THE HUMAN RESOURCES
What are the foundations for a truly healthy life? How do we find our way in this modern world, a place filled with food-like substances and a dizzying array of confusing messages about what constitutes true "health"? How can we navigate through the mounting pressures of a culture influenced by globalization and large corporations, where the motivation is fueled by profits instead of long term sustainability? And most importantly, how can we feel balanced, practice moderation, and be happy?
I believe that eating is a profoundly personal and radically political act. It is empowering that we are in control of everything we choose to put into our bodies each day. Food is our connection to the earth, it is how we express our love to our families and the people we care about, it is our shared history. Eating does not have to be something we blindly do without thought or consideration; it can be the way we live.
My nutrition philosophy is based on the fundamentals, the essential things we need in order to thrive. These are the human resources.
My nutritional point of view is firmly grounded in the concept of bio-individuality. Our current state of health is always a combination of the interaction between our genetics, our diet, and our lifestyle.
Food is information. The food we eat innately contains each and every vital piece of information that we need in order to live. The vitamins, the minerals, the amino acids, the micro and macronutrients sustain your cells with the fuel they need to function, they send messages instructing your innate defensive mechanisms to protect you. Food contains all of the data that communicates with your genes and your DNA. Food enables us to grow, to heal, to regenerate. On the other hand, it also can contain information that might harm us, information that can tell our genes to express autoimmune conditions, degenerative ailments and basically all forms of illness and disease.
Food is medicine. In the same way that food can harm us, it can also heal us. This, to me, is the most important and empowering part of the personal health voyage we each find ourselves on- that we are not victims, that we can do something about it. Real food, in it’s purest state, is how we were meant to eat. Vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fats, oils, water, herbs and spices. These components not only come together to create our history and culture, our collective memories and our shared experiences, but they are medicinal as well.
There is so much friction and segmentation going on in our culture right now in regards to food. People are pledging undying loyalty and feverishly joining teams, all the while demonizing other ways of life. A label has become a badge of pride. There are certain things, like processed food-like substances, refined foods, pesticides & toxic chemicals, and certain damaging foods that everyone should avoid. Science supports this. However, there is also so much to be learned from each and every nutrition movement, whether that be vegan, vegetarian, paleo, raw, sprouted, ayurvedic, macrobiotic, or anything in-between. I believe it is dangerous to assign a one-size-fits-all approach and apply it to every person on earth. Different conditions are created by and respond to different stimulus, and we must find what is optimal for our own personal journey at this very moment. This is why it’s important to be present with our current state of health, and to possess a willingness to adapt alongside our bodies as they constantly evolve and change.
I personally do not believe that gluten, refined sugar, or any kind of processed foods belong anywhere in the human diet, and you will never find recipes containing them on my site.
Science supports that the most effective and health-supporting way of achieving optimal wellness is to consume the most digestible, assimilable and bio-available forms of macro and micronutrients. This means ample amounts of raw and cooked vegetables and herbs, small amounts of fresh fruit, pasture-raised meat from humanely raised animals eating their natural diet and living in their natural habitat, eggs from happy hens, healthy fish and seafood with minimal contaminants, high quality fats & oils, enzyme-activated sprouted nuts & seeds, fermented foods, and small amounts of easily assimilable/ sprouted whole grains and cultured dairy if your constitution supports it.
I repeat, whatever dietary plan one follows should ultimately revolve around a large and diverse amount of fresh vegetables.
Our bodies are designed to move. We need it, biochemically, in order to impart energy to our cells, to lubricate our joints and muscles and bones, to stimulate our lymphatic and digestive systems, to counter the effects of stress on the body and to prevent stagnation in our blood. How you choose to move, that decision is up to you. Like diet, our current physical threshold is a complete reflection of where we are at that given moment in our lives. Sometimes we find ourselves in a phase where we have a surplus of energy, and a more rigorous and stimulating form of practice is what makes us thrive. Other times, to our dismay, we might find ourselves needing a more restorative pace, and the exact same movement that works so well when you have energy to spare will actually exacerbate your condition and make things worse. It’s imperative that you listen to your body and give it what it needs, but you must move. Yoga, rock climbing, cross fit, running, pilates, high intensity interval training, swimming, or even just a simple walk around your neighborhood, breathing deeply, looking up at the trees. When we move with presence, we can easily find what fits best for us at this very moment.
CLARITY OF MIND
Health becomes sustainable in the long term when we address all the aspects of our lifestyle, not just the obvious ones. As we all know, diet and exercise are non-negotiable in order to achieve physical change. However, uncovering lasting health means that we must truly address our entire body and mind as one whole system, because we see that everything is interconnected.
We find a true sense of clarity when we connect with all the areas of our life. We must prioritize the other fundamentals besides diet & exercise; I consider these to be sleeping sufficiently, managing stress, identifying our personal dietary/environmental/emotional triggers, cleaning up sources of contamination (through our homes, environments, personal care products, water sources, etc), finding moderation and balance in our activities and relationships, and practicing mindfulness and/or meditation. When all of these changes come together, we are able to encounter a more peaceful, grounded mind and tap into a deeper sense of spirituality with our lives.
Small changes beget big ones. When we finally make the decision to take care of ourselves, what we are doing is clearing out some of our internal and external clutter. That is to say that we are choosing to take accountability and responsibility for the quality of our lives, and this becomes a very empowering mindset. Becoming connected to our bodies allows us to cultivate self-care for ourselves, and then it becomes easier to do it for others and ultimately for our entire community.