My Health Philosophy
Health is a funny thing. It’s highly sought-after, yet attained by very few in modern society. In my opinion, the true definition of health has been skewed and altered to the norm of the general population. So many people today suffer from dis-ease, discomforts and random ailments, that very few people have a realistic sense of what it feels like to be truly healthy. But when you really think about it, how normal is it to experience things like: frequent headaches, congestion, feeling exhausted/depleted/lethargic for no apparent reason, acne, mood swings, obesity and overweight, allergies, bloating and gas, frequent colds and the flu?
My answer would be that this is most certainly not normal, even though it may have gotten to be the norm to feel like this for many people. You can be free of severe disease and still be unhealthy, unwell. I say it’s time for people to reclaim their health, vitality and wellbeing, by redefining health. In order to do so, we must realize and accept that the gross of Western society is suffering like this because we are the product of this very society. We have been taught certain belief systems about diet and health. Did you ever notice the term Belief System can be shortened to BS? Because that’s what most of these belief systems are, bull shit. The Western diet and Western take on health obviously don’t agree with us, and it’s time we reevaluate what the media and the government have been feeding us. Mainstream belief systems about health and nutrition are based on flawed nutrition science, corporate lobbying, and what’s easiest to fit in with contemporary culture. So in short: ignorance, confusion, profit, greed and convenience. I don’t know about you but I’d much rather see a system built on ancient wisdom, personal intuition and respect for nature.
Western Diet & Medicine
I don’t believe in Western diets. Screw the food pyramid and MyPlate. I don’t agree with so much wheat, processed products, improper food combining and the meagre recommendations for fruit and vegetables. It throws the whole ratio of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to energy (calories) out of balance, creating the absurd phenomenon of Western civilizations being overfed (and overweight…) yet undernourished. It creates burden and stress on the body, deteriorating our health, performance and beauty.
Western medicine then goes on to treat only the outside symptoms of the root problem. It treats (read: covers up) the ailment, not the person. But all these ailments (see first paragraph..) are here to tell us something. They are a warning signal, not the real problem. Your acne or fatigue might be annoying, yet very important. Your body is trying to tell you something. Maybe your diet is lacking in essential vitamins, maybe your hormone balance is disturbed. Ailments like these are not something you must learn to accept or ignore, and they are not to be covered up by pills. They are a wake-up call to get to understand and respect your body better. Covering up physical disturbances with medication or surgery does not a healthy body make- it is only mimicking health, while the real problem remains and will go on causing damage.
Holistic approaches to health do the opposite. Monitoring (instead of covering up) the outward symptom to gauge internal progress. Comprehensive treatment of the person, resulting in curing the underlying problem, and restoring balance in all of the body. Personalized diet/nutrition, exercise, stress relief, conscious living are all part of a holistic approach to healing and health.
The Yogi Diet
I believe true health and wellbeing are only possible with balance, getting to know your body and working with, not against nature.
Balance: eat your veggies, eat your ridiculously indulgent desserts, but know which one should make up the bulk of your diet. Learn how to make veggies and whole foods taste delicious. But more importantly learn to love healthy, real foods. Because these are the foods we were meant to thrive on, not the refined, processed and dead food-like substances that make up the majority of todays supermarkets.
Get to know your body: there is no one diet out there that ‘works’ for all. Wake up, get real. Though I believe there are many principles that could be applied to most peoples diet or lifestyle for a serious health upgrade (helloooo raw veggies!), every body is different. And it doesn’t end there, personal preference, genetics, constitution, lifestyle, geographic location and even the seasons have a big influence on what’s best for your body at any given time. Any person would benefit from developing an intuitive relationship with their body in order to nourish it instead of trying to make sense from all the confusing and contradicting ‘advice’ out there. Even if it’s just to understand that it’s virtually impossible to declare certain foods or diets ‘bad’ and others ‘good’. It’s just not that simple. I am in no way implying this is easy (I am not the most intuitive person myself!). It’s tough, but rewarding. And it’s a continual learning process. You and your body will go through many phases in life, get used to it.
Work with, not against nature: our bodies were made to eat foods, not products. History teaches us that cultures have been able to thrive on any given diet as long as this was basedon real foods. Some cultures ate tons of meat, while others ate a vegetarian diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. The point is, it’s good to realize and respect where you’re coming from, biologically speaking. I think the biggest mistake we make nowadays is too many processed products, and too much meat, dairy, soy and wheat. Our bodies are not well adapt at digesting these, let alone if they have been genetically altered or otherwise messed with. Too bad most (all) products that are sold, advertised and recommended for health are exactly the foods that mess up our metabolism, hormones and digestion. It’s important to learn about how to eat and live more in tune with with nature.
All of this, I like to call the ‘Yogi diet’. Eating real, unadulterated foods, prepared with love. Respecting the integrity of the Earth and choosing organic food and very little animal products. Eating to nourish your body optimally – it is your temple after all – and eating for joy and pleasure without sacrificing the quality of the food. Avoiding addicting and stimulating substances like alcohol, caffeine, drugs (including medicine) and refined sugar because they are toxic for your mind – body connection, yet recognizing we live in the real world and can succumb to them from time to time. Not starving or overeating at any time, this is very disrespectful towards your body and towards the food. Being conscious and thankful for the food on your plate.
The Yogi diet doesn’t outline specifics, telling you what to eat, what not to eat, with a bunch of scientific data to make your head spin. The Yogi diet is a diet that respects the mind – body connection. What you eat affects how you feel and vice versa. It’s a way of eating – and living- that you develop over time and make your own. The Yogi diet is supported by experiential wisdom: knowledge gained by experience. And not just anyones experience, your experience.
After all this jibber jabber I feel it’s only fair to give you an idea of what and how I eat myself. My diet is pretty much all organic and whole foods – no products. I make most of my food myself- including sweets & ‘junk’ foods. Sometimes I don’t and eat store-bought cookies or chocolate, if it’s around. I am simultaneously a juice and (homemade) chocolate junkie. I couldn’t live without green juice, superfood smoothies and big salads, and during the summer I sometimes accidentally live off of fruits. I eat big but light meals, preferably. I hate anything refined, especially grains (with refined wheat being my biggest pet peeve) and sugar. I eat what you’d call a high raw diet, but I’m always in for a hearty cooked meal too. I love superfoods like maca, raw cacao and spirulina. I like to eat a whole avocado for a snack and weird people out with the sight of it. I ate a strictly vegan diet for about a year until recently I decided I needed some more freedom in my diet. Now I eat vegan 99% of the time, and a little organic cheese outdoors now and again, and have become a bit more lenient in the foods other people offer me.
I try the best I can to respect my body and intuition by eating only when hungry, stopping when I have had enough, and eat what I crave. I devote some time each day to express my gratitude to the universe for the food I eat. I take a moment to thank the Earth for producing this wonderful wholesome & organic produce, that I lovingly turned into a meal that will nourish my body and soul. I think this is a lovely practice and only takes a few seconds before every meal.
Do I eat healthy all the time? Please. I probably consume too much sugar (honey!) and I am prone to overeat. I eat too much chocolate and sometimes I get in a funk and crave nothing but processed cookies for an entire day- to which I oblige. I have a habit of grazing on 2945 different foods at a time, making me bloated and uncomfortable.
I shifted my focus from fitness and nutrition to holistic health, pure foods and an active lifestyle. I went from exercising and wearing out my body 6 days a week to daily yoga and walking. I went from carefully monitoring my diet and eating low-carb/low-fat/high-protein to eating intuitively, high raw and mostly vegan, which for me means high carb/high-moderate fat/low protein. And you know what? I have never felt or looked better.
A Yogi diet will give you a body made by nature, rather than a factory. So much sexier!
If you like my perspective on health and would like to start living a more natural & balanced lifestyle yourself, click here for an overview of my coaching services. (Coming soon!)