A holistic approach to diet (your food choices) is foundational when addressing almost any health issue from reversing chronic inflammation, to healing chronic disease states– whether it’s an autoimmune disease or brain chemistry imbalances. A holistic diet is a natural approach used to develop client-specific diets to restore the body from illness and create a long term solid foundation for a lifetime of good emotional and physical health.
Congratulations on taking the first step to a healthier you with holistic diet! By taking action you are creating positive energy into manifesting movement that will change your health and your life! To create lasting and long term change for a healthier way of life, you must make a conscious commitment. If you are mentally on board for change, your efforts will be rewarding. This doesn’t mean you will be perfect, but imperfect action is exactly what you need to get you started! Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed or a bit frustrated with the plethora of information from the media, magazines, and medical community regarding what is good or bad for you. You’ve most likely already seen there is a new research study almost daily that shows findings contradictory to what you knew and trusted the day before. But with the guidance of a good holistic health team, you will have experts showing you what will work for YOU. Our team of experts address all the factors included in a holistic diet like mindset, nutrition, genetics, lifestyle, and your biochemistry and might be just what you are looking for!
Having the right team of expert coaches working side by side with you can provide all the tools you need for success. As an active participant in your lifestyle and health, you will learn how to navigate your health and lifestyle choices, learn to trust your instincts, listen to your own body, and become more aware of how you feel as you learn the solutions from your team of expert coaches.
If you are living in the U.S. you are most likely aware of the trend away from pharmaceuticals. With our industrialized nation ranked as the ‘sickest’ nation in the world, many are looking for safer and healthier alternatives and are finding that the holistic or functional approach to medicine, where the underlying causes are identified and addressed, are getting much better results in actually healing people’s chronic illnesses. While the pharmaceutical industry is pushing harder than ever pushing a new tablet or potion promising “too good to be real” outcomes, the reality is that frequently individuals are ending up even worse and are not getting better.
Our failing medical model that is quick to label symptoms as syndromes, conditions, or diseases, never addressing or looking for the root causes, is experiencing a disruption in the industry at a time when our country is the sickest it’s ever been, and at a time where change and new outside of the box solutions are welcomed. Understandably, clear instruction and the path to getting healthy to appear many times manipulated at best. Blame it on corporate greed, blame it on the media — however, in the end, being healthy is an individual decision that is best approached outside the box of the current and failing medical model.
Believe it or not, the foods we consume have HUGE implications to our health and our ability to heal. If you’ve tried everything else and are looking outside the box, making some simple changes to your foods can be life-changing. There may very well be other factors that need to be addressed that are making you ill but healing and health start with what you put into your body. Below are some universally accepted holistic diet habits that are a foundation to start any healing or health journey and can serve as a springboard to a healthier, more vibrant you!
Keep it easy to kick- start your new holistic diet habits!
If you are just now getting started on creating healthy habits as a part of your health journey, keep in mind health is a lifelong marathon, not a race! You can’t simply flip a switch to be healthy and then go back to old bad habits. But you CAN be healthier than before-mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and energetically. Don’t fret if you fall back on some bad tendency and slip up. Everyone has a minute of weakness from time-to-time or “falls off the wagon,” but it’s what you do habitually over time, that will make the impact on your general health and well-being. Celebrate your little victories and stay positive! Your positive ideas and energy will charge, motivate, and heal and manifest your goals in every facet of your life. Mindset is a huge factor in healing and staying healthy. So start a gratitude journal and write your wins every day, no matter how small you think they are!
10 Healthy Holistic Diet Habits You Can Start Now:
1. No fast food:
The top functional and holistic practitioners in the world can’t stress this enough! Fast food outlets chemically alter their foods to include many inflammatory and toxic ingredients. Animal proteins, for example, are filled with hormone-rich chemicals that also contain nitrates, pesticides, preservatives, and high sodium. If you eat fast food, there is a good chance your brain is addicted to Trans fats, sodium, gluten, and sugar – all which are causing neurological inflammation and altering your brain chemistry. Remember you will go through withdraw and feel worse prior to you feeling better. If you want to go to restaurants, choose the healthier ones.
2. Increase your water intake and make sure your water is purified:
It is estimated more than 75% of individuals are chronically dehydrated — assume you’re one of them. Dehydration can cause chronic fatigue, headaches toxicity, digestive concerns, early aging, toxic load, and increased body and brain inflammation. Many of these symptoms then go on to pose more serious health risks. Appropriate water intake is an important holistic diet habit. Every cell in the body needs to be properly hydrated to function properly and flush toxins. If you live in a hot environment, drink caffeine, or consume alcohol, you may require a lot more hydration. Make sure your water is purified!
3. Eliminate all sodas (diet and regular):
This may be a true challenge if you’re a passionate soda drinker. Even the ‘healthier’ sodas made with natural cane sugar are packed with sugar, and sugar intake (natural or not) is a major cause of degenerative illness, weight problems, brain degeneration, and type 2 diabetes. Sugar-free sodas or diet are no better and in many cases worse as they are packed with cancer-causing artificial sweeteners. And is if that wasn’t bad enough, sodas dehydrate you too. Regular and Diet sodas are SUPER TOXIC to the body and the brain and if you understood what happens to the biochemistry of the body every time you consume these you would RUN the other way! Trust me when I say if you are drinking sodas you need to kick the habit NOW and forever! Holistic diet does not allow any type of soda. Find something else to quench your thirst. Some suggestions are fresh squeezed lemonade sweetened with Stevia or natural iced tea, mineral water or coconut water, or even fruit and herbal infused waters you can make at home. There are also some ‘sodas’ found at organic health food stores and online that are sweetened with Stevia (a natural plant-derived sweetener) and no calories and they do not include artificially derived ingredients.
4. Start consuming foods that consist of clean/organic protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits:
Buy from regional farmers markets first whenever possible. Support your local organic farmers and learn to eat what is seasonal in your area. Don’t be shy about asking for a tour from your local farmers! They are happy to show you where your food is coming from! The less your food travels before it ends up on your plate, the higher the nutrients it will yield while bringing a lower carbon footprint for the environment. Plus you would be amazed by how much more flavor that naturally grown pesticide-free produce is at your farmer markets compared to your chain grocer. Here is a good guide to help you understand which fruits and vegetables are the most contaminated when not organic —> EWG’s Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen.
5. Check out food labels and eliminate harmful ingredients:
As a general rule of thumb, learn to shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store and stay out of the isles. When you do venture through the isles, perhaps for a spice, healthy chips, or wild rice for example, make sure to READ the labels! If you can’t pronounce the ingredient, don’t eat it. Eliminate all foods including artificial preservatives, artificial flavors and coloring, hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup (HFCS), Aspartame aka NutraSweet and trans fats. The best strategy is to stop eating packaged foods and start learning to eat organic fresh, whole foods. This will eliminate the toxic ingredients found in processed food diets which will help cleanse your body naturally of toxins. Clean eating, likewise boosts your energy vibration. Energy vibration is not some hippy term! The body is both a chemical and electrical organism. When you eat the wrong foods not only are you changing your body chemistry in a bad way, you are also changing and lowering your electrical frequency. Two good examples of this are the chemical to electrical nerve conduction in the nerves of the body and the muscles. Foods should be in their ‘whole food’ form as nature intended. Remember, a good rule of thumb is if you cannot pronounce, don’t eat it. Fresh whole foods and minimally processed are what’s lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the reason why the US population is largely obese and sick.
6. Switch off your television:
Get your body moving!! Lack of physical activity is another HUGE issue contributing to our high incidence of chronic illness. Do something you enjoy every day for at least thirty minutes. Go for a walk, take a stroll with your dogs, take a yoga class, play tennis, etc. Whatever you choose, do something that encourages you to move your body. Exercise releases you from the everyday grind and does the body good in more ways than you can imagine. Working out helps you reduce stress and improves your state of mind and self-confidence. It releases ‘feel good’ endorphins, and it’s quite difficult to have negative thoughts when you’re on runners high or when you are just outdoors taking in some beautiful landscapes. Take special notice to how you feel instantly before and after you work out and eventually maybe even add on to your thirty minutes.
7. Stop all negative self-talk:
This takes persistent conscious practice! You can’t completely stop unfavorable thoughts at first and this takes time, patience, and commitment – and may require some thought repatterning. Unfavorable thoughts can creep in based on habit, and that is normal, so don’t beat yourself up if that happens. Self-criticism is unfavorable energy, which does no good for you on a physical, psychological, or energetic level. Once you are aware of the damaging effects of letting your mind run wild with negative thoughts and start taking action to change this, you’ll start to develop an awareness of how many negative thoughts you have each day directly by learning to be conscious of your thoughts! As you recognize them, whenever any unfavorable self-chatter strikes you, immediately refocus your attention to something positive. It is a lot easier to switch to a positive thought that it is to stop a negative one, so turn your attention to what you WANT instead of what you don’t want! A positive thought brings 10x more energy than an unfavorable thought, so don’t get discouraged if you catch yourself being overly unfavorable at first. That will change! And when it does, you will begin to notice changes in your state of mind, physical body, and your environment.
8. Take time to be alone:
Finding time to review the day, and your thought is important. Start by keeping that gratitude journal I mentioned earlier so that you can get in the habit of allowing yourself to write your intentions, goals, your wins and thoughts independently for you to reflect on. Writing also teaches you to become conscious of your thoughts and helps you to process your feelings that if left suppressed and become buried and cause illness in the body. Begin with a gratitude journal and take time every day to reflect on what you are grateful for and what is working out in your life no matter how small it may seem, then free write with whatever comes to mind. Track your healthy habits, goals, and intentions. Write down how you want your health to be a month, six months, or a year from now. You’ll be surprised how much manifests from your journal! I can guarantee you that the happiest and most successful people in the world (that you may wish you could be like them) ALL have implemented the steps in this blog including a gratitude journal!!
9. Meditate and find stillness:
Even if it is for 5 min a day! Sit silently in a comfortable position and take a few deep breaths, relax, and let your thoughts come and go, paying them no attention while you concentrate on your breathing. Thoughts will come up, which is okay, and NORMAL-just let them pass. Easy come, easy go! Start with five minutes a day and maybe that turns into 10, 15, and after that 20 or 30! Most studies show meditation for only 20 min per day works to create positive biochemical changes in the body.
10. Breathe Deeply!
Unfortunately, the side effect of modern society is low shallow and irregular breathing patterns. Breathing is accountable for flushing toxins, a healthy lymphatic system, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (your rest, digest, and relaxed state of being), and the quickest way to turn off the sympathetic (flight or fight) nervous system. Our PNS (parasympathetic nervous system) is responsible for alerting our bodies during times of stress or anxiety that it is all right to calm down and relax. Paying attention to our breath has an immediate relaxing result since it brings our awareness to the current moment. To practice correct breathing, find a yoga breath therapist or try a yoga class near you to learn some basic breathing techniques. When you are breathing correctly the air should flow in and out like a wave. This will have an immediate soothing effect on your nervous system and is exceptional to do before bed to help you unwind. If you are having these holistic diet habits, you’ll surely lead a healthy and happy life.