“We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu.
We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture – imagine this – where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.”- Michelle Obama
Are you searching for ways to be healthy?
How do you define healthy anyway?
Is healthy eating the only way to be healthy?
There is the physically fit healthy, the nutritious healthy and the mental/emotional healthy.
When these are all balanced and in alignment your life will be magical.
When they are not your life may feel like a biological living nightmare.
Let’s start with the body first. Here is my checklist for maintaining a healthy body.
- Eat right – I would consider a healthy diet that is made up of at least 85% whole foods as opposed to processed foods. Whole foods are products that retain their natural make-up as where processed foods are sliced and diced and added with preservatives and fillers. A quick and easy way to drop 10 to 20 pounds of body weight is to eliminate refined sugar, excess salt and gluten from your diet. Sugar and salt causes the body to retain water and fat and no amount of exercise will help in losing that weight. Sugar from fruits is OK but don’t overdue it.
- Learn how to lose weight the healthy way by reprogramming subconscious beliefs.
- Alkalize the blood stream with plenty of alkalizing foods and drinks. I wrote a post on how to alkalize the body here.
- Keep the body hydrated with fresh and clean water. You don’t have to drown your body with water just be sure that you are sipping on water throughout the day. Drink more water when you are exercising because of the loss of fluids through sweating. Sweating is not only a great way to drop some extra pounds, but it is also a great way to remove toxins from the body. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to sweat when doing physical work or exercise.
- Get proper rest and exercise. I find that when I am well-rested, that would be 7 hours of sleep, I feel better during the day. I also enjoy being an early riser as well, which was a bit of a struggle for me just a few years ago. Also you will need at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. How you do it is up to you. I prefer to do physical work like landscaping, splitting wood with an ax or plain old walking down at the nature trail. There is no shame in taking naps during the day as long as you sleep less during the night when you do. Sleep actually does just as much for the mind as it does for the body. We all know that sleep helps the body to regenerate itself more easily, but it also helps the mind to log off from this reality giving it a break from sensory overload.
- Mental – The number one cause of mental stress in people’s lives is caused by living an inauthentic life. What does being inauthentic mean you may be asking? It means that you are not living from the highest ideals that you have about who you are. Many people live desperate lives of struggle because they are living someone elses version of how they are supposed to live their lives. Inside everyone of us is an authentic version of who we really are, we must begin to show that version of us to the world without fear.
- Don’t overwhelm your body and mind by overeating or drinking. This includes alcohol as well. I quit drinking alcohol over five years ago and one of the reasons that I quit drinking was because of the hangover effect, plus it is just plain dumb to do. I hated feeling like crap the day after a night of partying. Becoming alcohol free was one of the smartest and healthiest decisions that I had ever made.
- Learn how to laugh more and take yourself lightly. Nothing and I mean nothing ages us more than stress and worry. Have you ever seen the before and after picks of a U.S. President? They go in young and vibrant and come out jaded and gray even with the frequent vacations. Don’t let this happen to you. The older I get the less I allow stress or stressed people into my life. I just don’t have the time or patience to want to spend my time around these kind of people.
- Learn to let go of superficial relationships. How many friends/relatives do you have that you can really count on? The ones that are there for you when the shit hits the fan? We just went through Hurricane Irene here in Baltimore and it reeked major havoc. Trees fell and knocked down power lines. None of us know what could happen to us on any given day so it is best to make sure that you have a handful of people that you can rely on.
- Learn to value your time. One area that all of us are equal in is time and the clock is ticking everyday. I absolutely have no problem whatsoever saying no to someone’s request to do something superficial like hanging out. The world is full of people wasting time and they would like nothing more than to waste your time as well. Let people that are close to you know that you value your time and to not waste it.
- Get your financial life in order. To lose weight you need to eat less caloric foods, to reduce debt you need to spend less than you earn. When changing habits they rarely happen overnight but they certainly can. Take small steps in the beginning when it comes to spending less and saving money. Instead of doing activities that cost money look for things to do that are free but fun. Go for a walk, visit a nature center, go for a drive through the country and appreciate the beauty.
- Stay consciously awake. Many people are walking through life like a zombie. They are on auto-pilot and living from a place of reaction and automatic conditioning as opposed to consciously living and choosing their life. To be conscious is to be awake. All accidents happen when we are not fully present in the moment.
P.S. Please talk with your primary care physician before making changes to your diet and exercise routine.