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Trying to find some sort of balance for health is no easy feat. The word balance itself doesn’t tell us very much. I mean balance what exactly is it? As humans, our species is unique in how we are able to eat such a variety of food and still thrive on completely varied ratios of macro-nutrients. In addition to these tribal patterns, we are also unique at a cellular level meaning that each individual has unique nutrient requirements optimal for them. As a final point, realise that we have created a colossal amount of man-made, packaged foods which only compound the problem even more. Most of the supermarket these days is made up of packaged food, not easily found in nature! So how do we cut through and make sense of all this? This article should shed some light on the topic…..
What do we mean by ‘Balance for health’?
Starting with a simple google search, the definition of a balanced diet is as follows:
This doesn’t tell us very much. Even if we try to pull it apart, the terms ‘adequate amount of nutrients’ and ‘necessary for good health’ don’t carry much meaning. In our opinion the conclusion is pretty clear that the idea of ‘balance for health’ is not a universal concept and perhaps just more confusing than informing.
The four points below are meant to highlight what balance for health means for us from a plant-based point of view.
It’s about micro-nutrients
The full definition incorporates not only what we eat but also what we digest, absorb and assimilate. In trying to find your balance for health, focus on getting a variety of seasonal foods that are rich in micro-nutrients to nourish your body to function optimally. The easiest way to incorporate a great variety of nutrients is to focus on getting a full broad spectrum of coloured fruit and vegetables with every meal. The colours represent the different antioxidants and vitamins.
It’s about YOU and what works for you
There are so many diets and so many foods to choose from but there is truly no one size fits all. It in essence depends on your goals and what kind of approach best suits your lifestyle. You don’t have to follow a certain trend just because everyone else is doing it.
It’s about Nature
At iRaw, our products are created as nature intended – zero processing, organic, raw, plant based and full of nutrition. In other words; ‘Packed with Power‘. This should be the goal in all that you eat. Remember you only have one body. If you don’t take care of it, where will you live?
It’s about adding in, not cutting out
Given the broad nature of the term ‘balance’, it is important to note that it should never be limiting or focused on taking food away. Likewise, balance doesn’t mean juggling everything. Make the food work for you! Don’t cut, eliminate, remove or resist but instead focus on adding nutrient dense portions with every meal.
Three simple steps to get started
Finding balance for health doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with these three simple steps:
- Keep a food diary: It’s one of the easiest exercises you can do to gain some perspective on your diet. And best of all, you don’t need to be a nutrition expert! Simply buy a little notebook, use notes on your phone or an app like myfitnesspal to just spend some time recording your daily food intake. Record what you eat (rough measures), what time and how you feel before/after (ravenous, not hungry, content etc). Do this for one week and then sit down and review to identify any obvious patterns. For example, maybe you think you eat very little chocolate or crisps and suddenly realise that in fact you have it almost daily, perhaps you realise there is a massive gap between lunch and dinner which might explain why your will power drops in the evenings. And so on.
- Water: This is a non negotiable and most simply we don’t drink enough. Aim for a minimum of 2 litres spread evenly throughout the day. The easiest way to do this is to purchase a BPA free bottle that you can carry around with you. This allows you to always have direct access to water and also visibly, mainly see the progress you are making. Plus, if you work in an office, getting water every hour is a great way to move more.
- Mindful Eating: how often do you take a moment to really taste and chew your food? Most of us eat on the go while running between meetings. Sadly, this ‘go-go-go attitude’ can have a negative impact on our digestive systems. Your nervous system has two states – the parasympathetic (rest & digest) and the sympathetic (fight or flight) mode. If you are constantly rushing, constantly stressed and always on the go, your body will continuously remain in the fight or flight mode. Consequently, all focus turns to helping you survive the stress, resulting in other things like your digestion don’t work as well. Food is supposed to be enjoyed in good company so take the time to sit down at a table, away from any distractions and eat slowly and mindfully. Practice five deep breaths before you start to eat. Put the fork down between bites of food and chew as much as possible which, then stimulates the enzyme function, improves absorption and digestion.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
Remember this journey takes time. Finding and maintaining balance for health is a lifelong plan and takes time, trial and error. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time, you have to test and gauge yourself. How do you feel, perform and function day-to-day? This all takes time and also requires you to learn to pay attention! When things aren’t quite right, watch out for signals like indigestion, bloating, spots, fatigue etc. When things are going right, take note of the great sleep, feeling rested, full of energy and how your skin glows!
If you want to learn more, check out our blog post on plant-based diets!
The After being vegetarian for many years, Asa became vegan. She started experimenting with Raw Food in 2004 and immediately felt a beneficial effect on her health.
“I truly believe Food is your Medicine. Food has always been my passion and I´m in love with Life and Healthy Living. I´m truly committed to sharing with love and compassion my knowledge and expertise. I want others to experience the benefits from incorporating ‘some raw’ on their own journey of good health, happiness, success and longevity.”
We took part in the Balance Festival this year, the perfect event to help you find your balance for health. Festivals are a great way to discover healthy fitness trends and chat face-to-face with brands. Check out the full list of festivals in the UK here.