Fueling for Physical Wellbeing
Is physical wellbeing really the foundation for optimizing all other dimensions of health, such as emotional, social, intellectual, financial, and spiritual health? It may be. I mean, if basic physical needs aren’t being met, it’s difficult for us to focus on other aspects of health. Can’t relate? That’s probably a good thing, because it means you’ve never wanted for food or shelter. While we’d like to have our faith and purpose serve as the foundation for our very existence (which in itself is physical), I think we can agree that what we put into our bodies influences our level of health, which in turn influences our quality of life.
That being said, I should note that physical wellbeing includes what we eat and drink, how and if we move our bodies, personal safety, access to treatment, and our environmental toxin exposure (smoking, air pollution, hair spray inhalation, etc). Of course, nutrition is a key factor, and one that most of us reading this have the ability to change. It’s important to understand the interrelatedness between not only the physical aspects, but between physical wellbeing and the other dimensions I mentioned above. This is the big picture of health and wellness that must be understood for purposeful eating.
But at some point, we have to move from the 30,000-foot world view of nutrition to the ground level of self-interest, as in, how do we make sustainable changes with our current levels of knowledge, motivation, and energy. One way to do that is to build a series of habits that move us from intention to action.
I’m suggesting there’s a better way. A simpler way to move forward on the wellness continuum without chasing marketing hype. At 30,000 feet it’s about the intersection of biology, behavior, and the environment. At the ground level of self-interest it’s about daily choices that work for your personal journey. Maybe choosing whole grain and an apple for breakfast over a donut. Maybe changing the environment that lands donuts in your lap five days a week.It’s not easy to find sound sources of knowledge and motivation, especially if we’re not looking at nutrition in the context of holistic health. More than half the population is strictly looking for weight loss, sometimes willing to risk long-term health for a rapid drop in dress size. Many follow media standards which equate skinny with healthy. And there’s no shortage of sources for quick weight loss, from starvation diets to supplements. Which leaves us in a mindless, rather than mindful, state of being.
I’ll continue sharing simple, sustainable dietary tips and resources, in the hopes that you’ll have that light bulb moment, when nutrition is about fueling for long term health and quality of life. If we can eliminate the complications by eliminating the sources of misinformation and hype, we can focus on our personal plan for greater wellbeing. Simply put, by eating more plants, less processed and sugary foods, optimal portions, and by slowing down to appreciate the gift of plenty, we will move towards purposeful physical wellbeing. It’s a foundational dimension of holistic health.