What does it mean to be healthy? I think it has so many different definitions for so many people. Whatever I think and what I write about is completely my own opinion that I've formed based on my own research and convictions. I hope that however you define health, is a definition backed up with research and conviction as well. I am not a doctor, nor pursuing any sort of health/medical degree. I'm just a lay person, so please ask your doctor before committing to new methods of eating, and do some research too for your own sake.
Healthy to me is being healthy from the inside out (my geology professor would have marked this wrong- you shouldn't define something using the word in the description! So let me explain it further...) I think we should glow. This of course comes from proper nutrition, hygiene, lifestyle, and spiritual peace. I think we focus on the external and apply topical solutions, but we have to examine what's going on internally first. I've always sought balance, and have been way off multiple times in my life. I don't believe it's about perfection, just seeking it with a dose of humility. We're all human. We all make mistakes. In terms of eating, I want to address it with humility still. I want to do it well, and be healthy, but no matter what remember that it isn't food or health that reigns supreme. Remember what John Coltraine said, "A Love Supreme." I think that sums it up perfectly. Whatever we do in life, what our passions are, what we believe, ...what is the Ultimate Good? I believe it is supremely to honor God, and right under that to love others. Let's love others and not let our differing opinions on food or health be something that distracts us from that Ultimate Good.
After understanding that purpose of loving others, I can feel a little better explaining the practical of what I do and what I believe when it comes to food. The overall picture for me is to cook and bake most everything, if not everything, from scratch. I do not like to use pre-prepared items in my meals, I'd rather do the extra step and benefit from the nutrition I know is going into it. I avoid processed foods where nutrients are lacking, and instead try to shop organic and locally as much as possible. Recently we have also adapted a low-gluten diet, but not strictly. We just feel having it a couple times a week max is probably better for your health rather than with almost every meal, as we had been doing for most of our lives. Our favorite guidelines to follow in regards to food is the Traditional Diet, where the focus is on food that is not processed, close to nature, as well as having a healthy gut, amongst other things. It was brought to my attention by Dr. Cohen, who mentioned the connection of the traditional diet to the health of indigenous tribes around the world. Through research and field study he noticed these people groups had minimal occurrence of heart disease, tooth decay, or cancer, compared to that of the Western diet. I think this particular view point on diet is more striking to me due to my own life's experience with losing my mom to cancer. Maybe overall that is why I am so sincere in feeding myself and those around me foods that can be preventative. As I learn about new methods and ways of keeping healthy, I'll keep you updated. Let's support one another, and do our best, while always remembering to love first.
Some things I do (and research them for yourself too!):
Eat natural. This includes the majority of my food is GMO free, pesticide free. Sometimes this means organic, but not always.
Eat pre-prepared tomatoes from glass, instead of out of cans because of the BPA lining, with tomatoes specifically, in connection to breast cancer.
Include special seasonings in food to boost health, such as: Himalayan sea salt, Turmeric, Kelp Granules
Eat a low-gluten diet, due to the highly processed/ GMO form we typically receive it in. Notice "low" not completely "free" because unless you have a reaction to gluten, you don't need to be so strict in cutting it out 100%. Research and be wise. Some other GMO foods to be aware of: soy, corn, and rice. Buy these things organic, and embrace them in their unprocessed form, they're good for you (maybe minus the corn....)!
Eat a low refined sugar diet. I treat myself once in awhile, like once a week; but generally speaking, I don't consume store bought treats, sodas, candy, etc. I do incorporate organic sugar minimally, or use honey when I can. I don't use agave nectar because it has a high level of fructose (the same reason to avoid high fructose corn syrup).
Eat more vegetables than meat, fruit, and other food groups. I try for organic or at least pesticide free if I can.
I'm not afraid of good fat in my diet. I consume whole milk and other dairy products, don't do any diet food, I don't choose "low-fat" options either. Research this for yourself, if you need a starting point, try reading Dr. Cohen's (from Four Fold Healing) perspective on this, and decide for yourself. Fat is brain food. Fat will actually help you lose weight. Fat helps your digestion. I'm referring to the good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, fish, and nuts.
More than food:
I drink water that's filtered. I use the Berkey system and used to use Brita (very good, but we wanted more, which we get with Berkey). If you can avoid drinking tap water, try to because of higher levels of chemicals including trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. Also osmosis systems should be researched too before you use them for an extended period of time. They strip many minerals from the water, and once your body processes the osmosis water, it actually leeches minerals out of your own body. This leads to a depletion of calcium and other minerals in your body, especially your bones. Research it, like I said, it was an eye opener for me too! Oh, and I definitely recommend the Berkey system.
I work out. This includes walking, hiking, stretching, and pilates, all of which I do at least weekly (and now add to my daily regimen QiGong and Kung Fu!).
I practice good hygiene. I do a ton of stuff for my skin care, mostly based on Korean and Japanese beauty methods. Check out my other blog. I wash my hair every other day, which gets rid of dandruff and leaves you with a little fuller, shinier hair.
I use natural toothpastes. I avoid toothpastes that contain fluoride, as well as sweeteners such as xylitol. The chemical processing xylitol goes through is crazy.
I'm aware of my attitude. Smile. Have joy. Be nice to others. Love those around me deeply. Don't harbor resentment. Breathe deep, relax, pray, get centered. Cry when I need to. Try smiling when something actually does make me happy (this one might just be me, but it's worth mentioning because it has helped my attitude a lot!). Give thanks. Sing out loud. I also read my Bible too and remember that God's grace is enough no matter what.
I probably have other things I like to do to stay healthy, and I'll post them as I remember. For now, please feel free to comment below about things you like to do to stay healthy and glowing!
Here are some posts I've written on matters similar to this topic: