Tips for Caring for the Body…
- Water. We need to drink 2 to 3 litres of water every day . Water aids in the transmission of nutrients and the disposal of toxins. We need to drink before meals and not during or after, as this will interfere with digestion.
- Sleep and the rest. During sleep, growth hormones are active, our immune system fights unhealthy cells , and cortisol levels reduce . Most of us will need 7 to 9 hours of unbroken sleep, to assist our body to recharge. We must avoid the stimulation of caffeine and sugar prior to sleep as well as any noisy intrusions during sleep time. A dark room is best. Where we miss sleep time we must catch it up later to give the body the repair time that it needs.
- Recreation. As the word implies, we need to take time to re-create our body mind and soul, in this necessary part of our life cycle. We need to program recreation in our diaries for at least one full day per week, one full weekend per month and one full month per year. This needs to involve “re-creation” activities like sightseeing, sports or undertaking hobbies, and not catching up with housework. Just 10 minutes outside in the sun releases Vitamin D in to our bodies.
- Detoxing the body. Possibly your body is toxic, as mine was. A naturopath can easily identify this from urine tests. I undertook a seven day detox, where I progressively rested my organs especially my liver from complex foods and alcohol consuming only “green smoothy “ blended vegetable drinks for the central 3 day period. It wasn’t difficult and I felt good all the way through this. It’s worth it to consult a naturopath to help you get back on the track that nature designed your body to be on.
- Destressing your muscular-skeletal system. I knew my body was stressed. It regularly locked up in certain muscle groups. Some of these were from sports injuries, but my neck in particular locked up from stress alone. Certain people and issues were literally “a pain in the neck “for me. I have taken assistance from a chiropractor for joint displacement and a masseur and reflexologist for removal of the tautness and inflammation of my muscles and organs. There is a wonderfully human ‘touch for health” that such therapies provide. The result is a phenomenal improvement in my range of movement, my energy levels and my comfort from nagging pain.
- Exercise. Rest and you will rust. Exercise is vital in prevention of many illnesses, and in strengthening our bodies to avoid injury. If possible exercise for up to one hour each day. The most fundamental exercise is to go for a vigorous walk where our heart rate is elevated and our blood gets to circulate all parts of the body. Cycling provides a similar outcome. This aerobic activity should be supplemented by a range of whole of body movements and exercises. Stretching before and after exercise will help in improving flexibility. Utilising some moderate weights will assist in prevention of arthritis in our joints and will improve in building muscle tone. DVA recipients can get free access to an exercise physiologist who will tailor a programme to suit your particular circumstances. Once the body is in moderately good shape, suitable sporting activities like tennis or golf will be even much more enjoyable, and have the added health benefit of providing scope to build friendships through mutual experience.
- Food. Our bodies need “living” food. Fresh and uncooked and unprocessed is best. Fruit and vegetables provide us our basic needs. The avoidance of “bad food”- also known as “fast food”, and the right balance of good food can make a massive difference to our health. By changing your food you can also change the reactions in your mind. Most fundamental eliminations that can help us are in deleting sugar which leads to inflammation of organs, and avoiding caffeine and nicotine which stimulates overly active minds. By contrast the protein in eggs and nuts encourages the production of dopamine and noradrenalin which increases our energy levels. Salmon and chicken produce more serotonin to provide for calming and relaxation . Herbal teas calm the nervous system .
We get sick because of toxicity and deficiency. We must consume a diet that gives us an appropriate balance of vitamins minerals and other nutrients, and avoid those things that are toxic.
The best meals will include a wide range of brightly coloured foods. A list of healthy inclusions in diet is as follows:
- Lemon is our number one body cleanser-start each day with a lemon’s juice in water
- Broccoli is a calming of antioxidant
- Tomatoes contain lycopene- an anti-cancer enzyme
- Spinach gives us magnesium
- Sweet potato produces serotonin
- Apricots aid relaxation
- Avocados reduce cholesterol
- Blueberries reduce inflammation
- Almonds and Brazil nuts boost immunity
- Walnuts aid in brain development
- Raisins lift our spirits
- Apple’s contribute to mental alertness
- Rice produces selenium which wards off depression
- Pawpaw aids our digestive system
- Prunes are antioxidants that improve bowel movements
- Watermelon reduces fluid retention
- Vitamin C, especially as found in dark chocolate, is a powerful antibiotic
- Red wine contains chromium which regulates cholesterol levels
- Bananas and Onions protect our heart
- Pineapples are anti-inflammatory
- Beetroot nurtures our bowel
- Celery reduces lactic acids
- Ginger is antibiotic
- Black grapes reduce acidity in our system
- Lettuce assists digestion
- Mushrooms and olives strengthen immunity
- Parsley is good for our kidneys
- Peppermint aids in digestion
- Olive oil fights carcinogens
- Oily fish or fish oil should be consumed at least twice per week to promote immunity.
- Lean meat in chicken or beef provides protein but one small serve per day is sufficient.
- Eggs are an excellent form of protein for daily consumption
Foods to avoid include:
- Anything containing additional sugar; especially soft drinks and sweets
- Saturated fat that is contained in hamburgers sausages butter cheese and ice cream
- All processed foods containing preservatives
- Nicotine in cigarettes, and other carcinogens like burned toast or skins
Gary has served continuously in the Army since 1970, with 26 years as an infantryman and 18 years as a chaplain. He has been deployed on operations to Malaysia, Fiji Coup, Iran-Iraq, EastTimor, Bougainville, Asian Tsunami, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. He lives in The Gap in Brisbane with his wife Lynne. Their two sons Michael and Paul are also Army officers with extensive operational experience in Timor Leste.