Holistic means whole(some).
Nutrition means food for body, mind, and soul.
Holistic Nutrition to me is a way to find balance with food in every aspect of your being. It means connection.
A holistic nutrition feeds you on a physical as well as more subtle level.
Holistic Nutrition is a natural, integrative approach towards health and well-being while taking into account an individual as a whole. I regard a person’s life as an interplay between the physical, chemical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental aspects.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
I strongly believe in the power of foods, but at the same time I am aware of the power that dwells within our hearts. I personally perceive the human body (being) as more than the physical parts which we feed and build up with food. In terms of nutrition, I see much more in the food on our plates than solely calories, macro- and micronutrients with certain functions in the human body.
I believe that whatever heals your body, mind, and soul, it heals the world at the same time. Thus, I rather want to focus on thy Self. Beginning within and not in the outer world, because changes within will automatically lead to external changes. Every conscious decision you make for yourself has an impact on everything and every living creature around you.
As you probably know, I am an advocate for plant foods. Health and well-being for every living creature as well as a healthy planet are some of my highest values in life. I’ve been following a plant-based lifestyle for a few years now and started getting passionate about whole plant foods immediately after becoming introduced to this lifestyle. I absolutely adore eating fruits and veggies. However, there is one more lesson that life has been teaching me again and again: to find balance.
~ The food and diet paradigm ~
In today’s world, diet and food have become an obsessive paradigm. People explore a(n extreme) diet, become obsessed by it, may even benefit from it. However, at some point they can also harm themselves with any type of extreme. While struggling with health issues, they look out for another (extreme) diet which is the complete opposite of what they did before. We see it again and again. The food and diet markets are one of the fastest growing industries nowadays. Society conditions us to look in a certain way, to maintain certain habits, and to function in a certain way. We strive for these patterns, and most of the times it happens unconsciously.
The human brain loves controlling a person’s behavior. It loves habits, sticking to one direction as soon as it feels safe. The mind may tell or even force you to do certain things, no matter if they serve you or not. It is super easy to get into a certain paradigm where an extreme way of eating may harm your health and wellbeing in the long run. Often times we move way too far into one direction. The potential results: physical, mental, and emotional issues.
“Extremes are easy.
Strive for balance.”
If any type of diet evolves into an obsession, you will become strongly attached, even addicted to it, and it will impact your life in an unhealthy way. Especially in the health conscious community, we face many different extremes. It might be a certain type of cleanse, a liquid based diet, intermittent fasting with one meal a day, dry fasting, eating only one type of fruit for weeks or months, etc. I perceive such approaches as “medicine” for some people and for a certain period of time. At the same time, such a behavior can be harmful if going too far without paying attention to your own body’s condition.
I definitely don’t want to insult any specific way of eating or living. Such approaches did help some people out of a disease, some do event thrive on it in the long run. One of the best examples is fasting: Practicing it in a conscious way for a certain period of time, fasting can be a holistic miracle for body, mind, and soul. However, if you do it compulsively, if you’re extremely underweight, and/or have an eating disorder, fasting might eventually lead to death. What I want to point out is to keep awareness on your own condition and to choose consciously. Consider how sustainable your food or lifestyle choice is on a permanent basis. Some extreme changes might work for a specific period of time, sometimes even forever.
I personally believe in finding balance in the long run.
Not only with food, but in every area of your life.
~ What is balance? ~
The word “balance” may imply so many different things: whereas one person sees balance in eating an apple per day in contrast to a lot of processed foods in his diet, another eats 80 % raw vegan and balances it out with 20 % mildly cooked whole foods.
If you’re living unconsciously, you are on autopilot, thus, a victim of your mind. Then you’re prone to follow your conditioning, to do what someone else tells you to do, and to tap into extremes. The art of living is to find balance within, so that you’re able to choose consciously how much of something serves you and when it becomes too much or too little.
- “Balance” from a nutritional standpoint means to include all types of nutrients into your diet, i.e. carbs, proteins, fats, and micronutrients. At the same time it means to have a variety of foods.
- From a scientific as well as energetic point of view it means, to eat mainly plant foods.
- In terms of ecological, social as well as health reasons it means to prefer “soul”-food which stands for s = seasonal, o = organic, u = unprocessed, and l = local.
- In terms of pleasure, focus on your food with all senses so that it becomes a highly satisfying meal. Stay aware of how a certain food makes you feel while eating it as well as afterwards; but do not get confused with physiological versus emotional hunger. The latter can never become satisfied by food, definitely not long-term. Food will never appease your emotional hunger, it may even harm your health.
As we are unique individuals, I do not want to standardize a certain type of eating for everyone. However, what I can invite you to do is eating intuitively. This means to go within and listen to your bodies signals. It simply means to stay aware with your body:
- What does your body need in terms of nutrition?
- How does your food make you feel like?
- Do you enjoy and love whatever you put into your mouth?
- Can you feel a connection to the food on your plate?
It is always the mind which becomes confused by such a heap of information from the external world. It tries to force the body doing certain things. Remember the statement: mind over matter. However, by tuning back into your body and taking a step back from the external, it is possible to relearn your body’s needs and to feed it with whatever it thrives on.
To me, balance means union. It means connecting the opposite dots in a way that you don’t fall into one direction and loose grip of the other. There is only one way to find balance: look within, observe yourself in a state of passive awareness. Become aware of your physical, mental, and emotional condition. If you realize that you’ve gone (way) too far into one direction which does you no longer good, you are able to come back to an equilibrium. Ultimately, it comes back to awareness and connection with your body and mind. If you’re balanced on the inside, you will easily find balance on the outside.
I guess it is what I need to learn mostly in life: to find balance within myself, to find space and reflect, to detach from my behaviors, so that I can choose consciously what to do and when it is time to surrender. Whether it’s about work, food, exercise, or relationships – finding balance with food is as important as keeping balance in life.
~ Find your way of eating and living ~
I believe that we as human beings were gifted with a body that includes a digestive system. That part allows us to process foods, to become fueled for life and at the same time we’re allowed to enjoy what we eat. As relationships, career, and physical activity are supposed to be enjoyed and to fuel you from the inside out, I perceive nutrition in a similar way. Each of us is as unique as our fingerprints. There is not one way of eating or living that matches everyone’s needs in every period of their lives.
“Because we are what we eat,
we can literally transform our bodies and minds
by choosing an inspiring diet.”
If a specific way of eating which is perceived as extreme works for you well, go for it. If your current condition and surrounding supports a certain lifestyle, it will not only be easy for you to maintain, but it will give you a lot back in terms of health, vibrancy, wellbeing, etc. What I would love for everyone to pay attention to is to look within, to observe yourself and to take into consideration your physical, mental, and emotional condition.
Continue observing yourself. What are your behaviors like? Even if they serve you to some degree, try not to become attached to them. Take out some time on a regular basis and reflect upon your behavior: Maybe it is time for some adjustments. Maybe you neglect some area of your life, and went way too far into another. Is there a healthy balance between doing and being? Between taking action and surrendering? Between being active and resting? Do you always try to push further, want to pull the grass although it grows by itself over time?
Be gentle with yourself. Stay patient. And listen to your intuition.
Lots of love and Namasté,