How the meaning of “being healthy” changed for me and why I stopped following some health myths
The meaning of “being healthy” has changed a lot for me. Throughout my life I tried to follow a “healthy diet” and lifestyle, exercise and eat a balanced diet. And in general I was successful because I thought not having an illness or not being overweight is enough to be considered healthy.
And then the late 40s came and I learned what it means to be challenged from all parts of life, starting from my hormones.
Then I also learned that eating a generic healthy diet that is not according my needs is not enough, taking 10.000steps everyday may not be appropriate and avoiding carbs, eating salads, taking in a lot of proteins (as eggs, white meat or vegan protein powders), drinking green juices (in winter!), eating dried fruits and nuts, may actually be detrimental for my health.
Some of you have been following my journey for a long time and watching me trying new diets, new methods, and ingredients. I love these experiments as they teach me a lot and sometimes they come with a price -usually as worse digestion and some imbalances.
In the last 3 years, learning Ayurveda, applying its principles, joining courses, retreats, reading different sources, seeing my Ayurvedic doctor regularly, and starting to work with clients to support their nutritional journey, gave me a different perspective of health.
Holistic Approach to Healthy Living
A perspective where digestion is the center of all, balance and holistic approach are the keys to health in the short and long term.
I realised that I was so focused on losing weight, staying fit, gaining muscles that I ignored many symptoms from my body-mind-spirit and focused only on how much I weigh and how I look.
Now I focus on digestion, evaluate meals and ingredients according to their unique effect on my body and constitution. And with this approach, not only I have still fit and strong body but also a better digestion and healthier skin-hair, balanced hormones (even going through menopause) and calmer mind.
So I just wanted to reach out and say, please be aware of generic diets, the ones offering one-fits-for-all, and please do not put your weight or protein intake as priority! These are just small pieces of the puzzle and there is so much more to consider when it comes to being truly healthy.
In my Ayurveda trainings, my teachers and the 5000 year old Ayurvedic resources are teaching me so much and opening my eyes to see the bigger picture.
Here are some of the “Health Myths”, where I changed my perspective and feel much better NOT following them with closed eyes and instead keep an open mind and try and see how I can benefit better.
Let me know if any of these relate to you, too? Is there any one that surprises you? Please share with me.
Health Myths to Reconsider
- Take 10.000steps everyday – Not everyday and not for everyone! Some Days you need a rest, and some days you need cardio training or yoga or muscle building workouts. If you insist on 10.000 steps no matter what your condition is, you might end up exhausting your system and opening the way to illnesses.
- Eat Salads for main meals –Not for everyone and every season. Raw food is hard to digest and if you have a low agni (digestive power-energy), eating salads as main meals, and especially at dinner time is too difficult for digestion.
- Mix Fruit to salads/yogurts – Fruits should be eaten alone as it creates a reaction in digestion and slows down the process when eaten with other food (like vegetables, dairy). Even though it looks pretty and tastes nice, avoid mixing fruits to meals, especially to yogurts!
- Bananas, Almond/Peanut Butters, Flax/Chia Seeds are a great way to start your day!- They are channel clogging and heavy to digest food and flax seeds are very heating.So they should be taken in moderation and not regularly.
- Rice is too much carbs – Rice is heaven! Especially basmati rice and red rice are full of nutrients, easy to digest, fulfilling and satisfying. It fits into a healthy diet with balanced quantities even if you are trying to lose weight and gain muscle. Choosing the right variety like basmati with lower glycemic index, cooking with good oils like ghee and adding spices like cardamom, clove to help the digestion will help you to get the most out of rice!
- Gluten is bad – Having a gluten intolerance is a long and deep debate! However, as Dr.John Douillard says, we are meant to eat gluten and dairy, our digestive system is made for dieting them! If we have difficulty to digest gluten (except the celiac disease), this is because our digestive system has a problem and maybe we have not chosen the right type of it. gluten can be digested, especially if you pay attention for it to be unprocessed, freshly made, and organic. So, the problem is complicated as it is about both the gluten and our digestive system, yet if you focus on improving your digestion and find the right source of gluten, you can still enjoy fresh baked bread without problems!
- Dairy is worse! – Same issue with gluten, dairy has such a bad reputation, more so due to cruel industrial farming. Yet, our bodies benefit so much from dairy, getting essential nutrients that can not be replaced by any other food. So same as gluten, when you improve your digestion, and consume organic dairy, made and cooked in the right way (with certain spices to help digest), sourced from cruelty-free farms, you will have the best source of protein and fat for a healthy living.