Mother Earth is a common representation of our planet that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature, the source of every life and health. This analogy offers insights into health’s deeper meaning.

As women, we are the nurturers of human life. Many of us wheel the shopping cart around the supermarket, cook and feed the family, take care of the home, and at the same time, run a business. We are multi-taskers and the epitome of devotion when it comes to caring for our family’s health and wellbeing.

I learned valuable knowledge about health at a young age, and it has been my life’s work. My love of animals in childhood stopped me from eating them at an early age. This decision, very radical at the time, has inspired my teaching for over 40 years. Now that decision has become more common and it is the most significant development in modern nutrition. It was during my growing awareness of health issues when I realized something else, as well. Given the right diet and lifestyle, the body has the power to recover from illness. We are a self-healing organism if we understand and apply some simple life skills. This ias an important part of health’s deeper meaning.

When we remove the harmful influences from our lives and replace them with health-promoting foods, attitudes and activities, the body can heal itself. This is true even from illnesses deemed “incurable.”  There is no reason for us to wait for medical permission to be healthy. Current research shows that most of the diseases that kill us are a response to diet and lifestyle. The greatest secret weapon is at the end of our fork every time we eat. This is why so many women are reclaiming their kitchens and the health of their families.

When you adopt a healthy MACROVegan plant-based diet, you can usually reverse the spiral of whatever non-communicable disease you have been diagnosed with.  Drugs and surgery are the last resort, not the first action, when you maintain good health. The fact that we have become so dependent on these interventions is often dangerous and usually disempowering. We have become strangers in our own bodies.

When looked at from the perspective of human evolution, the current diet we are eating is a bizarre anomaly unlike anything we ate over the last four million years. In fact, the human diet has changed more in the last 50 to 100 years more than any other period.  Never in modern history has there been such an interest in food and at the same time, such a lack of confidence in the basic quality of what we eat.  Our blood, arteries, and cells are not designed to function under so much fat, simple sugar and cholesterol. Our intestines are not designed to function in the absence of fibre. Our immune system is not designed to maintain health without an abundant supply of plant-based nutrients and phytochemicals.

The modern diet is high in calories and low in nutrition. It’s no wonder so many of us get cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, acid reflux, osteoporosis, and other so-called ‘age-related illnesses.’ In fact, it is a testament to the strengths of the human body that anyone has the slightest semblance of health given our way of eating.

The phrases “rely on your gut” and “gut instinct” make more sense than you may realize! As a second brain, it may be more effective. In addition to the nervous system in the spine, there is a nervous system in the gut called the enteric nervous system, which sends signals to the brain and vice versa. Healthy people are happy people because body and mind are not separate, they are one of the same.  If you are anxious, depressed or stressed, you may notice that your desire for food is different or your digestion is off.

The digestive system produces more neurotransmitters than the brain does. It is possible that many people could avoid antidepressants altogether just by supporting their digestive health. In an unconscious act of self-medication, many people reach for a sugary treat or a glass of wine when stressed. This is a short-term and unhealthy way to make the neurotransmitters your body needs to restore your emotional equilibrium.

Combining my studies in Plant Based Nutrition, Oriental Medicine, and Yoga, I have created a fusion of simple, yet effective tools to empower my female clients in reclaiming their natural abilities and sensitivities. My approach is to get people excited about their potential, create health goals, and learn effective self-generated tools.

When we strengthen our health we gain new found strengths. It promotes finding our own voice, standing up for our beliefs and only accepting kindness and respect. I ask all my clients and students to expect the best from everyone and to never accept the unacceptable. Do as you would be done by; that is a philosophy that I live by.

We all have a huge opportunity to contribute to the health of ourselves, society and the planet.  Until we develop an ethical approach to nutrition that honours the ecological and social impact of the food we eat, we will fail to understand health’s deeper meaning. Everything is connected, human and non-humans alike, our environment is what sustains us. Connecting the dots is the only way to create balance which is the ever-elusive state that we all search for.

I will leave you with this thought provoking question: If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live? 

Health is everything; without health, everything is nothing.

A long-time vegan, lover of animals, nature and life and passionate about human ecology. As an eternal optimist, increasing the number of people worldwide to switch to a wholefood, plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle is her mission. Together with her husband Bill Tara, they have created The Human Ecology Project.