Holistic eating: Eat to feel better

Do you have chronic headaches, allergies or heart health concerns? Do you feel sluggish or in pain? A prescription for feeling better might be right inside your pantry or refrigerator.

Do you have chronic headaches, allergies or heart health concerns? Do you feel sluggish or in pain? A prescription for feeling better might be right inside your pantry or refrigerator.

Look beyond the mayonnaise and chips. Avoid the ice cream, and scoot past the red meat. Instead, look to that bag of almonds or fresh oranges, or the black beans and brown rice. These foods and many more can help you feel revitalized and renewed, according to Kim Evans, APRN

Whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods provide your body and mind with nutrients that energize and heal. This is the premise of holistic eating, and it can be an integral part of your medical treatment.

Holistic eating (or holistic nutrition) is a part of integrative medicine, which includes nontraditional methods of healing such as massage therapy, acupuncture and meditation. These practices and treatments complement traditional medications and medical procedures in order to heal the whole person and tap into the body’s natural lines of defense against illness.

Holistic eating involves changing your diet to be focused on whole, unprocessed, natural foods. The biggest part of this commitment means removing items from your daily menu that may be causing you to feel lethargic, sad, bloated and all-around sick. Any food that is processed, chemically created or otherwise unnatural gets the boot, along with soda, artificial juices and excess alcohol. These items do not promote wellness, and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, most seafood and any other whole foods will make you feel better all over.

Evans, founder and owner of the Institute for Integrative Medicine and Intentional Wellness, knows firsthand the healing power of holistic eating. As an advanced practice registered nurse with more than 35 years of experience, she said her “life’s passion is to help individuals to transform their life on every level — body, mind and spirit.” She believes the strongest way to do this is through integrative medicine, particularly holistic nutrition. Through her work, she provides lists of go-to foods, foods to avoid at all times and foods that are OK on occasion.

A big part of this meal plan is eating a variety of foods. We all know we are supposed to eat “a variety of fruits and vegetables” — but sometimes those words sound like a broken record, and we forget or don’t take the message seriously. Because the nutritional makeup of foods varies, incorporating a variety of foods gives your body a chance to get all the nutrients it needs. The combination of various nutrients and micronutrients from different foods promotes wellness and helps heal the whole person — from your brain to your toes. For example, eating foods with vitamin C is terrific, but making a meal with foods that have vitamins A, C, D and more can give your body a boost of vitality that one vitamin can’t do alone. This is one of Evans’ strategies for reducing obesity and creating a healthier lifestyle.


Come to the Mind, Body and Spirit class “Holistic Eating” on Jan. 5 to hear Evans speak about holistic eating and how it helps to nourish the body. Register for this free class to learn more about how to eat for health, energy and vitality. 


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