Health Tips, Men's Health, Stress and Mood, Women's Health

5 ways to find balance and have a happy, healthy life

“Everything in excess is opposed to nature”, Hippocrates

Every day, we’re bombarded with information (and misinformation) on what’s healthy and what’s not. Fad diets leap out at us from the newsstands and news feeds. One moment we’re being told that fats are good, carbs are bad, then the next, it’s the other way around.

Every week, some new seed, herb, berry or nut with an unpronounceable name struts the nutritional red carpet and finds its way into the health food stores, claiming to be the saviour of our health.

We’re all obsessed with how food is harming our bodies, so we’re going paleo, vegan, organic, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, fat-free… and in the end, we’re left nutritionally wanting, not to mention bored to smithereens!

So many fad diets require that you avoid certain foods and gobble down others in the name of ‘good health’. But what about listening to your body? The message it’s sending – and one that we ignore all too often – is balance.

The ancient Greek philosopher and physician, Hippocrates, was a wise old gentleman. Even centuries BC, he knew that balance in all that we consume, and all that we do, is the key to good health and wellbeing. He talked a lot about ‘healthy habits’ and one of his many quotes was: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”.

So let’s talk about some healthy habits, including adding bee pollen to your daily nutritional routine, that will help create balance, bypass all the latest fads, and help you achieve and maintain a happy, healthy life.

  1. Watching your weight. It’s no secret that excessive weight gain can be detrimental to your health in many ways, particularly as you get older. Start by finding out what your ideal weight should be, based on your gender, height and age. If you’re considered overweight, losing as little as 5% of your body weight could lower the risk of many diseases including type 2 diabetes.

Always start the day with a healthy breakfast. This provides the fuel to get you going and keep your body running. Skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar, which could see you reaching for unhealthy snacks. Try adding bee pollen to your breakfast, either sprinkled on some whole grain toast, over cereal, or in a smoothie. With 27 vitamins and amino acids, 28 minerals, powerful antioxidants and many other nutrients, it’s the perfect start to your day.

Yoghurt and fruit sprinkled with bee pollen – yum!

  1. Exercising regularly. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, exercise is a drug-free way to get ‘high’. The Mayo Clinic says that physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins…the feel-good hormones that invade your brain and leave you feeling happy, relaxed and in a healthy state of mind. Even 30 minutes of physical activity a day can make a world of difference.

If you can’t possibly afford the time, then incorporate exercise into your daily routine by taking the stairs instead of lifts. Park the car further away from where you need to be and walking wherever possible. Even pacing the floor            whilst talking on the phone counts as physical activity. Getting all the essential nutrients we need, helps maintain  our energy output. A daily helping of bee pollen can help add those nutrients.

  1. Eating more fruit, vegetables and grains. Choosing an apple or orange for a snack instead of a chocolate bar is good habit. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional piece of chocolate, but it’s often boredom that makes us crave sugar and other unhealthy fat-laden foods.

When your body is receiving all the vitamins and amino acids, minerals, antioxidants and micro-nutrients it needs, it causes a sort of chain reaction of good health. You feel more like exercising, you think more clearly, you sleep better at night, and every organ in your body functions the way it should. The bee hive is full of Mother Nature’s finest offerings. Humans have known of the health benefits and thrived from the hive since the dawn of time

  1. Trading in the take-away for a home cooked meal. We all lead busy lives, and the temptation to order fast food (and have it delivered) is often too good to resist. Most fast-food is usually deep fried, slathered with cheese, encased in batter and is often less healthy than the cardboard box it arrives in. It takes so little time and effort to prepare a healthy meal. Always keep plenty of salad veggies in the fridge.

A grilled chicken breast coated with herbs, sliced and served on a bed of salad is low in calories, provides most of your daily nutrients, is cheaper than a take-away and will leave you feeling smugly guilt-free. Make it fun to cook at home. Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meals are a fantastic concept, and you can involve the whole family in preparing tasty, nutritious food in the shortest time…

  1. Spending more time on yourself. We become so embroiled in working and running our day to day lives that we often lose sight of who we are and what we really enjoy. The healthiest thing you can do, apart from looking after your body is to spend regular time doing things you enjoy. Don’t neglect your hobbies and passions because these are part of what fulfils you.

Take that photography course you’ve always wanted to do, join a yoga class, go hiking, investigate pottery, life drawing, woodworking classes, or write a memoir. Personal activities are all part of creating balance in your life,                    and will help  make for a happier, healthier you!

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