HONOUR YOUR BODY LIKE A TEMPLE
Spiritual traditions teach us that the body is the temple of our soul. It also carries our 1.3kg brain and other awesome organs that keep us alive. When our body is healthy and well, we are happy, energized, strong and free from pain and disease. Yet treating our body with the deserved respect is often lacking.
As we age, the Temple becomes a fixer upper and the decoration we use start to get extensive. Before we resort to drastic remodelling altogether, there are a few steps that we can take to restore the Temple.
If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him. – Hippocrates
6 ways to honour your body like a temple
A few months after my son was born, I turned 40. Both events steered my Temple’s renaissance. Faced with mortality and the need to optimize my stay on Earth, I started to make several changes.
1. Sugar, my kryptonite
My family has a history of diabetes and I choose not to become one of the statistics. So, I did a 30-day sugar detox. As soon as I completed the month, I binged on my favourite treats – chocolates and Madeira cake!!!
Whilst I was not willing to give it up altogether, I decided to reduce it significantly. So, I went from daily chocolates and cake/biscuits to special occasions and celebrations. I stopped buying these treats with my regular groceries.
Typically, 5 cups of tea a day + 1 teaspoon of sugar in each cup = 5 teaspoons of sugar. I would rather use this quota in a treat. I changed to no sugar in my tea and all is well.
After the detox, it was much easier to make these changes. If you have a serious sweet tooth like me, try the sugar detox for at least 30 days. Thereafter decided how you want to manage it. Even small changes can make a huge difference.
I know that sugar is my kryptonite, it takes away my power. I continue to work on alternative solutions so that I can eventually make the choice to eliminate all together.
2. Green & other Juices
Another change was an introduction to green juice into our regular lives. We (hubby and I) did a 5-day juice fast and found it absolutely energizing. Subsequently, we bought a juicer and we included healthy green and other juices to our daily intake.
Juicing at home takes planning and is a bit of work (no matter what others say). We established a routine of having our organic produce (typically kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, carrots, apples, oranges, ginger and beetroot) delivered to us weekly. Chris and I took turns to juice everything and place in 1 litre air-tight glass jars. This way we were set up for the week.
Juicing is a great starting point to get the necessary nutrients from a plant-based diet quickly and easily into the system. We abandoned our juicer in South Africa, so now we buy bottled health juices from Woolies for now.
3. Plant-based diet
Hippocrates was famed for: – “Let your food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” There has been extensive studies on how eating a plant-based diet improves your health and increases your lifespan. If you get a chance, do watch the movie Forks over Knives and visit their website to examine their incredible research.
Typically, I eat a vegetarian diet at home. However, when we entertain others, visit family or go out, then I eat whatever is offered/available. With no family/friends in Australia, I now eat vegetarian only and have been slowly migrating to vegan (eliminated most dairy). This type of diet feels right for me.
My daughter challenged herself to a 7-day pescatarian diet and absolutely loved how she felt afterward. She remains so. My husband now outnumbered, and on a mission to live a healthier lifestyle is slowly changing to an increased plant-based diet.
I challenged myself to a new vegetarian recipe twice a week and this has made a huge difference to my family changing. Start small and keep the balance. Challenge yourself to try new veg recipes to keep it exciting. Buy organic where possible.
Water improves your overall health. This article from the Medical News Today provides an excellent report on why drinking water is so important.
I enjoy the taste of water however I always prefer a cup of tea instead. I made the small change of hot water instead of tea and this has helped considerably. My friends add lemon, mint, cucumber, etc to improve the taste.
I tend to forget to drink water – so I kept a jug/bottle on my desk at work. Now that I am at home, I don’t allow myself tea unless I have water. I also always start the day with 2 glasses before I do anything else.
I use to track my daily water intake on my bullet journal. Now, thankfully it is an established habit and I actually crave it.
And this would be my most difficult habit changer. My hobbies are all sedentary (reading, sewing, writing, and painting). I also held a desk job – sitting most of the day away. And I am a sporty spectator. I join gyms and after a few sessions, I make excuses. I try home exercises and that quickly gets boring.
After I recovered from my caesarean and my impending birthday loomed, I joined a boot camp and started to change. I felt amazing each time I exercised.
Once I started work again, I attempted yoga at home. This was amazing however it was an inconsistent practice and our home-life and the big move got in the way. When we arrived in Australia, I started my morning routine. I joined a daily outdoor class and have been loving every minute of it. I still habit track my exercise to remain consistent. Its not entrenched and established enough.
From challenging myself, I learned that I prefer outdoor routines to a gym. Now that I know myself better, I might have found a winning habit.
Accept the temple that you were given at birth. Honor your body’s heritage and diverse features. Your human form is absolutely beautiful. It is your refuge and sanctuary and requires the deserved respect, dignity and love.
Choose your decorations wisely – try to use natural products without the harmful chemicals as far as possible. Buy ethically – always use products that are not tested on animals. Changing our world starts with the choices each of us makes – as Mathma Gandhi said – Be the change.
I encourage you to take different challenges and to try out new ideas for a full jar of vitality and wellness. You will learn more about yourself and will be better able to make healthier decisions and habits.
And always be grateful for the body that hosts your soul. Treat it with love and kindness.