Thursday, September 26, 2013

Your Version of Health

Choose kale!

Make it to your mat!

Nix that coffee!

Phrases like these--or derivatives thereof--are floating all over health cyberspace, as well as in print right now.  Kale is the new romaine.  Yoga is the best form of physical activity and should be practiced daily.  Coffee is bad news--swap it for green tea.  The phrases are well intended, encouraged to motivate people towards health, but they might not be healthy for every person.

While by no means untrue, claims like these do not apply to everyone...and certainly not all of the time!  Being healthy is about listening to your unique self and what it needs in that moment.  By honoring that, you are being healthy!

Let's begin with the kale.  Sure, it's a nutrient-rich food.  When eaten raw, in particular, it has the potential to provide the body loads of enzymes that help make the body strong and healthy.  If one has a fragile digestive system, however, he or she may not be able to break down that kale and reap from it all of its nutritious benefits.  The inability to break down the kale may lead to stomach upset, including gas and bloating.  Doesn't sound very "healthy" to me!  Some easier-to-digest romaine might be a better option for that person!  (If this is you, by the way, when selecting romaine, try to search out the greener heads--the lighter-colored ones or more lacking in nutrients).

Let's look next at the yoga example.  There is no doubt that yoga is an excellent practice for improving one's mental and physical health.  However, if a person is exhausted at the end of an especially long work day, and isn't feeling all that well, practicing yoga after work might not be the "healthiest" option.  He or she might benefit more from a nap and reap from it greater health benefits!

Lastly:  coffee.  There are certainly valid arguments for giving it up but there are also a lot of arguments for drinking it so figure out what's "healthy" for you!  If coffee is something you truly enjoy and gives you energy in the morning, then drink a cup and know you're getting some valuable antioxidants!  If you're drinking upwards of five cups a day, and getting headaches with any fewer, then maybe you need to assess your "healthful" relationship with coffee.

Bottom line?  What is "healthy" for some is not healthy for all.  Honor yourself and make healthy choices that serve you, now...and be sure and share those choices with me!

With love, light and happiness,