by Cafe Holistic editor and host Matt Rosenberg,
The End of the Diet and start of a Healthy Lifestyle:
It has become public knowledge that “diets” are short terms fads and fixes. To achieve optimal health one must find the lifestyle that works for them in the Long Run. Although some belief certain types of food and exercise are right for everyone, it is not this editors opinion. It is very clear that every single person is different and optimal health is achieved differently for all. For example some thrive with regular vigorous exercise, while others don’t. Some can thrive on a vegetarian diet, while others clearly can not.
Different modalities to Health include: Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science), Nutritionists, Raw Food, Blood Type Diet, Homeopathy
It can be a rocky journey in finding optimal health for yourself. Seeking an expert in a field that you resonate with can be helpful. After that, trial and error is typically the process of adding and eliminating food from your diet and then monitoring how you feel. If one has the means and the desire regular blood testing of nutrient levels can be a very accurate way of measuring progress.
Many that are on the path to health begin their journey, by “dietizing” everything. They begin to buy the low fat low sugar versions of all their favorite foods. Buying skim milk, diet soda, whole grain breads, baked potato chips, and “natural products”. Going from red meat to healthier alternatives. This can be a very important first step, but this will not produce optimal health.
To achieve optimal health one must cut out processed foods from their diet. Food that has had the nutrients processed out of them such as cereals, chips, and milk. These foods that are essentially now waste matter, now have the nutrients added in through artificial means. These food may even gloat the term “all natural” on its tag, but that does not mean they are healthy. Eating a diet that nature intended for us. For example, even if a particular desert is organic and sweetened with can sugar, does not make it healthy. Always ask yourself, where in nature can I find something with 50 grams of sugar. The answer will likely be, in beets or carrots.
Processed foods such as breads, desserts, cereals, and chips will leach the body of vitality. These heavy foods will cause the digestive system to work extra hard leading to a weakened immune system and dehydration. Start to move away from the foods listed above and towards grains such as whole grain rice and quinoa.
Also cutting out common allergen foods such as dairy, gluten(wheat), and soy can alleviate chronic symptoms of sickness and illness. It is best to do these trials with strict vigilance to avoid trace amounts of the allergens sneaking into your diet by monitoring the ingredients labels. Many dressings include dairy or wheat.
Understanding your body is very important. As you begin to healthier you will become more aware of what enhances your vitality and what strips it away. Every person has a different constitution that will produce optimal health. In Ayurveda, the term eating for your dosha refers to eating foods that will balance your natural energies. For example, a person who lacks energy could eat more stimulating warmer foods and a person that has excess energy could eat more cooling foods as to prevent stress and anxiety. Most of the time we know what is healthy for us and it is a matter of actually doing it. It is imperative to continually making better choices in diet and exercise a habit, therefore making it a lifestyle. As you begin to feel more energy and vitality it will be easier and easier to do. Having a friend or partner make these health changes with you is helpful but not necessary.
Finding the right exercise program is also key to optimal health. For some going for a walk with some stretching will be ideal. For others daily vigorous exercise will produce vibrant health. This will also be a process of experimentation.