Healthy is What Feels Right To You

Diet…exercise…healthy living…all are highly individual. It’s what works for you. I can honestly say (honest to myself – it’s what I believe) that there is not one diet program or exercise program out there that is right for everyone.

Every body and every mind is different and it takes knowing that and accepting that to find YOUR healthiest life.

Let’s start with the topic of diet. We all know people with sensitivities to foods be it lactose intolerance or celiac disease. And we know others who are like garbage trucks and eat anything and everything. Clear evidence that diets and nutrition are different for everyone. I recently went on what many people call an elimination diet. I eliminated dairy, anything containing lactose, from my meals for 30 days; not because I have been experiencing any kind of pain or system malfunction but I had been feeling very bloated and decided since I had been consuming a lot of cheese in recent months that in addition to alcohol (I love my wine!) I would cut dairy out completely for 30 days. The results…I lost inch around my waistline, could think more clearly and had more energy. I have since continued to keep dairy to a minimum in my life and have not gained the bloat the back (it has since been just over 60 days since the elimination diet) – what this made me aware of is that I may have sensitivities to dairy. Not a life altering sensitivity but one that does keep me from feeling my best.

Isn’t that what it’s all about…feeling YOUR best. It’s not what someone else’s best is it’s yours. The path to a healthy lifestyle is all about exploring what is best for you. Start being aware of foods that you eat and how they make you feel. If you are like me and realize you’ve been snacking on delicious cheese a little too much (and ice cream on the weekends) and you have noticed your waistline expanding give it a try – eliminating those tempting foods from your snacks and meals for 2 weeks and see how feel.

It’s the same story with exercise. There are people that swear Crossfit is for life. Those that love to Zumba and dance til they are dripping with sweat. And those who feel best when practicing yoga or tai chi.

It’s all good! As long as YOU feel good doing it!

I know it can be mind boggling. All the research and “proof” that high intensity interval training is the best exercise out there…no wait…it’s pilates…no it’s cycling. Kale is the best vegetable you can have on your plate…no it’s spinach…carrots…beets!

My point is that yes there is a lot of information out there. But you don’t have to listen to it if you don’t want to. The key is to get moving. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start small, a couple days a week. A walk in the evening in this beautiful Fall weather – make it something that is worth your time, something you enjoy doing.

Try a cycle class, if you don’t like it, don’t go back. Try a Zumba class. Try a kickboxing class. Download a couch to 5k running guide. You get my point. Keep trying until you find something you actually enjoy doing and that you feel good doing. Over the years of trying various types of exercises I have found that either running or cycling (aerobic activity) is best for me when I need trim excess weight. I know there are so many benefits to strength training and it’s really easy to incorporate into daily schedules but I ultimately feel my best (both mentally and physically) after an intense Spin class.

It’s all related. Take the same concept with eating more nutritiously. Pizza is fantastic! But we all know it is not good for our hearts or our waistlines to eat it too often. So maybe cut back for bit. Ordering pizza every week can get expensive too. Heck! Ordering out every day/week is REALLY expensive. I give you permission here to play with your food. Veggies can be prepared in a variety of ways to make them taste better to you: steaming, roasting, sauteeing, raw – try it all.

Salads don’t always have to be spinach and blah! I love three-bean or similar salads. Adding in bell peppers and red onion, you can make a hug batch on Sunday and have three-bean salad all week.

There is so much food available to us Americans. Play with it. Try different things. If you don’t like it, don’t make it again. Try something new. You may even discover a new hobby – cooking, baking, juicing. Try it all with better health in mind.

You have choices! Have fun making them!

Better health can be fun 🙂

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