What is holistic health?

The truth is that no amount of exercise or cosmetic surgery will reshape your physique without attention to your lifestyle, emotions and healthy nutrition.

by Paula Owens — 

People of all ages are concerned about the many aspects of their health: how they feel, how they look, disease prevention, as well as quality of life. Unfortunately, a major part of society has been brainwashed to believe in the concept of eating less fat, excessive exercise, Botox injections or pharmaceutical drugs as the answers to attain health, vitality, longevity and fat loss.

How can you achieve complete wellness naturally, without the gimmicks and artificial fixes? Winning formulas for health, vitality, longevity and fat loss are a multi-dimensional state of well-being — a holistic approach that integrates all aspects of wellness, encompassing the physical, mental, emotional, environmental, community and spiritual.

Holistic health is a lifestyle that requires you to be an active participant, taking control and responsibility of various aspects of your life such as a sensible exercise program, eating wholesome organic foods, emotional and mental well-being, hormonal balance and optimal digestion. This list should also include peace of mind and happiness, positive thoughts and a strong belief system, quality relationships, restful sleep, spiritual connection and awareness, stress management, relaxation, meditation and breathing.

Holistic health is an evolution. You are made up of spirit, mind and body. If there is a problem in one of these areas, it will affect the others as well.

Practicing principles of holistic health can alleviate many health conditions including degenerative diseases, chronic stress and lifestyle disorders, hormonal imbalances, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, glandular weakness, gut dysfunction and a lowered functioning immune system.

Holistic health is not represented by the individual with a bronzed tan and chiseled six-pack abdomen who eats 800 calories per day. Nor is it the person who jogs 25 miles per week, or the individual who has undergone one plastic surgery after another or who is on the latest celebrity diet.

The truth is that no amount of exercise or cosmetic surgery will reshape your physique without attention to your lifestyle, emotions and healthy nutrition. Most diets set you up to fail. They work against your natural biochemistry, and program your body to store fat.

Diets and weight-loss gimmicks lead to a damaged metabolism. People who maintain their natural weight range usually have a healthy relationship with food, viewing it as nourishment. They enjoy food and eating without feelings of guilt, anxiety or obsession.

The American population has been misinformed regarding what it takes to lose weight, attain the ultimate physique and live a healthy lifestyle.

A key component of wellness is self-acceptance. Many believe that at age 40, their mind, sight, hearing, libido, joints and physique are on the decline and degeneration is bound to happen. Even worse, society has become dependent upon pharmaceuticals, stimulants or processed foods for maintenance of the most basic human functions. Addictions to alcohol, sugar and other artificial stimulants are used by many. These deplete you of energy, wreak havoc on your health and leave you more exhausted on deeper levels. Addictions stem from inner emotional conflict.

Ninety percent of all diseases could be avoided with attention to these four components: stress management, sunlight, nutrition and exercise.

Unfortunately, medical schools teach little, if anything, about nutrition, wellness or prevention of disease. Instead, medical students are taught how to prescribe toxic pharmaceutical drugs, thereby making doctors the third-leading cause of death. The Rx drug acts as a band-aid. After a period of time, the condition worsens or reappears in another form. Each patent medicine has a list of side effects that often make matters worse. Eventually, more drugs are needed to deal with them, leading to biochemistry disruption and eventually death.

If you want to accelerate aging and shorten your life span, do what most Americans are already doing: avoid exercise; eat a large percentage of your diet from fast foods, soda and junk foods; consume white four and white sugar; avoid supplements and instead take prescription drugs that prematurely age the liver, pancreas, kidneys and other organs.

Holistic health addresses the entire person and their lifestyle. It focuses on prevention, health maintenance, high-level wellness and longevity, incorporating the four powers which include nutrition, lifestyle, exercise and supplements. In holistic health, you are an active participant in the healing process of your life versus being a passive recipient.

One great way to take charge of your health and well-being is to make a commitment to meal planning and cooking good food, without skimping on flavor. Here is a nutritious and naturally low-fat recipe to help you get started.

Healthy Coconut Macadamia Chicken


  • 1-2 cups unsweetened, organic, shredded coconut
  • 1-2 cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts, crushed
  • 1 cup coconut cream/milk
  • pinch of unprocessed sea salt
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds organic chicken breast tenders
  • 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil


Marinate chicken in coconut cream or milk for 3 to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat glass baking dish with coconut oil. Mix crushed macadamia nuts and shredded coconut in bowl. Roll chicken breast in coconut/macadamia mixture and place in baking dish. Cook 35 to 45 minutes. Place under broiler for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with jasmine brown rice, quinoa and asparagus or veggie of your choice.


Paula Owens holds a master’s degree in holistic nutrition and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. She is a nutritionist, fitness and weight-loss expert, and the author of The Power of 4. www.paulaowens.com, paula@paulaowens.com or 480-706-1158.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 6, Dec 2010/Jan 2011.

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