I was at the Whole Life Expo all weekend.

It’s the annual Natural Health and Green Living show in Toronto sponsored by Vitality Magazine. I sat through many of their speakers and lectures and visited their exhibitor booths (over 200!).

It was a great show this year, full of valuable resources and great information. I was also shocked at the crowds. You could barely navigate the aisles and the lectures were packed to capacity. There was hardly any standing room. While it makes me happy to know that I’m involved in such a booming industry, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad. It seems to me that these types of shows tend to attract, not the healthy, but the sick.

The energy I picked up in the crowds at some of the lectures was one of defeat and desperation. People who hadn’t necessarily lived healthy lives were now battling serious physical ailments. Sad stories of people who had been through the medical system and hadn’t found healing. They were tired and didn’t know where else to turn, but were willing to pay a lot of money for someone to just give them an answer.  A roadmap to good health.

Health is one of those things that you truly don’t miss until it’s gone. And it’s sad because the best plan is prevention and forethought. Making healthy choices now for the sake of later. But not many people do that from an early age.

We pay so much money in search of healing. Specialized products. Seminars. Endless practitioners. I think all that stuff is great, but I also strongly believe that most people could benefit from simplifying their requirements for healing. By slowing down. Adopting quiet, simple habits instead of stressing themselves out with one appointment after the next.

Below are some simple requirements for healing:

1. Real food. For me, this is about loving yourself enough to respect your body. So it comes down to self-esteem and putting yourself first. Making time to eat well. Refusing to settle for less than what you deserve – real, whole food.

2. Exercise/move on a daily basis. Again, this is about loving your body. Exploring the full extent of what it is capable of. Challenging yourself.

3. Get sleep every night. You deserve (and need) to get in bed. If your body can’t recharge, it can’t detox.

4. Pure water. So much of our body is made up of water. It’s the lubrication our systems need to function.

5. Sunshine. For our skin and our brains. For vitamin D. For fighting stress and boosting mood. Because we were meant to see the sun.

6. Fresh air. Deep breaths. Preferably in nature and surrounded by trees. I really think just being outside has healing properties all on its own.

7. Connection to spirit. This could mean different things to different people. But to me it means a sense of calmness and tranquility and gratitude and peace.

8. Care of relationships. Love people. Forgive them. Be compassionate. And move on.

9. Balance. Everything in moderation. Not just with diet, but in mind and spirit. Avoiding obsessions and extremes. Enjoying a little bit of everything that life has to offer.

The funny thing is, I’ve had a few nutritional clients now and the experience has been nothing like what I expected. I sort of envisioned myself guiding my clients through complex anatomical and physiological truths. Carving their bodies out scientifically to give them the energy and performance requirements they wanted.

But it has truly been a throw back to the basics. Clean water. Air. Exercise. Good food. All of the above. I’ve learned that these are the roots of wellness. And in most cases all our body really requires to heal itself.