The Search for Holistic Health

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos – the trees, the clouds, everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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This is the first actual excerpt that I have submitted regarding what I think constitutes a holistic lifestyle; in terms of foods, supplements, and herbs. The reason why, is due to the fact that true Holism is not based on pure physicality, as we prevalently see today within the parameter of the words ‘holistic  health’. Through Sattva Holistic, my approach has been to focus much more on the actual paradigm of what constitutes a truly holistic approach to living. Thus, most of my articles focus on the underlying political, social, and moral issues surrounding the type of choices we should make regarding our choice of food and water, rather than just focusing on what one should eat. I choose to point out the deeper context of using one’s discrimination, rational, and intuition when it comes to focusing on what propels us into a much more peaceful, joyous, and harmonious life, through living holistically.

The basis of my dietary approach is focused on social awareness, thus I believe in supporting the small local organic farmers as much as possible, over larger corporate owned  businesses. My interest and quest for following a holistic lifestyle has been prevalent throughout my entire life, therefore eating an all organic vegetarian, whole foods diet is ubiquitous to who I am, rather than an interest that I have had for a duration of my lifetime. I often refer to my diet as being ‘whole foods’ based, rather than demarcating myself into some system of classification such as ‘raw’, ‘vegan’, or ‘vegetarian’. Over more than two decades I have experimented with numerous dietary paradigms, first by becoming a vegan vegetarian at age 17 after reading John Robins, “Diet for a New America’. Shortly following this I tried an all raw food diet almost 20 years ago, then macrobiotic diet, followed by eating an Ayurvedic based diet. However, at this point in my life I practice what I call a fusion diet, where my food is of a high raw percentage with a small portion of pre-soaked and cooked grains, such as quinoa, or black, red and pink rice. I consume very little processed food and eat a completely gluten free diet.

I am also almost vegan only using a very small amount of organic butter and once in a while some raw organic cheese produced locally where the cows are treated well and roam free. However, the main reason I don’t consume many animal products and certainly no animal flesh is due to the moral and ethical issues of eating an animal that has been tortured its entire life, then killed in a state of complete fear. I disagree with consuming anything that causes suffering to another sentient being on this planet. I could go on to list a number of other reasons, like health, environment, social or economic reasons, yet such reasons all pale in comparison to the brutality inflicted on animals for their meat and milk, its unconscionable, to say the least.

A day in the life of my holistic lifestyle starts with consuming fresh filtered spring water with added Oxygen Supreme from Health Force. Today, the spring water is still cold from being sourced from the original spring in North Vancouver, Lynn Valley yesterday afternoon. I have this water with 1 tbsp of Green Sage Protein from Health Force as the first product of the morning. Next I heat up a few cups of a tea mix I brew with predominately a chaga component.Today is my chaga brewing day, simmering the actual chaga for a little over 3 hours in filtered spring water. I then added the following all organic herbs: red reishi, eleuthro, holy basil, ashwagandha, schisandra, rhodiola, licorice, sarsaparilla, foti, guduchi, and olive leaf. I leave the herbs to infuse until my large brewing pot cools down completely.

After drinking the herbal brew, my husband and I have a breakfast smoothie with freshly made all organic almond milk, raw cacao, mesquite, lucuma, maca, vanilla, some coconut oil, banana, raw unpasteurized honey if needed, and Health Force Warrior Protein. This particular smoothie is very cacao rich and functions as the best breakfast option I have ever consumed to maintain my blood sugar until lunch. I also make a green smoothie that varies depending on what my husband and I feel like. Today we made one with all organic: blueberries (wild variety), wild purslane (large amount), large avocado, sunflower sprouts, and filtered spring water. This smoothie may be consumed before lunch, as a super healthy mineral rich snack.

For lunch and dinner we consume pre-soak and cooked grains as mentioned above blended with a variation of some steamed veggies (depending) with a large amount of mixed seasonal salad greens (mizuna, tatsoi, purslane, arugula, baby kale), fresh herbs (sage or basil), heirloom tomato’s, avocado, sprouts, etc. We consume varying omega 3 rich oils like chia, hemp, and flax seed oils. The most important aspect of this type of whole foods diet is that we are very flexible with what we eat, other than very little processed foods or gluten based foods.

I personally find a diet rich in raw foods much more energizing than a diet based on cooked food. My Ayurvedic practitioner recommended that I consume mostly cooked food, due to having a high Vata. However, after attempting to follow this dietary approach it never actually helped the underlying health issues that I was having. Once I took control of my own health and started to consume foods that gave me energy and allowed my body to detoxifying and balance, this brought my constitution back into full balance. In this case, I am not a staunch advocate of any rigid dietary paradigm, no matter how long it has been functioning historically.

I truly believe that the human body is bombarded by endless toxins, stress, and other unforeseen factors contributing to greater overall stress that most of the holistic systems that were formulated thousands of years ago did not take into consideration. Having said that, I still feel such systems are beneficial to understand the nature of one’s imbalance, yet there may need to be other factors taken into consideration for overall therapeutic treatment. Moreover, I strongly follow the theoretical premise of both seasonal eating and constitution when it comes to the choices made on a daily and seasonal basis. 

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2 responses

  1. Eating, “healthy” or even “holistically”can mean so many different things within the realm of theoretical approaches that exist. I personally focus on constitution and the imbalance, through the Ayurvedic approach, in conjunction to the season. Hence, it is a very hot summer in Vancouver, so more raw green smoothies and food seems applicable. However, I do not eat a pure raw foods diet, yet a combination in a proportion that works well for me. In the colder more damp and rainy season, I consume far more very warming foods that are cooked with warming spices and herbal teas that are warming as well. Therefore, for each individual its important to be aware of what constitutionally works for their bodies during the varying season.

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