Would you like live and eat healthy? Are you unsure on how to get started? To help understand why people are not eating and living in healthy ways and 5 tips for healthy living and eating, I have interviewed psychotherapist Ellen Farrell, MA, NCC, LPC, EEMCP.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
“As a holistic psychotherapist, I take the word holistic to heart! I started out in life loving to act and play guitar. I found that I wanted to act more than anything, and got a BFA in acting from Rutgers. I loved to make others laugh while performing, and later as a young woman, also found the power of helping others to transmute their own pain, and heal through doing improvisation with drama therapy (grant-funded work in schools). This was the beginning of my desire to become a counselor. At that time, I had some of my own health issues to deal with, got married, and after five years of being unable to conceive, and seeking first the allopathic medical fix of fertility drugs, with no luck. Then we tried complementary care, and within a few months I was pregnant. I had also begun work the Natural food industry, and learned so much about preventive care that way. We’ve had three children, and our eldest is in college, so I’ve learned first-hand about raising a family in a healthy way with lots of love, good boundaries, and healthy food, and came to know more intimately the challenges that arise within family dynamics ‘” and both of our family of origin histories (both healthy and unhealthy patterns). Working with integrative modalities such as Energy Medicine has proven to be an important part of creating health in our family!”
What are some of the reasons people are not eating and living in healthy ways?
“We live in an increasingly isolating, complex and chaotic world, and we all have had cumulative trauma ‘” emotional pain that gets stored in us, as the freeze response that can make us feel numb, burnt out, disconnected. On top of that, food nutrition quality and standards in America have fallen precipitously, further numbing our taste buds and disconnecting us from our body, and our ability to remember how ‘˜healthy’ feels. Genetically modified foods, and (since the ‘˜70’s) the highly addictive, and nutrition robbing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as well as trans-fats and MSG are in practically everything ‘” and many people still do not realize just how bad highly processed foods are for us. Government subsidies for factory-farmed meats encourage cheaper fast foods but not quality. Bovine Growth hormones and the stress hormone Cortisol, (which is in factory farm animals due to the unnatural, miserable lives they live) adds to the stress levels of those eating them. Also, we’re out of touch with nature, and our own energies and inner voice. As a culture we’ve forgotten that we’re all connected. We forget to listen to what is in our heart, to remember that if we don’t heal the past we continue to act out from a place of pain. We forget to feed and honor our Spirit.”
What type of impact can poor eating and living choices have on someone’s overall life?
“To start, it can reduce one’s quality of life ‘” of course, it can also just plain old reduce your time here. In addition to poor eating habits, poor living choices (such as not getting enough exercise or sleep, or just rushing non-stop through your day with no time for connecting, taking a breath consciously, meditating, feeling gratitude ‘” and taking time to process daily, and major life transitions) can also wreak havoc on brain function and every aspect of one’s experience ‘” creating mood swings, feelings of apathy, and lack of clarity, foggy brain, low energy, and eventually, physiological problems.
Poor eating disrupts immune system function, can cause hormone and thyroid problems, and then every system may become vulnerable. Mostly, how the body is influenced may depend on individual tendencies, and which emotional factors and thoughts are at play. We are exposed to an inordinate amount of environmental toxins, so eating them willfully is not helping. Watch how your body feels if you clean up your food intake and start only eating what feels healthy! Make it a choice. Feeling optimally well, means not just eating right (getting local greens, eggs, and meats, and fresh, whole foods, (organic or non-GMO, non-BGH) ‘” Organic or fresh raw dairy products, no farmed fish, trans fats or HFCS, and avoid all excessive sugars especially fructose!), but also listening to that intuitive voice within that gets more clear as you make a habit of listening.”
What are 5 tips for healthy living and eating?
“The following are my 5 tips for healthy living and eating.
1. Be gentle with yourself! Honor you own personal process and choices for your life, and then listen to your intuition and your heart. We are all unique energies with individual needs… take time to decide how YOU want to de-stress, meditate, exercise; and then have fun doing it!
2. Some people can do well without eating an animal based diet, and others need some dense protein. Dr. Mercola has a free nutrition-type test on his site. I found, having been vegan for several years, and vegetarian (25 years), that I needed eggs, and some fish (i.e., Wild Alaskan Salmon). Either way, eating organic free range, grass fed cows is more humane, and is safest (avoiding the often diseased meat/fish of factory farms). Organic and fresh is best ‘” no one ever stayed healthy eating only highly processed or fast foods!
3. Reduce hydrogentated (trans) fats, rancid fats in fried foods, and HFCS, GMO. If your bag of bread or corn chips is not organic, it is probably made from GMO wheat or corn, as is the HFCS.
4. Replace processed sugars with honey, maple syrup or Stevia, use organic Coconut oil for cooking (great for skin too), and only buy dairy that is BGH free (or organic) — European cheeses are BGH free since it is illegal there.
5. Determine if you have stuck pain from the past. What needs healing? Get help if you don’t know where to start! Remember, you can make a choice about who you want to be right NOW! You are not your history, your body, or your emotions. We are body, mind, and Spirit ‘” learn how to identify, and heal what is stuck and keeping you from moving forward and evolving. What are your dreams and visions for your happy life? Explore and decide what healthy means to you, and start with choosing health on all levels!”
Thank you Ellen for doing the interview on 5 tips for healthy living and eating. For more information on Ellen Farrell or her work you can check out her website on www.ellenfarrell.com.