top of page

Reclaim Your Health: What Does It Mean To Be Healthy?

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Reclaim Your Health: What Does It Mean To Be Healthy? Is Healthy Food Always the Healthiest For You?

What does health mean to you? Some would say that health is the absence of disease, others arguably disagreeing, their definition aligning more with quality of life and longevity. What about eating and living healthy? What comes to mind? One mainstream thought portrays “healthy eating” as consuming light, detoxifying foods, emphasizing low sodium, sugar-free, raw vegan and gluten-free diets; a dysutopian world where green salads are deemed healthier than a balanced plate of an animal protein, grain, fat, and cooked veg. This is when we need to get to the nitty gritty of what it actually means to eat healthy. To empower you on your health journey in reclaiming your health, consider asking the following questions around food and eating:

  1. Where are the ingredients sourced from? Are they organic or sprayed with pesticides?

  2. Is this a whole food? Can I imagine it once growing, or was it packaged and processed into a new shape looking nothing like its original components / source?

  3. How was this food prepared?

  4. How am I feeling before consuming? What does my body actually want to eat? What does my body need?

  5. How do I feel as I digest the food?

  6. Why am I eating this?

Being hands on with our food gives us the power to transform our relationships with our health.

By using our senses of sight, smell, sound, and touch, we can intuitively pick out quality foods at the market. The process of preparing meals with our own hands grounds us in our bodies and creates an alchemical experience in the kitchen, watching art and chemistry fuse to create something that nourishes us. By slowing down and being present when we eat, we increase our ability to optimally digest the food, making it available as nourishment in the body. Digestion first begins in our minds.

Paying attention to the energetics or qualities of food opens a deeper realm of understanding and connection. This is when salads aren’t necessarily always the healthiest option. Imagine someone whose primary diet is raw sprouted and leafy green salads. Observe their tendencies. You notice they tend to be on the spacier side, maybe a little ungrounded in their body. They are buzzing off vital plant energy, subtle and dynamic. Raw sprouts and leafy green vegetables are light, cold, bitter, and astringent by nature. When digested, these qualities have specific effects on our mind bodies.

According to Ayurveda, someone is truly healthy when the governing functions of the body are balanced (tridosha), digestion, metabolism and tissues are properly nourished, waste elimination is balanced, and the sense organs as well as mind-body-soul are calm, clear and pleasant. Check out my blog on Ayurveda to learn a little more.

In the Ayurveda world, health is....

"A disease-free body,

Quiver-free breath,

Stress-free mind,

Inhibition-free memory,

Ego that includes all,

And Soul which is free from sorrow is the birthright of every human being."

-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Eating the same thing repeatedly, no matter what the food is, offers less nourishment and nutrient diversity than eating a little bit from all the food groups. When the body grows accustomed to the same thing, it is more likely to plateau; what once was a medicine becomes a poison. When cooking and preparing meals, it is vital to create complex, balanced meals versus only eating a food in its isolated form. Different bodily tissues require different nutrition- food required for the fat tissue differs from what the muscle tissue demands.

A sample whole-foods based balanced plate for meat eaters is:

Coriander Lime Seared Sirloin Strips

Cumin Barley Pilaf

Grilled Lemon Fennel Bulb

Kale, Apple and Raisin Saute

A sample whole-foods based balanced plate for vegetarians is:

Moroccon Cauliflower-Carrot Tagine

Fennel Basmati Rice

Red Lentil Hummus

Arugula Mint Salad, Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

The media highlights different diet trends like paleo and keto as healthy solutions. We count calories, restrict calories, demonize and highlight certain foods and food groups. Most health-seekers encounter this model first, introduced to a world where cleansing is the focus, and detoxing is favored over nourishing. It’s so easy nowadays to either be swayed by the popular health scheme or to swing in the opposite direction by resenting "healthy lifestyles" entirely.

Anticlimactically, without proper nutrition and understanding of what health and being healthy really means, “healthy food” can hinder our health, leading to binging, extreme eating, mood swings, negative body image, guilt, and disordered eating. We move so far away from our center to chase this idea of health, often resulting in skewed perceptions and the inability to discern which foods are actually good for us. In time, we stop listening to our internal hunger cues because we distrust the sensations our bodies tell us. We adopt a very general yet convoluted prescription of health by losing our ability to make decisions that could actually serve us better.

From a holistic lens, health is made up of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual states of being. Within this framework, we can experience the undeniable connection to nature that lives within us all. Whether seeking health for extrinsic or intrinsic purposes, the drive is always positive- its rooted desires coming from a place of seeking inner harmony. Someone expressing the want to “get healthy,” is another way of recognizing an imbalance within the body. Health and harmony are inseparable, and so are our natural states of being. Health and longevity are achieved by walking the middle path of balance, and going to no extremes.

That is Whole. This is Whole. Wholeness emerges from Wholeness. Wholeness within Wholeness and that Whole remains. Peace in my heart, peace in my hands, peace in the cosmos.

51 views0 comments


bottom of page