Holistic health as the primary focus

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Holistic health needs to become the primary focus for optimal well-being. The importance of consuming nutrient dense food has been well documented as essential to a healthy lifestyle.  There is no shortage of information on what to eat and when to eat, and there are certainly some polarizing views on the topic, which can make decisions confusing for the average consumer. I think it’s hugely important to eat a nourishing diet, high in essential vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, good fats, and all the rest!

However there is often an overloaded focus on diets or ways of eating with little attention given to the reasons why it may be difficult for you to make changes.  Therefore, I believe that holistic health needs to be the focus, rather than constantly focusing on one aspect (i.e. nutrition).

I hear a lot of superficial advice around this such as “your health will suffer if you don’t” or “if you make changes you’ll have more energy”.  These are well-meaning pieces of advice but they don’t often help a person to take action or create sustainable change.

You are probably aware that foods such as vegetables and fruits are crucial to a healthy nutrition intake but for some reason or another can find it difficult to put your knowledge into practice.  It’s time to consider a holistic health model and start exploring some of the things that might be stopping you from making healthier nutrition choices

Sleep

If you are not sleeping well it will be highly likely that your body will cry out for quick fix solutions to help you feel better in the short term.  These usually come in the form of highly processed carbohydrate/sugar rich foods, caffeine, etc.  It is very difficult to ask you to change your nutrition habits if they are you sleeping well.  Fix the sleep and the nutrition becomes a lot easier to tackle.  First find out why you can’t sleep at night and then discover these tips for better sleep.

Stress

This one is closely related to point one because it is the reason that many people are unable to sleep well.  Lack of sleep can increase stress and too much stress can result in a lack of sleep.  Both sleep and stress are crucial components of holistic health.  Looking at stress reduction techniques is essential for many people.  It is also important to understand which types of stress have adverse health effects so you can understand whether this needs to be a focus for you.  Healthy nutrition choices can follow.  It will be much easier to focus on this area once you’re feeling rested and relaxed.

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Thoughts

Sometimes long held beliefs can hold you back from making positive nutrition choices.  For example, you might have the belief that you need to eat all the food on your plate because that’s what your mother has told you from a very young age.  Explore your beliefs and subsequent attitude towards food with a holistic health coach like me, NLP, or EFT practitioner.  They can help you work out your personal ‘why’ for improving your health.  This holistic health approach will help you identify the strong emotional drivers necessary for change.

Relationships

Identify whether there are people in your life who are holding you back from making good choices.  Perhaps your flatmates always order takeout pizza, which is really difficult to resist when the delicious aromas waft through the house.  Or maybe your workplace offers a morning tea shout each day, which is full of cakes and pastries?  In these cases you may benefit from developing strategies to work around these situations.  Ask a professional if you need help.

Identify if any of the above holistic health areas need attention for you. First consider addressing the one that stands out for you, rather than first obsessing over what you ‘should’ be eating.  The food side of things will more easily fall into place once these other areas are looking healthier.

For more holistic health and fitness articles, check out this blog category. You can also get the answers to all my most commonly asked holistic health questions (from healthy eating and exercise to weight loss, sleep, stress and more).

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Also published on Medium.

10 Comments

  • Jasmine Watts

    This is very helpful! You’re right. We need to have focused on our diet.

    • Elly McGuinness

      Yes Jasmine…but along with all the other factors. As I mentioned in the article, sometimes it’s easier to start focusing on another area, such as stress, sleep, or our thoughts so that the nutrition choices can fall into place more easily.

  • Atim at EffiFit

    Yes! Thank you for addressing sleep and stress. They often get overlooked.

    • Elly McGuinness

      Thanks Atim; all these areas of health are so closely related

  • Fabiana @ No Wagon Diet

    It’s so easy to forget how nutrition it’s about so much more than eating and weight loss. For me, it was only once I adjusted my thoughts around food that I was able to start cultivating healthier habits from a more holistic perspective. Thanks for this post!

    • Elly McGuinness

      Thanks for your comment Fabiana, and great to hear that you were able to adjust your thoughts – not an easy thing to do

  • Kristen Weigand

    Nice tips!

    • Elly McGuinness

      Thanks Kristen!

  • Erin @ DebtandSweat.com

    What a great post, I’m glad I found your page! Keep up the good work.

    • Elly McGuinness

      Thanks Erin:)

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