What I have learned in my own wellness journey is that only I can make the changes that will impact my health. It is my choice to pick up that candy bar. It is my choice to make a nutritious smoothie every morning. It is definitely my choice if I choose to surf Instagram versus trying to get a restful sleep.
My friends, it is always about choice.
I had a conversation with the owner of a local juicery here in Vancouver. I’m sure that you’ve noticed the dramatic increase of juicing companies in your own city, like mine! I asked the owner what made her juices different from all the other companies. She said that she promotes balance through her juices. What she meant is that her clients are not going to find optimal wellness by doing a three day juice cleanse. But, rather, her juices are there to complement to your own crazy, daily life. Incorporating more juices, smoothies, plant-based foods, etc., to balance your hectic schedule or perhaps a wickedly-fun night out with the girls is the perfect example of choice and balance.
Step 1: Answer this question – what are you really looking to achieve in your own personal wellness program?
Now, if it is to lose weight, I need you to dig a little deeper. What do you intend to feel like when you do lose that weight? For many of the women that I work with, it is to find increased energy and vitality to create bigger opportunities in their lives.
When I started my own wellness journey, I thought my goal was to decrease my anxiety (which was true). But, it was really about finding peace with my future and letting the universe help guide me to my true existence. And, that’s why I am here with you now – to help career-driven women looking to improve their health through a holistic-approach to nutrition and radical self-care.
The next six steps are the key elements of optimal health which you can personalize just for you.
We know that the food we eat affects us bio-chemically and at a cellular level. When you eat like crap, you’ll likely feel like crap and that translates to our cells which can then promote disease. I would recommend working with a nutritionist to work on your eating lifestyle and supplementation plan. However, my personal eating lifestyle is plant-forward, ample healthy fats, moderate plant and animal proteins, a low carbohydrate with plenty of water. This works for me but it’s important to seek assistance in this area unless you feel very intuitive with your health.
Action step: what do you know that you need to add to your diet that could make a small, mindful change to your health? Search online for healthy recipes that inspire you and start making them today!
MOVEMENT AND NATURE
I’ll be honest here. I find going to the gym uninspiring so I rarely go. This is a perfect example of doing what you love versus what you view as the best way to “get fit”. I personally do 2-3 days of yoga per week (because yoga lights me up and is linked to my mental health as well), hiking on the weekends, PiYo and/or yoga during the mornings, and lots and lots of walking. This is how I personalize my physical movement and I never have issues with getting enough exercise.
I have added nature as I know from personal experience that there is an energetic pull when it comes to being in the peacefulness of nature. Not to mention that getting 15-20 minutes of full sun is essential in your body obtaining natural vitamin D.
Action step: think about some alternative exercises that you know will help you commit to (at least) 30 minutes of movement per day. Get outside, especially on the sunny days, to soak up the vitamin D and to connect with nature.
The main offending foods that can create toxicity in our health are: gluten, dairy, alcohol, hydrogenated fats, sugar, excess protein (especially if it isn’t organic/grass fed), pesticides, chemicals and preservatives that may enhance the flavour and colour of foods.
You may be surprised that our health is also compromised by the cleaning products that we use in our homes, as well as the products that we use in our face, body and dental care. And, finally, the relationships that we are in can also create toxicity in our health. This was a critical component to my wellness when I had to make the conscious decision to remove certain relationships in my life that didn’t serve me.
Action Step: Choose one offending food and remove it from you eating lifestyle for at least two weeks and then work your way to another. The best way to making any strides is to make small, mindful changes so that they become healthy habits. All or nothing doesn’t exactly work long term. Take a look a the relationships in your life. Are there any relationships that are not serving you and your wellness?
THOUGHTS & EMOTIONS
My own personal development has peaks and valleys and I attribute it to the thoughts and words that I replay in my head. It is a known fact that utilizing personal mantras and/or intentions can make impactful changes to your mental health that will transpire into whatever you are looking to feed into (ie. health, career, relationships, etc). I post these Truth Bombs in my home to be reminders of healthy mindset. I also try to repeat personal mantras when I need it the most. For those on a health journey hoping to make better food choices, my personal favourite mantra is “I Choose To Feel Good”.
Action Step: pay attention to the thoughts swirling in your mind. Are the rich is positivity or negativity? Try this: find a mantra that calls to you and post it in your home, phone, office where it will remind you of where you focus should lie or what you are hoping to achieve.
MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS + WORK
We are human and even us introverts (like me) crave relationships and meaningful work. While studying holistic nutrition, I learned that a lot of our emotions are stored in our hips and lack of expression can often result in various health issues including those in the hips. You will not be surprised to hear that I have hip issues including tightness and inflammation. One of the best ways to relieve emotions is through healthy relationships and the ability to express oneself.
Meaningful work is a subjective opinion, I believe. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be a writer, blogger, spiritual leader, etc. But, you do need to get up in the morning and look forward to the work that you do. If you don’t, it is completely and utterly suppressive. My husband struggles with this as he’s not quite where he wants to be in his career. While he is on his way, he has been credited to his uplifting personality, positive attitude, sense of humour and curiosity. As I’ve told him, just try to inspire small changes within your own team. Maybe that’s improved collaboration or maybe it’s being a resource to the co-worker who is struggling in a relationship.
Action step: if you don’t already, make a point to connect with one lady friend per week to have a chat about life and to express yourself in one form or another.
SELF-CARE + SLEEP
This is my most favourite topic. I love, love, LOVE talking about he importance of self-care, which includes sleep. Us career-minded ladies are always giving and giving and giving to others, whether that be in our jobs or personal life. What what about us and our own needs? The point of self-care is to find daily and weekly practices for oneself with the intention of reenergizing so that we can continue to serve our careers and those in our lives. Introverts don’t have as hard of a time doing this as we naturally need to “top ourselves up” energetic. However, the extraverts out there who thrive being around others, need to plan and commit to this practice.
Here’s some ideas on how I perfected and prioritized self care: I wake up extra early to work on my holistic nutrition business that lights me up (super important to do something in the mornings that do this); I do a home spa night 2-3 times per week which has several steps such as dry brushing and sea salt baths; I practice yoga regularly but I take two specific classes that are both mentally and physically challenging; I spend my weekends having long coffees with my husband, meal prepping, and I throw in a hike in nature.
From a sleep perspective, I detach from all electronic devices 1-2 hours before I go to sleep to ensure nothing is disrupting my thoughts.
Action Step: What is a daily self-care practice that you can adopt that will help to recharge you? What is a weekly practice that you can incorporate into your week that can add to your personal wellness plan?
The biggest ACTION that I want you to take now, is to take 1-2 of these steps and look at incorporating them into you life today and practice it for at least 1-2 weeks until you are comfortable and you have adapted to the change. As I’ve said, small and mindful wellness choices are the best way to achieve sustainable improvements in your health. So, what is that going to be for you? Tell me in the comments below OR share with me your plans by emailing me at eatlifebalance.com.
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