August is a month of celebration in my family. In fact, in a three week span we have six birthdays (including mine). You know what that calls for? Celebration!
I’m a big fan of celebration. Many of us should celebrate more. The small wins, the big wins, and the wins in between.
As part of my celebration, I want to share two precious gifts with you.
The first is a collection of the 33 truths I’ve learned about wellness. Included are my key wellness practices and philosophies.
The second is a special celebration recipe (that is associated with truth #33). I’ll give you a hint . . . perfect and chocolate are both included.
So without further ado, I present:
My 33 Truths About Wellness (And a Special Recipe Treat with Truth #33)
- The “calories in/calories out” theory isn’t scientifically sound. This is a common misconception I myth bust with patients. In actuality, our body composition is a result of a much more complicated equilibrium. Our bodies have hormonal responses to what we eat and when we eat it. The facile adage calories in = calories out mindset is not accurate.
- There is no one eating slip up that is too bad to overcome. We all make subpar wellness choices at times. The good news is, you can overcome the slip. And you can get started at your very next meal.
- Food impacts mood. More and more research supports this truth. When you eat foods that are energizing and nurturing, you feel energized and nurtured. When you eat junk, you feel . . . like junk.
- Truly and wholly enjoy what you eat. Eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so don’t deny yourself.
- Food that supports your wellness can taste amazing. You may need to experiment and test some of your preconceived notions to find things you love. Especially if you are someone that thinks they don’t like vegetables (as an entire food group).
- Simple foods are often the best. While a fancy schmancy meal with lots of spices and ingredients can be a fun treat, foods that are easily digested often make you feel the best. When you start with excellent ingredients, you can keep the rest simple and it will still taste delicious.
- Cooking can be fun AND easy. And isn’t intimidating. You can be the master of your kitchen and create amazing cuisine. And it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Nor do you need lots of kitchen equipment. Just a few staples will do.
- If done correctly, your diet can provide that vast majority of nutrients your body needs. Vegetables and fruit, in particular, contain vast quantities of valuable nutrients. In many cases, expensive nutritional supplements are not necessary.
- Plants should make up the vast majority of your diet. The only two components of diet that consistently support wellness in clinical trials and studies are vegetables and fruit. Make vegetables and fruit the largest part of your diet.
- You are what you eat. And you are what you eat eats. The quality of the food you eat is paramount to your wellness. And if you include animal products in your diet, it is crucial to make sure what you are eating had a balanced diet.
- Water should be the first and last thing you drink each day. Hydration is important inside and out. Personally, I start and end each day with a big glass or water.
- Drink and enjoy tisanes. Tisane is a fancy word for a beverage infusion. While the English take pride in their teas, the French stake their claim on tisanes. One of my favorite tisanes is mint infused water. Water infused with fresh mint leaves does wonders — it’s refreshing and great for your complexion. I aim for 1 liter of mint water each day.
- Drink more water than anything else in a day. Even though I enjoy tisanes, tea, and the occasional matcha, I make sure water is my numero uno hydration staple.
- Move your body every single day, multiple times. Some days it means interval training or resistance training. Other days it means soccer, yoga, biking, skiing, and/or long walks.
- Resistance training is extremely important. Resistance training is an incredibly important foundation of any activity regimen. Especially for women, who need weight bearing activity to prevent osteoporosis.
- Resistance training will not make you bulk up. Unless you want it to. Then you can design programs that bulk you up. But if you shy from resistance training because you think it will make you bulky, fear not. You can train in a way that makes you long and lean.
- Flexibility is tres important. Yoga is an excellent way to get flexibility and resistance training.
- Nothing can negate the impact of sitting all day. You need to move your body throughout the day, everyday. Maybe this means walking to the store instead of driving. Or setting a timer at your desk to get up and move every 45 minutes. Find ways to infuse movement into your life. Ladies, do not let footwear be a barrier to this! There are many stylish shoe options that still allow you to walk and move. My warm weather favorites include: Josef Seibel flats and Joie, Matt Bernson, and Ugg sandals. Cold weather favorites include: Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots and Isabel Marant booties.
- Body composition is infinitely more important than weight. Your scale can only tell you so much. What your body is made of is more important than its mass.
- Stress = bad. Stress is the new smoking. Seriously, chronic stress can wreck havoc on your life, body, and appearance. And more likely than not, you are the only one that can control your exposure to sources of stress and/or your reaction to stress.
- Mindfulness matters. This often overlooked portion of wellness is HUGE. Your mind and body are intimately intertwined. One cannot be well when the other is ailing.
- Meditation is one of the best time investments you can make in your wellness. There is a plethora of scientific evidence to support the practice of meditation. Everything from improved sleep, lower blood pressure, to decreased pain. Just do it. If you need some instruction, check out my guide to meditation.
- There is always time to meditate. Studies show as little as 10 minutes a day can have huge beneficial positive effects. Again, just do it. My ebook, The ABCs of Wellness, includes a complimentary guided meditation,
- Your health is one of your greatest assets. Honor it, harness it, nurture it. You only have one body so respect and treat it well. With your actions, your thoughts, and your motivations. Everyday.
- Guilt is garbage. Unless you truly should feel guilty about something, get over it. If you should be guilty, do something about it. Guilt can be a destructive emotion that keeps you from realizing your full potential.
- Being kind is the answer 99% of the time. Kindness conquers a lot. It makes you, and those around you, feel better. It doesn’t cost you, so why not?
- Forgive. Forgive others. And yourself. Sounds simple, but this single paradigm shift can be a game changer. Don’t let unforgiveness be a block to living your happiest and healthiest life.
- Community is necessary. Your support system is beaucoup important to your overall health and happiness. Studies and personal experience attest to the value of community.
- Surround yourself with good people. Someone wise once said you are a reflection of your 5 closest friends. Make sure those people embody the qualities you want. For me? It’s high vibration, kind, compassionate, trustworthy, bright, and loving.
- Be the type of person you look in the mirror and like. Not physical appearance, silly! A wise friend gave me this advice during a particularly tumultuous personal time. Look into your eyes and make sure you are being the kind of person you like. And if not, make some changes immediately if not sooner.
- Love yourself. Not in a cheesy self-help way. In a real way. Speak to yourself the way you speak to someone you love, with kindness and compassion. Feed yourself the way you would feed someone you love, with nourishing and delicious food. Encourage yourself to be your best self, meet your goals, and take big leaps of faith.
- Love is infinite. The amount of love you can give is infinite. So love! Love your significant other, family, friends, co-workers, community, pets, acquaintances, strangers. Everything you give out will come back to you amplified.
- The pie is not finite. Another wise friend summed this up for me. The universe has more than enough for everyone to have what they need and more. There is enough for us all to succeed. And we should help and support others to reach their goals and achieve their dreams. A rising tide raises all boats.
In the spirit of Wellness Truth #33, I am delighted to share my what my husband calls Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie. Unfortunately, unlike Tip #33, this pie is finite.
Peanut butter + dark chocolate = deliciousness. Enough said!
This no-bake, sugar-free, gluten-free pie is a decadent dessert that will make your taste buds come alive while keeping your belly happy.
PERFECT PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE PIE (sf, gf, df, vegan)
For the Crust
2/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats, gluten-free
2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2/3 cup walnuts
4 dates, pitted
For the Filling
1 1/4 cups almond or hemp milk
4 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp cocoa powder (my favorites are this Fair Trade version and this raw version)
16 dates, pitted
For the Crust
Combine oats, coconut, and walnuts into a high powered blender or food processor. Blend or process until walnuts begin to release oil.
Add dates and pulse until combined.
Transfer contents into a pie dish. Use hands or parchment paper to press contents into a crust on the bottom of the dish.
For the Filling
Combine all filling ingredients into a high powered blender. Blend until completely smooth. On my Vitamix, I run the ice cream preset and then the smoothie setting. If necessary, add more almond or hemp milk. The consistency should be like pudding.
Transfer contents into pie dish with crust. Spread with a spatula until evenly distributed and smooth on the top.
Cover and chill for an hour or two (if you can wait that long).
Did I miss one of your top wellness truths? Share in the comments section below!
If you make Perfect Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie, take a picture and tag @a.betterway.wellness on Instagram. I'd love to see!
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