A Beginner’s Guide to Holistic Health
Have you struggled with stress or low energy? Have you implemented nutritional plans that should be working for you, but the outcome isn’t the result you hoped for? Or have you ever been curious about how you can start becoming the best version of yourself while experiencing a peaceful symbiotic relationship with mother earth? If you’re like me and thought YES to any of those questions, or just want to live a more holistic life, then this episode is for you!
In this episode, I chat with Rob Carney, a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki practitioner, and Thai Bodyworker, with a degree in Sustainable Food & Farming, and he is focused on helping you reduce stress and live an overall healthier lifestyle through transforming the 6 pillars of wellness including your thinking, nutrition, movement, sleep, hydration, and breathing. Rob connects the dots between all aspects of these pillars and how they can work in harmony with our planetary health to create a happy, sustainable life – we talk farm to table nutrition, sustainable agriculture, superfoods, the fundamentals of living a holistic lifestyle, and more!
What is holistic health?
Holistic health is about our body functioning as a whole rather than specific parts of the body. So our physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs. It considers our environment, what we eat and drink, how we are moving our bodies, managing our stress and mental health – it’s the idea that if you’re not well in one part of your body it affects you in all others. It promotes balance and harmony for the individual, society, and the planet.
Rob adds to my definition of holistic health saying that, “Basically that everything is connected, and how healthy our environment is affects how healthy we are, how healthy our thoughts are, affects what we are. And I like to look at Holistic Health in 7 pieces, stress being number one. If we’re stressed out our health is not going to be in balance and we’re going to be causing disharmony to ourselves, and everyone around us. And then I look at moving, thinking, breathing, nutrition, hydration, and sleep.”
Stress is discussed as the first thing to dig into when discussing your overall health. Health isn’t just exercising and eating good food, it’s much more than that. Stress is most common for people and can come in many forms that affect our overall health. Rob says, “We’re constantly on edge. We’re constantly firing off adrenaline, cortisol, all these little stress hormones, which are great for acute survival. If you’re running from a lion you want to have all that energy flowing through you, but if now the lion is your boss, or your spouse, or the TV, or all these things that aren’t really a life-or-death situation, those hormones can actually kind of backfire on us. That causes things like inflammation. That causes things like heart disease. Most of the common challenges in our society are based around stress.”
Rob equips people with the right tools to help each individual reach their goals because there is no one size fits all goal. “We tend to project fear into the future and fear into the past…So to me, part of health as a whole is finding more moments to be present. That’s where I think I find that things like gardening and farming and working with nature are great ways to present their great reminders of patience, persistence, and consistency.”
Herbicides and pesticides had their place in history, but they were not sustainable. Now we have the challenge of our soils being depleted so we should look to organic farming. We need to heal the soil and let it heal through permaculture and a symbiotic relationship with nature. We need to give nature the conditions to create harmony.
You’re getting more nutrition per item if you’re buying organically, while also helping the local economy. “Coming back to conscious capitalism is voting with our dollar. We’re going to farmers’ markets, supporting the local farmers, supporting organic farmers as opposed to going to stop and shop, or any big chain grocery store, and buying whatever they have there. If we can support the small economy, that itself is going to make a monumental change in how everything goes.”
Quality of water is important as well, clearing pathogens and chemicals, using findaspring.com is extremely helpful, or using a water purifier.
Recognizing that we need to look at where our foods come from and how they are cultivated is important. Making sure that the farms and companies we are supporting are making foods of the highest quality. Buying locally or substituting through companies who really try to help support your overall health is important.
Superfoods are very nutrient-rich items without consuming mass amounts of calories. They’re an effective way to get the baseline of nutrition in with convenience and ensuring that your body is optimized. They can include blueberries, kale, spirulina, etc. They all CAN be superfoods, but not all food is created equal. Find superfoods from Purium with Rob here.
Your health journey
Tuning in to your own health, and being mindful of your own health, and figuring out how your body and your environment is a complete picture to your health is really where you will see the change. “We’re all so different, and I think that that difference is beautiful. That difference is what really makes humanity such a unique species is that we’re all so similar, but also so different. I’d say at the end of the day when it comes to health we all need to tap into our head, our heart, and our gut and find the balance, and not get too caught up in our brain like many of us do.”
For the full episode, listen above or anywhere you listen to podcasts!
Rob is a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, Reiki practitioner, Thai Bodyworker, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Food & Farming with a concentration on Holistic Health from UMass Amherst, and is currently enrolled at UMass Boston for his Masters of Business Administration. He has led and collaborated on various health & healing classes.
Connect with Rob on Instagram: @wholehealthconnections
Listen to Whole Health with Rob Carney Podcast Here: Podcast
Find his publications, blog, and coaching information here: www.wholehealthconnects.com
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I’ve made a digital worksheet that you can use to help outline your goals, your priorities, and your actions for the week and month that you can download for free! Subscribe below to get the worksheet emailed directly to you. You can check out Hometown: Earth on Instagram @hometownearth for statistics on the top household offenders for harmful products and waste that may help you to decide what you want to try to change first!