Integrative Nutrition

What exactly is “integrative nutrition”? The word integrative when added to nutrition describes an approach taken to understanding nutrition from a whole person perspective.

The human being is made of of many aspects that come together to determine who they are, how they live and what their quality of life is. The way we think, behave, treat others, lives work and even eat are all inter-connected and are integrative to one another.

For many people they way they eat is compartmentalized from their big picture understanding of themselves. By exploring the various motivational triggers in our lives for both constructive and not so constructive behavior, we can experience an authentic control and understanding of “what makes us tick”.

I am personally a very health conscious individual, exercising 75 minutes a day with the vast majority of my meals consisting of living plant foods. The other afternoon a very close friend announced devastating new that sent me out of my office reeling with distress and I immediately knew I wanted a carbohydrate fix.

Not the kind of carbohydrate that by-passes insulin and is high in fiber, phytonutrients and rich in minerals and vitamin A and C, but the processed kind that had lots of sugar and calories in it that would result in significantly high levels of serotonin being secreted into my blood stream so my brain could take a step back, chill out and process the information I just received.

The idea of “integrative” nutrition or integrative exercise, meditation, yoga, working, lifetyle or any other aspect of our lives is to have a whole picture understanding of how the food or behavior is integrated into our whole self and into the larger perspective of what motivates and directs our behavior choices.

Yes, indeed, I  felt quite sick after pouring the sweet, crunchy snacks into my stomach, but I also was able to give myself some self-medication with the food that lowered my anxiety level and allowed me to emotionally process the news I received in a way that was less distressing and more constructive than if I would have NOT eaten the serotonin provoking foods. 

The most important thing about the choices we make is whether or not we make them consciously. Integrative nutrition is not always pure, living, green and healthy nutrition – but it is about the whole experience of how, why and what we eat.

With all good wishes,
Copyright 2011 G. Donadio