If you’re concerned about your health, your eating habits, taking medications, getting sick, and more, then you may be ready for a holistic health/living makeover. Hey – it’s a great state of mind to be in! I’ll tell you why I think so.
Most of us know that our typical American lifestyle habits aren’t exactly making or keeping us healthy. If you read books, articles, blogs, etc., you might already have thought about this. Maybe you want to eat healthy but are too invested in what you are doing right now to change. That’s okay. Keep thinking, learning, and mulling it over. Do what you can, when you can, but never give up. And don’t wait forever because you really might get sick if you wait too long!
Holistic living covers several areas. I think of these as our feelings, thoughts, our physical bodies, and our spirituality. So, we in the holistic living realm like to pay attention to all aspects of being and becoming truly healthy, no matter what our age is.
Having said that, many experts agree that about 75% of our entire health comes from what we put into our mouths. So, this is the foundational piece of getting and staying healthy. It supports healthy feelings and thoughts, which result in behavioral choices (for the better), it certainly makes all the difference in our physiological health, and even supports our spirituality, in whatever form it takes in each individual. Yes, we are genetically wired for spirituality, whether we choose to exercise it or not!
There are many different dietary approaches out there, and they all feel they’re the best. Most of the ones that get health results consistently are well-researched. But it can be confusing to know which – if any – of these approaches will work for me.
So, I like to start with the basics. First start taking out the junk foods, the sodas, the high sugar and highly processed, grainy foods, and start drinking fresh water. Spring water is a good choice, although there are many good choices on the market. Then start adding some extremely healthy food choices, like fresh and/or lightly steamed vegetables, and some fruits. (Watch out for high sugar – if you binge on higher-sugar choices like bananas, and tell yourself you’re eating healthy, you will end up with more sugar than you need, which can cause health problems.)
Eat salads with varied types of veggies (not exclusively iceberg; it has very few nutrients), be moderate with your salad additives (like dressing, sugared cranberries, nuts, etc.), and make organic or local choices as often as you can. If you are a meat eater, eat free range chickens, grass-fed beef, etc. If you eat fish, try to stay with either wild-caught or responsibly farmed (to be differentiated from simple farmed fish which contains higher levels of mercury). Let me tell you – well-prepared healthy food tastes wonderful – the flavors really pop!
Some other really tasty and healthy food items which are high in nutrients but not in calories are blueberries, turmeric, avocados (okay, it’s higher in fat and calories, but oh so healthy and tasty), salmon, flaxseeds, and cinnamon. These are considered to be some of the superfoods. And remember – if you eat a diet of junk food and just add a few superfoods, while it may give you a start, you will not win the health game. They cannot be used as a substitute for an otherwise healthy diet.
I understand – making lifestyle changes is so not easy, but the more you practice, the better you get at changing your life into one that is holistic, healthy, and happy.
Here’s to life…holistic…healthy…and happy!
For more resources on holistic living, check out our course Living Healthy Holistically.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.