Health is an assimilation of many small habits that work together to create that thing we’re forever seeking…balance! In saying that, I do believe one of the very first places we should start and ALWAYS focus on is what we put into our bodies.
Every time we eat, we are either feeding ‘dis-ease’ or fighting it. Now, that’s not to say we should (and can) all go and pack up our lives and live a free, nomadic life on the land, growing and making our own food and never eating (or drinking) anything store-bought or deemed ‘naughty’. Heck, while I absolutely LOVE and flourish on a plant-based holistic way of eating, I’m also realistic and not into rules or fads. I happily enjoy a few glasses of wine when I feel like it and I’ll eat that dessert or piece of cake if I want to! But here’s the thing… because I don’t restrict myself, I listen to my body and happily opt to focus on more nourishing foods, it doesn’t become hard-work or like a chore. I actually love and enjoy eating this way!
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates
And that’s how food should be. Something to enjoy and look forward to – not stress about!
Because, here’s the other thing: there is no ‘right’ way for everyone. Yes, we should all aim to eat a plant-based diet because we simply know the benefits of fruit and vegetables, along with plenty of other wonderful wholefoods such as nuts and seed, legumes, herbs and spices, eggs, fish, chicken and a little red meat (if you consume animal products just make sure it’s good quality. Always think quality vs quantity).
At the end of the day, everything is about balance and moderation. When you focus on wholefood loading you don’t really need to worry about measuring amounts or counting calories (neither of which I personally recommend) because your body naturally tells you what it needs, how little and how much. Each day will be different according to your activities and needs, and it’s important to listen and honour that. Same goes for how many times to eat a day and what time. Who made those rules up?! Eat when you need to and how little or often you need to. Find what works for YOU!
It’s about connecting to our food, just as yoga teaches us to connect with ourselves.
I encourage you all to use this November Challenge to apply the Yogi & Ayurveda perspectives.
Yogi teachings explain there are three binding forces or “gunas”; Sattvic (towards health), Rajasic (proactive towards health but can fall back) and Tamasic (negative and non-committed). Depending on which state we are in (Sentient, Mutative or Static) generally leads to which of the three gunas we will approach our overall day-to-day choices from (including what we eat).
As for Ayurveda, understanding which of the three doshas you are (Vata, Kapha and Pitta) can help support you in making the right lifestyle choices and selecting foods that naturally support your character traits.
Then of course there’s the topic of superfoods, powders and supplements – which I personally make room for in my diet, simply to bridge the gap between the nutrients required for us to thrive and the nutrients we generally manage to get into a normal day. First thing in the morning, I chug down half a litre of water with freshly squeezed lemon and my wholefood supplements which contain the complete goodness of around 30 different fruits and veg. This has been a non-negotiable in my life since November 2009. Juice Plus+ is my wholefood daily supplement of choice and I recommend it to all my clients. You can read more about it here.
Oh…. I could keep writing forever! There is so much to cover on this topic and I go into a heap more depth when it comes to nutrition, Yogi and Ayurveda teachings, recipes, pantry staples and my food rituals and philosophies in my book The Juicy Movement: A Holistic Approach to Clean Living. You can grab a copy here.
For further reading/listening on the subject, I love this podcast Melissa Ambrosini did with Dr Akil Palanisamy covering the Paleo-Vedic Diet.
Here’s a few more quick tips and healthy habits to think about:
Drink a big glass of water when you wake up in the morning
Replace starchy carbs with a multi-coloured salad
Cook more meals at home
Drink a veggie-loaded balanced smoothie
Keep a large water bottle with you and when in doubt, drink!
And finally, just remember to take care of your mind and body, it’s the only place you have to live.
Carla Thomas, Holistic Health and Business Coach
Facebook: Carla Thomas The Juicy Movement
Website : www.carlathomas.com.au