Eat, Pray, Love, Move, Vegan, Slay
Good health is about abundance and good living. Eating good clean food from the earth and seas. It’s about being active, enjoying life, being part of a community that cares about you and having purpose. Forget about the fads and the fears this 2019 and rather join us as we eat, pray, love, move, vegan, slay.
And if you don’t believe me, look to the populations that live the longest of all. These communities are not fitness fanatics, serial dieters or followers of some new health craze. They are not posing on social media daily or expounding the virtues of some new quick fix. These are ordinary people, living a good life, consistently and abundantly. You’ll find them all over the world, but particularly in what scientists call the Blue Zones.
Choose not to eat processed meats and junk food. Rather eat a diet rich in plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, quality olive oil, herbs, fermented foods such as kefir and miso, grass-fed goat milk, homemade cheeses and fish like cod and sardines. Support local farmers, growers, fish mongers and even butchers. We need more of them to live healthier lives.
You may love your red meat too much, but sadly it is impossible to ignore the research studies that show the risk of heart disease and cancer that comes from high meat consumption, especially processed meat. If you cannot give up meat, then choose to eat it in moderation and buy smarter. Grass fed, organic meat is always healthier.
When you eat to 80% of your capacity your body responds back well. Overeating changes the shape of your stomach, expanding it, so you want to eat more and more. If you can eat less, you will want less. So your body over time will help you regulate your servings.
We know alcohol can be bad if it is abused or overused. Some alcohol – mostly wine, red wine to be specific, in regular small portions has been shown to be helpful in moderating certain diseases. The science is not exact and I am sure there will be disputes along the way, but as with everything, if consumed in moderation, it can make your life more enjoyable.
It is so important to be part of a community and a belief system. At work, home, family, church, or a hobby. Solitude and isolation can increase affect mortality by increasing cortisol ( the stress hormone) and inflammation which then increases the risk for chronic diseases. Not to say you don’t need some quiet alone time from time to time.
And take note too, the populations that live longest value their elders as much as their young. These communities have strong social systems with multi-generational homes (old-age homes don’t exist), strong parent-child relationships and wonderful spiritual communities.
Part of modern day life is the phenomena of stress. Excessive amounts of stress is a killer and has been linked to many diseases. We all need to manage stress better. Exercise is great for this, as is learning how to meditate, taking up a hobby or do community work.
No matter what your life purpose is, to be a good mom, wife, sister, daughter, a great father, husband, professional, a community helper, a care giver, a bus driver. No matter what, it is important that you always have a purpose, from youth, well into your old age. So when your career changes, find ways to use your skills and help others. Don’t do nothing, It will kill you.
Gratitude and giving, of time and effort is an excellent way to detract stress from your life. You will often discover there are others, far worse off than you, who need you.
What is being active all about? It doesn’t mean you have to walk 20 000 steps a day, or run for miles. It is about moving at a healthy rate. This could be gardening, hiking, walking and even their chores incorporate some form of activeness, as is the case with raising farm animals. Make sure you move daily. Get into the habit of this and if you can, up your game, do better every day, that is great. But no-one expects you to be an Olympic athlete. Truly, there are only a small percentage of us who can do this and who want to be anyway. Aspire to being fit and healthy, but don’t kill yourself with extreme exercise programmes.
If you add more vegetables to your diet, you will be healthier, your gut will be happier and you will be happier. Full stop.
You cannot be on top of your game and life if you do not get enough sleep. When the time comes to sleep, you need to sleep. Everyone is different, but you will know if you are getting too much or too little sleep. It shows in your face, your body, your mood and how you feel. Sleep is like eating and exercise. You just have to have the right amount to function healthily. And everyone is different. If you are struggling to sleep, find out why and deal with it. Sleep disorders aggravate weight gain and stress management. So fix your sleep now!
Don’t believe in a silver bullet. There is no quick fix
This may all sound far to uncomplicated and not what you read on social media or other websites. When all is said and done, no-one can avoid getting sick. Death is inevitable. Our bodies were engineered for life and death and in between we will get sick. There will always be illness to contend with no matter how much medical science advances.And we will struggle. This is life.
It’s how we deal with this and overcome these challenges that will count. Of course we can cover up as much as we want with superficial touch ups, and everyone knows what these are, but they will be flighty and superficial.
The truth is, simply, there is no quick fix! No silver bullet that will give you the perfect healthy life. However if you just get these basics right and you have a healthy attitude to living then you will be better able to deal with these challenges and live a good life.