I have been eating “holistically” all of my life. Raised in the country with free range goats, chickens, wild game, fish and organic vegetables, I ate all the foods such an upbringing provided. I was healthy, energetic, creative and full of energy.
Then, disaster struck. I relocated to a City as a teenager. “Meat” became hamburgers and purchased chicken from supermarkets with not a lot of vegetables thrown in. My health was riddled with fainting, nausea, dizziness, severe stomach cramping and headaches. This was extremely scary and very alarming.
I divined that “city food” was killing me. I cut out anything that I was sensitive to as well as flour products, fried foods, heavy sugars and salt. I basically lived on fresh vegetables and dairy products. I avoided restaurants like the plague and read copiously on vegetarianism, macrobiotics, cleansing and fasting. My health returned and I kept it under strict supervision. Brown rice, vegetables, soy foods, mainly tofu, became the mainstay of my diet. This was extremely timely since my protein intake was pathetic. At the time, there were few guidelines showing how to be a balanced vegetarian. I absorbed the soy food culture, happily convinced that I had found a balanced, holistic and ultimately healthy way to live the rest of my life.
Not so. By the time I hit my thirties, in spite of lots of exercise and eating ‘correctly’, I was again experiencing body weakness – exhaustion was paramount and I couldn’t even find my libido! At first, I blamed this not on food but on my rigorous work and exercise schedule. Soon, I “hit the wall” and had to take another serious look at my dietary habits.
Knowing that I was inviting permanent health risks if I continued on my present course, I considered the macrobiotic suggestion of adding sea food to my diet. Moving to Campbell River, the “fishing capital of the world”, I was introduced to wild fish. Within a very short time my energy was back, my hair shone and my libido was unearthed. I was amazed and grateful and again embarked on full, intense days.
I gradually added free range chicken and whole grains in the form of home-made breads to my diet. My nervous system calmed down, my energy returned; and today, balance reigns.
If I have learned anything over the past 45 years, it is that our first responsibility is to determine what our bodies need in order to perform at their optimum level. Some of us love to pack life to its fullest every single day; some do not. Some of us can handle a variety of foods; some of us cannot. There is an enormous amount of conflicting “health information” available to us today. All this information can be blown out of proportion if taken out of context or viewed in isolation.
I encourage eating with a meditative, reverent manner to assure balanced emotional, physical and mental health. Eat with respect, in moderation, in accordance to our body’s needs and our lifestyle. Feel happy to be a part of a greater consciousness where love and healing energy surrounds us daily.
There is no magical medicine that will make us healthy and there is no magical road either. Each of us must keep an open, observing mind and be responsible for our own health. Try “moderation in everything”, including with what you eat, to create that balance.
Dr. Pauline Wolf, is an educator and practitioner of holistic health in Campbell River, B.C.