Feeding your Inner Child

food cravings

Food cravings are often confounded in media towards sweet and fatty foods. When sitting down for a meal, are you mindful of what your body is craving?  Steak (low in iron), veggies (alkaline/acidic), ginger (antiinflammatory), or anything else.  Whether your body is acidic, alkaline or nutrient-deficient, the body language speaks in hints and whispers to tell us what we need. Often we seek the advice of health professionals, external resources once illness ensues, in order to get the answer we seek. But if our own bodies are posing the questions, should we not know the answers ourselves? We are all we need to be happy and healthy, and when we tune into our body’s requests, bringing mindful awareness into and around feeding, rest, and our fundamental needs, we will not reach the point of illness. And if we do, if we listen, often our own voices are enough to tell us how to heal and repair.

self-care_-bomb_Think of a pregnant woman, nurturing inside her a child. She will have these fluctuating and demanding food cravings. Some, seemingly bizarre. As a mother is carrying a child, we are also carrying inside us our inner child. We have food and specific flavour cravings, but unlike an expecting mother, we are often taught mixed signals about suppressing our needs in favour of work and other demands. A mother knows the critical importance of feeding her child, but we often sideline and back-burn our needs as adults. These whispers and pleas from our body build up, we get confused, and often end up reaching for a sugar hit when stress accumulates and we have forgone our needs for too long. Our inner child needs to be addressed; our awareness needs not be clouded. When we practice mindfulness around body signals and tuning into our body’s language, we learn intuitive eating, just as an expecting mother does when she craves certain things that the baby needs. However in society, an expecting mother is given the space to help the child grow. Her purpose is for giving the baby the best care it can in order to grow. Society doesn’t give space for adults alike to learn this, let along children. Our purposes lie in the roles society subliminally guides us to through social norms. Be that work, school, parenting, caring for others before ourselves. We cannot help others if we have not yet helped ourselves. So, we must relearn to listen. In this way, we can learn to give our bodies what they need instead of suppressing requirements in favour of what society deems priority.

It seems that the idea behind self-love by treating your inner child with love and proper nourishment is thought to be insignificant and selfish versus necessary and self-interested. So our busyness leads us to a block with our awareness channel of our minds to our bodies, and we get sick, overweight and unhappy. We cannot change other people’s stigmas on the need for our health as a priority, but we can change our own belief systems. We can start by understanding the need to nourish our inner child. After all, we are the beings that were so cared for in the womb. We owe it to ourselves to attend to ourselves with as much care and intention. It is time for us to treat ourselves as our little child versions, as did our caregivers and mothers.

Start with mindfulness around your needs. Before eating, take a brief second or a walk around the block if you can spare it, and inquire to your body what it is craving. This takes time and a healthy dose of self-interest (not selfishness) to devote yourself to your own health. Remember, without this space for yourself, your body’s voice will be muffled or silenced, resulting in a buildup of cravings, eventually a crash.  Beginning with a mindful practice around eating opens opportunity to truly nourish your body instead of ending up confused, deprived, famished and ill.

 

I chose me

I chose me.

Yesterday I started work at a new job, I’d been very excited to begin being of service, meeting people, and making some cash. We had a 15-minute lunch break, and when I asked what time, one of the baristas said that the previous day, they started at 6:30AM and didn’t get a spare moment until 3PM to eat. This girl was forking in mouthfuls of the order I mucked up in the kitchen in between serving customers, and I asked if she liked that dish, and she said, “food is food I guess, it’s not my favourite but when I can eat, I do.”

So although I started at 10AM, and my own routinized unserving habits (that I’m mindfully chipping away at to shed) meant that I hadn’t eaten since 6AM before my bike training ride, and while I will ideally learn to be able to plan ahead for these scheduling and work plans, I was damn hungry by 11:30AM, and had no idea what to expect on my first day. I worked till noon, when a big order of people was to come in, but my swa-dharma necessitated that I nourish my body. I come from a place of over thinking with food, and coping through monotonously detailed control over my own fueling. This is my purpose in New Zealand, to let go of that, to blossom, to learn and grow, and to give back what my gift to the world is.

I back-burned my self-shoulding, and expressed my need to eat. So I hurried off on my paid 15 minute break to “eat as fast as I could” in the female change room inside the pool.

What is that?

I unpacked my lunch, knowing fully well that I wouldn’t be able to finish in 15. I let the chief know, and then said, “Fuck it”, I gotta eat, man. Eating is not a privilege, it is a need. I know deprivation, and I am learning to overcome the self-inflicted deprivation and restriction of needs; food, pleasure, self-care. I have struggled enough with my own self-inflicted restrictions, I had a strong sense of awareness in that I would not allow outside forces to inflict this on me. So, I took 30 mins, still rushing and being mindful to respect my time constraints, but fucking chewing now just swallowing (that’s what she said?). Guilt ensued on my face as I walked out of the pool deck back into work; they were “in the weeds”. Boss told me I took 45 and should pack up and leave, expressing my disrespect. So I did, and it was alright.

Does respect come from self-disrespect? I think there is a need for both. But fuck, I’m getting a car today, and am strapped financially. Financial independence is so important, and I’m so ready to work, but not at the expense of my self-healing. I have much to let go of with my restrictions, but I believe that it is OK for this to take place in a “safe” environment. This doesn’t mean by force. Mind you, coming out of my comfort zone will be necessary, and a little discomfort will accompany this. But, my self-love isn’t something I’ll sideline in favour of serving café customers and starving myself. What happens then? I’d be fucked, my body would reject it, and I’d crash. This I know was the gunshot that used to initiate my coping though purging and binging. I’ve since learned from it, and refuse to put myself though it. I don’t look back, as I’m not traveling in that direction.

So now, it begins.

I am waiting for my car to arrive at 10:30AM. I’m blessed. I’m seeing a therapist later this afternoon, namaste, and in the meantime, I’m going to calmly eat my lunch, look at jobs, and ponder what to do. I am now a student, and am craving work. I am not unfamiliar with dedication and hard earned fruit. I am attracting abundance and expressing service.

I am really looking to connect with Cliff Harvey at Holistic Performance Nutrition because I feel safe in his space, and I feel that my gift lies somewhere intertwined within the paradigm of holistic nutrition, mindful health, and guiltlessly bountiful and unconditional self-love. Love, just love, uplifts all. Thanks Yoko, and all the barefooted beauties that believe in breathing the mantra of tremendous energetic self-empowerment, and the collectivity of thriving in a community that permeates love like an exploding star.

Happiness only real when shared.

Don’t you dare give up.

Yoga for Kids

5 Yoga Poses for Kids

yoga girl TYI

Yoga isn’t only for adults; it has been shown to help children develop as they grow. As many of the poses are named after animals, Yoga for kids is a fun way to incorporate a non-competitive form of physical activity for your child. Here are some benefits of introducing your child to Yoga:

  1. De-Stress: Children face many stressors in life that we might not be aware of. From school competitiveness in academics and finding friendships, to living at home and being exposed to little arguments and conflicts between family members. Yoga encourages techniques like relaxation, inner fulfillment and breathing, which provide coping tools in face of these challenges.
  2. Calmness: Yoga is a very calming practice for kids, as it teaches to breathe deeply, and relax. This is a wonderful technique that translates to other aspects your child’s life. You will notice your child learning to relax instead of immediately jumping to fight in face of conflicts.
  3. Patience: Holding poses is a great way to lean patience; by breathing through a posture, children learn to practice a calm state when waiting and accepting a situation as it is.
  4. Body-Awareness: Body awareness is a wonderful concept to introduce at a young age, and Yoga provides a venue for this. It encourages physical activity that is non-competitive, and creates an opportunity for building friendships and bonds.
  5. Flexibility and Strength: Yoga not only encourages a sense of calmness and relaxation, but it also allows children to explore the movement of their bodies, and connect with themselves and surroundings. They will learn to be strong in face of challenges through the held poses, and understand their body’s limits through stretching and holding.

 5 Yoga Poses For Kids:

  1. Sun Salutations: For Breathing

    One of the simplest and most powerful practices you can teach your children is breath awareness. Diaphragmatic breathing, the relaxed, deep breathing that activates the diaphragm muscle, is the prerequisite for the subtle practices of the yoga tradition. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a state of calm, improves focus, and reduces anxiety.
    In yoga, we move as we breathe. For example, we stretch on the inhale and relax on the exhale. The Sunrise/Sunset pose is a good all-over warm-up for any activity. 1. Stand up tall. Take three to five deep breaths. 2. On the next inhale, lift your arms above your head. Press your legs and feet down toward the ground and stretch your spine and waist toward the sky.  As you exhale, bend the upper half of your body at your waist down toward your legs, as if you were diving into a pool. Bend as far as you comfortably can. As you inhale again, open your arms wide and stand up slowly, stretching your arms to the sky. 4. Repeat this six to 10 times. As you inhale and stretch, think of the glowing, rising sun. As you exhale and fold, think of the setting sun.
    sun salutation
  1. Tree Pose: Balance and Body Awareness                                                     1. Stand up straight and tall. Breathe in and out and feel your legs reaching toward the ground and your head reaching toward the sky. Look at one spot in front of you to keep your eyes steady. 2. Now lift your right leg by bending your knee. Breathe evenly, looking at one spot in front of you. Place your right leg on your left leg, above the knee (or below the knee if that’s more comfortable). Imagine roots growing from your left foot into the ground. Let your left leg be strong like the trunk of the tree. Now stretch your arms up like branches.
    tree pose
  1. Butterfly Pose: Stretching and Calm  
    1. Sit on the floor and place the soles of your feet together. Hold on to your feet or ankles, and let your knees drop toward the floor. Sit up with a tall spine. 2. Imagine that you are a butterfly with beautiful wings stretching out from your spine and with long antennae reaching out from your head.
    butterfly pose
  1. Gorilla: Stretch and body awareness
    Stand with your legs wide apart. Bend forward at the waist, bending your knees a little bit. Let your arms hang down in front of you and swing your upper body back and forth like a gorilla. You can also just hang forward over your legs without swinging.
    gorilla pose
  2. Bow Pose: Flexibility, strength, breathing
    Lie on your belly. Breathe in and relax your body as you breathe out. Bend your knees and take hold of your ankles behind you. As you breathe in, lift your head and chest and legs off of the floor. Pull your feet away from your back to stretch your chest and belly. 2. As you slowly breathe in and out in the Bow pose, lift your head and feet toward the ceiling. Feel the arch in your back. 3. When you are ready, come down slowly on an exhalation, and rest on your belly.bow pose

FREE 7-Day Trial for a LIFESTYLE RE-SET

I am creating a FREE 7-Day Trial for a LIFESTYLE RE-SET.

IMG_1129

It focuses on routine and habit formation, mindfulness, and real food.

It will include:
Wake/Sleep Times
Mealtimes
Exercise Times

As well as:
Mindfulness techniques to practice the power of directing your attention.
One video explaining the Pranayama Equal Breath Technique
One video of me guiding you through a 30-minute YOGA practice
And TWO FREE 45 minute, full-body WORKOUT templates

This is a sample of a 21-Day Re-Set program that I am creating, and want those who are interested to try out how creating a routine is helpful in keeping a healthy body and mind. Please take a look at this sample picture of the plan, and if you are interested, e-mail me at
melaniesakowski999@gmail.com
I will have the sample ready by the end of the week, and will be sending it off next week to those interested.

All I need from YOU is your readiness for change, as well as your dietary preferences.

NOTE: The times here are just a guide, and will vary based on the individual, but the set-up is similar.Screen shot 2015-02-11 at 3.33.41 PM

Free Example of a Daily Template

On Routine:

routine

The body likes routine.  I’m not referring to a totally calculated and pre-planned existence, but more-so a plan with relative regularity in scheduling certain daily patterns:

  • Eating times
  • Exercise times
  • Sleep/Wake-up times
  • Poop times

The body flows into a rhythm, a cadence, and a beat when we listen well to its needs, and fine-tune a schedule.  Believe it or not, this implementation of a plan is key to a myriad of health benefits like:

  • minimizing disease
  • skin issues
  • weight fluctuations
  • stress
  • headaches
  • chronic illness
  • fatigue
  • gut disturbances, and more.

Although a totally monotonous lifestyle is a recipe for lacklustre predictability, give or take a half hour of buffer space, eating times, exercise times, and sleep times are a good thing to routinize.

It takes some experimentation and individualization, because everyone is different, but ultimately, once a nice pattern is formed, and fine-tuned with love and attentive to moderation and deep intuition, I can say from first-hand experience that it transformed my life from a place of extreme self-harm, to utmost self-love, calm, self-awareness and peace.

As promised, here is an example of a daily template:

7:00AM Wake up
Say morning mantra and practice abdominal Pranayama breathing while still in bed
Brush teeth, wash face, use toilet

7:15AM
Morning walk, 10 mins

7:30AM
Prepare breakfast
Practice cultivating gratitude and focus on breath for 1 min
Eat meal in calm and peace, with no phone/technology/e-mail checking

9:00AM 60 swim minute Workout
WU

600 swim
10 x 50 as break-out/build @ 50s

MS 1
21 x 50 @ 50s as:
3x
1) break-out
2) 25!/25ez
3) 35!/15 ez
4) AO!
5) ascend
6) 25!/25ez
7) build

100 ez

4 x 150 @ 2:15 as: 25 scull/25 breathing-5/25 breathing-7/25 ALL OUT!/50K NB underwater on your side (25LS/25RS)

100 ez

10 x 75 as (100 ez after first 5)
first 5: breathing 3-5-7
last 5: breathing 7-5-3
ALL ODDS: ascending
ALL EVENS: descending

CD

300 ez
500 dr/sc/k/sw/pull

12:00PM
10 minute walk

12:15PM Lunch
Prepare lunch
Practice cultivating gratitude and focus on breath for 1 min
Eat meal in calm and peace, with no phone/technology/e-mail checking

4PM Snack
Prepare snack
Practice cultivating gratitude and focus on breath for 1 min
Eat meal in calm and peace, with no phone/technology/e-mail checking

6:00 PM
Evening walk, 10 mins

6:15PM
Prepare dinner
Practice cultivating gratitude and focus on breath for 1 min
Eat meal in calm and peace, with no phone/technology/e-mail checking

8PM
Small evening snack
Night time meditation, sitting and focusing on breath for 10 minutes, and reviewing the day

10PM Goodnight 

  • Notes:

    Try to eat only so much that you know you will be hungry in 3-4hours.
    Be aware of your self-duty in this process of finding your balanced state of being and mind.
    Be aware and accepting that this process might take some tweaking, patience is key.
    Re-assess, re-assess, and re-asses!
    Namasthe🙂

Here’s a good song, have a sweet Thursday!  Stay tuned for a package to individualize a jump-start weekly program, and 30 day re-set including recipes, and applicable workouts.

Elephant Journal Article: 12 Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Eating. ~ Julie Bernier

I’d like to post this great article from Elephant Journal that explains some tips for healthy eating that are even more important than WHAT we’re eating, but HOW we’re eating.
This is one of the biggest themes in my life, and sharing how I’ve learned some great lessons to tailor my own healing journey is one of my most intuitively integral purposes in my life.
lifestyle design
I am creating a Lifestyle Design Package for a template, as well as a free daily example of what a well-designed, routinized day looks like.  I’ll be offering the package for a 30 day deal, with a one-week jump start to reboot your life, and begin to make changes to engineer a life with healthier habits for finding your ideal weight, lowering stress, improving digestion and gut health, as well as calming the mind and dispelling chronic illnesses and insomnia.
The plan will include:
  • Scheduled eating times throughout the day
  • Movement and walks prior to each meal
  • Mindful breathing practice for 60s prior to each meal
  • 7 Thirty minute workouts for each day of the week (one active rest day of stretching/Yoga included)
  • Ayurvedic/Paleo/Sattvicly inclined meal options including recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks
  • Highlights on where to focus on mindfulness meditation techniques including: awareness of body and mind-state, stress state, intuition, commitment, self-duty, authenticity to self and others
  • Emphasis on maintainable plan that is fine tuned to the individual, for longterm change, CONSISTENCY, slowing down, surrendering to intuition, and a sense of calmness and being grounded.
Side effects include: improved immunity, happy demeanour, positive attitude, good poops, more fun, and wholesome, holistic health.🙂

It’s More Than What We Eat: 12 Ayurvedic Tips for Healthy Eating. ~ Julie Bernier

Julie Bernier

Via on Oct 13, 2013

holiday-eating-binging-nutrition-health

A lot of us really care aboutwhat we eat.

We buy organic, avoid GMOs, weigh up antioxidants, evaluate the glycemic index: all factors relating to the quality of the food entering our bodies.

Props to us for doing our research and making healthy choices, but it’s all done in vain if we don’t give as much attention to the process of eating itself. It’s not only what we eat, but alsohow we eat that matters.

Ayurveda, the science of life, teaches us how to eat.

This concept may seem a little silly at first. After all, we’ve got decades of practice under our belts!

But let’s face it, the norm in our busy American lives is eating in the car, standing up, when we’re stressed, in a rush and chowing down on cold leftovers straight from the fridge. Under these conditions, we don’t digest properly and even the most wholesome food becomes unwholesome to the body. There’s certainly room for improvement.

For this reason, Ayurveda gives us upayoga samstha: the art of eating.

Here are the guidelines:

1. Eat when your food is warm.

It shouldn’t be too hot or too cold. Warm food ensures we don’t snuff out the agni (digestive fire) and makes for good digestion.

2. Eat freshly cooked food.

Fresh food is full of prana (life force) and nutrients. These start to diminish soon after it’s cooked. By the time it’s a leftover, the properties have changed and it’s heavy for the body to digest. Cooking every single meal may not be realistic but at least try to avoid food that’s been cooked more than 24 hours before.

3. Eat the right quantity of food.

Overeating leads to indigestion and undereating leads to loss of strength. There’s no standard amount that’s right for everyone because we’re all different sizes and have different needs. Find your right amount by filling your belly 50 percent with food, 25 percent with liquids and leave 25 percent empty for digestive action.

4. Chew your food thoroughly and eat at a moderate pace.

Digestion starts in the mouth.Chewing your food properly makes it easier for the rest of the system to process.

5. Wait until the previous meal is digested before eating again.

Ayurveda says that feeding the system too soon is a major cause of ill health. How to know if your food is digested? You should feel light, enthusiastic, hungry, and thirsty.

6. Eat around the same time each day.

The body thrives on routine. The digestive system does well when it can expect its meals at a certain hour. It’s prepared and ready for action.

7. Eat when you’re hungry.

Hunger (meaning true hunger, not the munchies) is a natural urge that should not be suppressed. Once you’ve got an eating routine going, you’ll find that you’re hungry when it’s meal time and won’t crave snacks. Listen to your body’s hunger cues when given.

8. Never eat when you’re upset.

Wholesome food will lose its wholesomeness in the digestive tract if it’s eaten with a negative state of mind. If you’re upset, angry or crying, postpone eating until you feel better.

9. Eat in a quiet, settled atmosphere.

A calm environment promotes a calm mind. And the state of mind has a direct impact on the physical body and the process of digestion.

10. Always sit down to eat.

Try your best not to eat in the car, while walking or even while standing. The body doesn’t want to multitask when you’re eating. Sitting ensures that all your energy is given to digestion.

11. Concentrate on your food.

When you give it your full attention it will taste better, you’ll enjoy it more and you’ll be less tempted to overeat because you’ll notice those cues of satiation. Avoid distractions like eating in front of the TV, reading or working.

12. Sit for a few minutes after each meal.

Don’t eat and run. Just be still for a little while to let your digestive system do its thing.

These guidelines are simple but make a big difference. When you choose seasonal, local, organic foods appropriate for your body andeat them in the right manner, your body can process the food the way it’s supposed to.

Good health starts with good digestion.