Friday, August 22, 2008

six elements to health

I was reading elephant magazine last night, a publication about 'the mindful life' out of Boulder, and read this:

There are six elements to health. In order of importance:

1. Thoughts
2. Breath
3. Hydration
4. Nutrition
5. Exercise
6. Sleep

The article is geared towards fitness, and most people are surprised to see that exercise is number 5 on that list. The author mentions that 90 percent of fitness is due to what you eat.

Last night I went to a vaccine talk by Dr. Roy Steinbock, a board-certified physician (pediatrician) in Boulder who takes a more holistic approach. I'll do a separate post with his suggestions regarding vaccinations, but what I want to mention about him here are (what I took away as) the top three things he stresses as vital for health:

1. Reduce stress
2. Proper nutrition
3. Find the middle path in all things (he has a Buddhist approach, with jives with me)

'Thoughts' (stress) and nutrition are high on his list too. Makes sense to me.

The woman who wrote the article in elephant, Ruth Hiller, suggests exploring your metabolic type to line up your nutrition correctly. She uses this book.

I did the short survey here and discovered I'm a 'mixed type.' To get more info, I need the guy's book, but overall, the results are pretty much what I already do ... a little of everything! (My only catch is I need to cut out some sugar...)

Read Ruth's entire article here.

So what am I taking away from all of this? For me, the most important things I can focus on (which do need improving in my life right now) are stress and nutrition. But for me, getting enough exercise allows me to feel invigorated and productive, which in turn affects how I eat and how I deal with stress. So I'd put that one up there really high too. This is nothing new! My plan:
1. Stress.
-Take stretch breaks at my desk and make them also breathing breaks. (Deep, full belly breathing).
-Attend sangha (Vipassana meditation group) 2x/month (more, if feasible!)
-Get back on the cushion. Start small. Five minutes a day. Don't I have five minutes somewhere?

2. Exercise
-commit every Sunday to writing out my exercise plans for the coming week. Schedule them. This is such a no brainer but I somehow still slack off on it. It's Friday, and I haven't worked out per se all week. And I'm feeling it. Argh. (But Ross and I are going for a bike ride in about 5 minutes!)

3. Nutrition
-again, a no brainer. Meal planning. Sundays. Need to get my tail into gear on this one. So far, I know that I want to plan on making two grain/bean salads per week - for dinners, then leftovers for lunch (ideal lunch food).

OK - all for now. Off on the bike!


LobotoME said...

sounds like a great plan! it's so easy to get {off} track, isn't it?

J :)

Sarah said...

Yes!, especially after a relaxing weekend away! It's all about the planning ahead, isn't it?!?