In this article, we will explore why nutrition is important, and even essential, from a holistic perspective when it comes to your health. We will show you a new fresh outlook on food and diet and how you can achieve long-term health benefits.
We will give you our three favorite guidelines for an energy-filled, radiant, and empowering 2021!
When we talk to our clients about nutrition, we often get questions about what particular diet is the best, how many calories to eat, and if it’s important to detox and fast regularly. This common outlook is quite limited. We help people move past this approach to diet and make their food relationship more exciting and fun!
It is quite time-consuming to do deep dives into every single diet and gather all the information needed to make an informed decision. If only there was an easier way. To know what food is the perfect choice for you at every given moment.
The good news is that there is. But you might need to open up your mind a bit to do it.
Are you up for the challenge?
We hope so! Because it is guaranteed to change your health and your life for the better. Let’s show you how right now.
To fully realize why nutrition is so important, we need to take a step back and look at the big picture. Nutrition is one of the four pillars of health, together with restoration, movement, and emotional balance. When these four pillars are stable and aligned, they become a powerful foundation for health and well-being.
When these four pillars are not aligned and stable we become weaker and lose the vitality we need to stay strong and resilient to the challenges of life. Nutrition is perhaps the most important piece of this puzzle as it supplies a large amount of overall vitality. If you overlook nutrition or make the wrong food choices for yourself, you will lose this precious vitality leading to various health complications or illnesses.
This is the reason why nutrition is so important. It either strengthens you or weakens you.
Food is meant to serve as medicine and empowerment for our entire being. It’s not just about calories and what tastes good. It’s about your long-term health and happiness. The wrong dietary choices can become hazardous and even poisonous to your health. Most everyone we work with underestimates how much we can flourish physically, mentally, and spiritually when we consume what is right for us.
Okay, you might say. That all sounds great. But what diet do I choose?
That is an important question. But instead of asking what diet to choose. A better one is HOW do we choose correctly.
Do we go and see an expert dietician or health professional?
For most people, this is unnecessary because there is a much quicker and easier way to find out how to consume the right food for you.
All you have to do is listen to your body! Yes, that’s right. It’s that simple.
It might take you some time to learn how to do that. But with some easy-to-learn pointers, awareness techniques, and a little bit of guidance. You will be surprised how easy this is to learn.
Here is how you do it!
The three favorite guidelines we mentioned earlier are all practical techniques on how to learn to listen to what your body is telling you about the foods you eat. Let’s look at them one by one briefly and then in more detail later on.
First of all, you need to learn to listen to the feedback it gives you so that you learn to adjust appropriately to what it has to say. Your body always provides you feedback. It has been for years and years already. But have you been listening?
Secondly, you have to be aware of the most common dietary pitfalls and traps created to trick your body into eating the wrong foods. In today’s consumer culture, the body’s feedback system is also being used against you to make you eat and drink things that aren’t good for you.
The third guideline is that you can use your food as medicine to heal your body by reducing and recalibrating your food intake. This is called the detox process, which activates the body’s ability to self-heal. This essential part always needs to be taken into consideration in any balanced meal plan.
Let’s look at all of these three guidelines in more depth, shall we?
This is a wide subject. So we will only have time to cover the most obvious points here in this article. We will be exploring more holistic topics such as this here on the blog.
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The First Guideline
The practical way of listening to the feedback the body gives you around food is quite simple. The first thing you want to observe is how long it takes for you to digest what you are eating. Truly nutritious and healthy foods that your body can break down in 1-3 hours are perfect for your system.
Paying attention to your digestion is an easy way to begin listening to your body.
Plant-based nutrition-packed raw or slow-cooked vegan meal, or a plate of fresh fruits, for example, will take you at most 1-3 hours to digest. A meal of processed fast foods or a heavy hamburger, on the other hand, will take you much longer to go through your system.
If you feel quite full or stuffed 4-6 hours after a meal. Then you know that your body is not digesting whatever you are eating easily.
The difference between these two choices on the level of feedback and feeling inside your body are miles apart. What you want from your food is to be healthy, in a good mood, and for it to be full of energy. This means a combination of nutritionally packed foods that are also easy for the body to digest.
This combination of foods maximizes your energy levels throughout the day and also leaves a surplus of energy that your body can utilize in other areas. The fact that it leaves a surplus of energy is important to take note of.
We will look more at what the body does with this surplus energy in the third guideline further down. In comparison eating nutritionally low foods that are difficult to digest creates the opposite effect, we instead become sluggish and lethargic.
So here is the first guideline. Get in tune with your digestion and energy levels by listening to your body. Pay attention to your digestion.
The Second Guideline
After we know what we need to listen to the body, we also have to pay attention to how our body responds to external stimuli. The perfect example is the supermarket. When you go food shopping, the first thing to realize is that all the brands and products have been designed with one single focus in mind.
To make you buy their product! Plain and simple.
Hours and hours of testing and design have been spent to make every label look exactly like it does to make you buy it. Things that are unhealthy for you, are made to look attractive and delicious. And even if you know this the primal instincts of your body will still pull you towards them.
Never before has there been food readily available 24/7 as it is today.
This means that you have to actively and willingly pay attention to when you want something that you know with 100% certainty is not healthy and good for you.
Once you do, the instinctive primal mechanisms in the body will become startlingly obvious to you. You might even have to wrestle a bit with yourself to avoid that pack of cookies or bag of crisps next time. This is a good thing to realize
Resisting the temptations of effective marketing is one of the biggest challenges of our time! No doubt about it.
And the first step towards facing that challenge is more self-awareness of how those sneaky crisp and cookie monster label designers are trying to cater to you!
Don’t underestimate them. 🙂
This is the second guideline. Pay attention to unhealthy foods that attract you when you go shopping, out to eat, or when opening your fridge.
And make sure to write a grocery list and stick to it. Another good tip is to not go shopping when you are hungry, then it is much too easy to let our cravings decide what we buy.
If you can avoid your favorite unhealthy foods, then you have come a long way on your holistic journey!
The Third Guideline
This last guideline has more to do with how much, how often we choose to eat, and how we feel about it.
One strange thing that most people don’t take into account when choosing a diet is what happens when we make the conscious dedication to eat less or minimize our food intake for a planned period. During a fast or detox protocol for example.
When we do, there are a couple of different things that are worth taking note of.
Probably everyone is familiar with detox and fasting, and most people have tried it in some shape or form. An easy way to understand detox is that when we stop consuming solid foods, all the energy used for digestion will then be reallocated to healing the body.
The body’s self-healing mechanism gets a short-term boost from not eating when we are sick.
An example of this is when you catch a cold and lose your appetite, the body tells you to keep hydrated but that you can cut back on foods. This way, the maximum amount of energy will go towards restoration and recovery for the time being.
What makes detox, fasting, or consciously cutting down on hard-to-digest foods is often the feeling of hunger. Most people don’t enjoy this feeling at all.
It’s common to feel agitated, moody, or restless when belly hunger kicks in. What happens is that the feeling of hunger also brings up other underlying feelings stored in the body, such as fear, anger, or grief.
These underlying emotions, that rise up when we get hungry, are closely related to the supermarket primal instincts we mentioned earlier. This also correlates to why overeating processed or fast foods seems to “feel good” in the short term.
Even if they don’t make us feel good at all in the long term, they serve the purpose of covering these other underlying feelings we just talked about.
This is also one of the main reasons why it is difficult to lose weight long term. We can easily choose short-term temporary feel-good instead of long-term well-being. So how can we use this new understanding to our advantage when we choose our foods?
To follow the third guideline practically, we recommend starting listening to your body as soon as you feel the first signs of hunger. Take note of what feelings and emotions come up so that you can examine your relationship to food in more detail. Keeping a food log of what you eat and how you feel before/after each meal is a great practice
Of course, the answer here is not to walk around hungry all the time. But if you are aware of that you tend to overeat. Eating slowly, mindfully. and chewing properly goes a long way. practicing this is probably the single most effective tool to overcome emotional eating for example.
Another great tip is to always leave the table with a little bit of appetite left. That feeling of appetite will serve as a drive to activate other parts of your holistic lifestyle.
When you put together the three guidelines, can you see why health and nutrition are so important and multifaceted? Perhaps more so than you first realized.
We hope so! 🙂
What conclusions can we draw from this?
You are more than welcome to draw your own conclusions of what these three guidelines mean to you and what food choices to make. For us, learning to listen to the body and the feedback it provides us has been one of the most fun and exciting practices on our holistic journey.
Even though we only scratch on the surface of this topic here in this article. It is a practice that has become the source of so much feel-good and realizations.
We want to share our conclusions and what we have seen work physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the clients that come and stay with us at the retreat center in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
What we have come to realize is that an 80% raw food & fresh fruit and 20% cooked vegan perspective is the food choice that creates the most impactful and energy-producing results.
This seems to be true for most everyone.
When combined with a careful selection of detox and fasting protocols, we can even go so far as overcoming real health challenges and illness.
Of course, depending on your current health situation, you might add some specific foods or supplements items to heal an illness. And always make sure to get the perspective of a health professional and see what they have to say.
But in general, this 80/20 approach of raw foods, fruits, and cooked vegan is a fabulous place to start, when learning to listen to your body.
What this way of eating provides, is a long-term viable foundation for abundant energy levels and overall well-being. It allows us time and energy to heal organ function and detox emotional imbalances further increasing general stability and resilience to challenges in life.
We have seen the most profound results when our clients embrace this holistic way of eating as a lifestyle.
And when you combine this approach to food, with also listening to your body, you have created a most stable foundation when it comes to the nutrition pillar.
We hope we have sparked your interest in the first pillar of health. Nutrition!
In future articles, we will cover the three remaining pillars of rejuvenation, movement, and emotional balance. And we will take a deeper look into how they fit together and support each other.
If you want to join the conversation, learn more, or if you have any questions we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list, join one of our free webinars, sign up to our Online Health Club, or book a free 25-min consultation with us and have a chat with us live!
We are looking forward to hearing from you and wish you an abundant and limitless 2021!
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