Defining Nourishment: An Easily Digestible Explanation
With so many diet plans out there, have you been feeling overwhelmed with trying to figure out the next best way to nourish your body?
Let’s learn more about what nourishment really means and how you can nourish your body and mind.
What Does “Nourishment” Really Mean?
To us, nourishment is a feeling. It is the feeling you get when you are provided with what you need to be healthy, grow, and develop.
As humans, we need love from ourselves and others, we need to learn, and give to others to be nourished. Everyone has different levels of what they need, but when we are looking to implement a healthy lifestyle, we need to ask ourselves what our body, mind, and soul need.
How Can We Nourish Our Bodies?
When we think of nourishing our bodies, food is often the first thing that comes to mind. Of course, a well-balanced meal is a crucial way to nourish the body, but nourishment goes beyond the food that we eat.
We can get so bogged down with the latest health trend or diet, what to eat or what not to eat, that it can be overwhelming. It can take the joy out of eating, and joy is nourishing.
Finding the balance of a healthy meal, moving your body, and getting rest will help you find the balance that nourishes you — nourishment is about doing things for overall wellness.
Maintaining good health starts with eating right. Simply eating a balanced meal of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein can be a great place to start. There are a lot of health trends out there, but these four things are at the foundation. Instead of eating the “perfect” food, focus on eating mindfully. This means being present and not having judgment when you eat. When you are more relaxed while you eat, your body can better process the nutrients you are giving it.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with what you should and should not eat, the 80/20 rule is very helpful. This “rule” gives you the freedom of eating healthy 80% of the time, while the other 20% you can give yourself more grace. If you happen to eat a donut one morning, that's okay! You did not ruin all your progress with one less-than-healthy snack.
Ditching Diet Culture
Diets can be restrictive and defeating, leaving you with a toxic relationship with food. You may be eating foods to feed your body, but you are not getting the true nourishment you deserve.
You can break free of the diet culture by practicing intuitive eating. Intuitive eating gives control back to you. You listen to your own body’s hunger cues, and eat what you want depending on what sounds good to you.
Our cells are at least 70% water, and every part of us is made up of water. We need water to live. It gives us energy, supports our joints, allows us to breathe, maintains our internal balance, and helps eliminate waste from our bodies.
With water being so important to the sustainment of life, you would think there would be an agreed-upon amount to drink, but there is no real one standard that is a perfect fit for everyone.
When nourishing your body with water, pay attention to your body and when you feel thirsty, and keep an eye out for symptoms of not drinking enough water, such as getting a headache. Being aware of your body can help you gauge how much water you should drink every day.
Nourishing your body is more than just what you put in it. Sleep is important for your physical and mental health. It helps you recharge your body and mind.
Setting nightly routines, like turning off your phone 30 minutes before bed and sipping on calming tea, makes it easier for your body to transition through the phases of sleep, helping to regenerate and nourish the body.
You may not always want to put on those workout clothes, but once you do and you finish your run or your row or even just your walk, your body will feel the nourishment exercise has given.
The exercise you choose doesn't matter. What matters is that it brings you joy, brings you health, and allows your mind a chance to take a break from the bustle of the day.
Exercise may take a little while to incorporate into your nourishing lifestyle. By making small goals each week, you can build a positive habit of exercise. Find a workout routine that works for you.
Maybe you prefer taking a class for the added accountability, or perhaps going for a walk is more your speed. Finding an enjoyable activity that moves your body will bring you more long-term success.
How Can We Nourish Our Souls?
Oftentimes, we focus so much on the physical parts of ourselves, we don't take the time to nourish our soul. Nourishment is visceral. It is a feeling we get by loving ourselves and others, learning something new, or living in joy.
Understand Your Self-Worth
What is that little voice inside your head telling you every day? Is it giving you nourishing words of encouragement and love, or is it constantly breaking you down? This is your self-worth.
How you feel about yourself can directly impact how you exist in the world. By nourishing your soul with kind, loving words, you will feel more at peace with yourself.
If you are struggling with your self-worth, using positive affirmations is a helpful way to change the narrative in your head. Talking to a mental health expert also provides nourishment and can help you learn ways to improve your self-worth.
The story you have been telling yourself has probably been there for most of your life, so having someone to help you change that story is very helpful.
Remove Sources of Stress
How many times have you said “yes” to something when inside your head you were screaming “no!” We have all been there.
Trying to balance work, kids, a social life, and normal adult responsibilities, like bills and taking care of the house, is a lot of work.
The power to remove stressors in your life lies in the word “no.”
Instead of jamming your schedule full and running here and there, you can find nourishment in the moments of rest. You may also find that you are able to be more present in the moments you do have, instead of worrying about the next thing you have to run to.
Enhance Your Intellectual Power
As adults, it's easy to stop learning. We are busy with a lot of responsibilities, so it doesn't always seem all that important to learn something new. This could not be farther from the truth.
Not only does learning keep the brain healthy, but it is great for self-care.
Have you been interested in learning a new language? Maybe you have been wanting to start a home garden, but don't know where to start. Setting time aside to learn will bring you nourishment by empowering you to grow and create.
Nobody knows how to have a good time more than children. Where did that go for adults? Bringing back child-like wonder and joy to your life can nourish your soul.
You don't just have to enjoy lavish vacations or big events, there is joy in the little moments. Perhaps you put on music and dance in the morning while you are making your superfood latte. Maybe you sing your favorite songs on the way to work.
Whatever brings you joy, add more of it to your day.
It is actually scientifically proven that helping others is good for your overall health. By doing simple things, like holding a door open for someone or smiling, can make a big change in a stranger’s life. You can also do things like donate your time or used items, help a friend move, or make meals for a family in need.
Doing acts of kindness not only provides your soul with nourishment, but you are also nourishing others with your selfless acts.
Nourishment is a feeling you get when you learn, grow, and develop. Food can be a great form of nourishment, but it goes deeper than that. Nourishing your body, mind, and soul is important for your overall health and well-being.
At Kroma, we offer delicious, easy-to-prepare superfoods to give your body the nourishment you need to work on your mind and soul. You can incorporate our broths, smoothies, and lattes in a way that feels intuitive to you, breaking free of the diet culture and connecting with your wellness to really find what nourishes you.
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Why It’s Time to Ditch the Phone Before Bed | SCL Health
Train your brain | Harvard Health
Giving to Others and the Association Between Stress and Mortality | (nih.gov)