In 2013 Port Elizabeth was found to be one of the healthier cities in South Africa. In 2014 I would love to see some trends take us from health to overall wellness, incorporating physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Because we’re worth it.
Here are my thoughts on which wellness trends we need to be aware of:
1. Juicing, and particularly Green Juice, (or blending) is not just for cleansing
You don’t have to wait for your body to be dead beat and sick before you start considering healthy alternatives such as juicing. Juicing has played a key role in many people’s recovery from VERY serious illness such as cancer (Crazy Sexy Cancer, Kris Carr), anxiety, depression, prescription drug addiction, cognitive difficulties, autoimmune diseases, migraines, and and and. Incorporating juicing into your daily health regime can address and prevent so many health issues. It’s a surefire way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake and to present the good stuff to your body in the most easily digestable way possible. Juicing and blending could hold the key for you to feel better, live better and get off medication that makes your body weaker every time you take it unnecessarily.
2. Healthy eating is about much, MUCH more than eating to lose weight
Saying you’re ‘eating healthily’ has become many people’s way of saying ‘I’m on a diet trying to lose weight’. While a truly healthy diet probably will result in weight loss if you are overweight, healthy eating most certainly is not what we used to associate with dieting – eating foods labeled as ‘low fat’ or ‘sugar free’, cutting fat – even healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, oils from nuts, and counting calories (substituting a meal for a chocolate as it’s the same amount of calories or weight watcher points!). These dieting habits have resulted in vicious dieting cycles that in the end never really let you lose weight, for good, and left your body and your mind compromised and weaker.
Healthy eating is about nurturing and nourishing your body. Loving your body enough to give it what it needs to heal itself and function in the way it was meant to. May this year bring eating habits that reflect respect and care for our miracle bodies.
3. Exercise – out with the new and in with the old
Exercise is so important and nothing’s changed there. What is happening worldwide though – with the growing popularity of yoga and crossfit, in isolation or even better – as a combination, is that we are realizing that we need to get back to basics. No more heavy gym equipment, complicated programmes, and most of all substances to unnaturally blow you up looking like a cartoon character. All you need is your body and a bit of space. Exercise can become social again – and you can take it anywhere – outside, your home, the office. Yoga requires no props and can be done anywhere – leaving you stretched, toned, strengthened and relaxed. A 7 minute workout next to your desk or at home doing good old sit ups, push ups, lunges, squat thrusts and maybe a bit of running certainly seems more accessible and do-able than driving to the gym, getting changed, finding your programme, waiting in line for dumbbells, barbells, treadmills and fancy machinery. Get back to basics and do what your body needs naturally. We were in better shape a hundred years ago and which gyms existed then?
4. Gluten, dairy and sugar are major culprits in deteriorating physical, mental and emotional health – limit these or cut them out completely
What you put into your mouth affects your health, mind and your happiness. If you feed your body chemicals, hormones, things that your body find extremely difficult and taxing to digest you are critically affecting your physical health as well as how you feel emotionally every day -how clear and sharp you are mentally.
Gluten intolerance is much more prevalent than you might think and if you experience any symptoms in your body of ‘unknown origin’ it would probably we worth testing out whether you are gluten intolerant. Gluten intolerance is experienced in a myriad of ways – gut issues such as pain and bloating, allergies, skin problems, fatigue, depression/moodiness, the list goes on.
Dairy, on the other hand is something our adult bodies really were never meant to digest. Add to that the fact that dairy products as we know it are often filled with lots of bad stuff. Cows are often fed antibiotics, which has been found in dairy products – meaning when we consume this in our yogi sip our liver is under additional stress to process these toxins. Not to mention the hormones cows are given to stimulate milk production. Its hard enough balancing our hormones as it is – we certainly don’t need hormones from outside to bring our system out of balance. Most dairy products are laden with saturated fats which is so closely related to cardiovascular disease that it just seems to make a lot of sense to limit dairy or cut it out all together.
You need Calcium? You’re better off eating a handful of sesame seeds.
The largest addiction in the world is the addiction to sugar. Sugar can be found in just about every kind of processed food you can imagine, no wonder we are all unknowingly addicted to the sweet stuff – to the detriment of our loyal and hardworking organs. Obesity and diabetes is on the rise and sugar is a major player here. It is also affecting our mood, our ability to concentrate and think, our children’s cognitive ability and our ability to be healthy. By simply beginning to monitor how much sugar you actually consume on a day to day basis may scare you into realizing you have inadvertently fallen prey to a very serious and dangerous addiction.
5. Knowing what is in your food as well as your beauty and cleaning products is a lifesaver – literally.
Natural is where its at.
GMO’s, preservatives, chemicals that simply aren’t food…in food… is bad news for your beautiful body. In short – if you can’t pronounce it – don’t eat it! Your body is all natural and it wasn’t built to digest and process all the cr*p we ingest in the name of convenience or God forbid – TASTE. Natural really is the best way to go to look and feel healthy and whole.
Even beauty products are riddled with chemicals that are toxic and all of these affect how you feel, how you think, how you live on a day-to-day basis. Do yourself a favour and do not underestimate the impact of these hidden toxins on your body, mind and soul.
6. Proper health care involves more than GP’s and Panado
I was appalled when my General Practitioner suggested I hope that my baby lays breach so I could have a caesarian when my time to give birth comes. What? It’s time to let the medical model take a step back from trying to control nature in its artificial and often harmful ways.
Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely a place for medicine, technology, hospitals, surgery and all those wonderful things. But we are still real people – our bodies have been designed to do certain things (better), all by itself. The answer is not always just in cutting the body open and adjusting, or popping a pill to relieve symptoms – and ignore causes.
There is space in our health care for independence – knowing our own bodies and addressing imbalances and causes thereof – rather than sticking a plaster on. We have a myriad of amazing alternative health practitioners in Port Elizabeth who can help you really get to grips with what is happening in your body. Long live reflexology, energetic healing, meridian therapy and acupuncture, colon therapists, doula’s, blood type analysis and all forms of holistic healing!
Call me biased – by Yoga is still the kindest and most beneficial thing you could do for your overall wellness. Yoga, on its own or in combination with other sports and exercise regimes, will change how you look, how you feel about your body and how you look after yourself. It will wake up sluggish organs in your body – organs weighed down by so much of what was mentioned above – and it will bring your systems back into tip top functioning. You will – at the same time – use and move muscles you didn’t know existed and stretch tone and strengthened like you can in no other single form of exercise. Yoga will become that one place where you find space to be still and quiet – no thoughts about yesterday tomorrow or anything other than just where you are at there and then. That right there is one of the most valuable qualities of yoga. The world knows this and yoga is one of the fastest growing industries still…..and its been around for centuries! If you follow one wellness trend this year – let it be yoga.
8. The peaceful mind transcends all
Its easy to become obsessed with what to eat, what to avoid, which exercises to do and who the right person is to address your unique health concerns. At the end of the day the peace that you can achieve in your mind and soul is more powerful than anything that you put in to or do to your body. So exercise balance with how you look after yourself physically. Rigidity and obsession is not how you achieve peace and tranquility. Take it easy – listen to your body, do what feels right and if you get it wrong – that’s okay…tomorrow is another day in which you can try again. Your mind will never become super peaceful if your body is being abused – but you know that. So do what you can – one step at a time to create a space for your mind and soul that is clean and conducive to achieving freedom – body mind and soul.
Author: Tanya Kemp
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