Designing Your Life From the Inside Out

Ever heard the quote, “Life Is what You Make It?” Trite but true. We can make our lives what we want by designing them. Each and every one of us is unique, and thusly our ideal lives look different. We can design a life each of us loves, starting from the inside, by Fixing Our Bellies, Getting Good Enough, and Walking Our Path.

Fixing Our Bellies

The first part of Designing Your Life from the Inside Out starts exactly there. On the INSIDE. Did you know that upwards of 70% of our immune system is in our belly? Well it is! So it is not surprising that if something is off in our gut, in can affect our health and the rest of our lives. Fixing Our Bellies begins with a few simple steps that can get our stomachs (and our lives) on track.

The easiest and most effective way to get our bellies back on track is a detox. The ideal detox should include: no sugar or sugar substitutes (except stevia), no dairy products (except for butter and Greek yogurt), no processed foods, no alcohol, no caffeine, no legumes, no carbs, no condiments, no oils (except olive oil), no sugary fruits, no juice, no soda, no pork, no toxic fish, and no peanuts or cashews. Whoah, you might say. What can I have? There are plenty of delicious and nutritious food you can enjoy, and those include non-starchy vegetables, eggs, lean proteins, many nuts and seeds, low-sugar fruits, and gluten free grains. A complete list of foods and many tasty and satisfying recipes can be found

Eat S.O.U.L Foods. Foods to enjoy on the journey to a happy gut are S.O.U.L foods. These are Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed, and Local. These foods are beneficial to our bodies, and most especially, our bellies.

  • Seasonal foods are fresher, better tasting and contain more nutrients than the foods that are picked early and shipped far and wide. Think of seasonal food as farm-fresh to the table, they ripen on the vine and are shipped short distances from local growers.
  • The O in S.O.U.L Foods is for Organic. Organic Foods are best because they are not only higher in nutrients than regular foods, but they are also grown in a more healthful way. There are no toxic pesticides used in organic farming, and the soil is richer, fortified with organic materials. Organic just makes sense.
  • There is not enough to be said about Unprocessed foods! Processed foods can be loaded with hidden sugar and sodium. Things that are not necessarily sweet contain sugar to give it more appeal, such as processed meats, sauces, and breads. Sodium improves shelf life, so it is added to most canned items. To an extent most packaged foods are processed, such as bagged salads and cut up veggies. But those aren’t the real culprits. Food to avoid are highly processed foods, such as prepared meals. We can think of it this way, the closer it is to being “dinner”, the more processed it is.
  • Local foods are something we should incorporate into our diets whenever possible. We can feel good about eating local because we are supporting the local economy. Our local farmers benefit, and if we purchase at our local farmers market, the local vendors are supported as well.

Shop the Perimeter of the Market. In an effort to make good choices at the Supermarket, it is advisable to only shop the perimeter, or the aisles that hug the outside walls of the store. Most of the tasty temptations, such as sweets, sodas, and processed foods are placed in the center aisles of the grocery stores. This leaves the fresh produce, meats and dairy products at the perimeter of the store. This is beneficial to our bellies, as well as our wallets.

Why not try a Nutrition Coach? A nutrition coach is a great person to help navigate the sometimes bumpy road of healthy eating. Nutrition coaches have lots of tools at their disposal to assist with our nutritional goals. A very effective tool is a food diary or journal. Clients are asked to track what they eat and when, and oftentimes how they feel before and after they eat. This can be particularly effective in the case of emotional eaters. Sometimes we really don’t know what or how much we are eating and when. When it is all on paper, it is easier to have an a-ha moment or make connection between what we are eating and how we are feeling. Also, in the case of tummy issues, it easier to figure out how foods make us feel when we are keeping track in a food journal. Sometimes something we do not expect can be bothering us without us knowing it, and the light bulb goes on by reviewing a food journal.

Getting Good Enough

A big part of Designing Our Lives From the Ground Up is dealing with the “good enough” stuff. Many of us suffer from fears of not being good enough. These are deep seeded issues that we may not even be aware of. These oftentimes come from our primary caregivers, and our core beliefs are affected, unbeknownst to our conscious mind. These core beliefs are running amuck and can be masterminding our thoughts and actions unless we get them in check.

The book The 4 Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz states that we don’t feel good enough because the person we are has agreements with our parents, teachers priests etc. We learn how to be human from these people, and it may be disjointed with who we really are. We learn to pretend to be who they want us to be to please others so we are good enough. This evolves into a fear of being rejected which (guess what?) leaves us with a fear of not being good enough.

Part of our conditioning from our primary caregivers are the tapes in our head. The tapes in our head are old, usually going back to childhood. They play constantly, so much that we are no longer aware of them. These tapes morph into negative self-talk which means we have a full time Negative Nelly feeding our feeling of not being good enough. The good news is that we can turn this around by first becoming aware of it and once we are aware of it, we can stop it.

Self-love is not conceit.  It does not come from the ego.  Self-love is a gentleness with ones self, and to treat ourselves just as well (if not better) than we would treat another being.  Easier said than done.  So many of us tend to put others first, and ourselves last.  Not the way go go about it.  It is like when the oxygen masks come down on an airplane, we are told to put our own masks on first, then help somebody else.  It’s the same with self-love.  Love yourself first, then love somebody else.  We have all heard that, but do we really get it?  And something else too, it is a continuous process.  A journey. A path of self-discovery so beautiful and bewildering that the mind reels, the heart melts, and the head can’t even begin to grasp it.

Walking The Path

Journaling can be a big part of honoring ourselves and moving forward down our path. Journaling is an excellent way of honoring where we are in the moment. There are many types of journals available. For instance, a gratitude journal can take us through a beautiful journey of self-discovery while we are walking our path. Journaling can improve our memory and mood, reduce stress, and keep us more balanced. Who doesn’t want more of those things in our lives? Show of hands? Let’s all pick up a pen and start journaling today 😊

Try a Life Coach! A life coach can be a terrific help in getting and staying on our path. Life coaches have a lot of great tools in their bag of tricks that can assist in figuring out where to start and how to navigate our newfound path. They can help us identify our goals and figure out a plan to meet these goals. For someone who is stuck and not sure why, this can be life changing! It is a gentle process that keeps us true to ourselves. A life coach doesn’t tell us what to do, but rather they are a companion on our journey – they will walk beside us while we walk our path.

Likewise, there are lots of classes we can take to help us on our journey. Here are a few from Udemy: Finding Your Life’s Purpose, Getting Unstuck, Complete Transformation. Udemy classes are online and very well priced. The instructors are well-informed and classes start as low as $12.99. It is a way to investigate a subject without too much of a financial commitment, Udemy is a great place to start. Hay House also has some wonderful online classes as well, such as Connecting with your Angels, Meditation Made Easy, Project You. These classes are taught by world renowned authors and personalities such as Deepak Chopra, Kyle Gray, and John Edward. These classes are wonderful because it is like getting one-on-one attention from A list celebrities who are far too busy to meet clients in person anymore. Such a treat!

Just Walk, Baby Steps. Keep going. Don’t ever give up!

So we now have some tools and ideas for Designing Your Life From the Inside Out. One step at a time, starting with our bellies, because when we feel better it makes it much easier to do the work we need to do to design the life of our dreams. On we go and remember, “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes”.