Are You Actually Healthy?

Written by Ron DeNardo.

Your response to this question is more likely based on whether you suffer from any sort of symptoms from a particular disease or nagging malady or if you just put-up-with chronic stress, tension, aches and pains, that never seems to ever quite go away. If you are one of the lucky ones that do not, then you are somewhat healthy and in "good shape". Unfortunately, conditioning from childhood on, which the majority of us have grown up with and has through us, comes to define health as the absence of illness or of disease.

healthy greens

The words health, heal and holy are all derived from the Anglo-Saxon word haelen, which means Whole or Wholistic. Viewed from this perspective, certain questions come to mind that directly and accurately address the issue of optimum health. Are you satisfied with your life, the way it currently is? In addition, does it feel good to be alive? Being truly healthy is far more than simply a matter of not feeling/being sick. It is the daily experience of wholeness and balance-a state of homeostasis, of being fully alive in spirit, mind and body. Such a state of well-being could also be called optimal or Wholistic Health.

Being truly healthy also involves a good, regular and continuous wholistic diet. Plan regular meals to nourish your body so that you know what, when and how much you will be eating. Restock your kitchen with more healthful, organic, raw and vegetarian foods. Practice cooking at home. Look for healthy recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Pay attention to your body's cues for hunger and satiety. Watch your portion sizes; remember in this case, that smaller is better. Think quality instead of quantity. Use Nutrition Fact panels to check the serving size, calories and nutrients. It is better to satisfy your cravings than to totally deprive yourself. Just enjoy indulgent foods in small portions no more than once a day. Purchase 100-calorie packs or make your own, like trail mix and dehydrated fruit, such as raisins and cranberries and as well as all sorts of dried vegetables.

Choose organic or your own home grown, nutrient rich foods to give your body the vitamins, minerals, body salts, fiber and other nutrients it needs for cardiovascular health. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and nutrients, and associated with cardiovascular risk reduction. Choose a variety of deeply colored fresh or frozen vegetables without high-calorie sauces and added salt and sugars. Eat whole vegetables and fruits in place of juices.

Whole grains and fiber promote satiety. Soluble and insoluble fibers are associated with cardiovascular risk reduction. Choose whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa and sorghum. Make half of your grains whole. Drink and eat only fat-free or low fat (1%) dairy or Soy derived, milk products. Choose these instead of higher fat dairy or Soy products to reduce fat, saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Lean meat, skinless poultry and legumes. Grill, bake or broil meat and poultry. Incorporate meat substitutes into favorite recipes. Limit processed meats that are high in saturated fat and sodium. Consume more caviar and other types of oily fish, such as salmon, trout and herring, which contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Consume two servings (about 8 ounces) per week. Make sure you prepare fish by grilling, broiling or steaming instead of frying or adding cream sauces.

Choose water or freshly squeezed juices to satisfy your thirst. It is virtually calorie-free! Maintain an active lifestyle. You will preserve your flexibility, muscle mass and bone strength and burn more calories. See your health care/Homeopathic provider before starting an exercise program if you have risk factors. Enlist the support of a family member or friend, find an exercise partner or personal trainer or seek the advice of a registered dietitian / nutritionist to keep you motivated. Set realistic goals. Commit to taking care of yourself. Start today! Healthy eating goes hand-in-hand with physical activity to help you lose weight and maintain your overall health. Plan to fit some type of exercise into your routine most days of the week.

Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs and includes walking, riding a bike, skating, swimming, dancing or Ron DeNardo's your Wholistic Guru's Yogaerobicise, Yogawalkercise and Yogaquaticise. If you are starting out, plan for at least 15-20 minutes per day. Increase your daily activity by 5 to 10 minutes each week until you are up to 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. For maximum benefit, try to complete your aerobic activity in one session each day. However, if your schedule does not permit, plan on several sessions throughout the day. You will also want to improve your flexibility and overall feeling of well-being by including stretching, therapeutic massage, deep breathing exercises and guided meditation. To maintain or build muscle, add resistance exercises or lightweights to your routine.

Read Ron DeNardo's other article about the practice of fengshui, making your home auspicious.

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