Let's start with the “SAD” facts of our Standard American Diet and lifestyle. The effects of the Standard American Diet affect us more as we age. Health studies show that obesity is becoming an epidemic in women over the age of 40. Thirty-five percent of women over 40 are obese (a body mass index of over 30) and 65% are overweight (BMI of 25-29.9). That is alarming! We live in a world of fast (fat food) and packaged (not live) food, and it is considered the norm. One minute we are inundated with commercials for unhealthy food and then the next, we’re being told about weight loss surgery being a lunch time procedure. The mixed messages are making us sick. Over the last five years, I have tried to find a solution for these mixed messages for myself and for other women over 40 who are sick of being sick. I have discovered that holistic nutrition is the solution.
In starting my own health journey, I was like many women and had no idea what my nutrition, or lack thereof, was doing to me. So I found out what is in our food and its effects on our body as we age. In our 20’s, we think we are invincible, and I was the same way. I knew I felt terrible, was sick, and overweight. However, I had no clue that I was poisoning myself with every bite. I know it sounds dramatic and even silly, however it couldn’t be more accurate. I believe strongly in holistic nutrition, shopping organic and local, and walking (moving) instead of a diet. After losing 85 pounds, being very sick, and coming out of it with my Holistic Wellness diploma, there were many things I learned and I'd like to share them with women who feel like they have no way out of their unhealthy lifestyles. I feel I have the “Beginner’s Holistic Guide”.
- Whole food nutrition is the best way of eating. Think live, healthy fruits and vegetables. If possible, a vegan diet is best, although it may not be for everyone. One to two days a week eating vegan, no animal products and raw if you can, might be a great way to start. I have raw Mondays/Thursdays and look forward to all the colorful food I can eat. Learning to cook healthy, organic, or plain raw is very empowering and will heighten your love of food. It’s amazing how meditative the art of cooking can be. Even serving healthy food to children has shown to create healthier eating adults! It makes sense to me because children learn by example.
- Take time to move your body every day. I am not that athletic and I don’t love working out, however I believe in the 80/20 lifestyle for a healthier, longer life. It stresses the importance of natural movement and knowing your body, as well as loving your body enough to move. The 80/20 says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions. Making even the smallest alterations in your daily routine could change your experience! I started with parking further away, taking the stairs, and walking after dinner. I also found yoga and then hiking. More than anything, I found my body needs to move and loves to move. Being outside, grounded in nature and tuned into your life by being in the moment to enjoy the little things, is also key to being healthy. Then go further by mentally pushing yourself. Keep active in your mind, read, educate, and do service for others to stay mentally sharp. That is as important as physical fitness. It is true: when you begin with small changes, it transforms you on the inside, and health becomes a way of life.
- Love yourself enough to want to be healthy. Your self-talk is vital to success; you are your own best friend or worst enemy. Be kind in what you say to yourself. This brings me to my most important point of self-care. Living and caring for yourself is the best way to succeed with any holistic wellness plan and lifestyle. It is all based on self-love. Meditation and positive affirmations are vital for lasting success. As we get older, life becomes about others. Take time to affirm your worth as a powerful woman, mother, and person who deserves to be taken care of. Accept where you are and celebrate yourself right there. Take healing steps to change. When you love yourself, your body, and your nutrition, everything else will fall into place and seem like a lifestyle instead of a chore. I started with knowing my value and wanting better for myself and, in return, it positively affected everyone around me!
~ Everyone has the power to change and be healthier. It begins with learning how small changes can bring life changing, holistic health! ~
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