my best health advice

I cannot think of anyone who has perfect health or balance, it is a daily step-by-step practice. Keep up with your practice.

Festive season is always challenging time as it is the time of the year to say 'bon appetite' to a guilty amount of ham, cheese, desserts, booze…and saying “see you later” to all self-control, the gym and healthy choices.

Before you guilt-trip yourself and over-compensate with a page-long list of New Year's resolutions or committing to an unachievable diet and exercise routine, check out this one health tip from me.

What’s my best advice on how to live healthy?

Listen to your body. Your intuition will tell you what it needs to thrive and what its optimal balance is. Don’t forget that your optimal balance will change as your needs do and as you evolve over the course of your life.

The foundation for a healthy body can be achieved by eating fresh, clean whole foods that support your body’s energy needs. But eating well is not necessarily about making sacrifices and severe restrictions every day. In my work as a Holistic Health Coach, I encourage my clients to take an 80-20 approach to foods.

 

If we can enjoy foods that support our energy needs and natural detoxification systems for most meals, we will feel and look amazing. This creates a 20% space for the special occasions where we can enjoy foods that may not serve our biological bodies but act more like ‘soul foods’ – i.e. sharing a piece of glorious chocolate cake with a good friend, going for an ice cream cone on a sweltering Shanghai summer day, going for that bucket of popcorn at family movie night and celebrating a birthday with champagne. The word ‘diet’ is not a shame word, it simply describes your personal choice and style of eating.

However, eating healthy is not the cure all. If you are living off of green smoothies but in an unhappy marriage or feeling stagnant in your career or spending hours playing video games on your couch over moving your body you are not in balance, you are not healthy. If you are working in a career you love and are surrounded by incredible relationships but you are not sleeping because of the amount of ‘good stuff’ packed into your schedule, you are not healthy. Good stress is still stress that takes a toll on your body.

Take a holistic approach to your health and eliminate guilt, shame or fear from your emotional and mental vocabulary. Accept and embrace “progress not perfection” and take it one day at a time. I cannot think of anyone who has perfect health or balance, it is a daily step-by-step practice. Keep up with your practice. Think about balance for health the way you experience balance on a bicycle. If you want to continue your bike ride, you need to continue to pedal and engage your senses. You need to be aware of your surroundings and yourself. If you stop, eventually your bike will stop and crash too.