In the age of digital media, we are susceptible to information overload and it is common that I hear people say its hard to know ‘what’ to eat.
Some say meat is bad. The low carbers say sugar is bad. The anti-cholestorol warriors say fat is bad. What is left to eat? Glutens bad. Salts bad. Diary is bad. Nightshades are bad. You must drink X amount of water to be healthy, green smoothies, intermittent fasting, detoxes, cleanses, eat less, train more… Aggghhh the madness!
I invite you to consider how unique you truly are. Your history, your physiology, your interests, your beliefs. Consider where you are in your health, or healing. Consider that a diet that works for someone else might mot be right for you, or at least right now. Consider that somebody else’s workout might not be right for your stage in the healing puzzle. Somebody else might need more sugar than you, or sleep, sunlight, time alone, or ice cream. And thats ok.
I am not a nutritional expert, but I have come to believe with my own experimentation that if we can trust our own intuitive wisdom, and listen to what OUR OWN bodies crave, then we would be somewhat on the right track. How can a social media post about the evils of salt be more trusted than our own physiological craving for something salty? Can society influence our cravings? Are our cravings based on what our perception of healthy is? Health these days seems to be more about visible abs than it is about getting a good night sleep, and being able to take a poop after breakfast. If you can manage that already, you’re on the right track 😉
It can become scary to trust your own cravings when you marry yourself to a nutritional philosophy, perceive that you wont be loved unless you have visible abs, or you hold onto the belief that certain foods are contributing to your early grave.. But when something isn’t working, we must be brave enough to make change. Remember… Change requires CHANGE.
What if we trusted that our bodies are smarter than this diet or that diet? I am not trying to say that some people don’t need to avoid certain foods for personal or health reasons. I just think that if we honoured our own cravings our health might be better off. Fortunately there is a way to assess if what you are doing is truly working for you on a physiological level, and if perhaps it is not, you can experiment and make necessary nutritional and lifestyle adjustments to find what does work, and really know that you are on track.
One of the greatest tools I have come across to assess if your diet and lifestyle are working to produce enough energy for function, optimal performance, recovery and survival is taking Body Temperature and Pulse.
Body Temperature and Pulse are a good indicator of thyroid function and cellular energy production. “Since living cells are the fundamental units of all life, the basic science underlying human health and disease is the science explaining how living cells function. This basic science is cell physiology.” Dr. Gilbert Ling
Basal Metabolic Rate is the rate of energy expenditure at rest. The release and use of this energy is important for the functioning of vital organs. The body’s generation of heat is known as thermogenesis and it can be measured to determine the amount of energy expended
Symptoms of low metabolic rate can include –
– Constant fatigue / Low energy / Brain fog
– Cold hands / feet/ nose
– Insomnia / Sleep problems
– Skin / Nail / Hair quality and conditions
– Bodily aches and pains
– Anxiety / Panic attacks / Heart Palpitations
– Constipation / Frequent urination
– Poor digestion
– Food sensitivities
– Headaches / Dizzyness
– Low Libido
– Trouble with weight loss / weight gain
– Decreased strength and performance
Body temperature and pulse are best taken in the morning when you wake up, and approximately 20 mins after breakfast and other meals to see if the foods you are eating are helping to maintain or increase energy production. The easiest is to take your body temperature using a oral digital thermometer, and your radial pulse can be taken by measuring how many beats per minute (bpm) you count.
Body temperature of 37 degrees celsius is considered optimal, however this can fluctuate throughout the day, or in a cold environment. A low body temperature is an indicator that your body is having to rely on stress hormones to compensate for lack of energy production. It is important to take body temperature and pulse together.
Various sources say that a pulse rate of 75-85bpm is a great range for healing, however this can be person specific depending on the individuals goals. For example, a lower pulse rate would be more optimal for a triathlete otherwise they would burn up all of their nutrition too quickly. A fast pulse rate of say 100bpm could be used as an indicator that your body temperature is being driven by stress hormones. A low pulse is an adaptation to stress and indicates lack of thyroid hormone activity
If you are not meeting your metabolic demands with the adequate nutrition your body must compensate for this, and can do so by releasing stress hormones adrenaline and/or cortisol. This is why it is important to assess Body temperature and pulse together.
Your body is smart and knows that your vital organs are most important for survival. If metabolism is decreased for whatever reason whether it be physical stress, nutritional, emotional, environmental, and so on your body is not going to be concerned with pro creation, restful sleep, lifting weights, beautiful skin, luscious locks of hair, or taking a poop. It is going to prioritise survival. If you have been struggling with any of the symptoms above, ask yourself, “Is what I am doing working?” I encourage you to use this as a tool and not obsess over it. Experiment with trusting your cravings and trying new things. Consider working with a professional to help you get the results you need. Take responsibility and take action.