Whole Life Nutrition: Are You Being Fed at Every Level of Your Being?

HJ: When we think of being nourished, we typically relate it to diet and nutrition   However, anyone familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs knows that true nourishment encompasses much more than just food and health alone.  For instance, we can have incredible physical wellbeing, but if we lack a spiritual foundation or do not have meaningful relationships with other people, we can still be unfulfilled in these ways.  Yes, physical health is important and plays a significant role in our overall health, but without acknowledging other areas of our life that contribute to our health in different ways we typical experience an incomplete feeling.  Furthermore, these different aspects of our ‘health’ or ‘whole self’ are not mutually exclusive, but interrelated.  If you are suffering in one area, you may look to see how it may be related to unfulfilled needs in other areas as well.  Often times addressing these root causes will result in the problem are being healed spontaneously.
– Truth
WHEN FOOD IS NOT ENOUGH: UNDERSTANDING NUTRITION THROUGH THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Randa Chlala | Mystera Magazine

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Holistic nutrition is a natural approach to life; it’s a way to evaluate a person’s wellbeing, not only by focusing on illness or specific parts of the body, but rather on the entire lifestyle of a person and his/her  relationship with their environment.

All aspects of the human body are interrelated; we cannot ignore symptoms of physical discomfort and decide to treat them only with nutrition. It’s always better to dig deeper…

Remember the first time you were passionately in love, or deeply involved in an exciting project… how good you felt, you were walking on clouds, and food was the last thing on your mind… Congratulations, this is a natural high… or a natural state of “feeding”. Sometimes, we are not nourished by food alone, but through the amount of energy in our life. We hunger for play, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All of these elements are vital forms of nourishment; they are the primary foods we need to sustain a healthy life.

Any imbalance in these areas may lead to overeating… even food cravings. While treating certain clients, I realized that helping them create positive relationships with themselves and others made them happier and healthier than any diet I would prescribe.

 

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life is a holistic nutrition exercise that helps you explore different areas of your life, to discover which primary foods you are missing.

Let us consider nutrition in light of the 12 section program in the circle of life (please refer to the chart featured below). To evaluate your wellbeing, place a dot on each of the lines inside the circle:  if you’re less satisfied, place the dot closer to the center;    a dot on the periphery indicates ultimate happiness. Once you have placed all the dots, connect them to look at your circle of life.

You now have a clear visual of any imbalances in primary foods, and a starting point to help you determine in which area you’d like to spend more time and energy in order to create balance and joy in your life.


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What are the 12 sources of primary food and how to take an inner look at them?

1. Social life: a key ingredient in personal fulfillment is a supporting community that allows you to express yourself; evaluate how much time you are investing in that area and accept the idea that you might need to act less or more in this regard.

 

2. Joy: causes the release of pleasure hormones in the body; it increases happiness and laughter in your life. Remove any stressful sources of energy, be it a friend or colleague… Even try this experiment: turn off the media for one week and see how it affects your happiness scores!

3. Spirituality: The level of spirituality in your life may vary: you can spend time relaxing in nature, or actively praying in a church or mosque, as long as you are aware of the connection between yourself and existence around you. You are part of a whole. The world is not the same without you!

 

4. Creativity:  you can sing, dance, decorate, write… but very few people are aware that the simplest form of creativity is actually picking our food every day. Combining flavors, textures and aromas in a dish is a relaxing art on its own. I have a spice palette that I use to flavor dishes and spice cookies. So find a way that tickles your senses and express it.

 

5. Finances:  Is a basic need to reassure our security; if you feel unstable in that area, find a way to organize your expenses or increase your income. You might take an extra job or acquire an additional skill for your career… as long as you spend your money with awareness.

 

6. Career: find a career you love or find ways to improve the career you already have by asking yourself: what would make me happy in the workplace (income raise, shifting schedules, job rotation…)?

 

7. Education: be it a new hobby or skill required for work.  If you feel increased knowledge is what you aim for, try an online course, personal research or even a new degree.

 

8. Health: is your biggest treasure; make sure you treat your symptoms with proper food, vitamins, exercise and good sleep before you jump to pharmaceutical cures.

 

9. Physical activity: find a balancing exercise: yoga for body builders and body pump or jogging if you’re too quiet and peaceful. Team games like volley ball or tennis are amazing for building character.

 

10. Home cooking: is the best remedy, it has the energy of the person who cooked for you.

 

11. Home environment: make sure you have a small corner that resembles you in the house.

 

12. Relationships: friendships and life partners are a major source of love. Make sure you have a healthy relationship that empowers both of you. Work on reducing codependence.

 

The journey of self discovery is an unending path. I hope that this self reflection exercise would be a source of awareness for your self assessment. May the good circles roll!

Randa Chlala is Nutrition Management expert and Counselor on Natural Nutrition and wellness, founder of KENZA Private Catering and natural/organic bakery.