Like you, and thousands of others, I am on a journey toward optimal health. Along the way, I've realized that there is no traditional definition of this lifestyle. It's not strictly paleo, vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, flexitarian etc. In fact, it's so much more.
How do you know if you are part of the new healthy?
These are 10 of the characteristics of the New Healthy:
1. You want to live actively into your 90s.
The life expectancy worldwide is 70 and rising. However, what really matters is how functional we are in our later years. I want to be walking, running, playing, bending all into my last days. Many of my choices today have that long-term goal in mind.
2. You don't freak out about calories.
Seriously, who wants to track calories and worry about tallying them? Talk about taking the joy out of eating! As we all know, calories are not all equal, so a simple calculation of calories is very misleading (and obsessive).
3. You don't always believe what the FDA, USDA, or big brands tell you.
Not everyone is invested in your health. In fact, many big name food manufacturers try to sell you products that are addictive or known (and in fact, designed) to cause cravings. Don't believe me? Read this.
4. You're not a slave to the scale.
As you know, muscle weighs more than fat, so you might weigh more when you build more muscle. Being a slave to the scale will send you on an emotional roller coaster.
5. You incorporate weight training.
Gone are the days where we do cardio everyday without ever doing weight-bearing exercise. You need it for your bones, your metabolism, and more.
6. You know that fat is not evil.
The New Healthy are intimately familiar with avocados, coconuts, omega-3's, and favorable fats. It's the type of fat that matters.
7. You know that living an organic lifestyle is not just for hippies anymore.
"Organic" used to mean wearing Birkenstocks and living a fringe lifestyle. Now, with all the information we have, it's a fairly mainstream practice to eat organic. While I am not 100% organic, I work toward incorporating local, organic food as much as possible.
8. You won't starve to look good.
NO ONE, man or woman, wants to be hungry all the time! Anyone who knows a model or actor knows that starving is almost part of the job description. It's also the theory behind most popular diet plans.
9. You realize curing disease starts with you.
Rather than relying purely on medications and doctors, we take action by cleaning up our diet, exercising, sleeping, and using supplements. We identify our problems instead of just relying on someone to magically cure us.
10. You believe that health is equally about mind and spirit as it is about fitness
I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one since we're all on MindBodyGreen! Seriously: this is a new concept for many. If you don't have control over your mind's response to stressors, you'll never be happy or healthy. I am always working on the spiritual part but that's OK since optimal health is a journey—not a destination.
Hope you're ready to join the new healthy! I'm planning a free webinar on just this subject over on my website at www.AmyShahMD.com. Watch for the announcement this week!
Are you part of this movement? I'd love to hear your feedback or additions to this list!
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com