Imagine being so in sync with your body; listening to what it needs, and being able to give it exactly that. I’m talking everything from food and workouts, to rest days and sleep, and everything in between. When you can master this style of intuitive living, everything will change.
Making P.volve workouts an integral part of your routine is half the battle. My workout program is all about that mind-muscle connection; by going slow and controlled, holding the movements and squeezes, you allow the brain time to receive those signals from the body and contract appropriately. The more you can do this, the more you will wake up those inactive muscles and start to see not only those physical changes you’re after, but those important internal changes as well: open hips, better posture, and decreased overall pain and inflammation.
Tuning into your body when it comes to food, however, is a whole different story. This has taken me a long time, not to mention plenty of trail, error and frustration, in order to master, but I can now say that I have never felt better. I wanted to share the process that worked for me in the hopes that you can work on building this relationship with yourself as well.
No doubt, we need food to survive. We need nourishment for energy to tackle our days, and most importantly to feed our muscles and enable them to take on the form we are working on so diligently through our workouts. With this whole “health” craze that’s been happening, I want you to understand one thing-- what foods work for one person may not work for you. Even though you read about a new grain or vegetable that is trending right now, it doesn’t automatically mean it is right for YOU. For instance, we all hear about how eating tons of fibrous foods such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, beans and lentils is the definitive way to go. For some, that may certainly be the case, but for others it can be a disaster and cause serious stomach issues.
Training so many different women here in NYC, I have heard all sorts of stories about different diets they have tried, new foods, and the horrific digestion and bloating problems that inevitably ensue. I couldn’t understand how the majority of my clients all had so many stomach issues and couldn’t get to the root of the problem. It wasn’t until after I moved in with my wife that it all clicked for me.
She was no different from my other clients, who all had so many food sensitivities and consistently ate “healthy” but never felt great. She would have her usual loaded up smoothies in the morning (with multiple fruits and veggies), salads with 5+ veggies (a mixture of raw and cooked) and always woke up bloated and inflamed. She assumed all foods were created equal, especially the ones on the “good-for-you list.” So, we went through an entire elimination process to truly find out what worked for her and what didn’t.
To do this, I recommend sticking with one fruit and one veggie per meal each day. I know it sounds restrictive, but this is just temporary, and is the only true way to see how your body reacts to certain things. When you’re constantly consuming so many different types of foods, your body tries to digest and break them down all at once, so you will never know which food is the culprit of your discomfort. For my wife, we started with the foods she suspected she was sensitive to. For dinner, our side veggie was only broccoli, and we quickly determined this food didn’t work for her. We went down the list from there, and now she is so in tune that she knows what foods she can eat and mix with no issues, what foods she likes on occasion but may not wake up with the flattest stomach (like parsnips), and what foods absolutely do not work (like kale, brussel sprouts, and peppers). We did this same process for fruits, grains, legumes, etc.
Many of my clients have done this and have all had tremendous success at finally finding the right formula for them. After this process, I still recommend only eating 3 veggies or 2 fruits per meal. I’m not saying you have to stick with only spinach for the entire day, but focus on keeping it simple for each meal. This way, the body isn’t in overhaul trying to break down everything. I also recommend eating veggies cooked, as raw veggies can be harder for the body to break down unless you really take the time to chew properly (sounds so obvious, but honestly people inhale their food nowadays). To that same point, pureed is my favorite way to eat veggies, and my clients typically do this when they have an event or casting coming up. By pureeing your food, as with thoroughly chewing, you’re making it that much easier for your body to digest what remains and get the most of those nutrients.
Once you’ve gone through that tedious-but-oh-so-necessary process, next comes listening and feeding your body what it is asking you for, when it is asking for it. Sometimes it needs more hydrating foods, while other times it needs starchy foods or proteins. For instance, I eat a primarily meat-focused diet because it makes me feel good and energized. I started reading articles about how this can be “bad” for me, and when I went off this way of eating, my energy levels plummeted, leaving me constantly exhausted.
My wife, on the other hand, tends to eat mostly fish, but every two weeks or so she’ll eat red meat when she can tell her body is asking for it. By this, I mean she feels a bit more sluggish, and the work week has caught up with her. When she feeds herself the kind of meal she knows she needs--think a nice filet with a side of mashed or roasted regular potatoes-- she doesn’t wake up bloated, but instead enjoys a blissful night of sleep, rising full of energy and with a flat stomach.
So instead of just eating foods for the sake of eating them, I encourage you to eat them to feed your body. When you do this, I promise you, your body will react positively and in turn will leave you feeling incredible! Just because your friend is vegan, keto, or a meat eater, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Food is one of the most enjoyable parts of life, and even more so when you truly use it to all of its great advantages. The process isn’t always easy, but that’s when you know that finally getting there and finding your right formula will all be well worth it in the end.
How in tune are you? Share your experience below! And be sure to check out our P.volve Youtube channel for more tips & tricks from P's kitchen.
Post by Stephen PasterinoHi, I'm P, founder of P.volve. I'm passionate about fitness, wellness, and all of the healthy lifestyle choices in between. Get more out of your workouts by staying up to date with our Blog, where I share all of my fitness secrets.
You may also like
Join the p.squad community
Sign up to get fitness tips, tricks and motivations right in your inbox every week.