But in the real world, there are often many things we are trying to balance at the same time: work, friends and family, leisure time and self-care. Of course, you know that at Holistic Performance Group we are adamant that self-care is just as important as any other factor in your life. In fact, it’s hard to show up fully for work and relationships when you are not feeling your best.
From a nutritional point of view we have to balance nutrition with available time and money, and the tastes of the eaters. When I was a kid we were taught in school and at home to have balanced meals – that meant more or less an equal amount of protein, fat, starch/carbs, veggies and fruit. I actually think this is a pretty good recommendation. If we use this as a starting point for our menu planning we will move away from too much dependence on sugary and processed foods and begin to move back towards a more balanced real food diet. The amazing thing is that when we give our bodies all of the nutrients they need we actually have not only feel better and have more energy, we sleep better, think better, and look better. We are able to show up better for all the other things we want to include in our lives.
For instance, instead of cereal (carb) with low fat milk (carb and protein) and juice (carb) you might try full fat yogurt (protein and fat) with fresh berries (fruit/carbs) and nuts (carb and fat) for breakfast. This more balanced breakfast will keep you running much longer and more evenly than the carb heavy breakfast that might give you an energy boost but then will cause a crash mid-morning. Additionally, the yogurt and fruit breakfast has probiotics, fiber, antioxidants, and naturally occurring vitamins A, E, and D to boost immune health and protect against disease much better than the cereal.
Similarly, we can seek out other places in our lives that are out of balance. Are we giving so much time to work that we have no time for relationships? Maybe it would be possible to unplug from just an hour or two of work per week and meet with friends instead. Small changes can make a big difference. When I work with clients on achieving a balanced life that feels rich and satisfying, it often turns out that their lives are actually pretty wonderful as they are; a shift in awareness and some small, easily doable changes in habits are all that’s needed to make it feel really great.