In the mid 1800s Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was lying on his deathbed. It was two months before his death that his most famous work was published – a brilliant essay, not about politics, but about food. He titled it: The Psychology of Taste. This man of science was the first to believe that food was far more than a fuel source. He penned the famous words, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” He also wrote, “Cooking is one of the oldest arts and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” And – “The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity, than the discovery of a new star.”
Jean showed us that food can manipulate our moods, thoughts, and actions. It touches all aspects of us, which is why changing our nutrition can literally change our life. It was a message he felt was important enough to be his last.
HOLISTIC NUTRITION EDUCATION
Holistic Nutrition focuses on:
- Educating yourself on basic nutritional terms
- Incorporating natural and organic foods
- Overcoming obstacles in practicing holistic nutrition
- Creating simple holistic menus
- Developing a customized holistic diet
- Addressing the role of natural holistic supplements
- Reviewing the latest nutritional studies
- Addressing chronic health conditions with holistic nutrition
The Basics of Holistic Nutrition:
Food not only provides the energy needed to function in our daily lives but constantly supplies the nutrients which are required to build and regenerate body tissue, bone, muscle, fat and blood. The nutrients in food are also necessary to produce substances for the chemical processes that take place in our bodies millions of times a day.
A healthy diet may be broken into 3 categories:
- Macro nutrients which include carbohydrates, protein and fats
- Micro nutrients which include vitamins and minerals
- Fiber, which is technically not a nutrient but is part of a holistic diet
There are great advancements being made toward understanding the human body’s delicate balance and the way our health, diet, and nutrition are all connected by the most elemental form of energy. Some of today’s most respected doctors’ and scientists are finally collaborating in what often is referred to as integrative medicine.
Here are five general points that Virginia Schoenfeld, PhD, DCM-P, BCC at The B.R.E.A.T.H Center considers when working with a client. These areas are not generally addressed through traditional dieticians.
1. Healing properties of food.
Besides the measurable properties of grams and calories, she also looks at the effect that certain foods will have on our system, whether it is soothing, warming, cooling, healing, etc. Some foods make us feel energized while others have a more lethargic effect. The goal is to use food to help us feel the way we want at all the right times.
2. An Enjoyable Eating Experience.
Food should taste good. It’s the only way we will stick with good nutrition and learn to love eating well. Here we aim to strengthen our relationship with food. Eating should be an enjoyable experience with a variety of tastes and textures and rich colors. The great news is that healthy food DOES taste good. It’s a pleasure to eat and prepare. Sometimes it just takes a good holistic nutrition educator to show you how.
3. Origin of Food
Here we consider how our food was grown and the impact it has on our environment. We look at things like packaging, organics, and farming practices. We consider the quality of our meats and fish, how they were raised and how they lived. We want to eat in a way that supports not only our bodies, but also our environment and its sustainability.
4. Personalized Nutrition
Doctor Schoenfeld evaluates the personal needs of each client. How many calories do they need? What are their nutrient deficiencies? Do they have any absorption issues? What foods would best support their activity level? What are their personal food preferences, tastes, and cultural traditions? Every single person is different, and a healthy diet is never a one size fits all. Recommended daily intakes are not accurate for people with special needs, digestive issues, or other health concerns. She looks at her clients as separate individuals with separate needs.
5. Whole Foods
Holistic nutritionists favor whole foods directly from nature, “from the farm to the table”, locally grown and seasonal when possible. Eating real fruits over fruit juices, whole, sprouted grains over processed breads, fresh fish over canned tuna. Our goals are not limited to weight loss, but overall health and wellness. Above all, doctor Schoenfeld wants her clients to grow strong in body, mind, and spirit and develop a healthy relationship with “whole” foods.