In the 21st century, the term ‘healthy’ covers a wide range of diets and lifestyles. We explore one of many, ‘Joyful Health’, founded by Ali Nokes. Joyful Health provides ‘a healthcare system that explores ways of balancing your nutrition.’
In what ways does the brand offer a healthier lifestyle?
Well versed in an endless array of experience, Joyful Health offers advice and assistance across the fields of nutrition, life coaching, yoga and retreats.
Born in Australia, Ali describes herself as a ‘joyful soul’, one who is at peace within, therefore the soul is always full of joy. She dabbled in yoga in her late teens, but never felt quite connected to the spiritual practice, citing “there was something missing.”
In the years that followed, Ali was diagnosed with chronic active liver disease. But as the old adage goes, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’. Her health’s shortcoming spurred her towards a new path, one of spiritual enlightenment. This served as the catalyst for Ali visiting Kerala in South India where she was introduced to real yoga and fell “unconditionally in love” with the practice.
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Ali believes the benefits offered by yoga are boundless, without even beginning on the physical health benefits offered by the practice. The benefits of yoga include an instant mood lift which boosts positive hormones, reduces stress and improves sleep, it boosts immunity, reduces obesity and increases brain function; the list is endless. However, Ali believes that the true benefits of yoga lie within, adding “once we learn to let go of what’s passed, detach from our egos, connect to the soul and learn to control the subconscious mind, we are free from limitations, attaining a true state of peacefulness.”
We quizzed Ali on her favourite yoga pose; she paused for a moment to muse over the question before responding with “the plough pose – I find it instantly allows me to internalise deepening my connection within, while the outer world around me fades away.”
This immersion in a new, more spiritual lifestyle inspired Ali to share her gift with everyone. Driven by a feeling of love, she found herself overcome with a desire to help others both feel and look great. In the early noughties when Ali received her diagnosis, there simply wasn’t the awareness about gluten, coeliac disease or the connection between food and health. In a fighting effort, she served as her own guinea pig, researching and creating her own gluten free food and AI diet. After witnessing a dramatic change in her health, Ali realised food was the key. Not wishing anybody else to suffer the way she did, Ali set about creating ‘Joyful Health.’
So what’s the secret behind the healthiest course of nutrition?
Ali believes the healthiest course of nutrition comes down to six simple steps – raw materials, variety, quality, quantity, mindfulness and time.
“Using as many raw ingredients as possible, think colour and variety by eating something different each day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we are giving ourselves a good variety of food groups, vitamins and minerals”, accompanied by sufficient amounts of water throughout the day. Hydration is essential, and also prevents overeating by mistaking thirst for hunger. Ali adds that her program has a number of recipes which can be prepared in under 15 minutes, including some breakfast recipes which can be prepared in as little as 5 minutes. Simply put, “it’s about being responsible for our food choices.” It’s widely known that ready meals, processed foods and anything pre-made have undergone a process and have preservatives added, which are not good for the human body. Ali is a firm believer that “enabling ourselves just 15 minutes to eat breakfast will change the way we live our lives.”
Joyful Health also offers a life coaching program. Speaking passionately about this aspect of the business, Ali described how “if life feels overwhelming, we are not able to maintain balance. Life coaching helps people to maintain a healthy life balance.”
The self-confessed ‘joyful soul’ digs into the depths of her own past to understand that irrespective of what we have faced up until this point, we can still live a happy, healthy lifestyle – it’s only our inhibitions that prevent us from seeing a path.
But Ali’s way of life may not be for everyone – how would she convince someone unfamiliar with a holistic way of life to give Joyful Health a try?
“In order to overcome our fears we must learn to face them, why let fear of the unknown stand in the way of what may be a most wonderful experience?”
In upcoming months, Joyful Health certainly have a lot on their plate. The healthier lifestyle brand offers a number of retreats – the ever popular Digital detox returns this November and January in East Sussex, and in March and May, Ali aspires to take across the Atlantic to the picturesque beaches of Hawaii, expanding her reach as far as India in November. Here, she hopes to offer the same enlightenment she received upon her own journey. Meanwhile, Joyful Health continues to provide a healthcare system which truly enables visitors to transform, ‘from the inside out.’
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