When you think of good health what do you think of? For me it means being able to live in a pain free, vital, useful, happy life. It’s living in a body that moves easily, digests well, and does all the things it is supposed to do. It’s not merely the absence of disease although health is often defined as just that – the absence of disease.
The World Health Organisation defined health in its broader sense in its 1948 constitution as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” – well, there you go then.
There is no doubt that good health is important – because when you all of a sudden don’t have it your quality of life is severely compromised. There is definitely a growing awareness that lifestyle, food choices and good health go hand in hand. People are taking responsibility for their own health, making their own health decisions, questioning - which is great to see.
In our modern world and busy lives we are faced with unprecedented challenges in maintaining our health. Perhaps it is time to take a good hard look at our choices – lifestyle, food, stressors and that we decide where and how to spend our food dollars. Perhaps it is also time to realize that our health and that of the planet we live on is linked. This really requires a holistic approach of looking at life. We need to pay attention to our lives, our bodies, what we do each day, not just facing ourselves when we feel sick. Everyone wants to live well.
In our food chain we consume antibiotics, trans fats, hormones, additives and sugar, that we are not even aware we are eating. We have been bombarded via persuasive advertising that quick fixes and fortified foods will meet all our dietary and health needs, this is just not so. These things will not give you a shortcut to good health, touting the myth that if you take these products you don’t have to make any effort. It doesn’t work in the long term. We now have a chemical storm in our food chain, environment and medicines. Which of course equals health challenges. Our bodies daily face chemicals added to our air and water. Preservatives, - devoid of any life energy at all! Our bodies were not made for this constant onslaught.
Each body is different – what is right for one is not right for another. While I might do better without sugar and wheat, others thrive as vegetarians, and others need more red meat in their diet. We have to find a balance with our food choices. Even given that though, everyone needs plenty of fresh vegetables, pure water, whole grains, and whole, fresh natural foods. Period. There is no place in the diet for artificial factory made, numbered food – if you can’t pronounce the ingredient then you shouldn’t eat it. Certainly our bodies don’t recognise that stuff as food!
We need to be able to use our physical energy for maintaining our bodily processes, building healthy cells, having lots of white blood cells whizzing around like little automated vacuum cleaners looking for invaders and blasting them to kingdom come. Instead our immune systems have to be on the alert for chemical toxins and when we can’t process these toxins where do they go? Well, they accumulate in our organs and body fat of course. Cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease is still on the rise despite all the programs and plans and protocols unleashed on the general public. Autism has risen to an unprecedented degree. It’s time to get back to basics. Seriously. We are seeing women having early menopause in their thirties and girls as young as 8 starting periods. Yet our governments spend more money on treating the diseases than attending to the causes. If wholefood nutrition and natural remedies were better understood by the medical community then we would all benefit?
It would be remiss not to mention the importance our state of mind plays in our wellbeing. Just as we need wholesome foods to nourish our bodies we need to nourish our emotions and mind with good self-care practices. Hippocrates said the body is a whole – not a series of parts. We need to focus on the “whole”.
Preventative medicine is the way to go – nourishing, detoxifying, breathing, learning stress relief measures, cherishing the life force which keeps us alive, making sure we get enough of the vital vitamins and minerals our bodies need on a daily basis to make healthy cells and carry out normal metabolic processes. And, in the end, that becomes quite simple.
By Joanna Vinsen Loveys BNatMed HbT MNZAMH