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The Novalis Ubuntu Institute’s Personal Development Programme 2017 – Key Concepts to Health and Happiness – The Integrative Nutrition Way

The Novalis Ubuntu Institute’s Personal Development Programme will run during March, April and May from 2017.  During these three months, we will offer a broad variety of holistic personal development workshops.  The vision for the Personal Development Programme is that it will offer participants the opportunity to learn, the opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals and the opportunity to be part of a dynamic learning community.

The below article was written by Liesl Viljoen and Karin Liebenberg from Health Coach SA.  If you are interested in integrative health solutions, Liesl Viljoen and Karin Liebenberg will be offering a two hour evening workshop which will take place over a 6 week period as part of The Novalis Ubuntu Institute’s Personal Development Programme 2017.

To keep updated as to other personal development options, watch this space and follow The Novalis Ubuntu Institute’s Personal Development @ The Novalis Ubuntu Institute Facebook Page.


The Global Health Crisis

We are sure that you know someone (or know of someone), who is currently battling with a life-threatening disease. It could either be somebody you hold dear, an acquaintance, or perhaps its even yourself? Battling with a chronic or terminal illness is more like a probability than a possibility in this modern age. It doesn’t take a professional, expert nor statistic to prove that!

Indeed, humanity is faced with a ‘Global Health Crisis’. Developing cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, etc. has now become the norm. We have somehow accepted that becoming sick or diseased is part of our natural progression through life, especially in our elderly years.


So how did we get to this situation?

We believe that a large part of this problem we face in health today, stems from the fact that our healthcare systems focus on disease management and sick care – that is to say, when things go wrong or symptoms of disease are detectable.

But what about disease prevention? What about a different perspective on health? The scientist Gregg Braden has a powerful and very hopeful message for us: “We are wired to thrive” and not just merely here to survive!

Our natural state is health. When we are sick or diseased, we have a deviation (as we would refer to in computer jargon) from our ‘default setting’! Something is off – there is a malfunction in the organism.

We know today that up to 80% of diseases are related to lifestyle. This is actually great news, because this means we have the power to do something about our health. We are able to take control back and not feel victimized by an inevitable fate. We can be healthy and happy!


An Integrative Nutrition approach to health…

In Integrative Nutrition, we honour the fact that given half the chance, the body will heal itself by itself. However, it is our responsibility as the owners of our bodies, to create the optimal conditions for this healing to occur in.

John Kehoe states the following in his ‘Creating Abundant Health’, visualisation: “Your body is a miraculous healing mechanism, with all parts of it performing perfectly.”

But what do you think your body needs to perform perfectly? Do you think that these are only physical needs? From a holistic viewpoint, we know that this isn’t true.

We are all beings, and have mental, emotional and spiritual aspects. These all bind together to make us who we are and bring about a state of balance. Finding this healthy balance is like being in your sweet spot or ultimate bliss. While we may still need the support from health professionals and practitioners, it is each individual’s responsibility first, to cultivate health and happiness. Remember, achieving this is not a quick fix…it’s a life-long journey!

The following key concepts will guide you on your path to living every day the way you deserve to:


Key Concepts to Health and Happiness


  1. Follow a 360˚ holistic approach
    Honour and pay attention to each aspect of being. Integrative Nutrition embraces the best of both Western and Eastern modalities – this comprehensive approach inspires balance in all areas of life. While food will be your medicine, we acknowledge that what nourishes us, is more than the nutrition on our plate. Our next key concept explains this…
  2. Explore your relationship with Primary and Secondary Foods
    We refer to food (eg. diets, food groups, minerals, vitamins etc) only as ‘Secondary’ Foods. So what then are ‘Primary’ Foods? In Integrative Nutrition, these are the four main, non-nutritional aspects that nourish you: your relationships, your career, your movement and your spirituality. By calling these Primary Foods, does this imply that Secondary Foods are of less importance? Not at all! Primary Foods are called as such, because a dissatisfaction or ‘imbalance’ in any one, two, three or all, can actually override all your best Secondary Food efforts and harm your state of health. An upset in any Primary Food/s could also have a ‘knock-on effect’ and affect any other Primary Food/s which were previously in Primary Foods are closely linked to your food intake, so an imbalance with any of these could also cause you to revert back to an unhealthy eating behaviour.

    In the same breath, if you are well-balanced in your Primary Foods, but neglect your Secondary Foods by eating a nutrient-deficient diet (especially for an extended time), you will deprive your body of its ability to function at its peak. This could in turn cause moodiness, tension in relationships, and so on, ultimately affecting these other areas that nourish you.

    Food literally becomes your blood, cells, eyes, brain etc, and eventually even your thoughts! Which makes it vital to start with fueling yourself with the optimal Secondary Foods you need to function. With this clearer headspace, then you can ask yourself, “what else fulfills and nourishes me personally?” This next key concept is all about this personal self-enquiry…

  3. Think bio-individuality
    This is the process by which you will customise your Primary and Secondary Food needs and preferences. With Secondary Food, we know that no one diet fits all – one person’s food might be another person’s poison! We are all unique individuals with a biology that makes it impossible to conceive that a ‘one-blanket’ approach to what we should eat, benefit and satisfy all. Under bio-individuality you would consider your age, gender, location / environment, season and your cultural background and ancestry in determining what it is you should eat.

    When determining your Primary Food preferences, you would apply these same bio-individual considerations again, whilst also using your own aspirations as a guide. The ideal scenario would be in finding a movement and exercise that you love; establishing your dream career; following a spirituality path that brings meaning to your life; lastly, cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships. The final key concept wraps up, by helping you understand how you will manage your health going forward…

  4. Empower yourself: We believe that with initial support and guidance, combined with valuable education and learning to draw from your own experiences, you will become self-sufficient. This will enable you to make consciously lifestyle and food choices that will sustain you for a life time. With this clear understanding of who you are, you become self-aware and listen to your body. You will know when your cravings or pains are trying to tell you something. Should you indeed be faced with ailment or disease, you will naturally turn to self-enquiry. You will intuitively know how to adjust to your behaviour, and trust that your body can heal itself. In this empowered state, you will respect and love yourself for the miraculous being you are.



In closing, we firmly believe that by adhering to these four key concepts, the NOW EMPOWERED individual will be able to get control and management of their health back. As each individual becomes healthy and balanced in all areas of life, it will create a ‘ripple’ effect that will shift the Global Health Crisis to place of balance and well-being for all. But, this journey starts with YOU!

It is not the Health Systems, the medical aids, the governments, or the corporates’ responsibility to make or keep us healthy. Each of us needs to take action! Start with yourself, and then inspire your family and then your broader community. Know that YOU have the ability and power to improve your quality of life and reclaim your birthright for health and happiness!

Written by Liesl Viljoen and Karin Liebenberg (Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches)

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