The Four Pillars of Health Part 2: Nutrition

Optimal health is comprised of many aspects, not just one.  The goal is to have a balance among the different pillars because if one is out of balance, the rest may suffer. My first article, The Four Pillars of Health, introduced each pillar: sleep, exercise, self-care, and nutrition. This article will focus on the nutrition pillar.

 

Nutrition: Back to the basics

Previously I wrote about an analogy comparing our body to a car’s engine. If we want our car’s engine to run optimally, we need to give the engine high quality oil and gas. Have you ever filled your car with terrible quality gas and felt it run differently? There’s a difference! The same goes for our bodies too. What we eat affects how our bodies perform or don’t perform.

 

What you eat affects how you feel

The body simply needs good nutrients (micronutrients and macronutrients) to keep it running optimally. Do you find yourself tired and sluggish part of the day or most of the day and wanting more energy? Is your body dealing with achy pain continuously? These may be indications that you need some adjustments to your eating plan, but where do you begin?

 

Whole foods vs. fast food

Whole foods provide micronutrients — the vitamins and minerals that the body desperately needs. The macronutrients are the protein, fats and carbs — these are also very important for the body. Yes, even carbs, that is good carbs. What are some good carbs you may be wondering? Oats, quinoa, ancient grains, beans and more. Yes, the food in a box is easier and quicker to make, but it could be loaded down with preservatives and other ingredients that are not beneficial to the body. It’s just as easy to make healthy meals that include dark leafy greens, fruits, lettuce, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

 

 

Fruits and vegetables can help

According to the health experts, in order to help greatly reduce the chance of disease, they highly recommend consuming 7 – 13 servings of fruits and veggies each day. Yes, each day, not once a week. Even though we need to eat more veggies than fruits, most of us prefer the fruits because in all honesty they taste sweeter and better. When’s the last time you thought to have a salad that contained kale, spinach, and collard greens? If you are searching for ideas to add more of the dark leafy greens into your meal planning but aren’t sure where to begin, try drinking them in a smoothie. The more you consume greens, the more you will crave them.

 

What exactly is a serving?

So, what’s a serving size? It’s simply the size of your fist. This is a great visual and can be helpful to create a meal plan where you can eat 7 – 13 fist-sized servings of mostly veggies and a few fruits daily. If the thought of eating healthy overwhelms you, you might want to consider hiring a health coach to help you get started in the right direction.

 

You have a choice

Each of us has to make the choice each and every day whether we want to flood our body with good and nutritious whole food that helps us to feel good and have more energy — or foods that contain ingredients that are not so good for the body and make us to feel tired and sluggish and may even cause our body to break down quicker. Choose wisely.

 

Fruits and vegetables photographs courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Christine Cosby, CHC, EP, PBP, LMBT

As the owner of Holistic Body Therapies, I seek to improve my client’s health and movement with nutritional support & bodywork techniques. I am proud to offer bodywork, nutritional support, and health coaching to my clients.  The two primary bodywork techniques I use are Bowen and Emmett Techniques, which help to reset the nervous system using light touch. In addition to these techniques, I am also excited to offer nutritional guidance to my clients as a certified health coach with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

 

 

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