today, Shira has successfully adapted to her new diet, but knows she cannot live without an occasional indulgence.

“Even when I cheat and go out and have French fries or ice cream, I know my body has gotten to a certain level of health and it doesn’t bother me like it would have before,” she said. “It takes consciousness and time to get well from food, but it also takes time to get sick from it. You just have to learn to make choices.”

As Shira learned the hard way, it’s important to make everyday colorful and incorporate your environment. Eating to nourish your body and soul is not just for special occasions or “being good.” Find a farmer’s market near you to put your money and your mind where your mouth is… there is no better time to start than today!

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Challenging the Diet Dictocrats
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Join the Slow Food Movement!
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How Yoga Saved My Sanity

Eka walked into a yoga studio for the first time, attempting to better understand her boss. She hoped that by learning some down dogs and what all the different warriors were, she’d at least find some common ground. After just one class, she realized she’d discovered a new way of life.

“I literally could not touch my toes,” she said. “The first class I went to I was scared out of my mind because there were all these people twisting like pretzels and scratching their heads with their toes, and I am just looking around going, ‘Okay, I can’t touch my toes.’ That is what scares a lot of people away from yoga; they think they need to do all of that and weigh 90 pounds, but you can do yoga at any stage of life.”

With every class she went to, Eka started to feel stronger and more clear-headed. She felt her posture change and realized that she was overall more confident than she had ever been in her life. Eventually she started coming to her mat more than she was going into work.

It wasn’t just being able to contort her body in new and different ways that made Eka crave yoga. By being with her breath and meditating into each pose, she discovered a way to identify and release tension in her body.

“It is the breath that is the conveyor of everything,” she said. “It is a continuous wheel of becoming aware in the present moment and how you react in the present moment. I think that is a mirror for life. The yoga mat is often seen as a mirror of life outside the studio. How you react on your mat is often how you react when you leave the studio doors.”

Eka now teaches yoga to other weary souls looking for some peace in the chaos of life. Since you probably can’t commit to a two-hour yoga session seven days a week, Eka’s offering a few minute-long poses that you can do at your desk or on your living room floor. Take a deep breath and get going.

Want to learn more about yoga? Check out these great resources we’ve found!

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Ohm My Gosh!
Can’t seem to find any peace and quiet? Find yoga classes, events, businesses, products and lots more at Yoga Finder.

Work Out While You Work
The office cube is hardly a match for a yoga studio, but with this desk-friendly workout, you can stay active even when you’re sitting down.

Strike a Pose
Be enlightened with blogs, poses, philosophy and news from Yoga Journal. (Also available on newsstands!)

Doin’ Time to Think
At-risk and incarcerated youth are reflecting on what they’ve done in a whole new way thanks to the Mind Body Awareness Project. Who knew meditation and yoga could be so soothing to criminal minds?

Sit Still
Easier said than done, especially when there are dishes to do, laundry to wash and carpets to vacuum. Sit still by first putting this Spirituality & Health Magazine in your lap and then putting its message into practice.