School started this week! If you missed it, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I decided to register with Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach. I’m feeling a mixture of things: excited, overwhelmed, nervous, busy… I guess those are all to be expected.
Having watched and read the intro materials, I can tell that this is the right place for me. The school refers to itself as a movement, more than a nutrition school. Besides working with individuals as health coaches, there is a need to influence policy decisions and programs at a structural level (better school lunches or hospital food, anyone?)
One of the things I love most about this school is that it doesn’t have a particular nutrition philosophy that everyone must subscribe to. They acknowledge that nutrition is an ever-changing body of knowledge. We cannot say with certainty that everyone should give up meat, or sugar, or dairy, or eat raw, or whatever else might be considered the path to better health.
In addition, it’s important to remember that health is so much more than what we eat! Did anyone else see the article in NY Times this week, “The Island Where People Forget to Die”? The people of Ikaria have been known to live much longer than their American or European counterparts.
While they do have a mostly vegetarian diet and few processed foods, they still eat pork, grains and bread, and lots of olive oil. Few of them exercise in the structured, calculated way that we do, but they were active as part of their day to day lifestyle.
What I found inspiring in the article was the reminder that good health is so much more that the sum of what we eat and how we move.
It’s connected to family relationships, career satisfaction, sense of community, spirituality, and a more simple, less stressful life.
Those are the things I am focusing on right now- clearing out the extra stress when I can. Enjoying my family time more. Choosing good food, but not striving for perfection.
Making healthier treats, like tofu pumpkin pie (recipe coming soon!)
And giving in to a craving to bake “real” chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes you just need a cookie with butter and sugar in it.
I’m choosing to relax and let go of the assumption that I have to be perfect to be healthy. And instead seeking more balance in all of life.
For excellent related reading, my friend Lindsay wrote a great post about letting go of perfection, and another friend and Lindsay inspired me with these simple, healthy “thou shalts” to be happier and healthier.
Do you get caught up in the assumption that health is determined by a particular diet and exercise equation?
Are any of these out of balance for you (relationships, work satisfaction, spirituality, or simplicity)?