Our current society is set up to make health and vitality something hard to achieve – long working hours, lack of quality free time, high levels of stress, toxins, sugar and processed foods. But what if instead of getting tireder, sicker and fatter each year, you chose to walk the path of wellness? – getting fresher, stronger and more vibrant as you move forward on your life journey.
Don’t let big food companies, drug companies or mainstream media fool you into taking the path of sickness, brainwashing you into believing that health is some elusive concept. Maybe you can’t change your working hours, maybe your relationship is stressful, or you’re going through some other stressful event in your life. There are things we can’t always control. But one thing I know for sure, is that when you are walking the path of wellness everything else in your life becomes easier.
Find people and places that inspire you to feel healthy – get to your local organic juice bar, visit the farmer’s market, join a yoga class, share healthy recipes with your friends, give your body a detox once or twice a year, go on a retreat… do whatever you can to walk the path of wellness. With it comes vibrancy, energy, refreshing sleep, stable weight, balanced moods, protection from infection, healthy ageing and more.
What is a healthy diet?
There is so much conflicting information about what a healthy diet is. Vegan, Paleo, Keto, Low GI, LCHF? You may chose to follow a particular diet for ethical or therapeutic reasons, but what are some general guidelines for eating in a healthy way? Mainly this involves eating real food, avoiding processed foods, eating a wide variety of nutrients and choosing foods that are as close to nature as possible.
This is not a to-do list, and it’s not a judgment or a set of my own personal opinions – it’s actually an outline of what generally most bodies need to stay healthy and in balance.
9 simple tips to help you conform with your natural design:
- Get up earlier in Summer and later in Winter, in line with natural sunlight hours. Don’t eat late at night, or before you’re fully awake.
- Eat when you are hungry and not out of habit. Graze rather than gorge.
- Eat a mainly plant-based diet – meaning your diet is made up with most of your foods consisting of fruit, vegetables, seeds, sprouts and nuts. If you eat meat avoid the intensively reared type, and eat wild fish and game. Serve your meat and fish with a variety of vegetables.
- Eat food as raw and unprocessed as possible. Avoid synthetic chemicals.
- Avoid concentrated foods such as sugar and sweeteners. Dilute fruit juices. Drink plenty of water.
- Minimise your intake of dairy foods, refined wheat and grains, or avoid them.
- Take frequent exercise and keep active.
- Get into nature as often as you can. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the earth.
- Learn to deeply relax.
Allowing your body to get into a state of balance is mainly about listening deeply to yourself, living as naturally as you can, avoiding synthetic chemicals and eating a variety of food in its most natural state.
When disease processes and imbalances have set in, more complicated measures may be needed, such as a therapeutic diet and supplement program to correct any imbalances and address underlying factors. That’s when you need to go to see a nutritional therapist to work with you for a period of time to re-set the balance.
If there is no current health complaint that needs addressing, the following list is a guideline for an optimum diet:
- Eat raw cold-pressed seed oils, raw seeds, raw nuts, extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, avocados, oily fish. Don’t be fat-phobic. Enjoy healthy fats.
- Enjoy in moderation beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu as healthy vegetarian proteins.
- Eat fresh fruit as snacks.
- Only eat whole grains, not white, refined ones. Choose brown rice, millet, rye, spelt, oats, wholewheat, corn, quinoa, bulgar wheat and buckwheat.
- Eat plenty of dark green leafy vegetables. Have a green smoothie to pack lots in to your diet.
- Eat the rainbow. Have a wide variety of colours of fresh fruits and vegetables to benefit from the synergy of phytochemicals and their antioxidant qualities.
- Eat whole, organic, raw food as often as you can.
- If you eat meat, choose only non-intensively reared kinds. Don’t eat it everyday. Revere it.
- If you eat eggs, choose organic true free-range.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day, as well as herbal teas.
- Use fresh garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, spices and fresh herbs in your cooking.
- Drink small quantities of freshly pressed vegetable juices to benefit from live, raw, easily-absorbed nutrition.
- Add sprouts and fermented foods to your diet.
- Avoid burnt, fried and browned food, hydrogenated vegetable fat and processed animal fats, like salami, ham and sausages.
- Avoid synthetic chemicals, additives, refined or processed food, sugar, white refined carbohydrates, and minimise your alcohol intake to healthy levels (1-2 units per day on three days of the week only).
- Detoxify your home and body because everything you breathe in, or that comes into contact with your skin, gets absorbed into your bloodstream just as if you had eaten it.
- Use only natural cleaning and skin care products. Use essential oils in a burner instead of toxic air fresheners. Use coconut oil on your skin, or source natural, health-giving products. Try tea tree and lemon essential oils to disinfect your home instead of harsh anti-bacterial chemicals.
Article by Jo Rowkins, nutritional therapist and founder of Awakening Health.
Ever wondered if you need to undergo a detox? Click here.
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Want to follow a guided weight loss and wellness program? Click here.
Want help to kick-start healthy changes? Click here.