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A holistic lifestyle…what is it?

Living a holistic Lifestyle? What is this thing called lifestyle?

Lifestyle – in my opinion, and broadly put, describes the way in which an individual, their family, their community, might perhaps choose to live their lives. This includes, their attitudes, behaviours and even their choice of possessions, their worldview and perceptions – be they personal or cultural – around their quality of life. It has got to do with how people respond to or cope with social, economic, physical and psychological conditions on a daily basis. How they decide to choose the food they eat, what they wear and most importantly the values, sense of identity and self-hood they decide to embrace… this to me is what defines – a lifestyle. What do you think?

Lifestyle and health?


Lifestyles is also about health and well-being.  How do we find balance – between looking good, feeling great, eating healthy, engaging in physical activities, maintaining a good weight, finding ways to manage stress and simply honouring, mind, body and spirit but yet having ‘fun’ – how do we define fun? How do we ensure that beauty shines through and we suffer less dis-ease (disease) of spirit and some of its negatives consequences which result in lifestyle-related challenges of diabetes, obesity, strokes related to emotional stress, eating unhealthily or in some cases smoking, drinking and drug overuse? How do our daily habits and routines and even our environments and associations (friends, family, colleagues, peers etc.) shape and impact on our overall well-being? How detrimental can our lifestyle choices be on our health?


Lifestyle Audit for a family
  • Do you have parents, grandparents, mentors that serve as role models? In some families – the stability of having grandparents may play a role in shaping a grandchild’s life. In many others – grandparents are hardly role models or there at all?
  • Do your parents, or are you a parent, that copes well with stress or do you find stress insurmountable? What kind of coping mechanisms are you passing on as a legacy?
  • Do you have any inner ‘peace-making. patterns that give you ease? – meditation and spending time in nature, or sporting activities? These are lifestyle habits that can positively feed your family.
  • What do you eat as family? What foods do you buy? How do you eat? What traditions are you establishing, if any, as a family?



Some Layman’s Tips on Food, Well-Being, and Lifestyle


  • Eat More Fruit & Veg

Stock up on “multi-colour” fruits and vegetables – this will help improve the required nutrition, vitamins and antioxidants your family needs.

  • Drink Water

Encourage water drinking for everyone in your home. Cut out sodas/cool drinks, reduce intake of milk and even fruit juice which may include excess sugars.

  • Eat Breakfast/Eat in the morning

Go for whole grains, fruit, and protein. Eating breakfast helps your family avoid snacking on empty calories later in the day.

  • Eat More Home-Cooked Meals

It’s a lot easier to control your family’s fat and calorie intake if you prepare food at home.

  • Get Active

– An inactive lifestyle puts you and your family at risk of many health problems, including obesity, hypertension and diabetes, digestive problem etc.

– Walk rather than drive, dancing together, do some gardening – just move

  • Quit

Smoking, drinking, drugging if you do…these habits potentially have physical and physiological effects that mat impact many aspects of your life.

  • Be a role model of positive energy

Get up, get out and be grateful that you even have a family – many others don’t.

  • Choose a lifestyle change

If you don’t already live a holistic lifestyle – change can be daunting – but change always is. Open your mind, open your spirit and see if it might work for you. You just never know?

Dr Joseph Cosmos Okonji is a healthcare counsellor and nutritionist
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