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Jul 24

Nutrition Understood With a Musical Metaphor, Namely, a Symphony

Introduction: The Nature of REAL Wellness

A REAL wellness lifestyle has many dimensions, none more important than critical thinking, exuberance, athleticism and liberty. These make up the REAL in REAL wellness. “R” (reason) stands for evidence and respect for science, “E” (exuberance) represents a commitment to do all that is possible in order to enjoy life as much as possible, “A” (athleticism) signals a vigorous exercise regimen and well informed, evidence-based nutritional practices and “L” (liberty) embodies a commitment to personal freedoms. They add up to a REAL wellness lifestyle balanced in a range of life skills and disciplines, not just excellence in any single element.

The Importance of Nutrition

How consequential, in a quantitative or precise sense, is good nutrition for health? Well, how can an answer to such a question be expressed? Sure, we can affirm that good nutrition is “very consequential,” but that’s not precise or mathematical. The question is not just impossible to quantify; more important, it would not be useful if such a formula were possible. To attempt such a thing would be the same as inquiring, “How consequential is love?” Or education or clean air or opportunity or exercise? These and other human “nutrients” are not amenable to quantification. More telling, such measures might not be helpful in any event. If someone worked out a formula for each of these and other key elements of human existence, what value would there be from such scores? Each quality noted must be associated and balanced with, added to all the rest. They all interact. The quality of our lives is affected by the interplay of these and so many other vital aspects of existence. We need all and more to grow and evolve into our best selves, to get the most from the wonder of the world in which we live out our lives.

So it is with understanding good nutrition. All the elements that fall under the subject must be understood in wholistic ways, as an orchestra of sorts, every nutrient playing a part, contributing to a symphony that is immeasurably richer and more beautiful than the best of the individual parts.

Which is why good nutrition should be studied, assessed and most important, experienced as part of REAL wellness. You could eat the best foods on the planet three times a day in the proper proportion but if you lack other aspects essential to living well-exercise, education, clean air, opportunity and yes, love, how well off can you be?

In summary, nutrition is best approached with a recognition that one nutrient affects another. All work best in the human body when the right ingredients are introduced on a regular basis. The metaphor is the orchestra performing a symphony. Just as the musical integration of parts can render a triumphant Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E flat Major, so can the right diet (e.g., whole foods plant-based) contribute so much to human well-being.

Be well, look on the bright side, eat plants and let your diet enhance your quality of life.

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