By now you have probably heard a lot of conflicting information or sayings like “abs are made in the kitchen”. Well, it might be true that eating healthy foods can be key to obtaining certain aesthetics, healthy eating it not the only key thing to experiencing health and wellness.
And if you also think that I am going to say that going to the gym is the other key piece, that is also not what I am getting at.
Holistic nutritionists are trained to look at the entire picture. What are our clients eating? How much are they moving? How are they moving? But also, how much are they sleeping? How stressed are they? What is their work environment like? Are they chewing their food? Do they even make time to eat meals? And so on.
I believe, since we are constantly inundated with these messages about dieting, even if they are as obvious, we think that there is an all or nothing mentality. This also goes for the people who push fitness and intense workouts at the key to health and longevity. Now I am not saying that healthy eating and movement isn’t important, I am a nutritionist, so of course, I believe that, but I think it’s important to recognize when it’s becoming an obsession or when people are simply misinformed and are achieving their health goals because they are following this misinformation.
High level, people who may be experiencing digestive upset, may feel better after taking some supplements, moving a bit more and eating differently, but if they are chronically stressed, they may never resolve their gut issues.
Or someone with hormone imbalances may be eating well and moving consistently but may not realize that stress, intense exercise, taking birth control years ago, the personal care products they are using, may be disrupting their hormone function.
My last example is people who are experiencing headaches and tension may again be eating really well and/or exercising but don’t realize they have leaky gut and are eating foods that trigger headache symptoms, are under high stress leading to headaches, are drinking too much coffee, or the tension from tight muscles from their intense exercise may be causing tension headaches OR even underlying hormone imbalances could be to partially blame.
You are beginning to get the point. Food and movement are KEY, they are needed to support our health goals and different body systems but it’s important that one looks at taking a HOLISTIC approach to their health and wellbeing.
This again means sleep, stress, addressing imbalances, and so on. If you think there could be other lifestyle or imbalances that impacting your health despite eating healthy and exercising, be sure to reach out to a professional.
The idea of balance and flexibility is going to look different for everyone but here are some ways that it may look for you:
- not working out every day
- creating a variety in your workouts to include more gentle movement
- giving your body a break when it feels run down, achy or sore. If this means taking a break from workouts for a week then that is ok!
- eating healthy for the most part but also enjoying your favourite foods without guilt
- not calling an “unhealthy” meal a “cheat meal”. You shouldn’t see it as a negative thing but as a meal that you are enjoy and is a part of a healthy lifestyle
- eating when you are hungry and honouring that hunger signal