What the heck is activated charcoal and why would you take it?
(NOT to be confused with the charcoal used in your barbecue…)
Activated charcoal is a natural treatment used to bind and trap toxins, chemicals and other impurities in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t absorb them. This makes it a great treatment for food poisoning, as well as meals that don’t “sit well” as it can help alleviate gas and bloating. It can also be good for preventing a hangover. 😉
Recently, it has become a popular ingredient in beauty products. I’ve seen it added to toothpaste as a natural teeth whitener and to skincare products as a detoxifier.
I always keep a bottle in the pantry and take it with me when I travel (which obviously hasn’t happened in a while 😭) just in case I need it. It’s not something that should be taken daily, but rather taken “as needed” or for short-term use. Be sure to choose an activated charcoal supplement made from natural sources like coconut, and drink plenty of water when taking it to prevent dehydration and to assist in flushing the toxins out of the body.
During difficult times, you may find yourself reaching for food to help soothe the uncomfortable feelings. While eating may provide a temporary distraction, eating isn’t the most effective way to deal with emotions.
Food is great for fueling us & satisfying hunger, but it’s not the best emotional regulator. Food won’t “fix” our feelings, so we want to have other tools in our coping toolbox.
Learning to feel your feelings and discovering healthy & helpful ways to navigate emotions will lessen your need to eat your feelings.
Try these three steps the next time you find yourself turning to food when you aren’t hungry:
1. Pause. Create some space between impulse (urge to eat) and action (reach for food). Give yourself an opportunity to understand what’s beneath the desire to eat.
2. Ask: What am really I hungry for? (Ie: comfort)
3. Choose how you will respond. I like to have my clients create a “happy list” – a list of non-food activities that can comfort you, entertain you and bring you joy. Here are some examples: • Call a friend • Journal • Mediate • Go for a walk • Read a book • Listen to music • Take a bath • Paint • Watch a funny movie, etc.
Uncomfortable emotions are an unavoidable part of life, but there is power is in giving yourself the opportunity to make a conscious choice rather than letting the emotions sweep you away.
Telling yourself you can’t have something will only make you want it more. When we deem certain foods “bad” or “off-limits,” this often creates a feeling of deprivation which only fuels our desire for those foods. This is why “diet rules” tend to backfire.
However, establishing boundaries around certain foods can be a healthy form of self-care. Healthy boundaries help us prioritize foods that make us feel our best and limit the foods that don’t. For example:
>>If you are lactose intolerant, you will want to create some boundaries around your dairy consumption.
>>If you notice that excess caffeine makes you feel anxious & affects your quality of sleep, you’ll want to create a boundary around how much coffee you consume.
We create boundaries not to deprive or punish ourselves, but rather to care for our bodies and to make choices that support our health & well-being.
If you know that eating too much sugar zaps your energy and increases your cravings, you may choose to establish a boundary around sweets, such as:
-I choose to satisfy my sweet tooth with fruit most days of the week and allow for “dessert dates” with loved ones on the weekend.
-I choose to enjoy sweets that are homemade with wholesome ingredients.
-I choose to enjoy sweets on holidays and special occasions.
An effective boundary will be realistic, honor your food preferences and will leave you feeling empowered rather than deprived. Healthy boundaries are built from a place of self-love & self-care. The goal is to help your body thrive while leaving room for you to enjoy the foods you love!
What are some healthy boundaries you may want to consider?
There are two sides of you — there’s the side of you that wants to feel healthier and improve your lifestyle, and the side of you that doesn’t want to put in the work.
🥗The side of you that wants to make healthier food choices, and the side of you that wants pizza and ice cream NOW.
💪🏼 The side of you that wants to get stronger, and the side of you that doesn’t feel like exercising.
😴The side of you that knows you should go to bed early, and the side of you that wants to stay up late and watch Netflix.
🧼The side of you that wants a tidy home and clean laundry, and the side of you that doesn’t feel like doing chores.
🤔There’s a side of you that wants to accomplish your long-term goals and a side of you that will sacrifice long-term gain for momentary comfort and pleasure.
Having these mixed feelings is normal, however it’s helpful to recognize that your impulses, urges and cravings don’t always represent what is in your best interest. What we want in-the-moment does not always reflect what we want MOST.
Do a quick cost/benefit analysis by asking yourself: will this action bring me closer to or further away from my long-term goals?
Am I willing to sacrifice progress for momentary pleasure or comfort?
Allow yourself the opportunity to assess your feelings rather than automatically answer them. Aim to make the decision that is in your best interest. 👏🏼🙌🏼
If you’d like support and guidance on your journey to live healthier, send me an email and let’s work together! Tina@nourishedwellness.com.