For some this may be a shock for others (with a more holistic approach towards health), this is a well-known fact. Food is not all. I can understand this is shocking if you are putting a lot of time, effort and money into a healthy lifestyle, but the reality is that food is not all. As Kris Carr says: ”It’s about what you eat, drink and think”. Don’t throw your blender out of the window yet before reading this article. Why you may be unhealthy eating healthy foods?
Health is so much more than tracking your exercise and making sure you eat a whole plant based food diet. In fact, doing it all perfect in the gym and the kitchen could still mean you’re unhealthy.
Let’s take myself as an example. I’m a perfectionist, sensitive, although at the same time very intense, stubborn, and opinionated. So when you ask me to walk around the block I will be back after walking at least 4 blocks. I have an all or nothing approach. After being sick, chubby and tired most of my life I of course saw an incredible result when I cleared up my diet. I felt hugely better after I gave up meat, dairy, gluten, wheat, and sugar and started sipping on my green smoothies. My skin cleared up, my waistline became slimmer than it was in high school, my digestion improved, I had tons of energy and I was off medicine. However, after a few years I noticed I was having minor health issues that frustrated all the good effort I still made for my health. I had problems unwinding in the evening, my hormones were still not in balance and I would have all of a sudden painful periods. Sometimes my digestion was not on fire as it was before.
What I realized that time is that I adopted a diet change and not a lifestyle change.
With lifestyle change I’m not talking about exercise as you might think now. A lifestyle change is as important as a diet change. And with lifestyle change I’m talking about dealing with mental stress. If you’re experiencing too often, too much stress you’re not healthy no matter the diet.
And guess what, the higher your cortisol levels (stress hormone) are from not being able to manage your stress levels or not having enough sleep, the lower your resistance is to for example insulin. What does this mean? This means, that your body will have no clue as to when you’ve had enough fuel (sugar). Hello over eating! Hello vicious cycle! In other words, the more insulin you have the more fat you will store (around your waistline).
The point is, that many of my clients don’t take this part of their health very seriously. ‘’Oh yes, Bianca I know I should create some ‘’me-time’’, stretch and breath, but I HAD TO skip in because our washing machine broke down and the dog got sick too ….but I did had a green smoothie today’’
If you don’t make stress management a priority (just like you do when you carve our some time to make that green smoothie), you will never achieve optimal health. Your liver (your most forgiving organ) for example will never get a change to detox itself.
# 1 killer
Sometimes people ask me why some smokers end up becoming 90 years old and some ”clean eating health foodies” die or fall sick before the age of 60? Well, let me tell you one thing I learned after I studied centenarians. The people who are laid back and don’t stress, become the oldest.
So back to my own personality. Is it easy for me to sit still? Heck no! Am I a yoga girl? Nope! So I do Pilates, stretch, jump, and go for a walk. Do I always feel like doing that? No. Do I often times just want to watch Netfix the entire evening? Yes!
What I really LOVE after changing my lifestyle is my ‘’me-time’’. I LOVE my ‘’me-time’’ and need it like I need water everyday. After a walk or just being alone at home (often doing nothing) I feel so much more relaxed, grounded and centred.
I challenge you to try this for a few weeks. It may not be easy, but I know you will feel even healthier. Incorporate whatever fits in your lifestyle that will make you manage your stress levels and make you get enough sleep.
And remember, it’s stress that is the number one killer. It makes you fat, gives you terrible skin, creates muffin tops, tiredness, depression, anxiety, and so much more.
So what are you waiting for? Add in that missing piece that will get you REALLY healthy.
I’d love to read in the comments below how you deal with stress.
photos by the green creator (c) (copyright)