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How to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

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You know the recipe…eat well, exercise, practice gratitude, and manage your stress.  Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  Or is it?  If we know the recipe for a healthy lifestyle, and the recipe was actually this simple, why are so many people unhappy, overweight, on antidepressants, high cholesterol meds, anti-anxiety meds, the list goes on and on?

Maybe it’s because we are told one thing but our environment does everything to set us up for the opposite?  Maybe a healthy lifestyle takes too much work?  Maybe we need to reevaluate what it really takes to live a healthy lifestyle?

For us, living a healthy lifestyle has been easy mostly because we look at health in different terms. It’s not so much one specific diet plan or one type of exercise program. Living a healthy lifestyle has more to do with aligning your purpose, having clarity, and creating deeper connections with ourselves, each other, and nature.

San Diego Family pic

The Good Life Includes Flow State

I don’t wake to an alarm clock. I sip my freshly ground coffee with my loved ones before loading the surfboards into my truck, filling my backpack with hiking snacks and hitting the trail, grabbing a rope and draws to go send a new rock wall or jumping on my mountain bike to flow down a trail.

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Does a healthy lifestyle require adrenaline? Not always.

Does a healthy lifestyle require movement, or what I call PLAY? Absolutely!

If you don’t have something you can lose yourself in, you’ll struggle to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the happiest people on earth are the ones who chase flow state. Don’t believe me? Check out this book!

The Good Life Requires Healthy Food

I’m constantly immersed in nature— under the canopy of the forest, on the summit of a mountain peak, at the edge of the earth watching a sunset. Connecting with nature is a huge piece of the “healthy lifestyle” equation. And so is good food…

After a dose of flow state, a glass of wine is waiting for me along with a huge dinner of sourdough bread, organic cheese, grass fed meat, and veggies. 

I’m telling you, a healthy lifestyle is totally possible, but if you think it’s something as easy as eating well, exercising, practicing gratitude, and managing stress you will be set up for failure.  It is much, much harder than that. Here are 7 more things you may want to consider adding or changing in your life in order to truly thrive and create abundance in your life.

The secret to living The Good Life lies far beyond just eating right, exercising, practicing gratitude, and managing stress. However, that’s a great place to start.

The Good Life Starts With Purpose

While we don’t want to ignore the importance of discipline, hard work, and sacrifice, a healthy lifestyle has a lot to do with knowing your purpose.

By aligning your desires and your actions, you begin to manifest health easier becuase it is serving a higher purpose. 

So start by asking yourself What do you really want?  What is the ultimate goal of achieving a healthy lifestyle? When I work with clients on finding their purpose, I always talk about getting really clear on the underlying feeling we want to create in our life.

Do you want self worth? fun? challenge? connection? feeling needed? perfection? peace and tranquility?

For me, it’s challenge and connection. I’m driven by the challenge outdoor adventure provides and being surrounded by the people I love the most. I really don’t care about owning the newest cars, eating at the latest hipster restaurant, or having a large 401K.  

Your version of The Good Life might provide a totally different feeling.

But regardless of what feeling we are striving for, no one wants to be in a constant state of high stress.

Hopefully, you like your job and feel like it uses your skill set well and you feel appreciated for your talents. If so, your stress level might be tolerable and if it means hopping into a yoga class once or twice a week to reconnect with your intention and body then so be it. 

But what if your stress is more than that?  

If you are living in sabertooth mode (you know, feeling like you are on high alert so as to not be attacked at any moment) then you will need a lot more than just an occasional yoga to live a healthy lifestyle.

7 Tips For Achieving The Good Life & A Healthy Lifestyle

1 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Silence

Goal: Sit in silence a just breathe for 15 minutes every day. Try my guided breath work video.

First things first, you need to decompress DAILY.  Once a week won’t be enough.  While yoga is great, I’ve found that meditating every day has made the biggest impact on living a healthy lifestyle. Click here for a free chakra healing mediation.

Related Blog: Beginners Guide to Mediation: How to be Zen AF

Self-awareness is one of the secrets to health and meditation is a great way to discover YOU… the inner you. Make an effort to sit in silence and have a conversation with yourself every day. 

While you are at it, prioritize yourself more.  Say no to obligations.  Drop the expectations of doing everything for everyone else.  Start small and keep it manageable, then, go ahead and expand outwards to give your time to others.  

2 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Real Food

Goal: Learn to make all your meals from whole foods.

Food from Luz-Saint-Sauveur, Best Day Hike Cirque de Gavarnie in the French Pyrenees
Food from Luz-Saint-Sauveur

Okay, so now you’ve checked off the “manage stress factor”.  What about the eating right part? 

The worst thing you eat at home is probably better than the best thing you eat out. I personally think eating out is the worst for maintaining a healthy diet. It’s hard to trust what you get when you eat out. Plus, most so-called healthy restaurants are loaded with sugar. You’re much better off having small treats at home while also prioritizing making really healthy meals at home.

Use the 90-10 rule.  Eat really good 90% of the time—greens, veggies, well-sourced meats, no processed food.  Indulge 10% of the time by eating some foods that make your brain dance even if it’s not the best for your digestive system, hormones, and blood sugar regulation. 

When you are living a life aligned with your higher purpose and frequency, you’ll be more motivated to put good food in your body most of the time and not worry about the little bad stuff that sneaks in. Moderation is good for a healthy lifestyle!

Tip: The biggest problem most people have when trying to “eat right” is planning ahead.  Eating good healthy food requires planning your meals ahead of time.  If you wait until you are hungry, you will probably make a bad decision.  And cooking healthy meals takes time.  You actually have to chop, dice, and sáute.  Make time to prepare your own meals from well-sourced meats and lots of veggies.

Join our email list and get our complete course, Nutrition Made Simple, for free. It has grocery lists and meal ideas to help make healthy eating easier. You could also check out our blog Healthy Weekly Meal Plan for more ideas on how to create a healthier lifestyle.

3 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Movement

Goal: Find a sport or activity that excites you and feels playful. Do it often and spend a few hours a day doing strength, flexibility, and prehab training so you continue to improve in that sport or activity.

Classics are classics for a reason

So now you’ve managed your stress and you made time to prepare healthy foods, but there are those dumbbells sitting in the corner of your living room screaming at you, “You haven’t lifted me in a while!”

You have a gym membership, right?  And I’m sure you’ve justified why it’s cost-effective. After all, at $50 a month if you go twice a week that’s only a little more than $6 per visit.  Totally doable. 

Or worse, you go every day (making it extremely cost-effective at only a little more than a dollar a day) but you aren’t really improving.  You aren’t much leaner and you don’t really like going, but you’ve been told you should go so here you are disciplined to live a healthy lifestyle but wondering if it really “Sparks Joy”.

Stop going to the gym if it doesn’t spark joy.  It isn’t necessarily healthier.

But you have to move. Your body, that is. And often!

I don’t care if it’s in the gym, at the park, taking dance lessons, hiking up a mountain.  Just move and move at the bare minimum an hour a day.

Personally, I have to spend half my day moving in order to feel good.  My kids are the same.  As long as they are moving, everything falls into place.  As soon as we sit too long, our qi becomes stagnant and all our demons come out. 

We become irritable and grumpy. 

There is peace in movement, but more importantly, there is health in movement. But, don’t give up that gym membership yet because when you start moving, you might actually want to move better or you might get so much joy out of moving that you want to stay injury-free so that you can keep moving or you may even want to improve your movement ability.  That’s where the gym comes in. 

Strength and mobility are the keys to being able to play more. And remember the happiest people are the ones who chase flow.

Think about it. You want to enjoy your life and I doubt sitting watching TV all hours of the day are your recipe for success. 

Deep down, you have some goals you want to achieve.  It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as running a 5K race or summiting Kilimanjaro, there is a desire in each one of us. 

By setting aside a half-hour a day to either improving mobility, flexibility, strength, or rehab exercises, you’ll be able to live a much healthier lifestyle.

Related Blog: Best Myofascial Release tools.

Find something that excites you and doesn’t feel like a chore.

Click here to set up a coaching call with myself or Victor

 

4 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Gratitude

Goal: Keep a gratitude journal and make sure the things you are writing in it are things you are truly grateful for achieving.

family photo at the beach

Truly feeling happy at the end of each day is the epitome of The Good Life

I get a lot of satisfaction out of my days and try to go to bed with a warm feeling of happiness and the ability to take deep cleansing breaths that fill my soul with gratitude for the effort and reward of a day spent working hard, playing hard, eating well, and managing stress.    

If you don’t have that sense of gratitude at the end of the day, you will struggle with optimal health because our emotions play a HUGE role in health.

We use this Best Self Journal as a goal setting and gratitude journal.

5 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Freedom

Goal: Align your stuff with what truly sparks joy in your life. You don’t want to feel like a slave to your stuff.

Small spaces, Why RV Living with Kids is Awesome

There’s another big factor in living a healthy lifestyle that is often overlooked– Your Stuff. 

All the things you own, really own you.  Ask Van-Lifers why they are so happy and they will all agree … It’s the Freedom. The ability to come and go as they please. 

Now I’m not saying you need to sell all your belongings and live in a van, but I am saying you need to align your stuff with what is actually important to you. 

That garage full of boxes that you may go through one day could be preventing you from living the life you truly want.   

We all spend a lot of time and energy making money to accumulate this stuff and then to store it, when often what makes us happiest are the experiences we do with the people we love. 

Think about this … What did you really need to be happy today? 

I drive an old beat-up truck because it was cheap. I love it. We still travel in our broken RV even though we have a really nice 5th wheel. We could sacrifice on play in order to make more money but that wouldn’t align with our purpose.

Thinking of downsizing? Read this blog about what it was like getting rid of almost all our stuff.

6 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Honesty

Goal: Be honest with yourself about what you truly need.

Observation Beach, How to backpack Abel Tasman: 3-4 day Abel Tasman Backpacking Itinerary
Sunrise at Observation Beach

I’ve also become really good at reusing old items, using things much longer than I would have in the past, and learning to do without.  This time of the year (the holidays) is marked by consumerism, waste, and excess.  And while it can be fun and there are definitely some things even an adventure and wellness girl like myself can’t do without, it is also important to be aware of what we want and what we need.  And don’t forget to teach your kids the difference too 🙂

7 | A Healthy Lifestyle Requires Compassion

Goal: Open your heart chakra. It’s the key to creating abundance!

The last part of a healthy lifestyle involves compassion.  Learning to let things go.  Lowering your expectations of everyone else, but staying highly accountable to your own moral code.   

We go into great detail about how to open the chakras in our other blog, Making Mindfulness Fun. The heart chakra is the doorway to true health. When we learn to forgive and love both ourselves and others, then it becomes easy to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

I’m a work in progress just like you.  We all have our issues, but as long as we are aware of what health and happiness mean to each one of us and are ready to commit the time, discipline, and hard work that is needed to achieve it, then The Good Life becomes the life you live every single day.

You Don’t Have To Go It Alone

Sometimes it’s faster to work with a coach who can see your staircase to health & happiness and implement a program that is realistic and successful. I’d love to help you create your version of a healthy lifestyle! Set up a coaching call and embody all parts of The Good Life.

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Lindsay A.

Monday 17th of September 2018

Great list! For me, living the good life definitely involves living simply. This incorporates a focus on need vs. want, and using whole ingredients to make food & create body products. Lots of play (with pets!) and laughter rounds it out.

Gloria Luongo

Monday 17th of September 2018

Being healty mentally and physically. Loving fully.

Diane Richards

Saturday 15th of September 2018

In addition to living a balanced life, you also must be true to yourself and avoid drama as much as possible.

trey stone

Thursday 13th of September 2018

being around for my son and wife - my family and world.

Robyn

Friday 14th of September 2018

awesome!

Tanya

Wednesday 12th of September 2018

Difficult question on the "good life" but for me it means being happy physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. All in balance.

Robyn

Friday 14th of September 2018

well I know that you do a great job at keeping it all in balance and you certainly live the good life :)

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