Strict Meal Plans and Exercise Routine? I say NO!

Everywhere I go I see adverts for meal plans and exercise programs with overwhelming promises, especially this time of year when the dreaded season of overindulgence begins. We are all conscious about the fact that we will be eating and drinking more than usual during this season and come January we have regrets and start looking for these adverts I am talking about.

Fitness centres have the fittest person on earth on their posters and personal trainers are showing off their abs and we think that if you train with them we can get the same killer abs. I used to think that if I only sign up for the gym, I would naturally lose weight! Has this happened to you? I never went to the gym, but just the notion of actually signing up and having the card in my wallet should be enough to lose weight and get the body I was dreaming of having… crazy right?

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Health Expert Series 7

Welcome to the 7th edition of my Health Series! The reason I am doing this series is because I truly believe in something we call Bio-Individuality. What works for one person, may not work for another and the trick (and the hard part) is finding out what works for YOU!

We all have different views on what health means and how we obtain it! And we should! We are all different and all need something different. Health is something that affects us all and we should all have an opinion on it.

For this edition I have interviewed another local health coach; Holistic Sleep Strategist & Coach, Christine. Some of you may know her? If not, you should! Here is what she thinks about this subject!!

Name, age, occupation: Christine Hansen, 33, Holistic Sleep Strategist & Coach

 

What does health mean to you?

For me health has so many different facets but here is some of what comes to mind straight away.
Health means that you are respecting and taking care of your mind and body equally. In those areas I also make a difference between self(health)care, which would be a healthy diet, exercise, supplements and so on, and self care, which is taking time out, meditating, having fun etc.

On top of that you are ideally not only healthy enough to just being able to keep symptoms of illness or disease at bay but able to actually have a great immune system that will make it difficult for symptoms to even appear.

Most of us live very close to the edge of being just about healthy enough as to not being ill. But very few of us are truly as balanced and strong as we are physically and mentally capable off.

 

How do you achieve this level of healthy?

First of all you need to understand that it will take time and a priority towards health. Which can be challenging in a world where very often material or financial topics take precedence.

I am by no means perfect either but I am being mindful when choosing which foods I eat, by carving out time for exercise and meditation and by having left a job that was not fulfilling to now doing something that I am passionate about and that makes me happy.

 

Why is it important to be and live healthily?

Most of us have difficulties prioritizing ourselves, so saying that you will feel better as a person is often not motivational enough. We are taught to not put ourselves first but those around us. So what I like to remind my clients and myself of is that you cannot pour from an empty cup. You have to be strong, happy and well balanced in order to serve other at your best.

 

Why are you an expert?

A lot of people know that sleep is important yet very few have really looked at its science or at its importance holistically throughout the different stages in our lives. Through my education and experience I can definitely call myself an expert and not an amateur in the sleep department.

 

What is your top health tip?

Get enough sleep! Your body needs you to rest and sleep enough in order to repair itself physically and mentally. So sacrificing your sleep will come and haunt you along the road. And if you are struggling with sleep then you know where to find me 🙂

 

 

So, what did you think? Great, right?

Thank you so much Christine! I completely agree that most of us are healthy just to point where we are not ill, but are we truly healthy? Probably, me included! What does it take for us to be really healthy and happy? What is one thing you can do today to get you closer to becoming truly healthy? Just one step? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Have you already broken your New Years Resolution?

I used to do New Years Resolution. I used to vow to myself that this year I would stop smoking, eat healthy and start working out! I would quit smoking cold turkey, eat healthy without any sort of plan and workout every day! As January set off, I would stick to it the first few days, maybe even weeks, but then inevitably I would go back to my previous ways.

One year when I tried to quit smoking, it lasted until the first night out about two weeks in. Instead of beating myself up about it I just changed my resolution to “only smoking when I go out”. That was a disaster! I ended up drinking every night in order to smoke. Ridiculous! 😂

Year after year I would sign up at the gym or for an aerobics class, go maybe once or twice and then it would fade out. What a waste of money! I would also try to eat better using WILL POWER, but if you have tried that, you KNOW that doesn’t work!

Anyway, I eventually stopped making resolutions.

This year, I read about something else, something different that I will try.

Maybe you will try it with me?

I will use ONE WORD to describe how I want this year to be. This one word is supposed to guide you through the whole year and remind you to stay in the present. For instance, it could be gratitude. I want to be grateful this year. Then you would focus on this word all year long and remember to be grateful.

My word is stay calm and peaceful. Ok, technically two words, but it still counts 😉blue-sky-wallpaper-3-copyI had all these plans for my business in 2017. There were so many things I wanted to do! It became more and more challenging and overwhelming. And I became more and more stressed, trying to deal with my kids, managing the household and running my business, all at once. One day I said to myself, ‘no thank you’. I will stay focused, be effective and only do the things I want to do!

I will stay calm and peaceful.

If I feel myself getting stressed or feeling out of balance I will stop and readjust until I am calm and peaceful!

Doesn’t this sound much easier than trying to stick to unrealistic resolutions? I think it does!

Will you try it? What is your word?

What can you do to remind yourself of this word? Maybe hang it on a piece of paper on the bathroom mirror?

Let me know in the comments below!

Health Expert Series 3

Welcome to the third edition of my health series! This month you get the pleasure to hear from fellow Health Coach, Bettina! She’s from Germany, but lives in Brussels where she works as a Health Coach and yoga teacher. She helps busy professionals find that magic balance in life by upgrading their nutrition & other wellbeing habits so that they have more energy, a leaner body, a clear focussed mind & feel better in their skin again!

I hope you will enjoy reading this interview and please join the discussion in the comments  below.

Here we go:

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Name, age, occupation: Bettina, 31, Health Coach & Yoga Teacher

What does health mean to you?

Health, to me, is experienced on three levels: physically we feel energized and are without pains or aches, mentally we are clear and focussed and emotionally we are balanced and calm. For me good health means being able to live my life from a point of truth and authenticity, so fulfilling my purpose in this world. It also means that I can give my full potential to my partner and my family, my friends and my clients. Lastly, it means independence and successful self-reliance until well into old age without having to worry about the frailty and helplessness that many people in industrialized countries experience because of a poor lifestyle since birth.

How do you achieve this level of healthy?

Healthy habits and being consistent with them is incredibly important to me. That starts off with wholesome, nutrient-rich nutrition, daily movement (be it yoga, a walk in nature or more strenuous exercise), time to myself to find clarity about where I am at with my life and where I want to take it, meditation to calm my mind, self care through taking time to read or do any of the healthy habits mentioned above, working actively on reducing limiting beliefs and negative chatter about myself in my mind to achieve a healthy mindset where I can be compassionate, forgiving and gentle with myself when I slip up or fall back into old patterns.

Why is it important to be and live healthily?

Because it affects every single thing you do each day: your own mindset, your ability to move and exercise, the way you work and interact with people around you, your relationships, your approach to life, the way you think about yourself…. and most importantly to live your life purposefully!

Why are you an expert?

As a former infectious disease researcher I have worked a lot in laboratory environments where disease-care rather than health-care was at the forefront. During this time I often also worked long hours and on weekends to the point of suffering from burn out by the time I finished with my last contract despite having a generally healthy lifestyle. Once I started to do yoga and learn more about nutrition and health as part of my coaching program, a lot of things fell into place for me. Most importantly, I realised that all the healthy food and regular exercise regime won’t do you any good if it does not go hand in hand with a healthy mindset and attitude about lifestyle in general. So, I have not just hands on experience in disease-care, but have my own personal experience with common disease associated with a Western lifestyle and its resolution using a holistic approach.

If you prefer credentials (some people do 😉 ), I hold a PhD in infectious disease biology, am an Integrative Nutrition health coach and a yoga teacher with a 500 hour accreditation. I am continuously working on integrating my knowledge on holistic health and chronic disease prevention through courses such as Andrea Beaman’s New Healer program. I also keep tabs on current research in the nutrition field to enable me to break down the confusing, often contradictory nutrition advice that is in the mainstream media and help my clients make informed choices for themselves so empowering themselves for a journey to top health!

What is your top health tip?

Stop punishing your body by restricting your diet unnecessarily and exercising in a non-enjoyable fashion. Instead, make your body your best new friends, start loving it up and follow its lead in executing healthy habits that make you feel good and nourished and not defeated and failed. It’s the mindset that counts, what you do from there comes by itself!

Thank you so much Bettina for sharing your views on health and for your great health tip! Let’s indeed make peace with our bodies! If you want more information, please visit her website here. If you need a Health Coach in Brussels or some yoga classes, please do get in touch with her!

Want more health tips? Join our discussion in our group, Let’s Get Real Together! I am posting 1 health tips every day as we count down to Christmas. Join now – it’s FREE 🙂