The most essential life skill is to learn how to take optimal care of ourselves – nutritionally, physically and emotionally – and that is what the 5 Pillars is all about.
“An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and “You are what you eat” are two known sayings about our eating habits, there is a bigger truth to it than most of us want to acknowledge.
Our body is extremely complex, but at the most basic level – food is a fuel source necessary for the body to function. Our body is filled with millions of tiny, tiny cells, and each and every cell in the body requires energy to function, and the source of that energy is food – also known as nutrients. Nutrients are different components used as building blocks that are essential for all physiological functions, the by-products of food convey messages within your whole body and aid in cell signalling.
The food you eat will affect such as inflammations, immune system, blood sugar, insulin level, detoxification pathways, cellular energy, fat storage/elimination, hormone balance and the list can go on…. This is why it is so important that you choose the right food. Plant based food contains a component called phytonutrients, which are particularly important for a wide range of the essential physiological processes including immune system functioning, hormone metabolism and balance, toxins elimination, cell signalling and so on.
By choosing organic food, we avoid consuming harmful chemicals such as synthetic pesticides and weed-killers, hormones, additives and GMO, hydrogenated fats and controversial food colour and preservatives, that can cause imbalances to our physiological functions.
The optimal diet is increased consumption of plant-based and nutrient-rich food, as these foods supply both the right amount of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat & proteins) and the essential micronutrients (vitamins, minerals & phytochemicals) that release our cells amazing super-powers to heal itself, increase our energy, increase our immune system, slow down aging, and giving the body an overall renewed vitality and wellbeing. The key is making an effort to choose nutrient-rich foods that send the right healthy signals to the body for positive gene expression and optimal health. Eating high quality foods can have a positive influence on the body and may even help to reverse disease.
Sleep is something we often take for granted, and most of us don’t really know the health benefits of what a good night´s sleep can promote. Getting a good night´s sleep is an effortless technique to create longevity, health and overall wellbeing. Deep rest during the night helps you fight such as stress, maintain a healthy weight and immune system and keeps your energy levels high. Timing your sleep is like timing an investment in the stock market – it doesn’t matter how much you invest, it matters when you invest. Sleep at the right time is shown to increase the internal activity that is responsible for repair and restoration, which is vital for optimal health and wellbeing. If your body chronically deprive of the regenerative sleep you may feel fatigued when you wake up in the morning.
Physical Activity - Movement
Previous generations were more naturally active through work and manual labour, but today we have to find ways to integrate activity into our daily lives. Technology, cars and public transportation has made our lives easier, but we should encourage ourselves to stand up and move more frequently, as sitting and lying down is causing us major health problems.
We need a combination of the movements such as strength, flexibility and cardio to be healthy. If you’re not getting enough of one of these three “movement nutrients” there is typically an issue that will arise. Movement influences the genetic expression of each individual cell which is happening on a cellular level as a key role to the overall physiological function of our body. Movement is shown to be dose-dependent and the dose is different for each individual. The key is to have balance and diversity in your exercise and daily movement. Movement doesn’t have to be rigorous. It can be as simple as walking in nature.
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This relates to the law of average, which is the theory that the result of any given situation will be the average of all outcomes. When it comes to social interactions and relationships we are greatly influences, whether we like it or not, by those closest to us. It affects our way of thinking, our self-esteem, and our decisions. While its ideal to be closely surrounded by positive, supportive people who want you to succeed, it’s also necessary to have your critics.
In the rush to accomplished all necessary daily tasks, we may find ourselves losing connection with the present moment – missing out on what we are doing and how we are feeling. Mindfulness is the practise of purposely focusing our attention on the present moment, and accepting it without judgement. Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has found to be a key element in happiness and been proven to reduce such as stress, heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, improve quality of sleep and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties just to mention a few.