6 areas to focus on for healthy holistic living
The holistic lifestyle has become a very popular way of living in the last decade or so, and for good reason. With the increase of dangerous toxins in our environment and life threatening diseases on the rise, people have started to realize the need for a natural, toxic free lifestyle.
According to an article in The New York Times, for the first time in over two centuries, this generation of children is expected to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. The obesity epidemic, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and diabetes at younger ages, could have a large effect on life expectancy.
Also, factors like stress, unhealthy habits, processed foods, the products we use daily, lack of proper rest and relaxation – all play a role in the quality of our lives and longevity.
All of these are some pretty compelling reasons to be mindful about taking the best possible care of our health. Holistic living is the way to do that.
A holistic lifestyle is best described as living with intention, encompassing all aspects of life, and living in a way that brings complete balance to the body.
When the body is in complete balance, we are vastly rewarded with a happier life, renewed purpose, and much better health.
You may be wondering what you stand to gain by adopting a holistic lifestyle. In a little nutshell – more energy, a stronger healthier body, youth and vitality, excess weight loss, younger looking skin, a stronger immune system which can lead to less sickness. Even more peace and happiness in your life.
But, that’s not all.
Foundational changes you make that have the ability to affect your health at this level also have the probability of affecting your whole life in very positive ways. I experienced a complete transformation, and I’ve seen many others literally turn their lives around. And that, my friend, is gold!
No matter what your age or state of health now, you can start right where you are and make massive improvements to your health and life that will really make a big difference. A natural healthy lifestyle is right around the corner. Are you ready to go there?
Come with me. I’ll show you how…
Before we get started, make sure you get your free Holistic Lifestyle Nutrition Guide, complete with nutrition tips, healthy food list, vegan recipes, and sample menu for a day. You’ll have a great reference at your fingertips to help you eat nutritious food and plan super healthy meals!
|Holistic Lifestyle Guide Quick Links|
1. HOLISTIC NUTRITION
1.1 Healthy Holistic Eating
1.2 Healthy Digestion
2. HOLISTIC SELF CARE
2.1 Personal Environment
2.2 Cultivate Happiness
2.3 Healthy Sleeping Habits
2.4 Natural Body Care
HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE GUIDE
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A nutritious and detoxifying diet is the cornerstone of a holistic lifestyle. Even though every aspect of this way of living works together to create better overall health, diet has the potential to make the biggest impact on your life.
The vast majority of cells in our bodies are constantly replacing themselves, however some at a slower rate than others. If a cell is fed an abundance of energy and the right materials, it can replace itself with a stronger and better cell which leads to a healthier body.
Healthy Holistic Eating
The healthiest, most detoxifying diet is a plant-based, whole, raw food diet.
Raw foods are whole plant foods in their most natural state, or not heated above 118°F. This way, the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals remain intact. It includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and superfoods.
There are endless recipes that utilize a vast array of raw foods used in the most creative ways, and it’s all so healthy!
Keeping it simple is key. Most recipes I use are very quick and easy, and require very little equipment.
This is a superior, high-quality, healthy, and sustainable diet that is totally geared for our bodies. It’s clean, detoxifying, full of life force, and you know what’s in it.
Raw foods offer the opportunity to noticeably better your health in ways you never imagined. With the correct approach, nothing else can offer this level of health and well-being. And, it feels amazing.
In just one day you can feel the difference with more energy, greater mental clarity, and even a little weight loss.
Though the very best health is realized when a balanced raw food diet is observed 100% of the time, it’s definitely not necessary! There are amazing benefits at about 80% raw, like the ones outlined in this article.
The raw food diet may at first seem a bit radical, but it’s really not. It is actually very practical and easy. While there are more complicated raw food recipes, I prefer to keep it simple.
A day of eating raw could look something like this: a Superfood Smoothie for breakfast, for lunch a big salad with cucumbers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, a little almond oil for dressing, and topped with a small handful of raw almonds, and for dinner a delicious homemade vegetable soup or baked potato and salad. If you like to snack between meals, have some fruit or a few nuts. Note that I included a little healthy cooked food into our sample day.
Try the raw food diet for yourself! For just one day, eat nothing but raw foods. So you can get an idea of just how powerful this can be, keep it to 100% raw. Commit to it, schedule the date in your calendar now, and get started right away. You will feel amazing!
Having a healthy digestive system is so important to overall health. It literally affects every process of the body. Bringing balance to the digestive system is a key principle in bringing balance to the whole body.
More than 100 million Americans suffer from some type of digestive disorder, to include problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, and many others. Two of the top selling drugs in America are for digestive disorders, costing billions of dollars every year, and it is one of the most common reasons for visiting the doctor.
Digestive issues can lead to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.
Depending on medications, long term, to aid a basic bodily function such as digestion, can be harmful as they bring with them side effects, such as the body’s decreased ability to absorb certain vitamins, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. To work with the natural tendencies of the body to optimize digestion, and therefore increase your energy, try these recommended practices for healthy digestion:
|Tips for Healthy Digestion|
• Start your day by drinking a large glass of hot lemon water. This will aid in digestion, and promote alkalinity and weight loss. Add 1 tsp lemon juice to very hot, filtered water.
• Drink a 12 oz glass of room temperature water about 20-30 minutes before meals. This will aid in digestion and weight loss.
• Keep breakfast light and easily digestible, as the body is still in fasting mode from the night before and digestion will be weaker.
• Make lunch the largest meal of the day, as digestion is strongest between the hours of 10am – 2pm. Relax, take your time, and enjoy this meal.
• Keep dinner light and easily digestible such as soup and/or a salad. Don’t eat after 7pm, as the body has cleansing and healing work to do at night without the added job of digesting a heavy meal.
Holistic Self Care
Practicing self care is the foundation for a healthy body and healthy life. In a nutshell, it’s really what the holistic lifestyle is all about — taking the absolute best care of yourself in a way that is in complete harmony with the human body, and therefore the most effective.
Food is not the only nourishment we receive. In fact, it’s a secondary source of nourishment. Everything in our lives affects us one way or another. Environment, stress, negativity, thoughts, beliefs about ourselves…all of this and more is absorbed by our bodies as a form of nutrition. At some point it will either positively or negatively influence our physical health, and then our lives.
In keeping with the holistic approach to healthy living, it’s necessary to examine this area of our lives as it is related to physical health, and nourish it just the same.
Taking some time for you is important, preferably unplugged and device-free. We all need peace, solitude, and time to rejuvenate. No matter what your profession, it’s likely that most of your energy is spent completing tasks or doing for others while your needs go unmet.
Make sure that you also do for yourself. You can’t continue taking care of others if you’re all tapped out. Pick a time during the day, whenever you can work it in, and do what you want to do, simply for the enjoyment.
You may be thinking there’s no possible way you can even add one more activity to your day, but honestly, devoting to a certain level of self care for something as important as your health, it’s necessary. Our bodies, minds, and lives depend on it.
It’s wonderful that holistic self care doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming. Just a few minutes of simple self care here and there will grant you unbelievable payoff in terms of joy, peace, and contentment to your day.
What do you enjoy doing? Try some of these:
|• Take a walk|
• Read a book
• Lie in the sun
• Enjoy a relaxing bath
|• Have a nap|
• Take up gardening
• Start an enjoyable hobby
• If you have pets, spend time with them
One thing I realized very early on in my holistic lifestyle journey is the importance of personal environment. Believe it or not, physical surroundings play an important role in achieving balance and peace of mind.
Even if you’re eating well and getting the physical activity you need, if you don’t spend time making sure your personal environment brings you joy, you won’t create truly balanced health and wellness for yourself. And, it’s no way to live.
Have you ever walked into a room and noticed whether it made you feel peaceful or scattered? Take a look around you. Are there items that don’t really serve the purpose of the room, or is it thoughtfully styled using pared-down design elements? If it’s a case of the former rather than the latter, consider this:
Go through the rooms in your home, and remove everything that doesn’t serve the purpose of the room, and then some. For example, if in your living room you have stacks of out-of-date magazines or newspapers, or a lot of knickknacks and tabletop trinkets that do nothing more than collect dust and take up space, consider recycling the magazines and displaying the knickknacks in a cabinet or shadowbox so they are out of the way.
Take a step back and survey your changes. Really focus on how it makes you feel. Does it give you a feeling of peace and calm? I’m betting that it does.
Have you heard of Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing? I used it to create a home environment that we love, one of peace and contentment and joy. It truly is a life-changing experience in so many ways, and I highly recommend it.
Absolutely, without a doubt, this is the most powerful self care practice that I use almost non-stop.
Life is meant to be happy. What starts off as a good day could easily turn sour if on your way to work someone suddenly cuts you off on the highway; or the moment you get to work you are hit with a disrespectful or negative comment from a co-worker.
These things can cause a waterfall of negativity and ruin your whole day, if you allow it.
Life is not perfect, as we all know. Sometimes you will be cut off on the highway, and there will be times when your co-workers will be less than pleasant.
The trick is not letting these things have a negative effect on you. Acting in response to life situations rather than creating or controlling them creates a victim state of mind. If the way you feel is dependent on others’ actions or behavior, it will only lead to your disappointment.
Your thoughts and feelings throughout the day is the most important thing, as they are what creates your reality.
Fortunately you can do something about it now. The answer is to create your own happiness in a way that will arm you against negativity, and allow you to maintain good thoughts and feelings.
Though it does take a bit of practice, this is completely doable. In a very short time you will see the power of deliberate focus. This alone will change your life. Try this:
|How to Cultivate Happiness|
• Expect to have a great day. Make it your intention to have a great day no matter what. If there is a situation that could potentially derail your efforts, focus on how you would rather have it as opposed to having negative expectations, even though at first it may seem an unlikely outcome.
• Eliminate negativity. Negativity drags down your energy and feels like a heavy weight on your shoulders. This would include negative situations, people, television, or social media, complaining, etc. Since the way you feel is so important, it’s necessary to remove negativity from your experience. While it’s impossible to completely shield yourself, at least limit your time in these types of situations, and don’t allow yourself to dwell on it.
• Be grateful for what you have. This will make you feel good and help you shift to a mindset of abundance, as well as bring in more for you to be grateful for. When you get out of bed in the morning, mentally go through a list of everything you are thankful for. Really focus on feeling the gratitude.
Healthy Sleeping Habits
We’ve been told all our lives how important it is to get our “beauty sleep”.
I cannot stress this point enough. We need proper rest, relaxation, and quality sleep at night to feel good, refreshed, and to maintain optimal health.
Not getting enough sleep puts added stress on the body. Over time it makes us more susceptible to illness and disease, and does not allow crucial bodily processes to complete themselves.
During sleep, our bodies go through the process of detoxification, healing, repair, and storing energy for the next day. Not sleeping deeply or long enough, eating too close to bedtime, or trying to sleep while stressed will hinder this process.
Take some time to kick back, relax, and unwind in the evenings before bed. Prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep, and go to bed at a decent hour.
Try diffusing lavender essential oil in the bedroom, or putting a few drops on your pillow to help you relax and rest better.
Natural Body Care
Our skin is the largest organ of our entire body, absorbing an average of 64% of what we put on it, with the face being several times more permeable than other body surfaces.
It’s important to watch for toxic product ingredients, as they clog the skin and keep it from efficient detoxification.
The majority of mainstream products on the market today contain toxic ingredients such as dyes, chemicals, allergens, and irritants. Many “organic” and “natural” skin care products are marketed to lead customers to believe they are safe, when many contain highly questionable ingredients and may be quite toxic. Aside from this, many also fall short of their claims.
Read your labels. Become educated about safe and effective ingredients that are suited to your skin type and the goals you want to achieve. Use skin care products from reputable companies you can fully trust to keep your health (and your results) top of mind.
Final Thoughts on the Holistic Lifestyle
This guide I’ve just given you is the way I achieved a healthy body and life, as well as happiness. I enjoy living this way, as it feels so completely natural and balanced. The human body is an amazing machine, capable of healing itself if it is given what it needs to thrive. It is well worth our time and energy to live with intention, focused on all areas of health and life.
Which of these areas will you start with? Let me know in the comments below!
Remember to get your free Holistic Lifestyle Nutrition Guide!
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- 5 Holistic Living and Self Care Tips for Women
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