Food for the Body and Soul 

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By Ara Fernando

While in the U.S. in October 2022, I was rushed to the emergency room because of a stomach ache that lasted for five days. I thought it was a bad case of food poisoning but it turned out to be acute pancreatitis, which led to jaundice and septic shock. This incident led me to have my gallbladder removed in November 2022 and my uterus in February 2023. As I was recovering from my operations, I got COVID for the first time. What a wake-up call! My body could not take it anymore. It just gave up!

It was a turning point in my life where I had to do a major overhaul, not only in terms of physical well-being but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Health is not just about the body, but the mind, heart, and soul as well. Here are five things I’ve learned to focus on during my recovery.

  1.  Sleep. I thought eight hours of sleep, regardless of the time of day, was enough. Turns out, it has to be quality sleep on routine ideally at night. It not only helps you lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular heart disease but also reduces stress and improves your mood. A good night’s sleep is the best way to start your day!
  2.  Eating right. Choose healthy options but never starve. It’s all about eating what’s good for your body but not limiting yourself, so you can enjoy a good meal. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. It does wonders for your skin. 
  3. Physical activity. After I had my uterus and cervix removed in February, I thought I would be stuck in bed for my recovery. Instead, I was encouraged to get up and do short walks to improve blood flow, aid in digestion, and strengthen my muscles. Exercising means moving around to keep your heart pumping in a good way.
  4. Letting go. I felt useless when I got sick, triggering my stress and anxiety. It was as if everything I worked hard for and built has gone down the drain. I hate to say this but it’s true-stress kills! It took me a week of isolation because of COVID to realize that I needed to surrender, relax, and let go of all the things that no longer serve me-may it be people, commitments, things- and just focus on what really matters.
  5. Alone time. One thing I’ve neglected to do since the start of the pandemic was to have some quiet time to reflect, pray, and meditate. It’s a chance to clear my mind and heart of unnecessary things that take up space. It’s a good way to prepare for the day and end it before turning in for the night.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all the dos and don’ts when it comes to your health.

Every healing journey is different and may vary from one person to another. I hope the five things I shared with you help you too. 

*This article is taken from Feast e-magazine July 2023 issue available at*

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