Recently at a cocktail party, a new acquaintance loudly asked me, “What are your secrets to healthy living?” Suddenly, everyone was looking at me, awaiting my response. I briefly pondered launching into a complex spiel about fats, carbs, and proteins, but bit my tongue as I imagined all my friends snoring into their margaritas.
Instead, I took a deep breath and offered the following simple, yet powerful, healthy living essentials.
1. Be moderate.
Healthy living doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the things that you love (chocolate and wine!), nor does it mean over-dosing on kale (yes, you can eat too much kale). They key is what your grandparents probably told you: moderation is key.
2. Listen to your unique body.
When it comes to nutrition, there’s no silver bullet, and no one-size-fits-all way of eating. Your body type, blood type, metabolic type, and even your personality type are a complex mosaic that make up who you are. True health comes when you get to know your body and then listen to what it’s saying from one moment to the next. Notice everything: food cravings, energy levels, digestion, mental clarity, etc. Many of us are too busy to slow down and listen. What is your body telling you right now?
3. Diversify your workouts and your meals.
We all have our favorite foods and exercise routines, but it’s essential to remember that the body thrives on diversity. If you’re always feasting on kale, then you’re missing out on other, amazing greens. Why not try dandelion greens, mustards, and collards too? Try mixing up your yoga routine with some high intensity training. Nourishing and moving your body in new ways is one of the keys to balanced, sustainable health and keeping yourself inspired throughout.
4. Seek nourishment in all forms.
Food is important, but what about water, oxygen, sunshine, nature, fitness, relationships, career, spirituality, inspiration and all that other good stuff? Open your mind to nourishment in its many beautiful and powerful forms. Eating a perfect diet doesn’t intrinsically make you a healthy person.
5. Skip perfection.
Though we all want to feel and look our best, a ruthless quest for perfection can be dangerous. Don’t force yourself to eat a “perfect” diet or to follow a “perfect” fitness regime. Treat yourself occasionally! Strict diets and workouts often result in self-sabotage and unhappiness in the long run.
With that, I stopped to catch my breath and raise my margarita glass. Cheers to your health and feel free to share these tips at your next cocktail party!