What is Healthy?
Being healthy. There is no magic pill, nor a special button to press. No diets. No gimmicks. No secrets. Being healthy is about your lifestyle. What are your daily habits? What do you do most of the time? A healthy lifestyle is more than just a healthy diet. Sure, a healthy diet will guide you there. But you cannot be healthy with that alone. A healthy lifestyle should be approached holistically; one must have a healthy diet, a healthy body, and a healthy mind. Being physically active and mentally and emotionally aware, contributes to such a lifestyle.
Before getting into the logistics of how to be healthy, let’s compare the human body to a car. If you were a vehicle, what kind would you want to be? I assume you would prefer to be a strong, well-working vehicle, not a broken down junkyard-like car. However, being a car that is in tip-top shape requires maintenance. It needs to be fueled properly and well cared for. Furthermore, it must be used frequently. If it is not used frequently, it may have some difficulties when trying to start it back up. Now let’s compare this to the human body. If you want to be the nicest car on the market, you’ll need the best fuel to keep it working. Our bodies must be fueled with water and nutritious food. Secondly, the car must be used frequently in order for it to run smoothly. This is the exercise our body needs. Exercise keeps the body limber and ensures our bodies run the way they were supposed to. Lastly, the car’s engine must be clean and wired properly. The engine is like the brain. Our mental health needs to be clear for us to function optimally. It cannot be congested with unnecessary gunk, or thoughts, that are negative and lead to poor outcomes.
Now that you understand WHAT makes up a healthy lifestyle, let’s talk about HOW to develop a healthy status:
Diet – Eating a healthy diet does NOT mean that you must avoid foods x, y, and z. Eating a healthy diet means you are getting the nutrients your body needs. It is about what you CAN eat….not about what you cannot. Eat a variety of wholesome, non-processed foods. One should try to eat a myriad of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. In addition, one should consume a balanced caloric intake. This means that the calories you eat are about equal to the amount of calories you burn in a given day. Furthermore, you should be eating appropriate amounts of all macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein).
Exercise – Being physically active is important. Not only will you live longer and be healthier, but you will FEEL better. Along with eating healthy, being physically active will give you more energy. You will feel more capable in your daily activities, even from walking up a flight of stairs. Get moving and stay active. Not into the gym? Take a walk with a friend. Develop habits that will allow you to move more. Avoid the elevator/escalator and take the stairs. Park your car farther away from the store so that you have to walk a longer distance. Go hiking or go for a bike ride. Find what works for you!
Mental Health – Mental clarity is a wonderful thing. Are you honest with yourself and others? How do you feel toward your family and friends? How do you feel about your job? Your life? Are you happy? These questions are important to ask yourself. You must be in touch with your feelings and the attitude you have toward the things that you do and have. You must take a step back and think about how you think about things. Yes, I said it right. Be clear on how you perceive things. Your perspective determines your attitude and overall influences whether or not you are happy in life. If you aren’t happy, you must find out what you can change to reach happiness. Personally, in order to be emotionally and mentally stable, I must constantly reflect. I am grateful for what I have. If I don’t like something going on, I make the appropriate steps to change those things. I also like to write, run and do yoga. While I exercise, I meditate. This is what works for me. But there are other ways as well. Talking with a friend? Meditating? Exercising? Writing? Reading? You have one life. And if you are not happy, change it. It is never too late. Seriously, if you aren’t happy…what is even the point?
Overall, the trifecta effect of diet, exercise, and mental health equates to one healthy person. Furthermore, they should exist together, not individually. By eating healthy and being physically active, you will feel clarity in your mental state. By fueling your body with proper nutrients, you will be able to exercise. Getting the essential nutrients your body needs will make you feel good. You will have more energy and feel alive! If you want to be healthy, you must take a holistic approach. I am your holistic nutritionist, making sure to provide you with a whole health guide to reach a whole healthy you!