In the last 6 months, my baseline of sustainable activity and my general sense of feeling well have gone up several notches. I still have bad days when I realise, yes, I still do have an energy limiting chronic illness, although I have fewer of them and they don’t knock me down as low as they used to. I also seem to get over them quicker.
Unfortunately, though I’ve made several changes over that time period so I can’t be entirely sure whether all the changes have a part to play or whether one in particular is responsible for the majority of my boosted well-being. I like to think that its all of them and that putting them together has made more than the sum of the parts. Thinking like that keeps me motivated to keep them up.
Cleaning fruit and veg in a bicarb solution
After seeing one of those video’s on Facebook that reported a study* where they found that washing fruit and veg in bicarbonate of soda, got rid of 70% of surface chemicals and pesticides and was far more effective than simple washing in water (5%) or vinegar solution (25%), I decided to give it a try. I generally try to eat as much organic produce as I can anyway, but cost and availability means that I still eat a lot of non-organic. So, on market day, I fill a bucket with water, add a dessert spoonful of bicarb and soak my fruit and veg for at least 15 mins before rinsing them with water. No non-organic fruit and veg goes in my fridge now until it’s been through that process! I like to think that I’ve dramatically reduced the toxins that go into my body and that this has made it easier for my detox processes to work better.
2. 15 hour fasting (time restricted feeding)
After one of Dr Chatterjee’s Podcasts, where he talked about the benefits of time restricted feeding (TRF), I decided to give it some more attention. I’d already experienced the benefits of intermittent fasting with the 5:2 diet but had got out of the habit and was struggling to get back into it. Once again, I can’t find the bit I read that had the biggest impact on me, but basically a mice study had shown that mice that fasted for 15 hours a day lived longer and where healthier even if they ate junk food in their 9 hour eating period. The idea of being able to eat what I wanted in my restricted feeding time and still get the benefits really appealed to me. So, for the last 3 months or so, at least 5 days a week I’ve restricted my food intake to between 10am and 7pm. As most of my unhealthy eating used to be in the evening, this has had a knock-on effect of me eating a lot healthier too. I’ve lost about 4kg of menopause weight in that time frame and have definitely noticed feeling better on my TRF days, so much so, that I continue to do it on weekends now when I can!
3. Drinking more water
I’ve never been much of a water drinker, but always felt that my copious mugs of herbal teas were the next best thing. However, this year I decided that I wanted to replace some of my herbal teas with water. This was partly triggered by some trouble I had with allergies and I found that drinking loads of water (flushing out toxins) was the most effective thing that I did to reduces the symptoms. Since then I’ve been aiming to keep my herbal teas to morning and evening and spend all afternoon drinking as much water as I can.
4. Energy testing food and supplements
After watching a free Mindvalley training with Donna Eden I decided to try energy testing my food and my supplements. I’ve had so many problems with food intolerances over the years that I thought that instead of following a particular regime, why not just ask my body what will suit it. I created a list of consistent yeses and consistent nos to guide me and now I just test things out from time to time or with something newly in season. As far as my supplements go it’s always made sense to me that anything that my body doesn’t need is just a toxin that needs to be processed. I continue to energy test my supplement twice a day. It’s amazing how each time I do I get different results. I’ve also learned to trust the results because I’ve been taking a lot less of some supplements but without the ill effects that I usually encounter when I stop one altogether to see if it’s still effective. And as well as minimising the toxic load my body has to deal with, I’m saving a bit of money too!
5. Aiming for 1% more with my yoga
Something my coach keeps saying is that there is no such thing a maintenance, you are either progressing or falling back. This made me think about how, for years now, I’ve been doing exactly the same yoga routine with very little attention to seeing if I can get a little more out of myself. I guess some of that was fear based (not wanting to push), and some was about trying to fit everything into my day and just being grateful to myself that I was actually doing my yoga. So, I’ve been experimenting with the idea of a 1% increase as long as it feels OK in the moment. Surprisingly, in the time since I’ve been doing this there’s only one day that I’ve felt so unwell on the mat that I’ve had to do my most basic routine, but on that day, I decided my 1% increase would be in the attention I paid to being really relaxed. Since I’ve been doing this, my strength and stamina have definitely improved, which I’m sure is contributing to my overall wellness.
6. Consistency and tick box tracking
Probably the most important change I’ve made though, is the consistency I’ve achieved with all of my self-care through tick box tracking. I’ve written an article about that for ProHealth that I’ll post in my blog very soon. But basically seeing success as a load of ticks, rather than attaching it to the outcome of self-care had really helped me stack on track and be more consistent, which has of course, led to better well-being!
*I don’t remember the full details of the study so please take these figures as a vague memory rather than fact!
A small favour: Please could you rate this post using the stars below the related posts. Many thanks!