When you think of health, most people generally link it to what you eat. This definitely plays an important role, but it isn’t the only thing.
Did you know you could be eating a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables, but if you’re in an unhappy relationship, you could be so emotionally effected that a healthy diet could be overridden? Or say you’re eating well and exercising, but you’re in a job that you hate, it too would have a negative effect on your health.
This was definitely me! After making changes to my diet, my body began to heal, which was great, but I focused all my energy on what I put in my mouth. It became an obsession! I was allowing any thoughts, positive or negative, flow into my mind. I wasn’t focusing on building and nourishing meaningful relationships with the people in my life. I was lazy when it came to moving my body and didn’t have a spiritual practice (or even knew what that involved).
Let me open up your eyes to the concept of primary food and help you see what you might be missing in terms of feeling your best.
Fortunately I decided to study at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and I learnt to approach health in a way that considers the whole person, which is called Holistic Health. By following the law of nature we know that a whole is made up of different sections. Therefore different parts make up our whole being, including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Joshua Rosenthal (founder of IIN) calls these other facets of health, primary food.
When one area is lacking, it effects all the other parts, hence we are essentially not ‘whole’. Focusing on only one aspect is an incomplete approach. By addressing all the facets of health in addition to eating, we can progress to living a life that is balanced, fulfilling and truly healthy.
After understanding this I began to really tune in and see what other areas of my life felt unfulfilled (which were all of them at some level) and made adjustments:
- I followed my new found passion in health and became a Certified Health Coach.
- A spiritual practice can be different for everyone and for me I started enjoying a daily practice of meditating/sitting in silence.
- I brought personal development into my life through reading, listening and watching inspirational people, which subsequently helped me to control which thoughts to focus on and work on, finding the positives in every situation.
- Working out hard and sweating a lot has never appealed to me, but I discovered certain ways of exercising that moved my body in a way I enjoyed.
I saw how every part of life entwines and works together, each effecting the other. With Holistic Health you learn to accept responsibility for your own level of well-being.
Realise that you can use everyday choices to either enhance or decrease your quality of life and take charge of your own health.
This approach to health and healing is gaining popularity fast because the principles offer a sense of empowerment for people to take charge of their own health and enjoy a high level of vitality and well-being.
Socrates (4th century BC) warned against treating only one part of the body saying “For the part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
By ensuring that your primary food is nourishing you properly you will feel more balanced and fulfilled and your health will soar to another level.
The first step is to simply recognise the imbalances, then think about the changes you can implement and finally, take action.
Take a look at the circle of life – diagram at the top of the page (you can save it and print it out if you like). Put a dot point somewhere in the relevant section to indicate how happy you are in your present situation (0 is the centre and 10 is the outer edge). Now join these dots and pretend the diagram is a wheel. How bumpy would your ride be as it turned?
I will go into exactly how you can improve certain areas in my next post so you can experience a smoother ride through life and feel energised, focused, truly happy and whole.