Raw vegan diet. Paleo. Atkins-Diet. No, daily workouts. High intensive interval training. No, relaxation. Meditation. Yoga. Qi Gong. Tai Chi … What is it now?
Hello, lovely people,
and a sunny Welcome to my very first blog post on Holistic You!
Nowadays, we find ourselves swamped with information on a healthy life. And each health “ambassador” puts in our mind that exactly and only his method is the ultimate solution for YOUR health. That by being on this specific diet or working out exactly this one way, practising this one and only relaxation technique, you will reach the best level of health possible.
Have you ever found yourself lost within this “health-jungle”?
Are you looking for a way that works for you; that feels right and good?
Each of us is on his/her individual journey; in every single aspect of life. So am I on my journey. A journey, on which I’m striving for health and well-being, a high quality of life and vitality..a journey with ups and downs. But only the experience helps us further; as only then we are able to conclude what does and what does not work for us. On this journey, I recognised within the last years that a sustainable healthy sense of life is only achievable by integrating different aspects of life. And this is exactly the approach of holistic health.
So now, I want to dive into the five main areas for a holistically healthy life … enjoy reading! 🙂
~ Nutrition ~
You are what you eat.
A quote that traces back to the German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach and I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard it already quite a few times. Basically, this statement mirrors your material, corporeal body. I personally would not completely and unconditionally agree with it. I would say it’s not only nutrition that expresses our “whole being”.
But as a nutritionist, I’ve focused on this aspect of life. Our food determines fundamentally, how our body composition, how it functions and how much energy we have. Based on our food selection, we are presented daily with the chance to make a choice. We can scrutinise: am I doing good while eating this type of food? Does my body like it, digest it well and can I produce energy out of it? Will I gain vitality and soulfulness?
Let food be your medicine.
Already the old greeks knew about the healing and health strengthening value of food. By the way, Hippokrates was the first physician back in his time (*460 B.C.), who faced up to holistic health.
YOU can profit from this “natural medicine.” Not only as therapy, but primarily also as a preventive measure. It’s up to you. The food is available to you.
The nutritional value and the scientifically verifiable health aspects of a natural, plant-based diet are a helpful hint for your choice. However, what’s just as much important are your thoughts and feelings in terms of your food. You can ask yourself: does what I am eating all day long taste well? Do I enjoy my meals? What are my thoughts in relation to food? It’s a great difference, if we eat something just because of theoretical reasons, but force ourselves without enjoying it or if we love our food and cultivate a positive relationship to it.
If you want to follow your visions of life successfully, you wouldn’t reach your goals in a sustainable way with a junk-food-based, fat- and sugar-rich diet.
My personal approach congruets in many ways with most of the recommendations of science, which is a natural, whole plant food diet. Based on the colorful variety of fruits and vegetables.
Don’t forget: Water! The basis of a healthy nutrition. Pure, fresh water.
Semiluxury food, as alcohol, coffee, tobacco, etc. play a subordinate role. Listen to your body. How does it deal with and react to these things?
~ Movement ~
Everything in nature is characterized by moving. Each of our cell is in constant change. We’ve got this subtly designed moving system, consisting of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints that allow us to move.
Our blood flows within a circulating system and wants to stay in flow. Therefore, it needs our support.
Our heart as a muscle wants to stay in its power and strength. And we can also influence this by working out, within a physiological sense.
Movement makes mobile – and mobility is able to get many things in motion.
Scientific studies show in growing extent that regular physical activity can influence our health in a protective way, preventively as well as therapeutically.
Especially the increasing diseases within our civilisation, starting with overweight and obesity, the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardio-vascular-diseases and osteoporosis can be counteracted by physical activity (Warburton et al., 2006; Janssen et LeBlanc, 2010).
But sport also makes you happy and lively. There are studies showing the healing effect of physical activity against mental disorders, such as depression, addictions and anxiety disorder (Martinsen, 2008).
Take time and devote it to your body. Your health; your fitness; your flexibility and set your life in motion.
At least 3-4 times per week, at least 30min (better: daily) and your life will change considerably…
~ Relaxation ~
Besides burning off energy, the opposite pole is equally needed for your body and mind: calmness and relaxation.
Everything that’s done without a rest, is impermanent.
Our fast-paced society, the massive outside influences, the permanent face-off with tasks, challenges, our daily life – there are barely any moments where our mind is at ease, let alone a calm state.
But that’s exactly what represents a balanced state of mind: Calmness. Silence. Time for relaxation. Breathing in. Breathing out. Time for ourself, being completely alone, just us. To listen… What does our body want to say? Which feelings do appear? Does your mind run circling in a hamster wheel?
Give YOURSELF a few moments of silence every single day. Turn into yourself. The access to your inner world is the key for health and success.
~ Our environment and relationships ~
A mostly underestimated, automatically proceeding, but essential function of life: our breath. While breathing air into our lungs, oxygen gets into our blood and therefore into our cells. Its’ task within the “powerhouse” of your cells – the mitochondria – is to burn nutrients from our foods and generate energy out of it. There’s no life without breath.
Therefore, science verifies that our cells don’t die as fast as in a state of oxygen deficiency. We only have to think of the well-known stroke or heart attack, where death is a common consequence (Mollenhauer et Kiss, 2010).
Being outside, preferably in nature, breathing in fresh air and enjoying the sun at the same time – we do not only breathe in oxygen, find calmness and relaxation or stress relief while doing sports. The sun is also supplying us with the essential Vitamin D. This is because the endogenous Vitamin D synthesis in our skin gets stimulated via the UV-B radiation from sunshine. That’s our most important Vitamin D-donor.
It’s really impressive, what one single sunbeam can do with a human’s soul.
Not enough. The sun is not only a “nutrient provider”. It makes us happier while elevating our serotonin levels! Probably each of us will confirm this experience. I definitely can!
Beside nature and other environmental factors, the relationships to other people in our life play an enormous role – how we feel, what we think and eventually, how healthy we are. Our human basic need for acknowledgement, our desire for love, for nearness, for exchange and communication has a crucial impact on our feelings and therefore on our well-being.
„Happiness is love, nothing else. If one’s able to love, he’s happy.”
..and the one who’s happy, is not far away from being healthy. 🙂
~ MindSet ~
Additionally to the physical aspects of health, there are our thoughts, what we think day by day, all of the attitudes and convictions that we’ve internalized, our ideology – broadly speaking our mindset – a crucial part of holistic health.
Together with our thoughts we produce specific feelings. These feelings cause corresponding physiological reactions. Who hasn’t experienced at least one of the following examples?
If we’re in a state of fear, we hunch our shoulders, our blood pressure increases.
If we’re in stress, our breath flattens, we strain back our neck.
If we’re in love. we strut self-confidently throughout the world.
If we’re laying in the bathtub, our breath gets deeper.
Our mind influences enormously our physical well-being. And because there is such a strong, potentially non negligible connection between mind and health, I’m treating this topic separately and more extensive in another section (Mindset).
~ Conclusion: holistic health and my vision ~
To sum it up, there are numerous areas of life that we should consider in order to live in a holistically healthy, vital, happy body. This body is the basis for all other aspects that we’re devoting in life, what we want to achieve. So, if you want to live successfully and fulfilled, it’s an absolute requirement to bring your organism to the best possible step of vitality.
In order to achieve holistic health, in my view, it requires five steps:
- Supply your body with all that it needs from natural, whole plant-based foods.
- Get plenty of movement and physical activity into your life.
- Take time for a rest and relax.
- Spend as much time as possible in nature and in the presence of people, who do you well, whom you love.
- Become fully aware of your thoughts, with the aim to train your mindset so that it can work hand in hand with you.
Along these lines, I’m wishing you a good start into the world of holistic health. You’re expecting my knowledge and experience of nutrition and a holistic lifestyle.
Get inspired and leave me comments on your view, wishes and suggestions down below. I’m absolutely looking forward to exchanging with you! 🙂
I’m sending you a big hug,
spread your love & just the best,
Warburton D.E.R., Crystal Whitney N., Bredin S.S.D. Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal (2006). Vol 174(6): 801-809.
Janssen I., LeBlanc A.G. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010). Vol.7(40): 1-16.
Martinsen E.W. Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry (2008). Vol.62: 25-29.
Mollenhauer M., Kiss J. HIF-Prolylhydroxylasen. Sauerstoffmangel im Fokus der medizinischen Forschung. BIOspektrum (2010). 16. Jahrgang: 401-105.