Meet guest blogger Cynthia Parrott, a busy working woman who manages to find the time for fitness, diet and the writing of great advice for health-conscious women like you.
We all suffer from minor aches, pains and upsets now and then.
An afternoon of weeding and gardening, tag football in the park, snow shoveling, and other activities can cause even the most active person a bit of discomfort.
When you exercise muscles you don't use every day you should expect to be stiff and sore.
But overindulging in food and drink can also cause pain by sending your digestive system into a tailspin. That's normal and the pain and discomfort usually go away in a day or two.
Chronic aches, pains and upsets are not normal. Whether you are under a doctor's care for these ailments or not, perhaps you should re-examine your diet.
As a Nutritional Consultant with a focus on REAL FOOD, I believe we are what we eat in every sense of word.
Garbage in/garbage out. You can't put cheap gas or oil in your car or forget to fill the radiator with water and expect it perform the way you want. First you will begin to hear some pings and knocks in the engine. Your car will become sluggish, stall, overheat and eventually just quit.
If you exist on a pre-packaged, processed, white flour, white sugar diet, rarely eat your fruits and veggies, and don't drink enough water, your body will begin to show signs of neglect.
If you suffer with arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, or you just hurt all over and don't know why, it's time for a tune-up.
You're just too sensitive
Did you know that headaches, digestive problems, infections, and muscle aches and pains can be aggravated or even caused by food allergies?
Avoiding the foods you are sensitive to could cure your symptoms within a few weeks... and sometimes sooner.
The most common offenders are dairy, soy, gluten, corn and yeast. Over a 6-week period (jettison one offender a week), begin to eliminate all products containing these items from your diet until you discover the culprit.
If your stomach pains disappear when you stop eating dairy products, you could have a sensitivity to dairy. You might discover that foods containing yeast are the problem but you feel fine when you eat dairy, corn, soy and gluten.
Whatever the end result, if you want to feel better, rid your pantry
and fridge of all products containing the items making you ill and make a conscious effort to never eat them again.
You're sweet enough
Cut back on or completely eliminate sugar from your diet. This is a tough one but if you suffer from frequent headaches, fatigue, or muscle aches and pains, too much sugar could be the reason. Sugar causes insulin levels to spike and this causes pain. Consider other foods to satisfy your sweet tooth: fresh, juicy fruits like peaches or melon, sweet potatoes, and raw or steamed carrots.
I help clients satisfy their sugar cravings by suggesting they try homemade carrot soup. Cooking the carrots releases their sweetness and this simple soup is warming and healing.
Simply bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add about 2 pounds of bright orange organic carrots, scrubbed well and cut up (leave the peels on if you wish). Cook until the carrots are soft. Put the cooked carrots in a blender or food processor and puree, adding some of cooking water as necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You can make this as simple as you want or really delightful by sautéing onions and fresh-grated ginger and the carrots in a little olive oil before adding the water.
Go for the green
Include plenty of fresh, organic, local fruits and vegetables to your diet. These are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflamatory effects on the body.
Make a vegetable dish the highlight of your meal rather than the meat. Add chopped, cooked spinach to your homemade lasagna. Consider a vegetarian diet or at least 2-3 meatless meals a week.
Pile your plate high with lots of green vegetables and think of meat as a condiment rather than the main focus.
Flush it out
Your body needs water to replenish, restore and cleanse itself. Water keeps everything moving through your system and and helps flush out impurities and toxins.
Joints need moisture to keep from growing stiff and painful.
Dehydration could be the cause of headaches and even some gastrointestinal issues.
Drink plenty of pure, filtered water daily. Use a filter that removes
chlorine, bacteria and heavy metals. Avoid drinking out of plastic containers, as these leach xenoestrogens that interfere with hormone signalling in the body.
One fish, two fish, red fish, good fish!
Eat fish three times a week. Fish provides omega-3 fatty acids that are high in EPA and DHA -- they help keep muscles and joints from becoming inflammed, painful and stiff.
These essential fatty acids can also help alleviate stress -- a major
cause of aches, pains and stomach disturbances.
Choose wild over farmed fish whenever possible. Farmed fish might be less expensive, but contains less omega-3 fatty acids and protein, is usually artificially colored, contains higher levels of highly toxic PCBs, and has more fat than wild fish.
Friend or faux
Always choose the genuine article over anything pre-packaged, processed, or artifical. Buy as many organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains as your budget allows. Choose hormone-free, farm-raised, free-range chicken and beef as
often as possible.
Try to prepare as much of your food as possible yourself rather than buying boxes of macaroni and cheese, rice and soup mixes, or frozen meals-in-a-bag. Reach for fruit or veggies instead of snacks like potato chips and microwave popcorn.
Make your own pita chips by slicing pita bread into quarters, brush each quarter lightly with a touch of oil, and bake in the oven until crispy. Dip them into hummus or fresh salsa. Boil up some edamame and sprinkle lightly with sea salt if you are in a munching mood.
If at all possible, never fry anything. Poach, steam or bake fish and chicken. Convert your favorite, fatty, fried food recipes to healthier versions.
The key to good health and healing is simple, unprocessed, REAL food.
Give these steps an honest effort for a few months and see how you feel. All your aches and pains could miraculously disappear or at the very least, you will feel better, healthier and alive.
You might even lose those last 10 pounds you have been struggling with for years.
Now that you have put the brakes on the aches, you can finally put the pedal to the metal and get on with life!
NOTE: I do not diagnose or treat disease. Chronic pain could be a sign of a serious illness, so please consult your physician. If you are currently taking medication, please continue to do as advised by your doctor.
About Cynthia: I am a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor. My company is Metamorphosis Consulting and I have been in private practice for over 10 years. I believe we can completely transform our lives by nourishing our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. It is my desire to help others achieve their health and nutritional goals, their personal goals, and to live the life they have always dreamed of. Learn more at www.truemetamorphosis.org and www.cyndaily.com.