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Honor your BODY

 

The human body is a very complex mass made up of  a Digestive System, Nervous System, Cardiovascular System  and Musculosketal System.


The Digestive System is organs that help the body break down and absorb food. Parts of the nervous and circulatory systems also play major roles in the digestive system.  When we eat food it is not in a form that can be used as nourishment.  It has to be broken down into smaller molecules before it is able to be carried to cells throughout our body.  Once they are broken down the body is then able to use them to nourish cells and provide energy.
The Nervous System is the information center for the body.  Its function is to gather information about the body, analyze it and initiate the appropriate responses to satisfy certain needs.  Survival being the most important need.  There are several systems of nerves.  The brain and the nerves make up the central nervous system, the system responsible for body functions not under our conscious control, such as the heartbeat and digestive system, is the peripheral nervous system.  The nervous system uses impulses and as these impulses travel along the cells the information is processed and initiates an action.
The Cardiovascular System includes the heart and the blood vessels, and the respiratory system contains those organs which are responsible for carrying oxygen from the air to the blood stream and expelling the waste product of carbon dioxide.  Blood circulates through our bodies, the heart pumps the oxygen into the blood and collects the carbon dioxide which is then expelled out of the body through the lungs.  the lungs play a major role in this, but every living cell in the body is involved in the process.
In the Musculosketal System muscle is attached to the bones and tissue.  When muscles move they provide us with a variety of actions by becoming longer or shorter.  Muscles are made up of millions of tiny protein filaments which work together to produce motion in the body.  Skeletal muscles carry out voluntary movements and these are the muscles that ache after strenuous exercise.  Cardiac muscles are those that are found only in the heart and power the action that pumps the blood through our bodies.

At the top of the food pyramid are the things to use sparingly: 

Red meat and butter, refined grains, white rice, bread and pasta, potatoes, sugarary drinks and sweets and salt.

Next is Dairy:

Cheese, mik, yogurt.  Have 1-2 servings a day.

Next is nuts, seeds, beans and tofu along with fish, poultry and eggs.

Then we have vegetables and fruits, healthy fats and oils (olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut), and whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta and oats).


Now that we have had a brief overview of the body and its systems, lets take a look at things we can do to honor and keep our body running in perfect harmony.

Start with Exercise

The base for a healthy diet begins with exercise.

Exerice keep calories in balance and your weight in check.


Food you Eat

Focus on the food and not the grams.  The Healthy Eating Pyramid doesn’t worry about specific servings or grams of food, so neither should you.


 

 

Go with Plants

The healthiest diet is a plant based diet.  Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and whole grains.

Vegetables help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, lower blood pressure, lower of the risk of eye and digestive problems and they have a great effect on the blood sugar which can help keep your appetite in check.  Your goal should be about 4 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruits a day.  Focus on variety and color.  Dark leafy green vegetables are the best, don't forget tomatoes and make sure to get yellow, orange and red colors into the diet.  Variety is just as important as the quantity.

Don't hide the fruits.  Keep them out where you can see them, this way you are more likely to eat them.

For your vegetables eat lots and lots of them.  Stir fry them, make salads and don't forget they make good snacks too.



Grains

WHOLE GRAINS

And the word WHOLE is the most important part of grains.  Whole means they are rich in fiber, they have healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. 

Sources of Whole Grains are: 

  • Whole wheat berries, whole wheat bulgur, whole wheat couscous and other strains of wheat such as kamut and spelt
  • Brown rice (including quick-cooking brown rice)
  • Corn, whole cornmeal, popcorn
  • Oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats (including quick cooking and instant oatmeal)
  • Whole rye
  • Hulled barley (pot, scotch, and pearled barley often have much of their bran removed)
  • Triticale (pronounced tri-ti-kay-lee)
  • Millet
  • Teff (reported to be the world's smallest grain and to have a sweet, malt-like flavor)
  • Buckwheat, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), wild rice, and amaranth are considered whole grains even though botanically they are not in the grain family of plants.


Don't Forget the Multivitamin

A multivitamin is like an nutrition insurance policy.

If we tried to keep track of all of the vitamins and what they are good for it would be like a full time job.  So use a multi-vitamin and some extra vitaimin D.  This is a great way to insure that you are getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.  And please avoid mega doses of vitamins



 Healing the Immune System

A full eight hours of sleep a night is the best way to heal the immune system.  While sleeping your body will heal the immune system.  So be sure and get eight hours of sleep per night.  And this needs to be eight straight, uninterrupted hours of sleep.  Keeping your immune system healthy is the best way to avoid illnesses.  Keep healthy.  Eat the correct foods, take your vitamins, get  exercise, drink plenty of fluids (especially water) and get a good eight hours of sleep per night.