5 + 5 Tips on How to Live a Balanced Life (Part I - Routine to Ritual)
by Punnama Machin
We are an advocate for Living a Balanced Life, not because it sounds sophisticated but we learned it the hard way. So, this is not an "easy 9-step morning routine" to follow but only what we learned and implemented to witness the results in life at a deeper level than a simple morning routine.
If an ordinary woman like us can achieve it, so can you! 🙌🏼
How To Live A Balanced Life
Some routines we are about to share are long-term habits that we have been doing every day for the past 10+ years, while some are new habits that we recently had the time to adopt but have been doing long enough to witness the results. Some are easy and can be started right away, some may need some courage to get started. Altogether, these changed helped me learn how to live a balanced life.
We hope at the end of the day, you pick some and implement them, starting with small changes and adding them up. With a compound effect, they will create amazing results that transform how you show up every day in your professional and personal life, even in your sweatsuit or pajamas.
Now, let us dive in and get one step closer to your amazing results:
1. NO-BRAINER DAILY HABITS
Begin the Day with a Clear Mind
First thing in the morning, before you get out of bed, give yourself a second to set the tone of your day.
Tell yourself what you are going to do to make the most out of today.
Take a quick reflection of what went wrong yesterday and be determined to make it right today. It could be that you will be more focused on the tasks you have planned out, or you will take a deep breath and listen more carefully to what your family has to say before reacting.
Drink 1-2 Tablespoons of Cold-Pressed or Extra-Virgin Coconut Oils
This may be a controversial food tip since coconut oil contains high saturated fats, BUT they are medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fat.
Some research has shown that MCTs from Coconut Oil go straight to your liver and convert to energy, which directly feeds your brain and your body. This is also said to increase your metabolism, which helps with fat burning.
I have been taking coconut oils in this manner for more than 10 years+ and believe it is my secret sauce for a strong metabolism. They say your metabolism slows down once you turn 30, yet mine is working as great as in my 20s! This also helps cleanse my colon.
Another positive sign that VCO does wonders for me is my clean bill of health every time I get my annual health check-up. On a different note, I want to highlight the fact our bodies are individually unique. So, you may try this tip out and observe the result yourself.
Drink 1-2 Big Glasses of Warm Water
Stretch Your Body
Eat Breakfast Like A Queen
Breakfast boosts your metabolism for the day.
And a nutrient-dense breakfast gives our body and brain the premium fuel to perform at our best.
Another reason I never ever skip nutrient-dense breakfast is...
...Let us face it, it is SO easy to make poor food choices during the day because of work, kids, or a limited choice at lunchtime if you are on-the-go.
Back in my 9-5 environment, I rarely ate lunch on time because often we were stuck in meetings so I would end up skipping lunch, or rush it. Sometimes, we end up rewarding a “hard-working” day with cheat meals on our own or with colleagues.
So I made a conscious choice to change that habit by making sure that I fuel myself with “nutrient-dense” foods in the morning.
2. GO OUTSIDE
Spending time in nature and basking in the sunshine will help you have better peace of mind.
Scientifically, sunlight is the biological signal that triggers vitamin D production as well as endorphins, which help us to relax and destress.
Take a walk, hike, or plan your day on your balcony exposed to sunlight for about 20 minutes, and you will be in a more present and calmer state.
Overall, you will be doing your mental health a HUGE favor. Before you know it, spending time outside will have you curating a list on how to find balance in your life without trying too hard!
3. FUEL YOUR BODY (AND MIND)
You are what you eat.
This may sound cliché but if you want to be in high spirits, to have energy and longevity, you need to avoid putting unhealthy and processed foods into your body. Processed food has been scientifically proven to do long-term harm.
Take note that our body is designed with specific nutritional requirements. Yes, it is resourceful - it can handle a gallon of soda or beer and a whole box of pizza per day, but not for long.
They might fulfill your craving or make socializing more enjoyable, which is OK if you make that choice and enjoy the moment. Satisfaction is really important to our soul, but add good nutrients to your body next time you eat.
Nourishing your body with a variety of vitamins and minerals while enjoying the taste and texture of what you are eating is key to stabilizing your body and mind in the long run.
Simply start with The Mediterranean Diet. Studies have linked that following how the world’s longest-lived people eat will result in many health benefits. To name some: reduced risk of cancer and a reduction in bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which can contribute to heart disease. A bonus is that this diet has been shown to enhance your brain and help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s.
Incorporate these ingredients in your meals:
- Green leafy vegetables and other vegetables – The more colour you have, the more varieties of antioxidants and nutrients you will get. WHO also recommends 400g of fruit and vegetable per day. Avocado and water lentils are our favourite!
- Berries, especially blueberries – Good for antioxidants and a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Whole grains - Oatmeal, barley, and rye. Chia seeds and quinoa are our favourite.
- Nuts – Macadamia, almond, walnut, and other nuts because they are packed with hearty protein.
- Fish – Replace red meat with fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and prevents heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and stress. Fish is also a good source of Vitamin B12 that helps protect you from anemia, which causes tiredness, headaches, and even hair loss!
- Olive oil – Opt for unsaturated fat like olive oil when cooking.
- Wine – Limit to one glass a day. The key is moderation!
- Poultry – You can skip this category if you are a plant-based or vegan eater.
Prepare your own meals
When you make your own dishes you have complete control over the ingredients.
You can choose to make your meals with fewer additives, chemicals, preservatives, fat, salt, refined sugars; and try to incorporate fresh and whole foods as nature intended.
I personally prefer plant over meat - l learned this from the Blue Zone people!
Timing is also a key. You will reap the best nutrients from food when they are fresh. The fresher the food you eat, the stronger the vitality you get out of the foods.
Forget about the expiry dates - cook them as early as possible. Do not stock too many fresh foods if you can afford the time to go shopping or order more frequently. More so, growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables are lifelong goals.
Do not stress yourself too hard! Do what you can but be mindful. If you cannot grow your own herbs, fruits or vegetables, buy them from a farmer’s market or supermarket. If you only go grocery shopping once a week, learn how to store your veggies to last longer. The whole point is that we want your last option to be pulling out that frozen pizza!
4. BE ACTIVE, MOVE YOUR BODY
Your body is your last asset. You should also get active. Exercise for the same reasons you eat a healthy diet. Begin by doing light stretching in the morning, and slowly level up your exercise routine as you get stronger. If your goal is to stay healthy and toned, try a combination of three core practices: interval cardio, strength training, and stretching. Design your workout plan based on your goal, or consult trusted fitness coaches in your local area.
For a no-equipment workout at home, we love a combination of HIIT and Yoga. HIIT combines two different workout types into one workout. Low-impact exercise (which is easy on your joints & bones) and high-intensity interval training. For beginners, check out this fitness video. If you feel a little pumped up, check out this dance workout. And for stretching workout type, we love this combo Deep Stretch from Yoga with Adriene (and Benji) and Yoginimelbourne.
5. SLEEP WELL
Sleep is the number one self-care you can give to yourself, which costs almost NOTHING. Yet it is the one thing we often neglect. When we were young, we told ourselves that we can catch up with sleep later on the weekend but research shows that our body takes four days to recover from a 1-hour loss of sleep.
The main things that suffer when we do not have enough sleep are concentration, binge-eating (often caused by tiredness), and aching because our body needs more sleep to recover muscle tiredness. With all these stresses accumulated in our bodies, it would be very challenging to start fresh and apply even the simplest tips on how to create balance in your life.
So go ahead and sleep to succeed!
START LIVING A BALANCED LIFE TODAY
Finding balance in all areas of your life is not an easy job. But with clear transformation goals combined with strong intentions, these tips will become your habits-turned-rituals to help you reach your higher purpose of being.
If you can dream of it, then it is possible. Never get discouraged and do your best to stick with like-minded individuals to help you stay on the right path. Soon you can have your own answers and even help out those around who are still asking the same question, "What is a balanced life?"
Ready to deeper dive into our inside-out transformation? Click here!
My Nutrient Hub wishes you luck with all your current and future transformation! 🌿
Disclaimer: The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this pages, are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.