Essential Nourishment: A Basic Guide to Optimal Health and Wellness

An interview with the author of a new wellness book

After overcoming serious health issues as a result of being allergic to several different foods, as well as having children with food allergies, Beth McCall Whitley wrote Essential Nourishment: A Basic Guide to Optimal HealthWe sat her down for a few questions about her book, and how health contributes to happiness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV Communications and a Master of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education, specializing in weight loss and food allergies. 

DailyHap: What motivated you to write Essential Nourishment?
Beth: The realization of how many people need it. Many people have gotten to a very unhealthy place—physically, emotionally, and mentally—and have no idea how to regain their health. I want people to realize that it’s all connected and give them a basic, easy way to get started, as well as an easy reference guide.

Over the years, I have seen, both professionally and personally, that there is a lot of confusion about nutrition, exercise, and happiness. As a society, we are given so much misinformation about what healthy food is via TV commercials, magazine ads, and the government, and much of it is incorrect. Exercise is also very important and many people either don’t make time for it, or are not doing what they need to in order to be healthy. Also, our society is so fast-paced and stressful that people are losing themselves and are searching for happiness in all the wrong places.

DailyHap: If people only take one thing from the book, what do you want that to be?
Beth: If people only take one thing from the book, I want it to be the realization that they need to love and take care of themselves, first and foremost. Once people realize that, the rest comes naturally. 

DailyHap: What challenges did you face writing the book?
Beth: Mostly time and also deciding how to present the most relevant information in a concise, easy-to-read format.

DailyHap: What’s your biggest happiness challenge?
Beth: Ahh. My biggest happiness challenge is staying present. I tend to worry about the future and/or live in the past sometimes, neither of which brings happiness. The key is staying in the present moment—that’s really all we have—and that is what I strive to do daily. I read a lot of motivational materials to help with this, including DailyHap!

DailyHap: What brings you the most happiness?
Beth: When I am able to fully enjoy a present, ordinary moment with the people I love, including myself. Being in nature helps me tremendously—rowing, hiking, or just being outside.

DailyHap: What does your diet look like day to day?
Beth: My diet consists of healthy protein (grass-fed beef, organic chicken, wild-caught cold water fish) and lots of vegetables, both cooked and raw. I limit grains—especially refined grains (breads, cereals, pastas, etc.) because I don’t feel well when I eat them. I eat some raw, fermented food daily, as well, for digestion and probiotic benefits (especially sauerkraut, since I own Straight From The Vine sauerkraut company).   

I’m also completely gluten and dairy free.  I do confess to having a sweet tooth and some kind of chocolate usually finds its way to me. I don’t think people should deprive themselves of a daily treat—moderation is the key, as well as finding healthier alternatives (e.g., a square or two of dark chocolate with antioxidant benefits vs. a milk chocolate candy bar).

DailyHap: What’s your favorite part of the book?
Beth: The happiness section, especially the quotes.  Quotes can be very motivational and I chose the ones that really spoke to me and helped me.  I think my favorite one is:  

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

Interested in more from Beth? Grab your copy of Essential Nourishment here!

*GIVEAWAY: Complete any Hap (action item or task) on between now and Friday, March 30, 2012 at 5pm CST and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of Essential Nourishment! Limit 1 entry per person.*

Category: Body


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