Holistic Nutrition: What is it and why is it so important?

How many of you know what holistic nutrition is? I'm sure many of you are guessing that it has to do with food and other normal nutrition things with some herbs and remedies mixed in. But in truth, it is so much more! Holistic nutrition refers to everything that enters your body through every one of your senses! From the food you eat to the relationships you form, everything that goes into you effects your health and happiness. Today we are going to talk about some ways to help you achieve a balanced holistic diet!

Food

As many of you guessed, food plays a big role in holistic nutrition. You need to feed your body healthy, nutritious food in order for it to function properly and to continue to work at its optimal, healthy self for you! When choosing food, look for whole foods - in other words, things that you don't have to read the ingredient list to know what you are eating. Cook from scratch, buy local, and eat organically grown foods whenever possible. Now, every body is different and everyone needs a different diet, there is no one size fits all when it comes to nutrition. So until you are ready to sit down and talk about your best options, listen to your body! It will tell you what it does and doesn't need by the way you feel after you have eaten something. Feeling tired, bloated, sad, etc after eating a food item? Avoid it! Feeling happy, full of energy, and digesting well? Continue to eat it! Yes you can go and read a bunch of books about the latest health fads, but the best way to know what works for you is by connecting with and listening to your body. So keep a food diary, record what you eat and how it made you feel. Stay away from processed foods and chemicals whenever possible. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and make sure it is varied to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need. Follow this little bit of advice and you will see a drastic change in your health pretty quickly!

Relationships

The next form of nutrition that we get is in the form of relationships. Yes, this might sound sort of funny, but think about it... how much sensory input do you get from your every day relationships? Be it family, lovers, friends, coworkers, and even your local store clerk, we are constantly in a state of interaction even when we aren't interacting. Everyone gives off energy, some positive that resonates well with you and increases your well-being. Others give off more negative energy that clashes with yours and is detrimental to your health. The best way to know which someone is giving off to take a look at how you feel when you are around them. Do they make you feel happy, calm, and peaceful? Or do they make you feel sad, anxious, and downright down!? The best course of action would be to eliminate the relationships that do not serve you in a positive way. Are you with someone who constantly belittles you and is not helping you to grow as a person? Break up. Have a friend who is never there for you and is a constant negative in your life? Distance yourself. These people are not good for you and are not necessities in your life. Now, of course there are some relationships you cannot necessarily avoid - perhaps a close family member such as your parent or child is the source of contention. For this unavoidable situations there needs to be a conversation. Sit down and figure out why you are a negative in each other's lives and work towards changing that energy. You can't change the person, but perhaps you can change the dialogue and come to some compromises that will turn a negative into a positive... or at the very least, a neutral. By eliminating the negative relationships in your life you allow for positive energy to flow, creating a happier and healthier environment to live it. You will feel this both mentally and physically as your space clears and you are living a life of wellness!

Work

Ah, the biggest daily complaint in most people's lives... work! How many of you look at work as just a job instead of your profession? How many of you are just in it for the money and really don't enjoy or have any passion for what you do? I bet that a good majority of you related to those questions. Every day people get up, go to work, come home tired, and are always feeling as though life is just passing them by. They work and work to make money to afford a life they aren't even happy in. WHY!?!?! Why are you doing that to yourself? Now, I understand that in today's society it is certainly difficult to obtain a job in the profession of your choosing. Sometimes we are forced into an area of work we never dreamed of and we become resentful because of it. The negative energy begins to build, we bring it home, we hate our lives, our jobs, and maybe even our families. But I want you to ask yourself, why are you doing this? Why do you really hate that job so much? I personally have worn and continue to wear many hats in my life to make ends meet, and I have to say there is not a single job that I hate and can't find some positive energy in. I have been a nurse, a lifeguard, a nanny, a dog-sitter, a cashier, a yoga teacher, etc... I have spent 5 mornings a week before school even started picking up horse poop! I mean really, I have done it all! I've been yelled at, threatened to be sued, stomped on by giant hooves, broken and dislocated things, and yet, I was never upset for more than a few moments about these things. It is really all about perspective. Yes, I have definitely done jobs that I have not liked and continue to do some of them to this day. But I make the best out of them. I see those jobs as ways to create a better future for myself and my future family. I go into them knowing I will do my best and smiling every day. And although there are days I get burnout, they are rarely a source of negative energy in my life. I make time every day to do something that I love before or after a job that isn't so savory, and I make sure to smile often. If you really are not happy somewhere take action to either change your environment or change your job. Find what you love to do and strive to make it your profession. It's not easy, you will be tired. But when you strive for something that you are passionate about, your life suddenly fills with so much positive energy that it makes it all worth it!

The Environment

I want you to think about where you live. Do you live in the city, the suburbs, or the country? Is is it clean, is the air quality good? Or do you have factories and cars nearby constantly filling the air with chemicals. What we take in every day from the environment has a huge effect on our health. Now, in a perfect life we would all have clean, fresh air, water, and food. We could all open our windows every day and smell the trees around us and never have to worry about pollution. Maybe we will get there someday, but for now we do have to worry. For those of you living in a country setting, you probably have it the best. Always be sure to check that your water sources are pure and be mindful of any chemical spills in your area. For those living in the city, you have it a little harder. For you I would advise getting an air purifier for your home, growing plants indoors to provide you with fresh, oxygenated air, and ensuring that your water and food are from pure, chemical free sources. Take trips often to country-areas that are surrounded by nature!

Now consider your home environment further. Just because you are away from the chemicals of city traffic and factories doesn't mean you are doing everything you can to avoid chemicals in your home. How many of you use store-bought, chemical-laden cleaners for your home? Chemicals such a bleach wreak havoc on your lungs and your skin! The chemicals in your beauty products can even cause cancer! So why are you using them when there are so many healthier, safer options? Take the time to educate yourself about the chemicals you use daily and how you can eliminate them from your lives. If you need some ideas give me a shout and I can provide you with some great information to keep you, your family, and your house chemical free and healthy!

Your Own Thoughts!

Finally, I want to go over a very important part of holistic nutrition... your very own thoughts! Now maybe you don't see this as something that you are putting into your body, but much like relationships, your thoughts can be toxic. Are you the type of person who puts on a few pounds during the holidays and smiles at the thought of all the delicious food you have eaten, knowing it will all come off once you return to your healthy ways after the season is over? Or are you the type that sees the number, maybe cries for a moment and beats yourself up, then gets to planning all these New Year Resolutions to lose the weight and vows to never let it happen again? If you are type one, then good for you! You are probably just as positive about most things in your life and you are attracting even more positive energy from around you. If you are type two, try to be more like type one! You are literally killing yourself by adding unnecessary stress to your life. Never, ever, ever should we down or belittle ourselves for ANYTHING! No one is "perfect", but everyone is perfect in their own way! You are an amazing, beautiful being of love and light. You choose the energy that you give off and take in, and when you are constantly being negative you hurt yourself physically, mentally, and even spiritually. You must learn to love yourself, with all of your perfect imperfections and find the positive energy within you before you can truly begin to heal and live a life of wellness and happiness!

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