Mindful Nutrition: Embracing Holistic Health

July 8, 2024

Leaving the trends behind

Over the years, I've explored nearly every wellness diet out there. First, the paleo diet enticed me with its buttery indulgences—from breakfast to coffee and even steak. Then, I dabbled in veganism for 10 days each month, enjoying oat milk, almond milk, and coco quench, but often feeling empty from insufficient food. When I began training more rigorously, bulking up required not just carbs, but an overwhelming amount of food, which left me exhausted from forcing myself to eat beyond satiety. Though I did see some gains, the regimen wasn't sustainable for my lifestyle.

Truthfully, none of these diets enriched my life holistically; rigid eating habits often left me lacking. Now, I'm exploring a balanced approach that blends different dietary elements, considering my lifestyle, personal needs, and sustainability. Can this approach adapt to life's rhythms? Does it align with my life's purpose and practicality at this stage? Biological considerations are also crucial—while KFC daily might seem fulfilling, our bodies may signal otherwise over time.

Three Key Elements of Holistic Eating

Balance: Ensuring your diet includes a wide range of nutrients supports bodily functions, energy levels, mental clarity, and emotional stability.

Variety: Including diverse foods provides various nutritional benefits. For urban dwellers shopping at supermarkets, supplements can offer alternatives, though caution is warranted due to industry charlatans.

Moderation: My wife exemplifies this well. Eating consciously and with self-control promotes longevity. In Japanese Okinawan culture, "Hara Hachi Bu" advises eating until 80% full, a practice seen in Blue Zones—regions where people live longer and healthier lives.

Pitfalls of Extreme Diet Trends

Extreme diets like keto (high-fat, low-carb), intermittent fasting (eating and fasting cycles), and veganism (plant-based, excludes animal products) promise quick results but may lead to nutritional imbalances and health risks if not managed properly. Those on keto should be aware of potential fibre and essential vitamin deficiencies, especially with "dirty keto" for weight loss, neglecting food quality. Similarly, vegans may struggle with adequate protein, B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids from animal products. A carnivore diet, lacking fibre, vitamins C and E, and phytonutrients, may pose long-term health risks.

Considering Your Own Lifestyle

An active lifestyle influences metabolic needs and nutrient utilisation differently than a sedentary one. Stress affects food utilisation and appetite. Conscious eating is crucial; our bodies and minds are in constant communication. Living a fast-paced life without tuning into your needs can lead to poor dietary choices. A holistic approach integrates biological facts with lifestyle considerations.

Practical Steps Towards Holistic Eating

Meal Planning: Plan meals for the week for awareness and foresight, reducing spontaneous decisions hindering new habits.

Mindful Eating: Be present and attentive while eating, focusing on taste, texture, and aroma. Slow eating aids digestion and satisfaction with smaller portions.

Flexibility and Moderation: Embrace flexibility to enjoy diverse foods that suit personal preferences and social situations. Moderation supports balance, indulging in treats in moderation for sustainable habits and overall well-being.

In Summary

Adopt a holistic approach to eating that respects biological needs and personal lifestyle choices for sustained health and vitality. Resist quick-fix diets and nurture mindful, balanced eating habits that support long-term well-being.


- Healthline: The Carnivore Diet: Is Eating Only Meat Healthy or Totally Fatty?

- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Nutritional and Health Considerations for Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

- National Institutes of Health (NIH): Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe?

- Harvard Medical School: The Keto Diet: What You Need to Know

- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets

- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: Becoming a Vegetarian

If you are looking for healthy and delicious meals check out our ingredient of the month blog for nutritious recipes updates once a month. Recipes like roasted tomato soup with cheesy thyme toast or roasted carrots with carrot top pesto and cold yoghurt

Also, if you are looking for somewhere to move your body as part of a holistic healthy lifestyle, join us at our pilates studios in Brisbane or online!

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