Whether you’re dealing with a moment of frustration, a challenging phase of life, or in the battle of daily mental illness- holistic mental health benefits you.
What is Holistic Mental Health?
Holistic mental health looks at every aspect that can affect your mental state.
It’s what you do physically. Or don’t do.
It’s what you eat.
It’s what you think about yourself and your world.
It’s What You Physically Do
Find an enjoyable activity.
Cardio 3 times a week is a must. At least. Walking will do.
Use community to help by getting in a class or inviting a friend.
Physical activity gets oxygen flowing plus boosts the hormones and chemicals needed for brain health. Community adds to the benefit. Being around the right people triggers more of those good chemicals in your body. Beyond the biological, being connected and actively taking care of yourself gives your brain a positive message to feed on.
What You Eat
Less sugar and junk
More protein and not always meat or whey protein
More Omegas (fish, nuts, etc)
More Nuts and seeds
Sugar and processed or junk foods when eaten consistently impair your nervous system and brain. To eat for a better mind set start with water. Your brain need a variety of foods; however, making sure protein, omegas, and berries are on your mind’s daily check list. These foods feed your brain and nervous system specifically.
What You Think
How you view yourself and your world sets the tracks of thoughts that will dictate your mind set and behavior. These tracks of doubt, fear, and lack of worth can be changed. THEY ARE NOT PERMANENT. You do have to ability to create thoughts that support you and your world. It doesn’t mean these new thoughts eliminate those fears or challenges. It DOES mean the intentional creation of lifting thoughts get you through and invite more positive opportunities and connections.
What you think about yourself and your world directly impacts your environment and mental health. It continues a detrimental cycle and only serves to hurt than help you. This isn’t a denial of wrong doing or excuse other’s behavior. Changing your thought tracks improves your current and future environment.
What you think causes a chemical chain reaction in your body. Negative thoughts constantly depress the parasympathetic nervous system. You need this system activated to heal, reduce inflammation, and keep optimal flow in your mental health.
What to look forward to
I feel compelled to release some mantras and mental health tool kits. Be ready for the next blog with these techniques to implement immediately for your mental health. Additionally, part two of Holistic Mental Health will dive deeper into more holistic approaches you can easily add. Some may surprise you.
Realize the power your mind has and the power you have with your mind.
Holistic eating habits have a wide range of meanings generally centering on plant based with a emphasis on organic or natural foods. But can we realistically do this in our food relationships? Even on a budget? This holistic nutritionist with a love of doritos says you can.
What are Holistic Eating Habits?
Plant and Nature Based For Your Food Relationship
Plant based is more than a trend. Simply, plant based means 90% of your food relationship is plants. Not so hard right? Then mass market gets ahold of it and throws a bunch of shit in there just to confuse us. Then we don’t know who should be in our relationship. You can purchase “plant based” in the drive thru, but is that really the best for you?
No. It’s okay for the occasional meal and not completely off the table. However, processed is processed. We need to be careful with any trend or packaging. Certain what-looks-like-processed foods isn’t always bad. Packaged beans or rice are processed plant based that we need. Without added stuff, frozen vegetables and fruit are perfectly acceptable. The goal is to purchase as close to what looks like the actual plant without stepping into a field. Unless you want too.
Ritual and Blessed
Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and other milestones- our relationships are highlighted with rituals. In rituals, we bless others and receiving blessings. Our food relationships are no different. On our own or with others, meal times are rituals we are to respect.
No matter what you believe, blessing your food relationship is simply showing gratitude. Just a pause of a few seconds to be thankful for having food and more is crucial. This is the mindset you set for mental health and literal biological change you make in your body.
Don’t rush it. Savor your food and put the technology down. Engage with your though and/or the thoughts of others. Not sure what to think? Explore the senses of what you’re eating.
Individual and Enjoyed
When we are present in our food relationships, we are going several processes. Do we actually like this food? Do we like ourselves or I am eating emotions? Damn. Ouch. This is where holistic comes in and reveals our mental state. This isn’t to knock us down, it’s an opportunity to be real with grace.
Holistic health eating does not look the same for every one. Preferences in food such as a particular fruit or veggie, culture, allergies, or a favorite type of food (italian, Hispanic, American, etc). Healthy eating can fit into all fo these. Holistic nutrition practitioners should look at all of these factors with health goals in mind. one size does not fit all.
Part of enjoying your food relationship is cost. There are truths and misconceptions out there on healthy eating. The truth is, for most, healthy eating requires changing habits and often eating more at home. The myth is that it’s expensive. There are hacks to shopping on a budget and being healthy.
Buy on sale
Meatless is less $$
Clearance items (you’d be surprised)
Repeat a meal during the week and buy in bulk
Keep your food relationships whole. Minimize the processed and be wary of gimmicks. Be present and enjoy your food without it sinking your bank account.
Healthy food and meals can loose their excitement. Especially when you take away the fats, sugar, and salt. Let’s just be real honest. Wait, I am to entice you to eat healthy. Hang with me.
Decades ago salt was left by the way side as a primary means to flavor food for me. We are in deep with spices and herbs. By this I mean I get way too excited when they go on sale and enjoy picking them out. I am in deep. I love the choices, options, and various ways to can make different flavor profiles. I love that my food doesn’t taste bland and doesn’t cause me to bloat (salt does! bastard). Even better, this is a friends with benefits relationship. Most spices reduce inflammation which benefits your digestive system, joints, muscles, heart, and brain. Brain and body love. Certain herbs aid in memory and concentration, are rich in vitamins (some even have iron!), boost immune systems, and fight free radicals with antioxidants. If you are not familiar with free radicals, those are the bullies who pick on your healthy cells which may lead to cancer and other diseases. You are constantly surrounded by free radicals. Herbs are a great free radical bully buster. Food love with benefits.
Herbs and Spices: The Basics to Your Food Relationship
There are some things you need to know.
Some spices and herbs may not be safe if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Most help with that but a few may need to be run by your doctor. This is noted with that particular spice and herb below. Please practice spice safety.
Herbs come in two forms: still looks like the plant (fresh) or confetti (dried). Dried herbs store for longer periods of time and organic in a glass container is recommended.
Spices can be whole or ground.
Dried spices and herbs are more at home in a dry, cool place. They don’t do well in direct sunlight. Let them live their vampire existence in a dry cabinet away from heat.
Herbs & Spices
Got you. These herbs and spices are great for staples to any recipe, but they are great additions to many food relationship encounters
The moment “holistic” comes out of my mouth, I cringe…slightly. The understanding of holistic can be mysterious or a string of misconceptions. Then we begin the conversational tango of explanations. So, what does holistic health look like? Holistic in its root word literally means parts to a whole. As in each part is so interchangeably connected that it makes up a whole. In regards to our health, the holistic approach recognizes the importance of each bodily function as well as mental health, social effects, and other impacts.
Sooooooooo…What Does Holistic Health Look Like?
To get the benefits of our whole selves in holistic are yoga pants, veganism, and Om chants required? Not necessarily. Holistic health addresses three main areas, to quote a popular holistic phrase, “mind, body, and spirit.” You and your team of practitioners are looking at how you eat, what you do, how you think, your relationships, work environment, and the list goes on.
“Health is more than the absence of disease. Health is about jobs and employment, education, the environment, and all of those things that go into making us healthy.”
It sounds like a lot to take in and for practioners, it take experience to understand how important all these moving pieces are to a person. We are not created to be a series of cogs and wheels that can be solved with a simple equation. Holistic means lots of questions with targeted and individual plans to increase the quality of your living.
What Holistic Health Does NOT Look Like?
Dismissive of your gut feelings
Demanding or demeaning of your response
Certainly, health is an investment we make- whether it’s organic or in the drive-through. So yes, finances are involved and we might need to give up particular habits is necessary to reinvest elsewhere for the better you. Yet, you look at your bottom line when deciding on that health “item” or “service,” remember that it should not put you into debt. A personal example, we shifted our finances to put our daughter on a well-researched and expert interrogated herbal supplement to help with her anxiety. Dee Dee Taylor, owner of 502 Hemp, and manager Laura worked with us to find that balance of bottom line and a better holistic health option. We had to financially shift with expert input to make the best decision for our daughter. I LOVE it when I hear nutritionists and health junkies rave about Aldi or cheap healthy meal ideas over the promotion of expensive memberships. This is core to your and mine success in improving health, we cannot afford to go broke.
No one. I mean NO ONE should ever tear you down or be aggressive concerning a health aspect. There are times a lovingly blunt conversation may need to be had, but you should never feel like less of a person or not enough due to a habit or look. This is a part of holistic health, valuing you as you with flaws and all. If a tactic is to demean you to make you purchase more of a person, company, or item- tell them “deuces” and walk your gorgeousness away. You deserve better. More than likely, your “gut” is giving you a ring so you know when something isn’t quite. Listen to what is being said. Not sure? Then wait. Unless you have a doctor saying it’s life and death, nothing else is has to be decided now. Take time to think, research, and ask questions.
This all said, cheap in holistic isn’t necessarily a bargain and could cost you dearly with your health. The next few articles in this series will break down the hacks, how-tos, and what to know about each area of holistic health. Look for what you need to know about your food relationship from this holistic nutrition coach with certified hacks on healthy eating with a limited wallet and time. We will come to a loving place with our food relationships.
I’m not your mama. So for the rest of this series to come to you- subscribe to the right. That’s right, no spam or a daily annoyance in your mailbox. Seriously, I hate spam.
Bullshit. Top 5 foods that help you lose weight is bullshit. Often the messages that is given to us for health and, specifically, weight loss is to count calories, go for a run, and eat these five foods. Then boom you look like a supermodel, instant squad, and tons of money. Has that worked for you? Has it worked for anyone? Beyond a January?! There are foods that boost metabolism. However, sustainable and healthy weight is impacted by many factors. Health is impacted by a variety of factors.
Factors that Impact Health & Weight
Sleep and rest
The biological processes your body goes through at night can be simply explained as your body is repairing itself. It’s a reset button for the physical parts of your body. Sleep gives your brain a break and a chance to dream. Dreaming, based on your belief, can be a time to work through psychological issues or make divine connections. When sleep is short, disrupted, or just not the quality we need- our health suffers. To maintain health, consequently weight, sleep needs to be a priority.
Rest is that sleep practice while awake. Rest involved less production and more play. More Netflix and chill or engaging in enjoyable activities. This gives our brains and souls a reminder to appreciate our lives and be more mindful of our environments. Rest connects us to our worlds and to those who matter to us better. Additionally, it’s a stress reducer.
Short term stress is a survival tool. Beyond a few hours, stress becomes long term and it’s a literal killer. Stress stops crucial biological chemical processes our bodies need to continue optimal health. Our mental health takes a hit too.
Planted based. Truly plant based
A growing craze of plant-based is blowing my mind. In some ways, it makes a lifetime diet choice much easier with more choices and convenience. It other ways, the plant-based label is becoming as much as bullshit as fad foods for weight loss. While I do love vegan junk food; however if we want our food relationship to be positive health impacting we need to get savvy. Reducing processed and packaged foods, even with a plant based claim. More produce section and whole grains. There is nothing wrong with a package of precut stir fry veggies and some whole grain noodles. As a matter of fact, its delicious.
Size does matter
When it comes to portions. Here’s the deal, prepared or prepackaged foods need to be taken in hand with appropriate portion sizes. If a fruit or vegetable, the more the merrier. Snacking on carrots all day long is completely acceptable. A plate full of lightly cooked veggies or double the portion of whole fruit, go for it. Don’t even count the calories.
Appropriate Physical Activity
We need to get moving. Moving looks different for everyone. Be willing to try new types of exercise and discover what you like. Physical activity depends on your preferences and physical ability. Chronic illness can impact what you do. If you feel tired or worn out, rest takes priority. Aim for a light walk or gentle activity such a stretching or yoga.
Stop taking the BS and take the reigns back for your health. Often, addressing these five health factors, make positive impacts on your weight. If it doesn’t, its time for a doctors appointment for a deeper dive. Health is complex but doesn’t have to be complicated. Look and adore the whole you in your health routine. Health is more than an image. Health is a state of being.