How Do You Maximize The Foods You Eat For Mental Well-being?

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There is so much information about eating, not eating, what to eat, what to avoid when to eat, and other suggestions for a healthy body and mind. Although our bodies have a similar structure, each of us requires an individual approach to health maintenance & sustainability. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to achieving and sustaining optimal health. Many organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, have encouraged individuals, specifically those with diabetes, to adopt an individualized approach to eating, doing away with prescribed meal plans and calorie restrictions.

As always, before starting, changing, and ending a meal plan, always consult your health care provider and make sure your health team is aware of your changes. For example, a diagnosis of congestive heart failure may mean fluid restrictions, bone disorders may lead to an increase/decrease in certain minerals, and diabetes may lead to insulin adjustments. 

It’s important to remember that our body works together to obtain overall balance, including mental wellness. The body produces chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin (feel-good chemicals), GABA and melatonin (relaxing chemicals), epinephrine, and norepinephrine (flight or fight responses that rev up heart rate and blood pressure), and others to support the body during life events. Too much or too little body chemicals can send us on a roller coaster of emotions or increase our emotional instability. Some of the foods we eat help our body produce enough body-balancing chemicals i.e. apples and serotonin).

For example, cortisol helps fight infection and tells the liver to produce more blood sugar while slowing down insulin’s effectiveness to turn sugar into food. So then, our blood sugars are high, which can impact our ability to think clearly. 

This is the fourth week of discussing mental wellness during June of 2021, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) awareness month. Please feel free to look at my previous blogs discussing dismantling myths, letting go of expectations, and reevaluating our emotions and feelings over past experiences.

So, how do you maximize the food you eat for mental wellness?

  1. You realize that everything you eat affects your well-being. 
  2. You listen to your body. After eating rich food, those noises you hear may be telling you the food is too rich (sweet) for you. Your headaches may be confirming the food is too salty. 
  3. You trust yourself and your body to lead the way. No one can and will know your body better than you, no matter the affiliations, degrees, and titles. 
  4. You treat knowledge as knowledge and not a matter of fact for you.
  5. You are open and flexible to a new way of doing and thinking. 
  6. You become a student of your health. Research foods using reliable sources and sites (National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and others.)

So, continue to do what you can to achieve and sustain optimal health. You are worth every minute.

If you like the information I shared in this blog, please share and subscribe to my quarterly newsletters on healing from the inside out, health tips, and living out your purpose.

Make this lifetime great!

Timika

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How Can Chains Free You Instead of Imprison You?

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So have you ever done something that you regret? Of course, you have. That was a silly question on my part. Or was it? 

You can probably list several things you have done and wish you knew and did better or trusted yourself.

At one point during my nursing career, I worked for a local traveling agency. One day, the company sent me to a county clinic, and there I heard the words that further changed how I thought about life. I am unsure of everything I said to this Nurse Practitioner, but she must have sensed that I was complaining and feeling down. And without looking at me and further explaining herself, the Nurse Practitioner said, “they based their actions on what they knew.” Then, she walked away to take care of her client. She wasn’t mad at me. That’s how the truth is. The truth needs no explaining and only acceptance.

Her words sank in me. Our actions are based on what we know. I knew this principle because sometime after my sexual abuse experience, I wanted to be more conscious of life. I wanted to align with the Voice of Reason within me that knew all. I wanted to be free and live a life without excessive anger, fear, worrying, and others. Although I continued to struggle with some emotions, somewhere deep in me, I knew that excessive and lingering emotions were a waste of energy, money, and time. And life proved it to me.

This morning, my husband and I couldn’t help but notice the communication between several birds. I laid in bed for a few minutes, listening to the freedom I heard in their singing and speaking. Then, I remembered, “behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them” (Mathew 6:26).

During prayer time, I remembered how I didn’t think about getting this or that as a child. Things just fell into place. At an early age, I started saying, “I’ll do my best, and God will handle the rest. I would also say, “God can make things right.” So, I stopped worrying about many stuff, and many emotions, including forgiveness, slipped away. And I lived my life, and other life events continued to test my newfound ways of thinking.

Our children often remind me of our natural, free spirit and how learning about life does not always lead to anger and guilt. 

So, how do you use chains to enable freedom instead of bondage? 

Each day, you realize that:

  1. It’s better to surrender to life than it is to fight it. So many of our emotions and feels are based on the nonacceptance of what is. 
  2. Live in the moment, which is all there is. The past is gone, and the future takes care of itself. Nothing you do will change what has already happened.
  3. Do the best you can and move on. Work with what you have. So many times growing up, we didn’t have the right tools (hammer, screwdriver), but we got the job done. We have more to work within ourselves than we think.
  4. Learn and plan, but do not obsess about things. Somehow things work out for the best. What you thought you wanted or couldn’t live without was not true.

I am happy to be alive. Each day is an opportunity to enjoy life instead of stressing over how, why, when, where, and who. As the bible says, do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Therefore, we can transform our life by changing our thoughts to bring more joy, peace, and understanding that our experiences do not define us. We define ourselves. 

Make this lifetime great!

If you believe someone else could benefit from this post, please share. Also, you can subscribe to my empowering quarterly newsletters on health, purpose, and transformation.

Thanks for reading!

Timika

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How To Keep Antagonists In A Healthy Perspective?

Why did she treat me that way? Why is he not supporting me? I feel like you don’t want me to succeed in life? 

Often, my mother told us that “everyone has a role to play.” Yet, sometimes, it’s easy to lose sight that both protagonists (supportive people)and antagonists (nonsupportive people) help us live our truths. 

During my childhood, I started seeing the world as one big movie, which helped me to be more observant instead of judgmental. A major component of my healing was realizing everyone had a role to play in my life. People were helping me on a deeper level.

So, many people, including Jesus, experienced obstacles to living out their truths. What about the lives of great leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, presidents (John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln), teacher Lou Ann Johnson (Dangerous Minds), and principal Joe Clark (Lean On Me)?

Take a moment and glance over your life. Can you list a few antagonists and protagonists? I bet you came up with a few at least two or three of each. So, the point is that no matter what, we will encounter people who help us accomplish our goals and others who seem to place barriers  (disbelief, inconsistency, harm us emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, spiritually, don’t do what we ask them to do, tell our secrets, make fun of us, create violent acts, betray us, and others) no matter what we do or say.

So, how do we respond to our antagonists? Our response starts in our minds. How do you perceive life and the people in it? 

Here are a few questions to ponder?

  1. Do you believe that everyone has a part to play in your life? Know that you will have people who will not support you. 
  2. Do you believe that you cause people to be upset with you or “fight against you?” Often what people do has nothing to do with us. However, people come into our lives with their experiences and perceptions. Your success may remind them of their doubts and insecurities. 
  3. Does your happiness depend on who supports you or not? The people against you may start supporting you, and the people who supported you may no longer do so. Say no thank you to the emotional rollercoaster and keep believing in yourself and your dream.
  4. Do you believe the universe is out to get you? See the distractions (help to increase your confidence and conviction to purpose) for what they are. Recently, I relearned that everything works together for my good. I have no enemies, just people who are helping me to be more creative, efficient, and perseverant.

Here are a few movies to help clarify the antagonist role. I hope I didn’t give away too much information about the movies if you haven’t seen them. 

  1. Antagonists help us to see we have the skills to succeed in life? Think about the movie, The Last Dragon. Eventually, with the help of Sho’nuff, Leroy realizes the person he was searching for was himself. 
  2. Antagonists help us realize that we are somebody. For example, a small-time boxer thought he was a nobody. Apollo Creed brought out the confidence that Rocky always had.
  3. If Cinderella had not experienced unequal treatment from her stepmother and stepsisters, would she have gone to the ball to meet her Prince and future husband?

We all have antagonists in our life. When we no longer see our antagonists as enemies and more as the jumpstarters to our truth, we are no longer the victim but the student of life. We learn who we are. I do not minimize our trials and tribulations, but I don’t want to make our struggles and antagonists our primary focus. If we focus on people’s actions and inactions, we get stuck. Our primary focus is to carry out our mission in life (your heart’s desire). I don’t want anyone to be stuck, for living is moving forward in life. 

Thanks for reading! If you found this article helpful, please share it with others.

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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