Wellness and the truth about dieting
By Dr. Carlton Huff
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
How can you improve individual and collective health and wellness? Clearly, many people are tussling with this task. It becomes a frequent question of where to begin, whom should I follow and so forth. However, the reality is that it has to start today and with you.
Yeah, I said it. You.
Wellness isn’t just a catch phase. In fact, it is much more. Wellness encapsulates a meaning that extends from the blood that runs through the veins in your smallest toe, on your left foot, to the tip of the final membrane that hangs from the edge of your brain like a cliff.
Wellness lifestyle utilizes a vitalistic philosophy expressed through six aspects: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, environmental and spiritual well-being.
I know, seems like a compilation of a lot of big and boring words. But it means that you must acquire as much information to establish a holistic inventory of your own individual health-related needs.
However, be advised that if any one of these dimensions is neglected over time, it will adversely affect your health, well-being and quality of life.
In “Moral Basis for Vegetarianism,” Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying, “As a searcher for truth, I deem it necessary to find the perfect food for a man to keep body, mind and soul in a sound condition. … I therefore still seek information and guidance from kindred spirits.”
Gandhi also said: “The most elementary truths about a person are often revealed in the ways they cook, eat and serve food.”
He believed that food “was energy and even a medicine that is required to keep our body healthy and fit for work and, hence, one should take only what is required in minimum quantity and should refrain from eating to appease taste buds.”
How dare he say that … but it’s true.
Eating well helps to reduce the risk of physical health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. It also helps with sleeping patterns, energy levels and your general health. And since our body and mind, on good days, tend to act in unison, you may notice that your mood often affects the types of food you choose as well as how much you eat.
Gandhi believed in a “minimalistic approach to diet.” When you stick to a diet of healthy food, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood fluctuations, an overall happier outlook and an improved ability to focus.
However, it is important to note that we all have unique body chemistry. So be sure to check with your doctor first to determine whether you may have specific health restrictions. Also, when in doubt, consult a dietitian, ask a friend, colleague or a trainer for suggestions. Be well!
Gandhi MK. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House; 1880. “Key to Health.”
Gandhi MK. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House; 1959. “Moral Basis for Vegetarianism.”