How To Be Healthy

How to be Healthy…this was the hardest thing I had to write about. It’s such a BIG and controversial subject.

How many times have you heard arguments about whether the Atkins diet is the best for weight loss or now it’s the Paleo diet that is the healthiest? No sooner do you get told to eat large quantities of meat and veggies, someone else recommends grains or claims that vegetarian is the best way to go.

I am simply over it, and I certainly do understand all the confusion around creating a healthy lifestyle.

So how do we break down a healthy lifestyle? For now I will prioritize the top three most complex challenges.  Later on we’ll look at the Wheel of Health where we will extend this list below to add in several more areas.

Eating Healthy

Mind-Body Connection

Movement, Exercise, and Rest

How does a busy mom manage even these three? For me it did not happen overnight. It is still an ongoing process. I made small steps at first and it sometimes seemed like a very long bridge I had to walk across but I now feel as though I have a handle on it most days!

Food was the toughest one for me to tackle. I was never overweight and never gained weight as an adult except temporarily when I had my daughter. But if you’re struggling with weight loss, don’t tune out yet!!!

My path to health started with being a foodie…eating out all the time, eating whatever I wanted, including McDonald’s. I loved a Big Mac now and then! I ate out all the time in New York and scoped out the best restaurants on my frequent travels.

When I reached my mid 30′s, I started to have indigestion and stomach problems. My tummy was especially bad after I ate red meat. The doctors diagnosed me with IBS. Soon after meeting my husband, I started to look at the relationship between diet and IBS. I decided to go vegan and give up all animal products including dairy. In 6 weeks my stomach was so much better and my IBS mostly disappeared. I also gave up many of the toxins commonly found in processed foods – dyes, MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, white flour and white sugar.

Eating Healthy

If you’re looking for a good book about eating healthy that is also a diet book, try Eat To Live – For Fast and Sustained Weightloss by Dr. Fuhrman. It’s now a number one New York Times Best Seller that analyzes all the popular diets, explains the science behind dieting, and clarifies what it really takes to eat healthy.

Dr. Fuhrman is a friend of the family and I and I know that he is truly committed to helping people lose weight and become genuinely healthy. Here is a link to Dr. Fuhrman’s website. I will speak more about his suggested way of eating based on real science in our other section on Nutritarian eating.

The long and short of it is you eat based upon nutrient density – you eat the foods that are the most nutritious, which are generally low in calories.  You lose weight while eating foods filled with phyto nutrients that also prevent disease so you can be the most healthy you.

What we think and feel has a powerful influence on our bodies.

Mind-Body Connection

Many mind-body skills have a profound impact on your health. Breathing techniques, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery and other practices activate the body’s automatic healing response and reduce the harmful effects of stress. Just five minutes a day can make a big difference!

A great book that I use is Dr. Jeffrey Brantley’s Five Good Minutes. There are 100 five-minute mindfulness practices suitable for any time of day. Five minutes is a great start and can really begin to turn your life around.

Movement, Exercise, and Rest

Exercise supports your health by preventing unwanted weight gain, reducing stress and improving your mood. Developing a regular exercise program is very important to your overall well-being. Whether you walk, follow a video at home or take a Zumba or Yoga class, you need to find something you like doing to keep your body strong. You also need to balance physical activity with rest, healthy sleep and relaxation.

It has been a struggle for me to exercise consistently. I make excuses even though I know that I feel so much better when I work out. I’m working on finding activities I love that will fit into my schedule.

Getting a handle on just one of these areas will make a huge difference in your life.  Honor your process and do not be discouraged!  For those of you that need additional support our team offers individual and group health and wellness coaching.