I’m not going to pretend that I have life figured out. Quite the contrary. This blog is helping me document my journey of seeking balance. I’m a believer in the uniqueness of every individual person. What is a solution for one person may be a hindrance to another. We’re all made with subtle differences and our lives don’t deserve to be submitted to others’ expectations. Here’s what I’ve found works for me so far.
- A healthy diet starts with a healthy mindset.
- Being fearful of certain foods sparks a spiral toward an obsessive need to control eating. Restricting specific foods creates unnecessary stress and usually results in spontaneous bingeing. Life is too short not to enjoy food for what it is.
- The best food is whole food. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and minimally processed animal products. The reason we eat is to provide our bodies with nutrients and energy, and the less a food is tampered with during processing the more nutrients are available.
- Fats and carbs are not the bad guys. Artificial trans fats, excessive saturated fats and super-refined carbohydrates not only hurt the workings of our bodies, but they make me feel nasty, too. I avoid added sugar as much as I can because I’ve found it makes me feel sluggish. Fruit does the job much better!
- I don’t eat red meat and only recently began re-introducing chicken into my diet. For animal protein I focus mainly on fish and seafood. If you’re into labels, I’m a pescotarian, but I don’t usually subscribe — I dislike the inflexibility. Occasionally I’ll go completely meatless; it really depends on what I feel like my body needs. I’ve found that avoiding most meat opens a lot of creative culinary doors, forcing me to look for other healthful sources of protein, and also makes me feel so. much. better.
- Healthy food does not have to be flavorless or boring! The more colorful, flavorful and creative the better.
- A slice of cake every once and a while won’t kill you, and can certainly be enjoyed.
- I feel the best when I eat three balanced meals and one or two small snacks throughout the day.
- I don’t count calories religiously, but try to estimate and stick to 1,800 – 2,100 calories a day.
- I never used to exercise that much other than playing seasonal sports. Now that I do, I would never give it up. It gives me so much more energy in all other areas of my life, makes me more optimistic, decreases my stress, increases my self-esteem and provides an outlet for releasing negative energy.
- I’m not a natural-born runner. I’m pretty slow (17 minute mile in 1st grade, yeah! :p) but recently I’ve been building up my endurance and running has become one of my favorite Cardio exercise outlets.
- I aim for 4-5 days of 30-40 minute sessions a week, though I actively try to be as active as possible every day of the week. This amount, for me, is schedule-able and makes the most difference in my all-around energy levels.
- Small differences make a big impact. Taking the stairs, biking to local destinations, walking after meals instead of lounging, stretching or doing quick strength moves during commercials all contribute to a feel-better life.
- I’m trying to find a strength training routine that works for me. Any advice you have is great! Right now I stick to various moves that target all different areas of my body. Push ups, mountain climbers, planks, dumbbell exercises and fitness yoga are my favorites.