I often get asked what my secrets are for looking good. While I truly appreciate the compliments, I am always surprised and humbled at the question. I'm pretty self-critical that way. But I guess for being on the far side of 50, I may be doing a few things right.
Below are the outlines of daily and weekly practices. Want to skip right to the worksheet? Find it here.
Want the full summary and tracking sheet? Find it here.
Some of my favourite products can be found here.
The Healthy Living Worksheet
This 3 page document can help you to track various components of a healthy lifestyle. Pages one and two feature resources and descriptors of the various components. The tracking sheet itself, page 3, indicates how many times per week one should strive for. Some are once or more per week, most are daily. These are guidelines. Reveiw your progress regularly to see where you may need to make adjustments. What do you typically avoid? What do you find easy. Remember - small changes can yield big results. Challenge yourself, but be kind to yourself. Have fun, and enjoy your Healthy Lifestyle!
You can find the Healthy Living Worksheet here.
Please consult with your Doctor or health care professional before starting a new exercise program and/or making significant changes to your diet.
Choose Healthy Living!
Eat real food. Eat ingredients, not processed foods. Shorter ingredient lists. Buy the best ingredients you can afford. Select organic or free-from whenever possible. Cook with love. Eat mindfully. Avoid non-foods like margarine and artificial colours and artificial sweeteners. Try going meat-less one day a week or more. Be a weekday vegetarian. Reduce dairy and other animal products.
Take good care of yourself. Self care including showering or bathing daily. Proper grooming makes all the difference in how one feels. Keep nails and hair trimmed and in good condition. Ladies, put on a little makeup, even a bit of lip-gloss.
Stand tall, be aware of your posture when standing, walking, and sitting.
Stretch. Breathe deeply, slowly, completely.
Consider a minimalist lifestyle. Clear out your space.
Healthy Living Tracksheet Notes
Sleep: 6-8 hours is optimal.
Fruits: Best eaten fresh. Avoid tinned fruits, choose frozen if fresh are not available. Try smoothies to get all your fruit servings.
Vegetables: Raw or cooked. Soups are an excellent way to get generous and delicious servings of vegetables.
Water: Drink fresh water at room temperature or warmer - aim for 6-8 glasses (in addition to other drinks) per day.
Meat Free Days: Try going meat free one or more days per week. Choose organic or free-from options whenever possible.
Carbonated beverages: Aim for zero - none. These offer no benefits to the body, only detriments.
Limit Caffeine: Try to eliminate caffeinated beverages, keep them to 1 or 2 per day.
Desserts & Sweets: Opt for natural sweets like fruits, fresh or dried. Honey, maple syrup, agave, molasses or stevia or organic cane sugar in small quantities. Avoid Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners like the plague!
Get outside! 30-60 minutes outdoors can provide positive reset for the body, mind & spirit. Dress for the weather and connect with nature.
Cardio: Vigorous exercises like running, Zumba, dance, cycling, Ashtanga Yoga, other sports.
Strength Training: Build muscle tone, overall strength, and maintain bone health with weight training or body resistance programs like Pilates or Hatha Yoga. Start slowly and build up.
Flexibility: Yoga offers overall body fitness and a greater body/mind/spirit connection. Practice mindful breathing.
Meditation: Quite the mind, connect with your breath. Even a few minutes of quiet meditation can have enormous benefits.
Creative Outlet: Express yourself through arts or craft: make something or learn a new skill. Painting, drawing, knitting, cooking, woodworking, pottery, baking, learn a new language, dance, make music etc. Or take up a new sport! Check your local community centre, museum or art gallery for programs. The options are almost endless!
Journal writing: Write about it with pen and paper. The physical act of writing helps to put things in perspective, sort out quandaries, let off steam, make decisions and more. Remember to write positive and kind affirmations as well.
Positive Affirmations: Find a positive mantra, love yourself, forgive yourself and others. The ‘I am’ is a powerful force.
Community: Connect with others. Volunteer. Share your talents.
‘When the body is cleansed, the mind purified, and the senses controlled, the joyful awareness needed to realize the inner self, also comes.'
- Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, II.41
In defense of Food - Michael Pollan
The End of the Line
How I Fell in Love With a Fish
Find your happy place; go there as often as you can.
Never stop exploring!