8 Things You Should Pay Attention to Daily to Steward Your Health

Many of you know I’m in the process of losing the baby weight and cleaning up my diet / lifestyle. Working at my local Farmers Market and heading an organization that is all about food freedom and the right every individual has to make personal health choices, this has done wonders in the accountability department and keeping me on track!
So far, my healthy eating and living endeavors are coming along nicely – at the moment I’m losing an average of 2 pounds a week, all while eating good, clean, local, raw and whole foods.
While expanding my relationships with the farmers and manufacturers who grow and make my food – my work, my volunteer time and this blog have all given me some awesome know-your-farmer opportunities – I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I choose to eat and why.
I think I can safely assume that we are all in pursuit of happier, healthier, more fulfilled versions of ourselves. What we eat, drink, read, watch and do is either putting us on the path to happiness, health and fulfillment… or it’s not.
While there are many things out of our control, workouts and food choices are very much under our control. We get to decide how we are going to spend our time, and what we will eat at each meal. It is in our hands, and we each make daily choices that either bring us closer to our goals or prevent us from attaining them.
My personal focus is on eating nutritionally packed whole, raw, non-GMO, pesticide free, fair trade, ethically sourced and preferably local foods. Instead of avoiding potatoes or fruit as too starchy, too sugary, too fill-in-the-blank, I’m just focusing – for now – on eating REAL foods. I’ve also joined the gym, where I’ve been sampling the group glasses twice a week (yoga, kickboxing, dance, cycling, etc.) and haven’t yet settled on any one routine.
And it got me to thinking – there is no one ideal way of exercising or eating that is perfect for everyone. One person’s nourishment and fuel can be another person’s poison.  Foods and workouts can produce different reactions in different people. From personal preference to allergies to sensitivities to disabilities, we’re all unique and our diets and health routines should reflect that.
Because of these individual differences, preferences, and proclivities it is up to us as individuals to decide which foods work for us and which ones simply cannot be a part of our diets.
The biggest thing I’ve gleaned in this journey to health and wellness, is that when it comes to fine-tuning our diets and lifestyles it is important to listen to our bodies.

After eating a particular food, adding or discontinuing a supplement, or engaging in a new exercise regimen, these are the eight big things to pay attention to:

1. Aches, pains, or general discomfort.
2. Changes in mood, whether positive or negative.
3. Changes in skin. Are you breaking out? Is your skin clearer? Is your skin irritated, rosier, drier, dewy? Do you have dark circles under your eyes?
4. Changes in hair. Do you have thicker, fuller hair? Hair loss? Is your hair dull or shiny? Limp or lifeless? Dry and damaged?
5. Changes in sleep. Are you sleeping through the night? Waking up frequently? Is it easier or harder to fall asleep and stay asleep? Do you feel rested upon waking?
6. Energy levels. Do you feel energized throughout the day? Do you experience midafternoon lulls? Do you crave a nap during work hours?
7. How often do you use the bathroom? How healthy are your eliminations? Is your urine clear? Are your bowel movements solid, but not hard?
8. Workout performance. Are you seeing overall improvements over time? Are you experiencing success in proportion to the effort you’re putting out?
I’m still learning that figuring out what works is not a one time endeavor. I fully expect to make adjustments over the course of my entire lifetime. But I am committed to get on track with healthy habits and know the parameters of what works for me. I’m going to stay vigilant and keep listening to my bodies cues!

What about you? How “in tune” are you with what your body needs / wants / requires? Share below!