At Agni, we believe in a holistic approach to health and healing, so it may come as no surprise that Holistic Nutrition is one of several disciplines that inspire our product development.
For all things Holistic Nutrition, we turn to Tammy Chang, Certified Nutrition Consultant, Author, and Founder of The Nourished Belly, holistic health coaching. Tammy supports her clients with a comprehensive approach to health that emphasizes food, cooking, movement, and other lifestyle behaviors. As a member of our Medical Advisory Board, Tammy has guided us in incorporating Holistic Nutrition principles into our products and personal lives. Thank you, Tammy!
What is Holistic Nutrition?
Holistic Nutrition views health as an expression of the complex interplay between the physical, chemical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental aspects of one’s life and wellbeing. Using nutritional education as a primary tool, trained Holistic Nutrition professionals approach health and healing from a whole-person perspective. This requires fully engaging the individual in their health recovery process and honoring their innate wisdom by working together — empowering both the patient and the practitioner — to chart a course to optimal health.
How do I incorporate Holistic Nutrition into my daily life?
It can be challenging to know where to begin, so Tammy offered us a few ways to honor and incorporate some of the wisdom from Holistic Nutrition. If you are experiencing acute symptoms, we recommend consulting with your health practitioner and discussing how working with a trained Holistic Nutrition professional may be right for you.
- Do your best to create calm for meal times. If you are constantly stressing your to-do list and on the go all day long — including and especially while you eat — you may be compromising your digestion. When your body becomes stressed, your sympathetic nervous system triggers the fight or flight response, causing your digestion to slow down or even stop so that your body can divert all its energy to facing a perceived threat. This may cause digestive issues such as gas, abdominal pain, or bloating. The parasympathetic nervous system, on the other hand, calms the body down. If we take the time to pause while and shortly after we eat, the parasympathetic nervous system can successfully signal to the body that it’s safe to relax and focus resources on digestion. Your digestion works optimally when you’re in a relaxed state, so it’s worth tuning into meals while you’re eating them to aid the digestive process.
- Learn to listen to and trust what your body is telling you. Tammy’s clients often come to her and say that they are looking to lose weight. When she digs a little deeper, Tammy and the client agree that what the individual is really looking for is the confidence to listen to the messages their body is telling them so they can feed themselves what they actually need. She works with clients to help establish a healthy dialogue between their body and minds. This means learning to honor hunger and fullness (and applying enough attention and intention to hear those signals!), and tuning in to what makes their unique body feel great and what makes it complain. Once this communication is flowing, weight loss can follow. This is true for many of the other goals clients show up with as well.
- Experiences are nourishment, too. Any experience that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (or “rest and digest” mode) is supporting digestion, nourishment, and therefore overall health. In addition to trying to include wholesome foods in our lives, Tammy reminds us that including relaxing experiences is also very important to our health. This can be as simple as a silent walk with yourself or a loved one, a bath, a 5-minute meditation, or some deep breaths. Or it can be a grander gesture — booking yourself a massage or acupuncture appointment, taking yourself somewhere you’ve been wanting to go, or letting yourself sleep in on a weekday.
- Be open to all types of movement. We all know daily movement is important for our bodies, but do we really give ourselves credit when we walk around the block or take the stairs? Tammy encourages us to recognize and value the importance of all movement throughout the day and not just the sweaty workout sessions. Just 10 minutes of walking to work or taking the stairs can help your fascia, improve your mind-body connection, and turn off your fight or flight mode, allowing your body to function more intelligently.
Holistic Nutrition is just one of many disciplines that we at Agni look to in order to ensure every one of our products is as effective as it is delicious.