We met at a plant-based conference almost two years ago in Toronto, Ontario. It was an instant connection! We have so much in common. We care so much about nutrition- but also about holistic health. Like me, Alessandra believes it isn’t enough to just eat healthy- you need to nourish other areas of your life to fully release your inner glow. I hope you enjoy her words of wisdom- I’ll be making due with this until I get to pick her brain this spring at the LA Veg Fest! Xox
Six Forms of Nourishment for a Superhero Life
Why merely survive, when you can thrive?! If you want to thrive and live like a superhero, you need to fuel like a superhero! Proper fuel starts with what we eat, but it extends far beyond food alone. There are other important forms of nourishment to be aware of if you want to live your best and most healthy, happy life. When I found the whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet, I truly felt like I had unleashed some superpowers that I didn’t even know I had. I experienced such an increase in energy and vitality; my productivity, athletic ability, and overall energy skyrocketed! I felt on top of the world, and it was all thanks to this new way of eating. I soon realized though, that food isn’t the only form of nourishment that we need to thrive. I had a wakeup call when I experienced a spine injury that resulted in months of bedrest. The injury seemed to spark many health issues: fatigue, hormonal and digestive disorders, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Even after my bones had healed, these issues remained for years. I was very confused because I was eating the same food as before the accident, my blood tests were always fine, and doctors and naturopaths couldn’t figure out what exactly was wrong. After tons of trial and error, I realized that food is so important, but we also need some non-food sources of fuel! By incorporating all of these fuel sources into my life, I got my superpowers back, and they’re now stronger than ever! If you want to live a truly healthy, happy life for the long-run, be sure to incorporate these six superhero fuel sources into your life as well!
1. Plant-Based Foods
The Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) diet consists of unprocessed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. It avoids meat, animal products, processed foods, and added oil, sugar, and salt. Plant-based foods are alkaline forming and high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. These whole plant foods contain the nutrients we need give us energy and vitality that enables us to our dreams. If you’re interested in learning about the science behind the plant-based diet, be sure to watch Forks Over Knives and check out NutritionFacts.org. How much plant-based food do you eat? Is there anything you can do to add more veggies to your diet?
While eating tons of veggies is very important, it’s only one part of the health equation. You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you’re in an abusive relationship relationships or don’t spend any time with your loved ones, you won’t truly thrive. The 80 year Harvard Study of Adult Development suggests that meaningful relationships are a predictor of emotional, mental, and physical health. High quality relationships are therefore such an important fuel source. If we take a step back here though, it’s pretty simple: love is the answer! So how can you create more love in your life? Call an old friend? Take a break from social media and be more present with your family? Go to an event and build a new social circle?
Humans are meant to move! Exercise helps boost your strength and endurance, reduce your stress levels, and even improve digestion and assimilation. It’s important to find a form of movement that you enjoy. Some ideas are running, hiking, walking, yoga, pilates, weight training, or kickboxing. If you feel that you don’t have enough time for exercise, try home workout videos! There are tons of videos on YouTube that you can complete in the time it would’ve taken you to commute to a gym! How do you incorporate movement into your day? Are you satisfied with your workout routine? Could you be moving more? Could you be doing exercise that you enjoy more?
4. Fulfilling Work
We spend most of our waking hours working, so it’s important to create a career that you enjoy! Finding work that you’re passionate about and that is aligned with your personal values is a key part of healthy living. It’s never too late to start a new career; with some research, planning, and networking, it’s definitely possible for you to change directions. You don’t necessarily have to quit your job to explore other career options though. If that’s not something you’re ready for, you can also start a “side hustle”, take a part-time course, or request new projects at your current job. Are you satisfied with your current career path? Is your job in alignment with your values? Is there anything you can to make your work more fulfilling?
5. Rest & Me-Time
Even superheroes need to recharge! Sleep is so important! Getting high quality sleep improves every single aspect of your life. It gives you more energy for your work, your social life, and your physical activity. It gives your body time to recover and repair. If you’re looking to get a more rejuvenating sleep, be sure to check out my Top Six Superhero Sleep Tips. Along with getting high quality sleep, having quiet time to yourself is a superpower fuel source. Our society is moving at such a fast pace, and it’s now more important than ever to have some technology-free quiet time. This quiet time helps boost creativity and keep you centered in your own authenticity. Do you set aside time for yourself every single day? What’s something you can do to make sure you get your rest and me-time? Maybe schedule a few minutes for yourself in your calendar?
6. Spirituality & Mindset
Spirituality means something different to everyone. It doesn’t have to be an organized religion; it can simply mean spending time in nature, playing music, journalling, practicing gratitude, or connecting with your breath. Your spiritual practice can be anything that makes you feel connected to yourself and something greater than you. Along with your spiritual practice, having a positive mindset is a form of nourishment. You can eat all the alkaline foods in the world, but toxic thoughts will definitely harm your health! Practicing positive psychology and believing in yourself is key if you want to thrive. The body and mind are so connected, so nourishing yourself through positive thinking will help fuel both your mental and physical health. What does spirituality mean to you? What can you do to incorporate spirituality and positivity into your life?
Superheroes are all about action! Knowledge is power, but action produces results! After learning about the six superhero fuel sources, what is your intuition telling you to do? Is there an area that you’d like to improve? On my personal journey, “Career” and “Rest and Me Time” were two fuel sources that I definitely had to improve. I was moving at such a fast pace and working toward a career that was simply not for me. I changed paths and found work that was in alignment with my values, and I now meditate daily to ensure I get my quiet time. These both fuel my superpowers and help me show up as the absolute best version of myself in my work, relationships, and life in general. What about you? Choose two superhero fuel sources and commit to completing one action that will improve each category this week! Are you going to eat more plant-based foods by drinking a smoothie each day? Or improve your relationships by calling an old friend? Or cultivate spirituality by starting a gratitude practice? Write down your goals for the week, and have fun fueling your superpowers!
Lots of superhero love,
xo Alessandra Naomi