What Is Holistic Health?

People of all ages are concerned about their health – how they feel, how they look, disease prevention, as well as quality of life. Unfortunately, the majority of society has been brainwashed to believe in the concept of eating less fat, excessive exercise, Botox injections or pharmaceutical drugs as the answer to attain Health, Vitality, Longevity and Fat Loss.

How can you achieve complete wellness, naturally without the gimmicks and artificial fixes? Winning Formulas for Health, Vitality, Longevity and Fat Loss are a multi-dimensional state of well-being – a holistic approach which integrates all aspects of wellness encompassing body, mental, emotional, environmental, community and spiritual health.

Holistic health is a lifestyle that requires you to be an active participant taking control and responsibility of various aspects of your life such as:
• A sensible exercise program
• Complementary supplementation
• Eating wholesome, organic foods
• Emotional and mental well-being
• Hormonal balance
• Optimal digestion
• Peace of mind and happiness
• Periodic detoxification
• Positive thoughts and belief system
• Quality relationships
• Restful sleep
• Spiritual connection and awareness
• Stress management, relaxation, meditation and breathing

Holistic health is a natural expression and harmony of life. It consists of peace of mind, happiness and complete well-being on all levels – physical, emotional, intellectual, mental and spiritual. It is an evolution, balance and integration of these aspects. You are made up of spirit, mind and body. If there is a problem in one of these areas, it will affect the others as well.

Practicing principles of holistic health can alleviate many health conditions including degenerative diseases, chronic stress and lifestyle disorders, hormonal imbalances, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, glandular weakness, gut dysfunction and a lowered functioning immune system.

Holistic health is not portrayed by the individual with a bronzed tan, a chiseled six-pack abdomen eating 800 calories per day. Nor is it the person who jogs twenty-five miles per week, the latest celebrity diet or the individual that has undergone one plastic surgery after another.

The truth is that no amount of exercise or cosmetic surgery will reshape your physique without attention to your lifestyle, emotions and healthy nutrition. Most diets set you up to fail. They work against your natural biochemistry and program your body to store fat.

Diets and weight loss gimmicks lead to a damaged metabolism. People who maintain their natural weight range usually have a healthy relationship with food, viewing it as nourishment. They enjoy food and eating without feelings of guilt, anxiety or obsession.

The American population has been misinformed regarding what it takes to lose weight, attain the ultimate physique and live a healthy lifestyle.

A key component of wellness is self-acceptance. Many believe that at age forty their mind, sight, hearing, libido, joints and physique are on the decline and degeneration is bound to happen. Even worse, society has become dependent upon pharmaceuticals, stimulants or processed foods for maintenance of the most basic human functions.

Addictions to alcohol, sugar and other artificial stimulants are used by many. These deplete you of energy, wreak havoc on your health and leave you more exhausted on deeper levels. All addictions stem from inner emotional conflict.

Ninety percent of all diseases could be avoided with attention to these four components: stress management, sunlight, nutrition and exercise.

Unfortunately, medical schools teach upcoming doctors little, if any, about nutrition, wellness or prevention of disease. Instead, doctors are taught how to prescribe toxic pharmaceutical drugs, making doctors the third leading cause of death. The Rx drug acts as a band-aid. After a period of time, it worsens or reappears in another form. Each patent medicine has a list of side effects that often make matters worse. Eventually, more drugs are needed to deal with them leading to biochemistry disruption and eventually death.

Holistic health addresses the entire person and their lifestyle. It focuses on prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity. You are an active participant in the healing process of your life versus a passive recipient.

If you want to accelerate aging and shorten your life span, do what most Americans are already doing (avoid exercise, eat a large percentage of their diets from fast foods, soda and junk foods, consume white four and white sugar, avoid supplements and instead take prescription drugs which prematurely age the liver, pancreas, kidneys and other organs).

WINNING FORMULAS FOR HEALTH, VITALITY, LONGEVITY AND FAT LOSS

Water: Drink plenty of water. Every metabolic process that occurs in your body needs water to complete. Trying to lose body fat, alleviate constipation, headaches or low back pain? Drink more water. The formula for you individually is to take your body weight and multiply by 7 and this will give you the number of ounces of water to consume every day. Add a pinch of Celtic sea salt for better absorption and cellular hydration. Adding lemon to your water inhibits the growth of kidney stones, creates an alkaline environment and is nourishing for your liver.

Moderate exercise: The body MUST move on a daily basis to remain healthy, vital and young. The intensity and frequency of your exercise plan depends on your level of fitness and overall health. Unfortunately, most people tend to either under-exercise or over-exercise.

Performing excessive cardiovascular exercise has a huge influence on a woman’s hormone levels. You can deplete your sex hormones simply by overdoing cardio exercise. Often this affects women faster than men, and the effects are magnified as a woman approaches her 40s and nears menopause. The constant revving-up and slowing down of a woman’s metabolism from years of aerobic activity has adverse hormonal implications. Many people think that cardiovascular exercise is the ideal exercise because they feel more refreshed and energized afterwards. This is only because the adrenal glands have been over-stimulated and have secreted enough adrenaline and cortisol.

Numerous studies have shown that aerobic exercise does not promote the growth of muscle. In fact, cardio exercise actually blocks muscle growth and can also reduce your muscle mass, which makes it an inefficient way of staying lean.

I am not alone in opposing aerobic exercise. Three of the top leaders in the world of health and fitness, Paul Chek, founder of the CHEK Institute, Dr. Diana Schwarzbein, M.D., who studies the hormonal effects of exercise, and Charles Poliquin, an Olympic strength coach who studies the correlation between body fat and imbalanced hormones, all advise against cardiovascular exercise because it produces high levels of stress on the body, depletes your sex hormones and can lead to excess fat around the midsection.

The average woman does endless hours of cardio/aerobics, no strength training, starves herself, focuses on the number on the scale and wonders why her body isn’t changing for all the effort and time she spends.

My Winning Formula to build muscle and lower your fat stores is to lift weights regularly, at least two to three times a week for 45-50 minutes at a time utilizing a full-body strength training program.

Nutrition: Eat whole, unprocessed foods, preferably organic. Commercially farmed animals are pumped with growth stimulating hormones, antibiotics, as well as other drugs. Organic foods not only provide higher density nutrients needed to detoxify the body. Check out http://www.ewg.org for a list of foods with the highest and lowest pesticide content.

Take the time to prepare meals yourself rather than relying on fast foods. You are what you eat. Make sure you eat breakfast everyday that includes a lean, quality protein source. When planning your meals, think PVFC (protein, veggie, healthy fat, carbohydrate) when planning your meals.

Your body requires meals with a high nutritional value as opposed to fast food or crap foods, which are VOID of nutritional value. It actually costs your body nutrients to digest and process fast food. If you do not provide your body with the nutrients it needs for proper functioning, it will degenerate and set you up for a host of health problems. DO NOT underestimate the value of wholesome nutrition. Food is a drug. You are what you eat.

Eliminate toxins: We’re exposed to toxins from food additives and preservatives, dry cleaners, pesticides and chemicals. The average American has 116 synthetic compounds in his/her body according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Reduce intake of processed foods, sugars, dairy, caffeine and alcohol. Completely eliminate any product with high-fructose corn syrup and/or partially hydrogenated trans fats.

What you need to realize is this – if you want to change your body shape, all toxins brought into your body through your food have to be processed by your liver. Toxins are stored in your fat cells. It’s difficult to lost body fat if you’re on toxic overload and your liver is congested.

Sleep: Sleep may very well be the ‘fountain of youth.’ Studies from the National Institute of Health show that between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. your body undergoes physical regeneration and between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. mental and emotional regeneration occurs. The closer you can adhere to getting to bed by 10:30 p.m. and rising by 6:00 a.m., the more your body and mind can rest and recover. If you consistently stay up past 10:30 p.m., you are destined to have imbalances between your stress hormones (they will be high) and your growth and repair hormones (they will be low).

Manage stress: Stress is like dark chocolate – a little is okay, but a lot will kill you. Stress has been linked to almost every major disease as well as weight gain and obesity. When you’re stressed out, your body is in a constant flood of cortisol, the stress hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. This causes a steady breakdown of the body systems leading to premature aging, excess belly fat, degeneration and eventually disease.

Rest may take the form of meditation, a twenty minute, a hot relaxing bubble bath with Epsom salts and lavender, restorative yoga or reading something spiritual or uplifting. Look at your relationships, look at your bills, look at your daily schedule and commit yourself to eliminating anything that is not improving the quality of your life. Manage your “to-do” list, set boundaries, volunteering, pets, listening to classical music, spend time in nature or at the ocean are other stress busters.

Breathe: Deep breathing is the source of all energy in your body. It releases endorphins that create feelings of happiness. Deep breathing revitalizes and energizes every cell in your body. Without sufficient oxygen, cells begin to die and energy is not sufficiently produced. Spend five minutes of solitude practicing deep, full breathing into your belly every day. An example would be to inhale 4 counts, hold 4 counts, exhale 8 counts and hold 4 counts. You will notice a huge difference in your energy, mood and clarity.

Spiritual connection: Your intention to connect on a soul level is vital for balance and harmony. The manner in which you may choose your spiritual connection may include any of the following: surrounding yourself with like-minded spiritual friends, prayer, reading something spiritual, meditation and/or solitude in nature.

A healthy functioning digestive system: You could be eating the best food on the planet, yet if your digestive system isn’t working properly, you won’t absorb, assimilate, metabolize and eliminate food molecules correctly. Many health conditions and disease stem from a malfunctioning digestive system. Seventy percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract.

Tips to improve your digestion:
1. Drink two glasses of water with the juice of a lemon 15 minutes before each meal. Drinking during mealtime dilutes hydrochloric acid concentrations in the stomach and weakens digestion.
2. Chew your food until it is liquefied.
3. Consider digestive enzymes and HCl.
4. Never eat while stressed! Don’t watch the news, have stressful conversations, listen to chaotic music, eat in a hurry or read stressful information while eating.

Have goals: Set realistic and achievable short, mid-range and long-term goals. Write them down. Doing so ensures you have made a major commitment toward achieving them and are far more likely to follow your plan.

Keep a positive outlook. This is much more important than you can imagine. Chronic stress accelerates aging and encourages disease. People who feel happier have on average, lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which is linked with hypertension and type II diabetes.

Negative emotional and mental overload taxes your health and creates imbalances and disease. Changing your thinking can change your brain’s neurochemistry. A positive attitude can keep you healthy, happy and alive well into old age. Staying in a state of gratitude is another WINNING FORMULA against the potentially deadly effects of stress. Every day make a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. This will shift your energy immediately. You’ll feel better and less stressed. Focus on positive outcomes and desired actions. Positive emotional states are linked to prolonged life expectancy.

Expect the best!

Copyright © 2009 Paula Owens