Picture your ideal, most joyful, content, and peaceful moment—are you with loved ones, outside in beautiful weather, enjoying a wholesome and delicious meal?
When we sink deep into joy and contentment, this often lends a helpful line of sight to some of our most basic foundational needs. Almost every appointment I have with a client includes some question about a supplement, diet, habit, device, cleanse, or detox they have tried (usually multiple) all promising the same thing, quick and mind-boggling results. And what does this get them? No, not the results they were hoping for—at least not sustainably or for their desired length of time. It leaves them discouraged, weary, at the mercy of blood sugar highs and lows, stuck in a constant state of high-stress, burnt out, and desperate for change. Foundational, sustainable, and accessible holistic health offers a kind and gentle solution. A healthy body does not start with detox pills, drastic diet restrictions, or pricey redlight sauna protocols, it can start with you, in your home, with your community, and with foundational supports. When we truly desire physical improvement, it is essential that we unravel (ideally with a practitioner) what is helpful, what is useful, what is honoring to the body, and what the next right step is for you.
You matter. You really do.
One of the largest byproducts I encounter in our often quick-solution-seeking culture is a weary, discouraged client. So much of the health process starts with what is going on in the mind of the person who needs support. What do you value—do you see the value of your body and how that makes what you do possible? Do you believe you are worth enough to take a root cause approach to your health? Is your physique your main determinant of your health? Did you grow up with a quick, conventional philosophy? Perhaps most importantly, are you willing to change your mind on your approach to health if needed? Holistic, foundational supports inject hope into any health situation as there is so much you can do to build a strong foundation and support healing where you are and with what you have. You are worth the time and effort it takes to take a breath (or twenty) and let go of what health has meant to you. Focusing on the foundations means staying, stepping in, and growing roots in various ways throughout your day-to-day life that not only supports your healing but creates a strong foundation for further healing in you, your family, and your community.
You can start where you are.
Digestion, a majority whole food diet, blood sugar regulation, sleep, stress, movement, fatty acid balance, community, mental health, mineral balance, and hydration form the foundations of health. In order to see marked and long-lasting improvement, these foundations have to be in place. If on your own, it can help to start by picking a habit in one of the foundational categories, or perhaps a support for a specific symptom (It helps to have a practitioner for this part, but there are also many free resources, too!). Eating whole, real foods, spending time outside, adding minerals to your water, getting 15-20 minutes of sunshine daily, having 1-3 well-formed bowel movements daily, eating enough protein, and practicing regular rest are essential health foundations that we cannot thrive without. Whole body health begins with the small, sustainable steps you, personally can take where you are, not the newest health trend, and regardless of where you are, there is always something you can start.
Take the next right step, holistic health is more accessible than you may think.
Now your first reaction may be, “Okay…but what exactly is the next right step for me?”. This is where it can be life-changing to work with a practitioner that utilizes functional labs, but if that isn’t an option for you at this time, know that there are so many options for you still! Many practitioners share helpful information on their social media or email lists. Find a habit, recipe, swap, that helps support one or several of your main concerns and begin to implement it regularly. Small, sustainable steps toward health matter and are where big things happen. For example, you may not be able to escape into the woods for an hour daily to meditate and reduce stress, but you might be able to take 15-20 minutes before bed to take some deep breaths. All organic produce may not be in your budget, but you can opt for non-organic whole foods. Regardless of constraints, there is always a next step to take. The biggest obstacle in the holistic health space is often the way you think about your health, and while deeper health issues may not always be able to be resolved through the foundations, true holistic healing always starts and stays here.
Here are a few of my favorite foundational habits…
- Drink ½ of my body weight in ounces of water with a pinch of high-quality sea salt in every ~10 oz (I love Redmond’s Sea Salt).
- Make sure I am having a bowel movement 1-3 times a day (Bowel mover by Core Formulas, aloe vera juice in my water, hydration, and fiber intake can help!).
- Spend 15-20 minutes getting unfiltered sunshine as the weather allows.
- Aim for 7+ hours of sleep (avoiding electronics and winding down before to ensure a good night’s rest).
- Eat enough protein throughout the day (0.8 g of protein per lb of body weight if looking to build muscle and balance blood sugar and there are no underlying kidney issues).
- Make sure my nutrient needs are met (Opting for whole foods, well-sourced beef liver, and local, in-season foods, etc).
- Supporting organs involved in the drainage process such as the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and skin (Drainage Essentials by Core Formulas, hydration, movement, herbal teas, adding salt to my water, lemon water, beets, etc.).
- Doing some kind of daily de-stress (breathwork, going for a walk after work, Stress Control by Core Formulas, prayer, scripture reading, etc.)
You can feel free to clear out the noise, take a deep breath, and start something new. Whole body health starts with your daily choices. The food we eat, the time we spend outside, the time we spend in community, the love we receive and give away, optimal digestive function, de-stressing, disconnecting from the digital world, correcting nutrient needs, and more. You are more than worth the time and effort it takes to dig deeper and invest in a way of healthy living that causes you to thrive. It is possible to start where you are, with what you have, and take the next, right, and sustainable step.
Keep going, where there is life there is reason to keep living, and we can give it our best to give our best away to others.
Leah Van Hooreweghe, NTP @foundandheldwell