Ultimately, it is our own human responsibility to tend to the garden that is our body. It is our responsibility and choice to nurture our body. Care for it. Nourish it. Keep it rested and healthy. It is so easy to take our bodies for granted. To keep pushing through. To ignore the calls for help. To poison our bodies with processed, genetically modified, unnatural food and drink. To run ourselves into the ground until our physical, mental, and spiritual energies are depleted.
Health has been on my mind lately. Probably now more than ever. About a year ago, I made the decision to live a vegan lifestyle again. I still get odd looks when I tell people that I’m vegan (although not as many as I did years ago when the vegan community was much smaller.) After the odd look, one of two questions is asked: “But how do you get protein?” or “Is this for moral reasons or health reasons?” And the answer to that last question is both.
Without a doubt, my decision to be vegan stems from my love for animals. And since I don’t want this space to be one of debate, I am going to leave it as simple as that. It is a personal decision for me. However, it is also so much about health to me as well. In addition to eating vegan, I eat a primarily raw diet and this leads me to my main point here.
While reading and learning about raw foods, my mind has been opened. I’ve been learning more and more about vitamins, nutrients, which foods not to eat together, what foods are alkaline, the importance of buying seasonal produce, etc. It has been so fascinating to learn and see first-hand how eating this way has affected me and my body. It also led me to be more conscious of my body and what I do with it in general.
Years ago, whenever I’d get a splitting headache, my first reaction would be to pop some Advil and keep going full steam ahead. Now, I don’t get headaches nearly as often so when I do, I try to figure out where this headache is coming from. Am I dehydrated? Did I eat when I should have? Am I tired? Instead of pumping chemicals into my body, I respond with the question, “What is my body trying to tell me?” And I think that’s something we all could be a little more conscious of.
“What is my body telling me right now?”
More importantly, we need to listen. Listen to your body. If you’re tired, if you have a headache, if you have a pain that won’t go away – what steps can you take today to consciously nurture yourself?
Again, the main point is that you listen to your body. And, as I’ve learned, don’t put it off. Nothing is more important than keeping that beautiful body – the body that contains your heart, your lungs, your brain, your organs, all the senses that help you know, feel, smell, taste, hear, touch, and see that you’re alive – healthy.
We’re all different. What works for one person, might not work for you and that’s okay. And what worked for you five years ago, might not work for you now and that’s okay too. Find what does work for you. Let this be part of your personal journey. What lifestyle makes you feel most alive? What foods leave you feeling truly nourished and healthy? What one thing can you change today that will put you on an even healthier path tomorrow? Just remember to ask yourself, “what is my body telling me right now?” and listen for the answer.