Help Your Body Heal Itself by Functional Nutritionist Andrea Nicholson

Our bodies have an innate ability to heal – if we get out of the way and stop causing interference! When we truly tap into the body’s intelligence, it will accurately direct us to what we really need – rest or movement, food or fasting, social connection or aloneness. Help your body heal itself!

As a society, we have seemingly lost this connection with our internal signals. We are constantly bombarded with media, advertisements, social pressures, and artificial obligations to live our lives in certain ways, consume specific substances, and limit self-care.

When we can refocus and reconnect with ourselves, we can conquer cravings, be more mindful of our daily choices, and find greater peace and joy throughout our lives.


Food cravings can be caused by a variety of circumstances – nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, microbial imbalances, hormone imbalances, high-stress levels, and lack of sleep. Many of these factors are directly impacted by our choices of diet, lifestyle, and mindset.

There are a few methods that can be helpful for managing and eliminating cravings:
  • Eliminate the food you’re craving entirely for at least 3 weeks. This isn’t always the easiest approach but can help rebalance the body living without that food.
  • When removing a particular food, be sure to fill the void with a healthy option. Don’t just leave a gap, but add in nutrition and focus on what you’re adding. This can help by changing the mindset from deprivation (I can’t have) to empowerment (I choose to have).
  • Eat more variety. If your cravings are based on nutrient deficiencies, eating a wide range of foods can help remedy any lacking nutrients.
  • Eliminate processed and highly refined foods. These foods have been altered to be “hyper-palatable” and thereby increase appetite and desire to consume more.
  • Consume more fermented and cultured foods or take a quality probiotic supplement to help balance out microbial populations in your gut.
  • Reduce carbohydrate intake – especially refined and simple carbs. These not only stimulate the reward center in your brain, but they also contribute to inflammation, swings in blood sugar, changes in stress hormones, decrease your immune function, and can lead to further microbial imbalances (specifically yeast overgrowth).


One of the best remedies we can employ for a multitude of health challenges is breathing. While it sounds silly to focus on something we already do all day long, most of us aren’t taking adequate breaths or slowing down enough to really focus on breathing. Take a few moments to close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. This helps calm the nervous system down.

Most of us live in a chronically stressed-out state – even if we don’t recognize it. The problem with this is that you can’t adequately digest food, get deep restorative sleep, fight infections, or pick up on subtle cues given by your innate intelligence when you’re in a stress state. Taking time each day to intentionally breathe is vital.

Eat REAL food

When we prioritize eating food provided directly from nature, we set our bodies up for being better able to respond to changes in our environment, new stressors, and toxins. The result is improved moods, better energy levels, and boosted overall health.

What is real food? This is food that hasn’t been altered – whole meat, eggs, seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some grains. There is no need for ingredient labels because there’s only 1 ingredient! Most of these foods will not have much packaging, limited marketing messages (gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, fat-free, heart-healthy, etc), and will spoil quickly if not cooked or frozen.

What is not real food? Highly processed food that has been “enriched” or “fortified” with vitamins and minerals, has numerous ingredients (many of which you can’t identify or pronounce), comes in a package with nutrition claims, and often comes with unnatural or artificial colors added (who really needs blue yogurt?!). Most of these foods your grandparents would not eat because they wouldn’t recognize them!

Move Daily

Exercise isn’t just about weight loss, in fact, that is the least important benefit! Our bodies were designed to move, lift, drag, carry, kneel, crouch, and climb all day long. This is what humans did for millions of years before modern conveniences reduced our need to do so in order to survive.

Movement does not have to include a gym membership or fancy equipment. Walking, dancing, gardening, bicycling, swimming, and playing sports are all great ways to increase activity. Incorporating more movement into your day is far easier than carving out an hour to hit the gym (which actually takes much longer than an hour when you factor in packing a bag, driving over, parking, checking in, hoping the equipment you want is available, checking out, and driving back home).

Incorporating activity into your day can look like walking or biking to a nearby store instead of driving, parking farther away, taking the stairs, standing up more often, playing with your pets or kids, turning on some music while cooking dinner and dancing, or doing jumping jacks during commercials of your favorite TV show.

Our bodies are extremely resilient and adaptable. Every choice you make is an opportunity to re-engage with your innate intelligence! Help your body heal itself! Which new choices will you make today?


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