The Key to BalanceDec 09, 2019
I’m pretty vocal about my passion for eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet. So much so that my patients either flock to see me or avoid me like the plague if they didn’t want to talk about diet changes. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching scientific evidence for diets and switched into a whole-foods, plant-based diet more than six years ago. My family soon joined me and before long, they noted increased energy, better recovery time with exercise, and near elimination of seasonal allergies.
Over the years, I saw many patients who converted to a plant-based lifestyle but hadn’t noted improvements in many chronic issues like daily fatigue or insomnia. They would voice frustration that perhaps all of their efforts were simply not working. My response to this concern is always, “what about balance?” True health comes from a balanced life.
To have a balanced life, we need to talk about the six simple pillars for good health. They are sleep, meditation, mindful movement, healthy emotions, grounding, and optimal nutrition. We’ll talk about each of these in more detail soon, but we need to understand that each of these pillars is important in creating a joyful and healthy life. If, let’s say, you routinely get only six hours of sleep every night, then expecting to feel truly healthy by simply eating a plant-based diet is unrealistic. Each pillar deserves – and needs – our care and attention for optimal wellness.
However, it’s pretty challenging to actually achieve true balance every day of our lives, and believe me, I have tried. Having practiced the idea of true balance for more than five years, I can tell you that one of these pillars does in fact seem to hold the key to the others. And that is meditation. Meditation gives me a sense of grounded, calm awareness and helps combat stress and ambivalence. When I have a regular meditation practice, I note a sense of spontaneous right action. All of the other pieces, whether it’s exercise, sleep or choosing high quality foods, becomes much easier when I am meditating regularly. So, my advice? Start with cultivating your daily meditation practice and be patient with yourself. Starting a meditation practice is as simple as sitting down, closing your eyes and following your breath for just 5 or 10 minutes a day. I teach meditation classes regularly, so plan to attend one either in person or online. Soon, you’ll find yourself making the right choices to help you achieve balance and true health.
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