When I think about healthy living I think about the mantra of the YMCA. Body, mind and spirit…it all goes together. To try and take care of just one aspect of the three is like trying to exercise only one part of the body and forgetting about the rest. It doesn’t work…it’s all connected.
To live a healthy life in our current society as we become more and more overpopulated, overworked, overstimulated and as our environment is being destroyed around us on a daily basis, we live under a great deal of stress. One third of us think that eating french fries, potato chips and iceberg lettuce means that we are getting enough vegetables into our systems, an enormous amount of us feel that we must eat animals to get enough protein and virtually everyone believes the mustache ads telling us that we need all these dairy products to get enough calcium.
We are each responsible for our own welfare. The thoughts we think, the food we eat and the spiritual state of our mind is really up to us as individuals so let’s make living a healthy life as easy as possible and start by thinking about just 10 easy steps. We probably can’t do these steps all at once but let’s do them a bit at a time with the goal of achieving a healthy body, a healthy mind and a beautiful spirit.
Step 1: Smell the flowers! Take time out of your busy schedule to enjoy whatever natural surroundings you have. That means everything from a simple flower grown in a flower pot that sits on your windowsill to the vast heavens of planets and stars. Look up at night. If there is too much light to see the stars walk around your neighborhood park and enjoy the natural sights and smells. Watch how your dog or cat moves, watch the birds and see what they’re up to. if you live near an ocean or lake pay attention to the patterns on the water. Use your imagination. Relax your body along with relaxing your mind.
Step 2: Relax your mind. Breathe deeply. We get so taken up with rushing around doing this or that that we forget how important it is to just breathe deeply. Pay attention to the repetitive thoughts going around and around in your head. Acknowledge that they are there and let them go away if only for a few minutes a day. While taking that walk in the park or on the beach or just around your neighborhood just pay attention to your surroundings letting all the garbage in your head just go away.
Step 3: Be here NOW. That is really all we have. Just the here and now. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow, who knows what is going to happen so don’t worry about it. If you are washing the dishes, wash the dishes and pay attention to that chore. Echart Tolle calls it the pain body that runs around in our heads all the time. Let it go even if just for a minute or two and then a few minutes and then more and more.
Step 4: Know that you are loved and worthy of being loved. Your friends, your family, your partner love you. Think about that and let that glow come through.
Step 5: Stay away from doctors. There is certainly a time to go and see a doctor and if we are taking care of ourselves that shouldn’t be too often. I had a wonderful doctor in Puerto Rico who said those words to me and I never forgot them. He said to wait three or four days and then if what was bothering you continued then go and see a doctor. We need to be in touch with our bodies and listen to what they are telling us. If we are filling them with junk foods and animal products we are setting ourselves up for failure and more doctor visits.
Step 6: Start cutting down and then eliminating all animal products. There is a world of wonderful food out there in the forms of legumes, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and seeds that are delicious. They are not only good for you but are colorful and tasteful. While helping ourselves to be more and more healthy we can start really cutting down on the suffering of the animals we’re killing. Eat a wide variety of foods. Our bodies need many nutrients, vitamins and minerals. We can get them by eating a plant/starch based diet. It is impossible to put all the nutrients into a pill that our bodies should have so why not take better care of ourselves by staying away from fatty, high cholesterol animal based foods that can put us in the hospital with heart disease, obesity, various forms of cancer, and a large variety of other debilitating diseases. and, by degrees, move toward a plant/starch based diet
Step 7: Exercise. If you havn’t been doing any exercise start slowly. Take a 10 minute walk every day and start increasing that walk until you are able to walk an hour or so three or four times a week. It’s great if you have a dog because your dog needs exercise just as much as you do and you both can get out and walk. One of the neat things about that is if you get in the habit of walking your dog or just walking yourself you feel a bit of guilt if you don’t do it. We certainly don’t want to fill our lives with any guilt but in this case it might be a good motivator. There are tons of things you can do that don’t cost any money…walk up the stairs, park further away from the store, walk to your neighbors to say, “hi.” Use your imagination and have fun.
Step 8: Learn to read labels and read them. Look for how much fat is in a particular food and look at the amount of salt. We need salt but not the huge amounts in processed and refined foods. For that matter we don’t need processed and refined foods at all. Don’t buy them. Do yourself and your family a favor. They are full of suga, salt and a myriad of various chemicals that you probably have never heard of and you certainly don’t need.
Step 9: Stay away from Genetically Modified Foods. Those foods are corn, cotton, soybeans, and canola. There has been quite a bit of research done on GM Foods and none of it shows much, if any, promise. The whole idea, I guess, is to feed the world’s hungry. It isn’t working out that way. Monsanto wants at least 95% of the seeds sold around the world to be Monsanto’s seeds which are genetically modified. Please look up Jeffrey Smith and read his book, Seeds of Deception. It is very enlightening and well worth reading! We want to protect our children and future generations. Feeding them GM foods is not the way to do this!
Step 10: Enjoy your life. It’s the only one you’re going to have. We don’t get a second chance to get it right so why not do the very best that we can do with the life we have. Let’s take the best care of our bodies we can by eating the right foods, taking care of our spiritual side and getting plenty of exercise.