Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Five Simple Steps to a Healthier Life {and a Pep Talk}

"The first wealth is health."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I am approaching my forties, health has begun to be a concern. My energy levels aren't what they used to be and different illnesses have introduced themselves in family and friends that is very alarming. In this new year, something I am working on is preventative health. I am thinking on subtle changes that are realistic.



"Achieving radiant health and vitality doesn't have to be difficult, nor does it require "medical" intervention. Your body is designed to run at optimal levels, and given the opportunity, it will." 
~ Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

With this in mind, I am sharing five steps to a healthier life. Though these concepts may seem obvious and simple enough, sometimes we need reminders to be better keepers of our God-given temples!

{Note: The actual "5 steps" which are in bold and enlarged have been gleaned from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health though the "pep talk" under each title are my own.}


1.  "Exercise is Essential"

I know you all already know this one but it is important! Man was made to work till the sweat of his brow and that meant "movement". Our modern lifestyle removes this concept for many. I am not talking about artificial exercise but incorporating it into your routine like our ancestors did (I think this contributes to stronger mental health as well). The thought of people needing to exercise in the old days was nonexistent since "life" was exercise! (Here are some ideas and incentive to get you moving while being productive, without spending money on gyms, fancy equipment, workout dvd's, etc.) Keep in mind that a simple old-fashioned brisk walk is also considered exercise (visit here for inspiration)!

"Walking is an excellent form of exercise for women. Walking is low-impact aerobic exercise that won't harm the joints over the long-term."
~ Shonda Parker, The Naturally Healthy Woman



2.  "Maintain a Balanced Diet"

The easiest way to explain this is to try and eat foods as closest to their natural state. Country folks call it "from scratch" cooking. In a nutshell, keep away from those "convenient" processed foods, eliminate items containing creepy ingredients that you can't even recognize let alone pronounce, try and stay clear of white flours, lots of sugar and avoid excessive fried foods, cook with whole grains instead of drained grains (brown rice verses white, etc.) and consume vegetables and fruit in raw forms as much as you are able. Also, don't forget those nuts and seeds (smoothies are a great way to achieve this).  Here are some realistic ideas of how we transitioned into healthier eating (though we are not food saints by any means!).

"Remember: It is not what you eat every once in a while that will cause your health problems. It is what you eat every day."
~ Shonda Parker, The Naturally Healthy Woman


3.  "Get the Rest and Relaxation Your Body Needs"

{Daytime "Rest"} This may be hard for some of you with small children but it can be done! During their nap time you really need to rest. There is temptation to get projects done but that will result in further exhaustion. Even when children are past the napping stage, I would continue to implement a "quiet time" for an hour each day where they rest on their bed with a stack of books (and they know there would be consequences for getting up earlier than you releasing them). This would give me some moments to relax and be strengthened for the dinner hour when my husband came home. If you are not a daytime napper, consider a cup of tea with some inspiring literature while lifting up your feet. Just 20 minutes can make a difference. It can turn you into a human again (honest)!

"Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness."
~ George MacDonald


{Nighttime "Rest"} Your brain needs approximately 8 hours to fully recharge (in other words, to be a functioning person and actually handle stress) and therefore it is important to give yourself enough sleep at night. It is very tempting to stay up late on the computer while everyone is out for the night but it is not healthful to you nor is it blessing your family. What I have found very helpful is to clear my brain before bed. Remove yourself from the computer at least an hour before you plan on sleeping in order to slowly wind down. The internet is over-stimulating and won't allow you a peaceful sleep when your mind is thinking on all the ideas it had been seeing. A gentle book (here are some of my favorites) or magazine before bed is ideal.

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
~ Benjamin Franklin


4.  "Eliminate Undue Stress"

I am sure many of you think there is nothing that can be done about stress when you are a wife and mother. However, there are little things we can do to clear our schedules to allow for more time to keep peaceful. I think our #1 enemy is outside activities. Today's modern mothers have too many of them! Our job is to be keeper of the home yet many of us spend more time outside of the home (volleyball practice, piano, swimming, soccer, macrame, you get the idea...) than in it. No wonder we are stressed out. We are running ourselves ragged! I respectfully suggest that you scale back on outside activities. You will not only save your nerves, but money on gas and paying for said activities.

“Each and every decision you make, regardless of its level of intensity, is vitally important as you seek to do God’s will.” 


5.  "Use Herbs Every Day for Health and Vitality"

This is a newer concept for me that I am trying to administer into my daily routine. According to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar"Don't wait until you are sick to use herbs. The best way to cure illness is not to become ill, and there is wonderful longevity, nutritive, and tonic herbs that can be used daily to enhance wellness." Some nutritive herbs she recommends are horsetail, passionflower (passionflower would be excellent before bed as it supports restful sleep), cleavers, chickweed, red clover, and lemon balm. Consider brewing up some of these for a daily tea time to unwind a few minutes and nourish your body at the same time.


I just wanted to share some of what I have been reading and thinking in order to administer a healthier routine this year. What have you been doing or plan on doing to contribute to a healthier lifestyle?



"Care for your body daily by eating well, exercising, and purifying your thoughts and actions. Feed your spirit with regular communion with Christ at His table in your local church, and through the daily reading of His Word. Worship your Creator and God fervently in these ways and you will discover the truth of full health: salvation in the Lord."
~ Shonda Parker, The Naturally Healthy Woman

            

The pertaining links above are affiliate links. If you were to purchase something through our links, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This greatly helps to support our site so thank you in advance!

49 comments:

  1. Hi JES,

    A very logical and practical list of steps we can take towards becoming more healthy. Aristotle's line of thinking, 'Everything in moderation', continues to govern my mentality on these issues regarding our overall well-being, and I hope to put them into action this year, as I have been negligent of some!

    Wishing you a very healthy and happy 2015!

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true... Sometimes it is the simple concepts in life that we neglect which cause the most damage. Moderation is a tough word in today's world where everything is at our fingertips!

      Delete
  2. Excellent advice JES...thank you :0) mari

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment Mari :)

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful post Jes. We love our herbs. Pretty much any green (the darker the better) is so good for us and oh so tasty too:) I could just graze on basil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I am working on some drinking some red raspberry leaf tea each day to build up my womanly strength. That is pretty dark and green :)

      Delete
  4. An excellent post, Jes! I love coming here because the pictures you use are not only beautiful, but absolutely relaxing! Great advice...and I agree...small steps are a great way to start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dianna for taking the time to share :)

      Delete
  5. Hi Jes,
    what beatiful pictures!! Thanks for sharing these precious advices!!
    Hugs,
    Roberta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad you like the pictures too :)

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the encouragement Jes, good ideas here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear from you! Thank you for stopping by :)

      Delete
  7. These 5 things are so important.... I really struggle w/ the sleep and the lowered stress ones. I am working more diligently on exercising again... it is a bit dependent on my energy level... but I find I feel better when I exercise... it helps those ache and pains. We do try to eat healthy and we do use herbs and natural nutrition. Your article is so good... our health is not something we can neglect.... we WILL pay the price someday if we do. Thank you for stating these so nicely.... and with illustrations. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I think many of us struggle with sleep. It is so tempting to get things done at night or just to stay up late and enjoy the quiet! Thank you for sharing Joy :)

      Delete
  8. I love, love all the images. I could fit right in those scenes, almost - my denim skirt is sometimes old and frightful looking. ;) I'm in agreement on all the points you've made and only have a struggle with #2. I do like a bit of junk food now and then, but tonight we are munching on spicy fermented vegetables. (red pepper flakes, oh yum) Have a great evening!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think both our denim skirts will end up in a museum one day. Sounds like they are in similar shape! :) I also struggle with number 2 and have been trying to have "healthy sweets" instead and there are a lot of recipes out there right now for this sweet tooth...

      Delete
  9. What a great list of ways to live healthier and happier! Walking is my favorite exercise. I too love to see all the lovely old pictures on your posts. Thanks for taking the time to write this great post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing and the encouragement :)

      Delete
  10. This is great! Thank you for sharing, especially your pep-talks. I've recently come to appreciate the value of "life exercise," and its positive effect upon my state of mind. Also, herbs are great! It's my goal this year to unwind in late afternoons with strong, organic herbal tea- tulsi is my current favorite. It is good for stress. It's amazing that a healthy life is so simple and costs very little to maintain. And of course, one could do all they could for one's body, but without Jesus, none of it matters. That's why I like your ending quote. Thanks again for the boost!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thank you for sharing Teresa! And for being "okay" with my "pep talk" :)

      Your plan sounds excellent with the herbal tea. My afternoon tonic has been raspberry leaf tea. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

      Delete
  11. I love your post !! And your pics wonder where you get them you always have such nice fitting ones Thanks again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I am glad you like the pictures :) They are found by doing some good "old fashioned" Google image searches.... Hoping your new year is off to a good and healthy start! :)

      Delete
  12. The big one to consider with #5 is taking alfalfa to keep the ph in the body neutral. A neutral ph is essential to preventing disease. Infections and cancer cannot thrive in a neutral body. The web is full of information on this but it is mainly diet and alfalfa is rarely mentioned. We use Nature's Way Alfa Max.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Lana! I have read many good things about alfalfa (and we have 20 acres of it growing on our land right now!). Thank you for pointing that out. When my hubby feels too acidic (like he has been drinking up too much coffee, etc), he will take some baking soda for the same reasons you stated but I think the tea would be better nutrition. Thanks for sharing today and hoping your new year is off to a good start! :)

      Delete
  13. Thank you for start this posts!
    Love from the Netherlands...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And sending some hugs back your way Carolien! :)

      Delete
  14. JES....great tips for better health and maintaining it. I also do essential oils along with teas to encourage good health. Thank you for the encouragement friend and for sharing at Mondays Musings. Blessings to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, we use the essential oils daily too! Thanks for pointing that out!!! :)

      Delete
  15. The beginning of the year is the perfect time for a pep talk :) Thank you for this practical reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to share ;)

      Delete
  16. Very well written and such beautiful art to illustrate your points! I'll jot these down in my journal today! Here's to a healthy new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a fun idea to jot into a journal! Thanks for sharing :)

      Delete
  17. Great post! I loved reading about the herbs, I am very into them. :-)
    Have a great day!
    ~Katie@ liliesofgrace.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Jes, this was really good! I am just getting over being sick so I am rejoicing in my health! I will start the walking tomorrow! I must incorporate this for the fresh air and the movement!
    I am also going to look into a few herbs to maintain my health!
    Roxy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you are feeling better! Also, I must add that the herbal teas are doing me good. I have more energy I feel. Every morning I add some herbs and/or herbal tea bags into my teapot and pour hot water over them. I let this sit for 1/2 hour and sip this during the day. I do hope you give it a try :)

      Delete
  19. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing that! I was worried that #4 would hit a nerve with many people... I appreciate your feedback :)

      Delete
  20. Good tips! All but the exercise. Does chasing kids around count? Ha ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Following these tips will make a huge difference, I think. I try to do most of them most of the time, except #5. I aim for 10,000 steps a day, mostly cooking from scratch, daytime naps, lots of sleep at night and minimizing stress. These things make all the difference for me. But it's always so good to be reminded. Thank you!.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing Annie Kate. #5 is new to me but I am seeing results. Definitely a bit more energy! :) Hope you try some herbal tea!

      Delete
  22. I enjoyed your post and agree with most of what you have written, a lot of it comes down to common sense. Unfortunately I think for many that convenience has taken the place of common sense in this busy, busy world.

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Diana, thank you for sharing here today! And unfortunately, common sense is often lacking in this busy, busy world too :(

      Delete
  23. Thanks for sharing this. I am the same, things have been starting to change since I turned 40, especially the energy levels. I think the early to bed and early to rise idea is great, just need to put it into practice. Thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is the simple things that are SO hard to do!! :)

      Delete
  24. What a wonderful post! I'd like to feature it tomorrow at Tuesdays with a Twist! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    ReplyDelete
  25. Very uplifting. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and words of wisdom.....Shirley in Virginia

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great about maintaining our health... and you are right, those reminders are so important. I find I have to adjust regularly as it is easy to slide into forgetting some of the important things for health in our busy lives. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...