Eating a delicious homemade dinner – such as an organic arugula-based salad with a lemon artichoke heart dressing, fresh caught wild salmon made with backyard dill and thyme sauce, and a baked yam topped with hormone free and antibiotic free yogurt and nutmeg – is an example of eating local, whole, fresh, colorful foods, grown in soil enriched with manure and compost rather than fertilizer and pesticides. Take as much time to eat this meal as it took to prepare it. Make it special – add candlelight and soft music and be sure to eat at the table. Turn off the television. Perhaps even say a few words about gratitude. Have positive conversations. Chew the food slowly and thoroughly enjoying every bite.
Contrast this to our current culture where many are eating processed or prepared meals (pizza, fast food, convenience food) on the run, in the car, at the work desk, in front of the television/computer, or simply snacking throughout the day and skipping meals. Changes in our food supply and lifestyle over the last 20+ years have contributed to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and premature chronic illness.
Holistic nutrition recommends we build our diet around a wide variety of unprocessed organic whole foods as close to their natural state as possible rather than a diet of commercial, packaged, processed food-like substances. Eating consciously is the hallmark of holistic nutrition. In addition to diet, holistic nutrition includes stress reduction, exercise, meditation, sleep, emotions, and spiritual practice. Paying attention to all of these areas will have a meaningful positive effect on your genetics, your gut microflora, your brain and your entire well-being.
Holistic nutritionists believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Modern medicine tends to focus on treating a symptom rather than the root cause. If a person is experiencing a symptom or chronic condition, the problem has most likely been developing for some time. The goal of holistic nutrition is to facilitate a health recovery plan as well as build a strong foundation for nourishment and long term optimum health. Holistic nutritionists also like to work with Integrative and Functional Medicine doctors that understand the body is not made up of isolated systems. The holistic view sees the human body as a whole unit with intricate systems that depend on one another to operate optimally and efficiently. At a fundamental level, holistic nutrition focuses on the biochemistry of the human body, and recognizes the importance of creating balance where imbalances exist in the integration of body, mind, and spirit.
Holistic nutrition also recognizes that diversity among the population is as important as diversity in the diet. It takes into account a person’s heritage and biochemical individuality to formulate optimal nourishment.