(Source: Sally Kravich, Thinkstock)Holistic nutrition: We've all heard the term, but what is it? "Holistic nutrition is about a really balanced life, that you're being nourished on every level: body, soul, mind––all of that," says author and holistic nutritionist Sally Kravich, whose advice and three decades of experience is heeded by celebs such as Kerry Washington. "It's more than going to a registered dietitian who says, 'this amount of calories, this amount of fat, this many grams of sugar.' What I've done in my practice for close to 30 years is track what a person is doing. I track their entire lifestyle, so it's not just about 'measure this, look at this amount.' I look at ingredients; what's going to give you life force."
Practical considerations also come into play. "I'm not going to convince a vegan to be a meat eater," she says. "I look at the totality of a person. What their belief systems are, what their goals are, and what they can easily implement. I also [consider] how I'm going to inspire them into eating these wholesome vibrant foods, so they can apply it to their lives." As such, Kravich recommends to her clients not only healing foods, but exercise, recipes, herbs, and more. "It's a real holistic approach in every way, and it comes from my skills of really knowing all modalities of food, nutrients, and healing so I can access them."
Here are her tips for three of the most common reasons people seek Kravich's help:
1) Cure Insomnia
"If someone is not sleeping well, it's not, 'here, take this pill to sleep,' it's about, 'these are the foods that will ease you into a night's sleep.' They don't want to eat a heavy protein meal late at night. At night, we want to really eat lighter foods. When I first started studying in Switzerland in the early '60s, I used the European modality: you eat heavier in the daytime and lighter at night. Many people are afraid of grains, yet grains calm the nervous system. So a grain and vegetable meal, or soup or warm nourishing meal at night is much more conducive to a good night's sleep. Also, calcium-rich foods. Calcium is really the world's best sleeping pill! I'll have people maybe do a stir fry that includes bok choy, which is the highest vegetable content in calcium. And no meats at night."
2) Increase Energy
"First of all, I get them off coffee. If they're drinking four cups a day, I negotiate them down to one cup. Then, I put in things that are going to give them vitality. If they're eating a lot of sugar, I change it into fruit sugar. You also have to wean people. There might be things with a lot of antioxidants, like red fruits, and the vibrancy of greens. For some, we may put it into a shake, and others may do a veggie juice in the morning to gear them up and get them going."
3) Improve Fertility
"I've helped to bring forth well over 1,000 babies. I have people come in who are drinking diet sodas and eating all sorts of junky foods with chemicals, and pushing themselves––here's where the holistic part comes in. If they're runners, I'll change them to a speed walk, and let's get something that's relaxing, so if they're not a yoga person, let's get them into Pilates or gyrotonics. And get out in nature, smell the roses. We're in such a fast, speedy society, and that not conducive to pregnancy, especially as we get older. Again, I will change their food to whole food. I might get eggs in, because the Omega 3's from the eggs are really important to nourish your own eggs. And fish oil."