Health. I’ve found that people LOVE the concept of being more healthy and eating more healthy. However, I’ve also found that people have a very hard time making daily choices to do so. I know, it is hard, but yet at the same time it isn’t. What a contradictory statement, eh?
Let me start by saying that health is NOT how you look. Health is not just physical; it is mental, emotional, and spiritual as well and physical. Health encompasses more than meets the eye and once we each realize this we can really begin to make bigger steps towards a more healthy lifestyle. Notice my choice of words here, healthy lifestyle. Not “healthy diet” or “regimen”, but healthy lifestyle. Do you want to know why I stated it this way? Because health is an everyday choice, filled with an abundance of choices each and every day. No, not just at meal time. And no, not just when it’s time to get some movement in each day. Health is much more, much broader, and way more laid back than you may think.
Health in a nutshell. Health to many people is very frustrating and disillusioning. Why is it that society is teaching people to expect INSTANT results in their health situation without having to put in much of an effort? Why can’t society teach us, instead, that each and every day we can do many little things to improve our health and then, in due time, reap the results? That my friends, is what I want to bring awareness, mindfulness, and attention to today.
Health is like a nut in inside the nutshell. It (seems) hard on the outside, but on the inside it is pliable and satisfying. The outside layer seems hard to get through as our brain, body, mouth, muscles, other people, and social media try to make health seem harder than it truly is. Once we overcome the mind battles, the peer pressure, and let the truth about becoming more healthy sink in, we break through the barrier of the nuts shell and find the nut itself. The nut in this case represents health. Health, just like any and every nut is shaped differently for every person. It also tastes different for every person. The color, the texture, the aroma, etc., is different per every individual, just like health. So what is health other than just physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual? Health is everywhere we are, everywhere we look, and in our every day choices. When we get out of bed in the morning and get ready for the day, we just made a few healthy choices. What do I mean? Well, you get out of bed and use the restroom. You excrete toxins from your body in doing so. Next, you take a nice hot shower. You just made another healthy decision to clean your body and probably clear your head (and wake up fully) to prepare for your day. After your shower, you brush your teeth, brush your hair, and dress appropriately for your day. These are ALL small, but yet important healthy decisions to improve your health.
Really? That is considered health? Yes! But it doesn’t end there. Now it’s time for breakfast. Oh, but maybe you like to get some water in BEFORE breakfast! Here’s another nice healthy thing to do. Drink a 16oz glass of water to get some water in before you even eat. This helps the body to flush out any other toxins from your sleeping the night before. After waiting 15-30mins after drinking your water it’s time to eat. (You may not even be hungry yet so feel free to bring your breakfast with you to work.)
Eating protein in the morning is a generally good rule to apply to including in your breakfast meal. Hormone free(HF) eggs, HF & Nitrate free sausage or bacon, chicken, turkey, or ground beef are great sources of protein. Maybe you don’t care for dense protein right off the bat in the morning. If not, grab an avocado or some nuts for both protein and good quality fat. GOOD fat is ESSENTIAL to feed our brain and body important nutrients it needs to both think and function correctly.
Now it’s off to work. While working you make mindful decisions to think before speaking. You listen more closely to others when they speak. You focus on your breathing and choose not to hold your breathe. Those are some great choices you made for your health!
It is now lunch time, and hopefully you packed your lunch for the day. If not, let’s look at some quality food choices either from a store or for a quick meal from home. Leftovers from the night before are an easy meal. Another easy meal is some kind of protein along with steamed/cooked/raw veggies. Making extras when you cook and setting extras aside is NICE for quick meals during the work week. It’s convenient and isn’t as tempting to go out and make choices you aren’t as pleased with the results from. Also, eating a good quality, more health based lunch, allows for you not to skip afternoon lethargy/groggy feeling.
Now it’s back to work and you feel energized and ready to finish out your day! The quick, easy, healthy meal rejuvenated you and your mind is sharp, you are focused, and you are ready to get back to the grind! The hours pass and you may or may not get hungry. If you do, grab that apple and a handful of nuts from your backpack to munch on while working. Nuts are great brain food (walnuts especially). Apples have pectin which is great fiber to help you “go” at a later time, and together they make for a hearty and healthy snack.
You’ve now finished out your work day. You stayed focused all day long. You had opportunities for healthy choices and growth in character in your job… and you willingly stepped into them. You listened, spoke, and used your God given voice to share and be in community with your co-workers. You respected them and yourself, and just now noticed as you are driving home, “I had a really good day!” You felt good, made MANY good quality and healthy choices (in all ways, not just food), and still have energy!
Once home the kids want to play ball, and since you still have energy you join them for a bit in the backyard before starting supper. You all laugh and play together, a family enjoying each other’s company. As you know it’s time to go inside and start supper. You grab the chicken from the fridge you took out this morning from the freezer. It is fully defrosted and ready to cook. Having a head of leafy green lettuce you decide to chop that up along with cucumbers, peppers, and carrot sticks to have as a side for the chicken. Suddenly you decide some olives would compliment this meal nicely so you grab a can from the pantry and now your meal is ready to be prepared! The chicken has been cooking while you made the salads, and everything is ready just as the kids come tumbling through the door. Shoes go flying and hands rush towards the sink for cleaning before sitting down for a nice supper meal together.
After grace, everyone shares about the happenings of their day as your family eats together. There is a lightness in the air and everyone is genuinely happy. You smile to yourself knowing you yourself have had a great day… and now as a family you are together eating a healthy meal that is nourishing and filling to everyone. The chatter continues as the kids talk about their day at school and you set your fork down to watch your family interact with one another. You know in your heart, this is what health is all about. It is in the daily LITTLE choices made. As you realize this your spouse looks up at you. Your eyes meet. Together you smile at one another, and then you pick your fork back up and take a bite of your fresh and crunchy salad. Your heart is at peace. You feel well. You’re mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually making good choices each and everyday and with each day you know you are heading in the right direction. It’s the little things that you’re doing each and every day that is making such a BIG difference.
As you tuck the kids into their beds, they smile and ask for extra bed time stories. You allow one for each of them because you want just a little extra time with your kiddos tonight. They relish in your positive response to their request. After their story, you kiss them each on the head and tuck them in. The lights are turned off and they snuggle into their covers and soon drift off into slumber. You stand outside the door with your hands on your heart thanking God for another day, for safety, love, laughter, smiles, and joy in the simple things, the gifts that health brings to your entire families life. You are truly happy and at peace.
This my friends, is what everyday health is. Like this beautiful human in the story realized, it is about our everyday choices that make up our health. We have to make mindful decisions to choose health each and every day in various forms. No, it is not just in what we eat, although yet, that plays a big role too. It’s about health mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Choosing to be mindful and aware each and every day is important for each and every one of us.
Today I ask you, do you what health in a nutshell? Or, do you just want to look at the nutshell and not get to the inside of the shell to the satisfying and fulfilling part? I don’t know about you, but I want IN!
Health is everyday, everywhere, and in every choice we make. Are you ready to become more healthy and whole? If you truly want to but really just want assistance in doing so we have two Personal Health Coaches available here at Helping Hands Therapeutic Massage & Body Work. We have helped amazing clients meet their health and wellness goals and can help you too. Reach out to us at 320-839-6190 to get started. Your health is within reach, give us a call to get started!