Holistic wellness can NOT be discussed without going over proper nutrition. Everything in the body is connected. What you're eating can influence how you feel and how you think which then affects how you behave. Proper nutrition is needed for our hormones and energy levels to be in balance. Understand that good nutrition consists of foods that humans have been eating since the beginning of time. You may already know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy for you but it's not that simple and I'll tell you why later on.
"A nutritious diet not only has physical benefits but it can positively improve our cognitive function..."
Consuming a nutritious diet helps you to maximize your health, happiness, and overall well-being. It allows the body to function at its best while lowering the risk of diseases, disorders and injuries. It improves the health of your hair, skin and nails. Have you seen the Snickers commercials where the guy was told that he wasn't acting himself because he was hungry? I probably wouldn't recommend a candy bar but you get the gist. A nutritious diet not only has physical benefits but it can positively improve our cognitive function (how we make decisions and level of focus). Altogether, you'll experience a better quality of sleep, mood, and settle in a healthy weight for your body type.
If you struggle with eating all of the right things, it may be easier to a.) find a purpose for eating a nutritious diet and b.) begin to cut out the unhealthy food. Personally, as I began to learn how processed foods affect the body, that was enough to deter me from those foods to choose healthier options. These foods are high in simple carbs, salt and preservatives that do more harm than good. They are also often processed in a way that depletes them of any vital nutrients. Some of these foods include ingredients that aren't even food!(cough "artificial flavoring")
The average American gets 62% of her calories from processed food! This diet is actually recognized in the health world as S.A.D (Standard American Diet) and often leads to malnourishment. These "foods" overtax the body as they are often low in water content and hard to digest. This leads to the possible formation of dis-ease as the body.
"Simply put, biochemical individuality means that all bodies were not created equal and require different types of foods as well as amounts."
I mentioned earlier that good nutrition isn't just about eating fruit and vegetables. This is because of something called biochemical individuality. Simply put, biochemical individuality means that all bodies were not created equal and require different types of foods as well as amounts. Look at all of the different ethnic groups and cultures that thrive on completely different diets. The best way to figure out your unique biochemistry is seeing a nutritionist to learn the different nutrients your body lacks and the foods needed to include in your diet. Another way involves something called Intuitive Eating.
"I felt horrible during this time of my life. From the chronic constipation to the fatigue..."
Story Time, I used to be able to crush a WHOLE medium pizza by myself before I began my wellness journey! I was mindlessly eating - just inhaling slice after slice while absorbed into Facebook or some reality TV series. I felt horrible during this time of my life. From the chronic constipation to the fatigue, my diet was hurting me more than helping. And let's not even talk about the mood swings probably from some hormone imbalance. Once I started to pay purposeful attention while eating, I realized that I really didn't need all of that food to feel satisfied.
Intuitive Eating is what it sounds like - using your intuition, inner knowing, when eating. It requires you to follow your body's natural hunger rhythms and honoring yourself by eating when you are hungry and stopping when you're full. To use this tool, it requires mindful eating. Put the phone down, turn away from the TV and pay attention to what you're eating. This allows you to actually feel when you are full.
Remember, it's always a good rule of thumb to include lots of whole foods in your diet - foods in their natural states, This will ensure that you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals in a way that is easier for the body to absorb. Now, I'm not saying you can't enjoy those "feel good" foods. I love me some cookies or brownies every now and then, Look to the 80/20 rule - 80% of your diet should be body and 20% can be soul nourishing.
Self love also includes what you're choosing to put in your body, Goddess!