Updated: Jan 8, 2021
Nutrition is definitely a hot topic these days with so many conflicting opinions on how to eat a healthy diet. Well, it is truly much more simple than it is made out to be! So, what is all the hype with healthy eating about?
Firstly, food is not meant to be something shoveled into our systems just to plug hunger! It is fundamentally intended to primarily and most importantly nourish our cells. Here are the simple facts we all need to know about nutrition!
"Every bite you take is either fighting disease, or feeding it"- Heather Morgan
Why is nutrition important to health?
In my first post "What is health?", I touched on the components to ultimately achieving balanced health, but I'd like to now elaborate more on the physical part. There are many misconceptions when it comes to health and just how to feed ourselves properly. First I'd like to talk about one of the main falsehoods; that being thin or looking physically fit, means you're healthy! This couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, we all know that weight gain is a significant indicator of imbalance and toxicity within, but it is far from being the only one. There are countless other symptoms of health deficiency that people of all shapes and sizes suffer, and ones that should be acknowledged and addressed regardless of the number on your scale.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when it comes to their physical health, is all of the crash diet fads tried in a desperate attempt to lose weight, and quickly. A misguided approach as weight gain is a SECONDARY symptom of the original health issues existing internally. If not properly addressed, an on-going battle of yo-yo dieting and health problems forever after will ensue. It is important to understand how exactly our bodies work in terms of digestion and food metabolism, to be aware of what it is you are putting into your body, and recognize all of the chemicals that are in these weight loss products. Only then can we understand exactly why it is that they will only ever cause you more harm than good, and derail you in your long-term goals to a healthier body inside and out.
Plainly, our bodies function one way. We gain nourishment and vital life force energy from the breakdown of wholesome nutrient and water-rich natural foods. Yes, I will emphasize ORGANIC here, as in this day and age it is our best fighting chance of actually consuming unadulterated food with nutritional integrity. Genetically modified, pesticide-ridden conventional "food", has no place in our precious human bodies. It is not only void of nutrients but contains many chemicals detrimental to our health. I will also stress the importance of reading the ingredients listed on products you buy, as this is the only true indicator of what will actually be going into your body! The daily value chart on the back is of no importance, as counting calories or amounts of sugars and fats is not necessary when eating natural real food.
*RULE OF THUMB*: If there is anything listed other than simple natural ingredients that you understand, DON'T EAT IT!
It is with the consumption of a well balanced diet of nature's wholesome foods, that allows our bodies to not only survive, but thrive. Our bodies are like cars, if you don't give them the right fuel, how are they expected to work properly and not breakdown?
There are many misconceptions of what exactly it means to eat healthy. To many, simply swapping fries for a salad, eating something labeled "low-fat" or opting for a smaller portion of a sugary dessert or unhealthy meal, is their idea of making healthier choices. I will first point out that portion control is a blown out ploy used by weight-loss promoting companies, to convince people they can still eat chemical food! There is no need to ever limit portion size when eating the right foods. The only time this applies is for certain foods like nuts and legumes, which don't require excessive amounts eaten in a given sitting to attain their nutritional benefits.
We in fact need an abundance of highly nutritious calories for health, and just how many is individual to each person depending on level of physical fitness and activity, restful sleep, existing health conditions, and stress at any given time. To many people's surprise, under-eating or starvation on a cellular level, is one of the main culprits behind perpetual and unrelenting weight GAIN. It is important to not only seek a certain look for your body esthetically, but to love, respect and PRIMARILY seek the health of your internal body, as well. The saying "beauty starts on the inside" really is true and definitely applies here. When you properly nourish your body and heal yourself from within, you are then graciously thanked by your exterior's glowing transformation! It has to start on the inside.
So what exactly does it mean to eat a "well-balanced diet"? I will start by sharing my own personal one, and what I believe to be a guideline for most people to feel and look their best! Now I will mention this is for maintaining health, as when it comes to the healing of disease, these guidelines may vary as personalized regimes become essential for treating specific health conditions. I offer consultations and specified protocols for this purpose.
For me, my "finding the ideal diet" journey started in my late teens. Although I was brought up on a fairly balanced diet growing up, that consisted of my mother's home-cooking, lots of organics and very limited processed foods, I deviated quickly from that in adolescence with my ever escalating social life, partying and restaurant jobs! It didn't take long for my body to tell me it wasn't happy. With increasing digestive issues, weight gain and fatigue, I opted to revert back to my roots and make some serious diet and lifestyle changes.
With the support of my then boyfriend, we ditched the pre-packaged processed food and late-night junk runs, and started buying whole foods to eat and juice! Again, it didn't take long for my body to respond, but ever so gratefully this time! From that point forward, even through periods of future stress and illness, I have and will always turn to the powerfully healing ability of real food to restore my health. After various processes of elimination and re-introductions of foods over the years, I have finally learned what the ideal diet is for my digestive system.
I absolutely, unequivocally feel best when I consume a predominantly raw plant-based diet (60% raw/40% cooked), consisting of high amounts of vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, sprouts, fermented foods, and healthy fats, as well as a smaller amount of beans, nuts, seeds, ancient whole grains, organic raw cheese and organic animal protein.
Now, it goes without saying that I have long since eliminated all synthetic chemical food from my diet, and everything I consume I make myself. From salad dressings and sauces, juices and beverages, to various dips, salsas, smoothies, soups and desserts! People fail to realize it is not that much more expensive to eat a whole foods diet, especially when taking into account all of the pre-packaged, canned, boxed and bottled synthetics, you are no longer buying.
Plus, is there honestly anything more important to prioritize spending your hard earned money on, than investing in your ultimate health and well-being? That was rhetorical, there isn't! I will always choose feeling good and the wellness of my body, mankind and the planet, over any shortcuts or convenience this system has to offer. And coming from someone who has suffered chronic illness, trust me when I tell you there is nothing more important in this world than having your health and vitality.
Use nature, it is there for us. With every breath of fresh air, ray of sunshine on our skin, and every herb, plant and natural food grown. It is all there for us to take complete advantage of. To properly nourish our minds, bodies and souls, and reach ultimate wellness as a species on this planet. It is not something to be taken for granted or have its importance undermined. Our bodies are designed to eat nutritious unrefined food, period, there is just no other way around it. You can do it!
Make the effort, stop procrastinating, and choose the right foods for your own personal health. The harmony of our entire planet at large depends on it! Everything about our universe, our planet and all living creatures that exist within it, work together and thrive together. It was always designed to be this way.