What we feed ourselves everyday is important to our health but even more so when we aren't feeling our best—whether we feel physically sick, are healing from an injury, surgery or illness, are mentally drained or our head just isn't in the right space. So what should we do when we need to increase our healing and immunity? Here's just a few of the ways to care for ourselves--inside and out--to get back to feeling our best:
HEALING THE MIND | Healing and supporting the brain from an injury, depression or just plain sluggishness
We've all experienced a bad mood, brain fog or even depression at some point in our lives. Oftentimes we crave comfort food or sweets in these moments but it's in these times we need to be especially 'mindful' of what we eat. What we put into our mouths directly affect our brain, so it's important to know what to reach for to give our brain the best opportunity for health and healing. Here's a great place to start:
- Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein for energy and proper function of the brain and nervous system: lean meat, salmon, tuna, sardines, eggs, nuts and seeds are all great options
- Include healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil and avocado to feed your brain
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate the organs and brain- aim for 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day to keep your brain hydrated
- Drink coffee or green tea- the antioxidants and caffeine can help boost mood and concentration
- Have a little dark chocolate- flavonoids in chocolate can boost mood and improve memory, aim for 70% chocolate or higher
- Eliminate processed foods and sugar which lead to inflammation and decreased energy
HEALING THE BODY | Giving the body the best opportunity to heal from an injury or physical fatigue
Whether we feel physically run down or we are recovering from a surgery or injury, the food we eat can either help or hinder our recovery.
- Supplement with collagen, especially for wound healing- sources of collagen include bone broth and collagen peptide supplements
- Supplement with a probiotic- approximately 70% of our immune system is located in the beneficial bacteria in our gut so keep it healthy to speed healing. Foods that are high probiotic include fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha and foods with live cultures like yogurt
- Take a spoonful of honey for a sore throat or cough and to boost immunity- honey is antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal and can also speed wound healing when applied topically
- Make a ginger tea for nausea, stomach and digestive issues- ginger is rich in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory and may also help to relieve headaches
- Eliminate processed foods and sugar to keep inflammation down
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially berries and dark, leafy greens which are highest in antioxidants
HEALING THE SPIRIT | Boosting our moods and lifting our spirits any time we feel out of sorts
Even if our bodies are in top shape and feeling great, sometimes our spirits need a little lift. When we aren't feeling our best inside, it tends to be reflected on the outside in how we project ourselves to others and even how we treat others. So let's get our light burning bright again, to shine on others and reflect back to us.
- Try intermittent fasting a few days a week for a number of benefits: reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body; increases levels of a brain hormone called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)- a BDNF deficiency has been linked to depression; and initiates a cellular “waste removal” process called autophagy which is a breaking down and metabolism of broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time. We like a 16/8 fast which means you are fasting/not eating for 16 hours and eating in the 8-hour window, for example if you stopped eating at 8:00 p.m., you would wait to eat until noon the next day. [See Intermittent Fasting Tips]
- 'Feed' your spirit with your favorite music, motivational videos or podcasts or reading inspiration. [See Ambient Music at Boundless Gratitudes]
As you can see, many of these tips feed more than just the Mind, Body or Spirit- in many cases, when you feed one, you feed them all. Making time for ourselves every day helps heal our miraculous bodies inside and out and is as simple as incorporating a few simple changes to our routines each day. The most important thing to remember is that self-care is not selfish. If we don't take care of ourselves and light our light within, we won't have anything to shine onto others.
Joe and Heather Juliani
About The Authors
Joe and Heather Juliani are real estate professionals and wellness enthusiasts from Southern California. Through their inspiring personal journeys, they share a passion for serving others and living a life of purpose. You can learn more about their real estate practice at https://joejuliani.com/ and more health related wisdom at: https://www.heatherjuliani.com.