Healing Your Body & Mind
By: Cathleen K. Bode
Credits: Alexa Cawley
> Holistic health and healing has been the subject of controversy for quite some time. Whether you’re against it, completely immersed in the lifestyle, or somewhere in between, it seems everyone has an opinion on the best way to care for your body and soul. Holistic health is the belief that your psychological, physical, and social well-being are connected, and depend on how you nurture your body. This includes eating unprocessed foods (organic when possible), limiting prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and engaging frequently in exercise and meditation.
Following a holistic eating regimen is hardly as difficult as it sounds. It doesn’t take a genius to glance around your corner supermarket and realize there are too many preservatives and chemicals found in our foods. These chemicals will do nothing but harm your body. Refined sugars make you feel sluggish and weigh you down within hours. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the Earth’s gift to us, offering vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Dr. Andrew Weil, a well-known advocate of the holistic lifestyle, has created a food pyramid proven to reduce the risk of anti-inflammatory disease when followed properly. Dr. Weil recommends that fruits and vegetables become the basis of one’s diet, with 3-5 servings of each per day. He also recommends making green tea a daily habit, getting an ample dose of healthy fats from foods such as avocados, almonds, and flax seeds, eating whole soy foods such as tempeh, tofu, and edamame, and incorporating healthy spices such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon into one’s meals.
You may think that the mass of painkillers and medications in pharmacies are the only way to remedy a sickness. However, homeopathic and alternative medicines found in nature are a big component of the holistic lifestyle. For example, many would think that garlic is simply something that enhances a meal and worsens one’s breath. But did you know that many prominent scientists, including Louis Pasteur, the inventor of pasteurized milk, have regarded raw garlic as a natural antibiotic? Antibiotic resistance is a new phenomenon that occurs when our bodies have consumed too many prescription drugs over the years, rendering us resistant to the drug’s benefits. However, because garlic is a naturally occurring antibacterial, your body will never build up a resistance. It is an antiviral as well as an antibiotic, making it the knight in shining armor to our over-prescribed bodies.
The body and mind impact each other more than most people think. It is important to follow not just a diet, but a lifestyle that will nourish your body and soul, and help you feel your best. Every single day, more and more people are choosing to live a holistic lifestyle, and perhaps for good reason. <