Holistic health: an approach to life
Rather than treating specific parts of the body, this ancient approach to health considers the whole person and how he / she interacts with his / her environment. It pays special attention to the connection between body, mind and spirit. The goal is to achieve maximum well-being, where everything is functioning the very best that is possible. With Holistic Health people accept responsibility for their own level of well-being, and everyday choices are used to take charge of one's own health.
Nutrition as a key aspect of this approach and it is a good place to start when someone needs to recover from an illness or to improve their overall wellbeing. Some important considerations:
What we eat can boost or hinder our health; it has the power to send information to our DNA. The interdependence of the components of a truly holistic wellbeing model (diet, physical activity, lifestyle choices, relationships, positive attitude and purpose); each can act as a positive reinforcing agent or an obstacle affecting the whole. More exercise might improve sleep quality, better sleep might reduce cravings for unhealthy foods and unnecessary calories, avoiding unnecessary calories may help us to feel light and be active, increased activity improves mood which might make it easier to socialise and address health concerns – and so on in a virtuous cycle.
There is no such thing as the ideal diet. Biochemical individuality rules! A dietary system that works for one person will not necessarily work for somebody else. This is because each of us is unique. Moreover, a food that agreed with you before could now make you sick. So stay away from one-size-fit-all diets, but don't worry, because there are some good general rules.
Eat whole-foods, as close to Nature (or as less refined/processed) as possible: they are richer in nutrients and have no dangerous additives.
Prefer fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Get free-range, preferably organic animal products, or better yet, wild.
Go for variety: different cells in the body need different nutrients, and all cannot be found in only a handful of foods.
Avoid foods that do not agree with you; listen to your body and look for signs in your kids: rashes, bloating, recurring ear or respiratory infections, tummy aches, headaches... Consult a professional when necessary.