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Old 02-20-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default What are your healthy lifestyle habits?

I keep seeing references to having a "Healthy Lifestyle". What exactly does that mean? For most folks it is a vague sort of eat right, exercise, manage stress kind of thing. I know things that I have done in my own life and am interested in hearing what other people have done or are thinking about doing that they would think of in that broad category. What does it mean to you?

I'm not talking about weight loss or the latest 3 day cleanse. But more along the lines of what shifts in thinking have led you to what actions, and what results they have produced in your life.

These could be anything from starting meditation, to changing what kinds of foods you put in your body, to learning a new hobby to enhance your daily life. What are you doing now? What do you want to incorporate in the future and why?

I'm hoping to foster discussion that will lead people to learn from each other and be able to ask questions and get resources. If you have a great resource, article, paper or site; please include a link to the original source material so that others can investigate on their own if it is something they (or I) would like to pursue.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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Something I decided a couple of years ago was that I had become too sedentary. I decided I wanted to start incorporating at least an hour a day of whole body motion into my life. Not a fancy or complicated workout, just moving my body, as designed, for a while each day to combat all the other hours I was not moving around.

I simply started walking everyday, I wanted to be outdoors and I live near a beach. The benefits of that decision have been pretty amazing. This one action is now the highlight of my day, everyday. Being by the water and breathing fresh air do remarkable things for my mental wellbeing, and just that bit of low key exercise helps keep everything in my body moving. It has grown a life of its own, and now I am an avid Nordic walker for much longer than that each day. The thing is, that if I had not taken that one action of deciding to get off the couch for a while each day, this never would have happened.

I now consider this to be a healthy lifestyle habit for me.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:23 PM   #3
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I walk every morning before doing anything else for at least a 1/2 hr I also do rarely eat things with refined sugar and rarely eat read meat
I do not drink alcohol, smoke or do drugs of any kind
I generally avoid caffeine
I go to bed before 11pm and wake before 7am
I am very balanced
I laugh alot alot
I learn daily....from others and life
I still enjoy little silly things just like I did as a child
I think its also important to say I meditate and talk to the source daily
I am of service to others daily and I feel my feelings when they come up and diligently make choices (although at times very difficult) to express those feelings in a healthy and productive way
All combined to create WHOLE HEALTH...
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
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Default A completely new life!

The lifestyle changes I've made are almost too numerous to list!
About 2 years ago, I was living the total "foodie" life, which meant I was a fairly indiscriminate and adventurous eater. I was about 50 lbs overweight, and I started getting really strange symptoms that made me realize something wasn't quite right. I was under an extreme amount of stress at my job that severely exacerbated an auto-immune disorder (caused by diet) I didn't even know I had, and elevated my blood-pressure to an extremely worrisome level, even though I was exercising over an hour a day. I quit my job, and decided to make changes that would move me in a direction of health and wellness, and not one that was digging me an early grave.
After several failed attempts in doctors trying to diagnose me, (one just told me it was all in my head, but still gave me a prescription for steroids?!) So, I took my health and my future into my own hands. As a former scientist, I took it upon myself to do my due diligence and LOTS of reading to figure out what was wrong with me. I put myself on a plant-based whole food diet. I no longer eat anything I haven't prepared myself. No processed foods, no gluten, 100% GMO-free and organic produce. 99% of my diet is now vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and beans. And the response in my body has been nothing short of remarkable!
Now, instead of working myself to death in a biotech lab, I have plans to get involved in organic agriculture and winemaking and have plans to buy my own small farm/homestead somewhere on the West Coast, where I have lived on and off for about a decade.
I'm thrilled with the direction my life is heading now. I've never felt better!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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For myself, it includes a lot of self-care physically, emotionally and spiritually. I try to balance "work" with hands on activity. I love travelling and exploring outdoors. Camping, backpacking, cooking simple and wholesome food etc. I live for eating fresh organic food bought from farmers markets or food which I have grown myself, by friends or community gardens.

I love herbal teas and I always drink water. I do enjoy treating myself once in awhile but I try not to let those indulgences guilt me.

I believe that self care is a sacred ritual. Whether it's a bubble bath, making yourself feel better by dressing up, reading a good book, taking a break from your busy schedule, sleeping in/going to bed a little early, meditation, yoga, resleasing stress through music or simply taking a walk. It's important to make time to appreciate yourself and your surroundings.

I am usually keeping busy with a variety of projects that make me smile and oddly enough it relaxes me. I find my peace many ways - all alone doing nothing, in the company of others , learning and engaging in conversation or multi tasking.

I also found that laughter and just choosing to be free and happy makes a world of difference. I love exploring different cultures and seeing how different people create and embrace their own little sacred practices and healthy living habits. Simply put, love what you do and do everything with love.

It is hard for me to break it down to a daily level because of course we all know sometimes life throws things in the way of a set "routine" .
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelt View Post
I keep seeing references to having a "Healthy Lifestyle". What exactly does that mean? For most folks it is a vague sort of eat right, exercise, manage stress kind of thing.
Yes, that oh-so vague term "healthy". Lately, the more I learn about what's really good for your body, the more the usage of that word irks me, especially when it's used to market foods to people that contain artificial sweeteners, GMO-corn and MSG, like this one recent breakfast cereal commercial I saw yesterday (which shall remain nameless).

"Healthy" has become a subjective term, in my opinion. For some, a skinless chicken breast, turkey sausage breakfast sandwich and low fat cottage cheese are considered "healthy" options, while those are three things I can't ever imagine myself wanting to eat again!
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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I just ate an apple.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:44 PM   #8
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The first year that I worked for my current employer, I was forced to read a book, that someone had decided would help all CSRs. I was appalled that I was required to basically write a book report, that would be reviewed by a group of supervisors, so that they could decide what percentage of the yearly bonus I would receive as a new employee.

The book was called The Napkin, The Melon, and the Monkey. I absolutely hated this book, and I felt it was completely ridiculous that I was required to read it, write a report, and be graded on that book report at my age. But, I did have one take away from it, and that was the need to unplug. I use this word quite frequently, when I describe how I take my mind off of stress.

The way that I unplug at work, is to leave the campus during my one hour lunch break. I seek out a little piece of nature and I just absorb it, whatever it is. Sometimes, this is just the back parking lot at the nearby grocery, that backs up to an estuary, sometimes I go to a nearby park. Others would probably call this meditation, but I call it unplugging from chaos and plugging into mother nature.

When the weather is good, and I'm stressed, I try to get out and go hiking with my camera.

Lately, I have been very stressed at work, and about health issues. So, I'm thinking I need to readdress the need for unplugging.

For me, unplugging is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, that leaves me feeling rejuvenated and happy.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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Every Sunday night I cook ridiculous amounts of food and use it for my lunches all week.

I always feel calm and go into a mood that would even qualify as "happy" when I do this. I saute ginger and red onions, then add red cabbage, beets, carrots, mushrooms, all kinds of stuff. In another pan, I saute tilapia. In a big pot, I make a lot of quinoa. In another pot, I make oatmeal with apple and cinnamon (I adore cold oatmeal). I love all these foods, and assemble my lunches with them all week.

Another thing I do that is healthy, is work out a few times a week. I love my gym and go into a quiet, focused state when I'm there. I'm sort of proud of how much weight I apply on the machines.

I don't always accomplish this goal, but I try to get enough sleep, which makes a huge difference for me.

Having something to look forward to is very effective for improving my mental health. I try to go to a movie many Friday nights. Building ritual into my life is comforting.

And music helps a lot.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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Healthy lifestyle for me means being honest with myself and my wife at all times. Sometimes I do too much and end up paying a price that sets me back. Being healthy means doing the things that work, food, excersize, mind, and spirit. It means giving up unrealistic expectations for myself that I can no longer physically expect a good outcome. Sometimes it is self care in retreating from the world and it's demands. Most of the time it is meeting head on things that need done with good cheer. Grumpy me has issues with some stuff and grumpy me needs to get the hell over it. Cheerful me knows grumpy me wins at times.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:41 PM   #11
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These are really good ideas, I am impressed.

Like Sweet2th and KC butch, I also did a pretty complete overhaul of my physical life. It has prompted me to continue to wanting to seek more changes along these lines which is why I am getting ideas from folks here.

Agreeing with MerryFairy on the importance of self care, and with Hollylane's suggestion for a nature break at regular intervals.

IslandScout, I do the exact same thing with food preparation. Even though I cook for one, you would think it was for ten. I love being able to open the fridge at anytime and know that there will be several very tasty and good for me choices available. It really reinforces healthy choices. I also like making big batches of soup and freezing the extra. That way even if I don't have the time to shop for a while I know it is there and always have a backup plan.

Corkey, knowing yourself is probably one of the healthiest things a person can do for themselves.

Brock, kudos on the apple.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:19 PM   #12
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I too have been following this thread, and getting good ideas. I never thought of self-care as a sacred ritual; it's always after work/cleaning/kids/everything and everyone else that my time comes.

I feel at the core of self-care has to be a conviction that we deserve it, need it, and that it's very UNselfish of us to put our own needs first. That's tough to do!

I (as of Monday) dusted off my Weight Watchers subscription and began tracking and following the health guidelines. This time, my attitude isn't that I'm "on a diet", which presumes that one day I'll be off of it. I like how I feel when I'm following it, and making it a way of life. Not everyone is fluffy like me, but there are good tips just for maintaining (and I like the smiley faces when I fulfill a guideline ).

I was also thinking that I need to bring back my morning ritual of swimming laps at the gym until my arms fall off, then sitting in the hot tub. While I swam, I imagined my problems falling like bricks to the bottom of the pool, making me lighter. By the time I'd finished, maybe I hadn't solved all of them, but neither did they burden me.

I've always been more able to meditate and clear my mind if I'm doing heavy physical exercise.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:10 AM   #13
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I have just recently replaced my 60 ounces of coffee with water.

I am reducing my use of NSAIDS by 50% by using a heating pad, gentle stretching, and long showers.

I am aiming for 30 minutes of activity daily.

I moisterize my face and hands.

I use aromatherapy to reduce my stress at work. its actually helping.

I have a night time routine, and I go to bed and wake up around the same time, even on days off. My circadian rythms are pleased.

I am practicing forgiveness of self when I dont meet my aims.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:21 PM   #14
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Another thing I've done is to increase the amount of sleep I get each night. This was a tricky one because I didn't want to take any supplements or anything. I had been getting along for quite a few years on 6 hours a night, but after doing a bit of research, decided I could use more. I wanted to reduce the levels of cortisol in my system. I read up on what is referred to as sleep hygiene and implemented some of those ideas. Setting up and using a fan for white noise, making it as dark as possible, and making it cooler at night all helped. Just not enough.

Over some time, maybe a month or two, I put together a ritual to go through right before I go to sleep and faithfully followed it everyday. Nothing special, just closing up the place, checking pet needs, and as the last item I made sure to have a hot bath or shower right before getting into bed. By following the same exact routine each night, my body started learning that when x,y,z, were complete, it was time to go to sleep.

It like a reflex, or muscle memory, and works like a charm for me 98% of the time. Even if I am stressed or all wired up, the motions seem to put in place the result.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #15
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"... what shifts in thinking have led you to what actions, and what results they have produced in your life."

Long story - which I'll make as short as possible. A year ago, following a 6 year recovery from a serious injury, I was told that I was diabetic, hypertensive, overweight (like I didn't know that), and heading for a stroke at age 47. That seemed like a bad path, so I chose a new one.

I describe myself as "Practically Primal" now... sort of my version of the Paleo/Primal/Whole Food/Real Food/ movement that's gaining major ground, thankfully! I am now grain-free, sugar-free, legume-free, and consume very limited amounts of dairy (half/half & some cheese).

Within 90 days of making this change, I had lost 30 pounds, returned to normal blood pressure and blood sugar (without meds) and the pain in my joints which had kept me from dancing (my favorite exercise) was almost entirely gone.

I now dance (a lot) each week, feel better than I have in years and want to share the 'right' information with everyone!

Some of my favorite sources are Dr. Lustig (author of Fat Chance), www.slimpalate.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, The Blood Sugar Solution, The Primal Blueprint and this awesome Canadian....

http://www.sarahramsden.com/banana-almond-pancakes/
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:05 PM   #16
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"... what shifts in thinking have led you to what actions, and what results they have produced in your life."

Long story - which I'll make as short as possible. A year ago, following a 6 year recovery from a serious injury, I was told that I was diabetic, hypertensive, overweight (like I didn't know that), and heading for a stroke at age 47. That seemed like a bad path, so I chose a new one.

I describe myself as "Practically Primal" now... sort of my version of the Paleo/Primal/Whole Food/Real Food/ movement that's gaining major ground, thankfully! I am now grain-free, sugar-free, legume-free, and consume very limited amounts of dairy (half/half & some cheese).

Within 90 days of making this change, I had lost 30 pounds, returned to normal blood pressure and blood sugar (without meds) and the pain in my joints which had kept me from dancing (my favorite exercise) was almost entirely gone.

I now dance (a lot) each week, feel better than I have in years and want to share the 'right' information with everyone!

Some of my favorite sources are Dr. Lustig (author of Fat Chance), www.slimpalate.com, www.marksdailyapple.com, The Blood Sugar Solution, The Primal Blueprint and this awesome Canadian....

http://www.sarahramsden.com/banana-almond-pancakes/

I love to dance! I don't do it enough. Maybe I will start doing living room ballet or tango while I clean. I could always try belly dance. Thanks for the links, Kitten!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:28 PM   #17
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The first year that I worked for my current employer, I was forced to read a book, that someone had decided would help all CSRs. I was appalled that I was required to basically write a book report, that would be reviewed by a group of supervisors, so that they could decide what percentage of the yearly bonus I would receive as a new employee.

The book was called The Napkin, The Melon, and the Monkey. I absolutely hated this book, and I felt it was completely ridiculous that I was required to read it, write a report, and be graded on that book report at my age. But, I did have one take away from it, and that was the need to unplug. I use this word quite frequently, when I describe how I take my mind off of stress.

The way that I unplug at work, is to leave the campus during my one hour lunch break. I seek out a little piece of nature and I just absorb it, whatever it is. Sometimes, this is just the back parking lot at the nearby grocery, that backs up to an estuary, sometimes I go to a nearby park. Others would probably call this meditation, but I call it unplugging from chaos and plugging into mother nature.

When the weather is good, and I'm stressed, I try to get out and go hiking with my camera.

Lately, I have been very stressed at work, and about health issues. So, I'm thinking I need to readdress the need for unplugging.

For me, unplugging is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, that leaves me feeling rejuvenated and happy.
((((holly))))) Bless you for doing this job. When much younger..I did this kind of work and it is extremely stressful, thankless and well..One of the toughest there is IMHO. You have to have one tough spine to handle this day in and day out. I'm so glad you are finding ways to unplug on a daily basis..You NEED to!!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:55 AM   #18
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Thank you Hollylane for talking about stress relievers. "Unplug" I have never heard it that way before but that will now stick in my mind as well.
I have been so very stressed as well with work and life changes and realized as you did it is time to unplug. I get a 30 minute lunch break so I walk out the door to the lake accross the street and walk around it for 15 minutes. I also jam out to my favorite tunes. My CD player doesn't work in my car anymore so I put my mp3 player on and my ear buds in and jam out to anything that will get me singing in the car. This relieves my stress so much. I also do five laps around the track four times a week that is close to home. Eating right and drinking lots of water has always been a big part of my life. It is the stress I think that hurts me the most. Trying to stay away from people and things that stress us out is not easy but I do try.
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Old 02-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #19
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In 2002, I was so sick I thought I was dying. My hair was falling out, I was down to 90 pounds, I had horrible anxiety, fatigue, pain, etc. Desperate, I went to a naturopath who took one look at me and said, "Food is killing you." He put on an elimination diet and that's how I found out I had gluten intolerance. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn't know a day without pain until I cut all gluten products from my diet.

Fast forward 11 years later and I've educated myself through research about not only how unhealthy gluten is to those who cannot digest it but how food affects the body in general. In 2006 I read, "Natural Cures THEY Don't Want You to Know About" by Kevin Trudeau and was astonished to discover how much food really isn't that at all. It's all chemicals.

Since then, I've been trying to eat as healthy as possible. Organic whenever I'm able and as few additives as possible. I exercise regularly and meditate here and there. Just relaxing with a good book or spacing out while creating houses and people on 'The Sims' is healthy for me too. I run my own business during the week and I love and need plenty of quiet down-time. It's refreshing and necessary for sanity and good health.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Girl_On_Fire View Post
In 2002, I was so sick I thought I was dying. My hair was falling out, I was down to 90 pounds, I had horrible anxiety, fatigue, pain, etc. Desperate, I went to a naturopath who took one look at me and said, "Food is killing you." He put on an elimination diet and that's how I found out I had gluten intolerance. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I didn't know a day without pain until I cut all gluten products from my diet.

Fast forward 11 years later and I've educated myself through research about not only how unhealthy gluten is to those who cannot digest it but how food affects the body in general. In 2006 I read, "Natural Cures THEY Don't Want You to Know About" by Kevin Trudeau and was astonished to discover how much food really isn't that at all. It's all chemicals.

Since then, I've been trying to eat as healthy as possible. Organic whenever I'm able and as few additives as possible. I exercise regularly and meditate here and there. Just relaxing with a good book or spacing out while creating houses and people on 'The Sims' is healthy for me too. I run my own business during the week and I love and need plenty of quiet down-time. It's refreshing and necessary for sanity and good health.
I too was gravely ill for years my intestines were so inflamed I could not even touch my stomach it hurt so bad - Found out I was Gluten intolerant also-
I keep an enzyme with me at all times called glutenzyme which is the missing agent in the system that prevents gluten from being processed - I take it if for any reason I suspect i may have encountered Gluten...
I am glad you are felling better
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