What is “Integrative Nutrition”?

We all know what nutrition is. It’s concerning the food and beverages we put into our bodies and how it all nourishes us. So what is “integrative nutrition”?

Integrative Nutrition is the concept that food isn’t the only important factor to nourishing our bodies. You can probably guess that fitness is also an important factor to your health, but did you know that your relationships (whether they’re romantic, friendships or family), career, spirituality, and so many other facets of your life play a huge role in your overall health?

My favorite question that really gets to the core of integrative nutrition is: “Why do you do what you do when you know what you know?” In other words: If you know how to be healthy and the steps you should be taking daily to feel your best, why do you continue to make unhealthy choices that keep you from being the healthiest version of yourself?

For instance, you know you’re supposed to eat nourishing unprocessed foods at every meal and your plan is to go to the gym every night. Yet, multiple nights a week you find yourself leaving work to go home to eat pizza or ice cream along with a bottle of wine and you skip your workout. Or you go out for drinks and unhealthy restaurant food with co-workers or friends instead of going home to your healthy groceries and taking the spin class you planned on taking. Or, if you’re a parent, you eat the chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese you made for your kids instead of the healthy meal you planned on making for yourself. Why do so many of us make these choices when we know what the right ones are? Are we stressed about our jobs and need to let loose? Are we in an unhappy relationship – or unhappy because we’re not in a relationship – so we eat and drink our feelings? Are we tired and overwhelmed from all of our daily responsibilities that we feel like we can’t put the effort into one more thing? Or are we simply giving into social pressure from friends, romantic partners, and/or family only to regret it later and beat ourselves up for it?

There are countless reasons we make unhealthy decisions when we know the right ones to make and it is my job to figure out why those decisions are being made. Once you know the emotional triggers behind your unhealthy choices, you can start working on healing those issues and before you know it making healthy choices for yourself will come easy. It’s all about learning the right healthy choices for you, figuring out the “why’s” behind your unhealthy choices, coming up with coping strategies that don’t involve food, and becoming the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley

One thought on “What is “Integrative Nutrition”?

  1. Chris

    Good column. Being healthy takes a lot of effort between exercising and preparing healthy meals. Huge food conglomerates have been subsidized with our tax dollars to provide us with cheap, unhealthy food alternatives that can be quickly consumed. We make it too easy to be unhealthy. We need people like you to be our conscience! Preach baby, preach!! I’m listening!!

    Like

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