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Holistic health is on the rise, and with good reason. However, there are MANY people out there that are unsure of what “holistic” truly is, and there are even more scammers out there trying to pass off their advice as holistic when it’s actually not.
What is Holistic Health?
Holistic Health is:
- Using whole foods in their most natural form to heal from nutritional issues.
- Healing the body as a whole and realizing that everything is connected. Gut, liver, adrenals, thyroid- they are all parts of a larger whole. We cannot just have an issue with one piece, and we cannot expect to heal the body if we’re only working on one piece.
- Eating a balanced diet (not excluding major food groups), or at least eating the way your ancestors ate, which would vary based on your ancestry.
- Consuming herbal teas, infusions, tinctures, powders, and capsules that are purely herbs.
- Addressing emotional trauma because our physical and emotional health is connected!
- Recognizing that our lifestyle, job, and people in our life could be influencing our health as well.
The MOST Important Steps to Heal with Holistic Health
When it comes to truly healing, there are a few main points to follow so that you can heal yourself. If you can get these 4 steps down, then you’ll be well on your way to feeling better!
Heal your gut
Your gut is your second brain! You might have heard this quite often, but it’s true. If your gut isn’t healthy, then you can deal with issues like anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, thyroid and adrenal issues, skin issues, weight problems, and so much more. The gut is often the FIRST and most important step to take to truly heal.
We need a healthy gut to balance our microbiome, break down and utilize nutrients, and to keep our immune system healthy. It’s truly the MOST important aspect to heal from any chronic illness.
Support a healthy gut with fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut, BioRay Belly Mend, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, and bitter herbs.
Support your liver
Our liver has over 500 functions- did you know that?! I definitely didn’t learn that in health class growing up, which is NUTS considering how important our liver is. I learned more about counting calories to lose weight than I did about actual health!
The liver has so many important jobs and after the gut is it the next most important step in healing from any chronic health issue.
A healthy liver balances our hormones, creates 1 quart of bile a day for digestion of fats and detoxification, reduces blood sugar swings, converts beta carotene into vitamin A, and creates 3/4 of our cholesterol (which is actually ESSENTIAL for our hormonal balance).
Love your liver with things like BioRay Liver Life, dandelion root tea, castor oil packs, lemons, apple cider vinegar, beets, aloe vera, bitter herbs, and by reducing toxin exposure.
Clean up your environment
Everything that we put on our skin gets absorbed into our body. EVERYTHING! That means make-up, shampoo, lotion, cleaning products, the clothes you wear, etc. This is one of the main ways you can control what you put in and on your body as we cannot avoid every single thing out there. But reducing your toxic load is a HUGE helper for your body.
These products contain carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and other toxic ingredients that can build up over time to create chronic health issues. Seems crazy that your “hypoallergenic” lotion could actually lead to health issues, I know! But it is common.
Look for brands that are transparent in their labeling. Many brands will advertise themselves as natural or organic when in reality they only contain a fraction of natural ingredients. Read labels and look for REAL ingredients- essential oils, herbal extracts, and pure ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, etc.
I love brands like Nourish Organic, Alaffia, and some items from Pacifica, Avalon Organics, and Shea Moisture (not all of their products are “clean”, but they do have quite a bit that are good).
My top choice for amazing natural products is Earthley. They are affordable, all natural (and mostly organic), and their products WORK. I started using a few of their skin care items first and was so impressed, so now I’ve been making the switch to basically everything that they offer. They have hair, skin, and body care, nutritional supplements, herbal tinctures, and even a home care line!
This goes along with reducing toxic load, but it’s even more important to follow to increase nutrient intake! Most of us grew up eating a truly horrific diet devoid of nutrients, so it is crucial to start eating better to make up for this. Part of this truly includes healing the gut though- we have to undo the damage that has been done and help our body to utilize our nutrients better.
Eating clean is exactly what it sounds like: no processed foods, GMOs, artificial ingredients like colors or sweeteners, and less sugar. These “foods” aren’t even really foods and they can actually DEPLETE us of nutrients in the long run.
Try to eat as organic as you can (check out this post for what is essential and what isn’t- not everything HAS to be organic), source meats that are the best quality you can find (grass-fed beef, hormone free, free range eggs, sustainable seafood), eat more fruits and veggies, and moderate your intake of sweets (because you can still enjoy REAL desserts- just drop the junk!).
Check out Raising Generation Nourished for AMAZING whole food, clean recipes!
You do not need to be PERFECT. Just do your best! When we know better, we do better and our changes will be applied for ourselves and future generations.
Intuition is HUGE Too!
One aspect of holistic health that not many are talking about is intuition. We ALL have intuitive abilities, but years of poor diets, stress, and toxins have muted these abilities (plus they don’t exactly teach us this while growing up- we’re made to memorize facts from books, not to think critically or use intuition!).
As we begin to heal, it is a lot easier to find this inner voice again. What I have found to be the most helpful is just to ask your body what it wants! Simple as that. The more you do it, the more you’ll get a clear answer. You might even feel silly doing it at first, but it’s so important to learn to understand our bodies and their cues. Learning to trust yourself can be scary and weird, but it is essential.
You can ask yourself a variety of questions at first to get used to listening for your cues. The more you do this, the easier it will start to be to learn what your body is asking for:
- Am I hungry? Thirsty? Tired? Stressed out? Constipated?
- Do I feel any physical pains? Where and what does it feel like?
- Am I craving something? Sugar, salt, protein?
- How did I sleep last night?
- Where am I in my cycle?
- Was I more busy than usual this week?
- Am I holding in any emotions?