At Vitae we believe in treating health and well-being in a holistic way. That means that when it comes to enhancing our health we must take into account interconnected factors. Each person has to decide what the pillars of his/her life are and how he/she wants to structure it. We are going to describe some of the pillars that we consider basic and important.
This is the first pillar that surely comes to our mind when we talk about healthy living. We must be careful with what we consider healthy eating since some products are promoted in the market as healthy, but they are not. An examples of this are processed light or plant-based milks with a high sugar content. Therefore, we must be clear about what makes up a healthy dish, learn to read food labels, detect those undesirable components and listen to our own body.
A healthy meal should contain lots of colors and vegetables. Specifically, more than half of the plate should be made up of vegetables and fruits, with special emphasis on all those with green leaves. It should also contain quality protein, a small serving of cereals, and healthy fats like virgin olive oil.
Finally, emphasize that it is advisable to consume different types of vegetables to benefit from all the vitamins and minerals necessary for our body. It’s not always okay to eat lettuce, for example.
It would also be advisable to completely eliminate from our diet all processed and refined (including white flour) food and sugars (be careful because many processed foods contain sugar) and moderate the consumption of red meat, dairy, gluten and soy. Whenever possible, it would be interesting to consume organic and toxic-free products. In short, eat as clean as possible.
Finally, if necessary, we can supplement our diet with food supplements, always supervised by a healthcare professional. Some of the highly recommended food supplements would be omega-3 and 6, probiotics and digestive enzymes, Chlorella algae to detoxify the body (at least 2 times a year) and magnesium, to relax the muscles and sleep like a baby.
Movement is not the same as exercise. We are made to be upright and in motion, not to be in a chair, in front of a computer for 8 or 10 hours. The benefits of walking and moving are innumerable, it regulates blood sugar levels, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, helps us think better and organize our ideas, among many other benefits.
At least 10,000 steps a day!
Strength or endurance exercise is also essential to maintain optimal health. Apart from all the physiological benefits, it has innumerable virtues to manage stress and anxiety. It is not necessary to go to the gym if it does not convince us, there are many different types of sports and it is only a matter of finding the one that best suits your needs.
Rest and sleep
Surely you have read it a thousand and one times, but even so it seems that it is hard for us to believe, sleep is essential to maintain an optimal state of health. If we do not sleep the necessary hours and with quality sleep, we will not perform adequately the next day, our stress and anxiety levels will increase, we will suffer more inflammation, premature aging, among many other pathologies.
The number of hours required for each person is different and it is our duty to find out what our optimal number is. For this, it is highly recommended that, for two or three days, we wake up without an alarm clock and in a natural way and observe how many hours we need to sleep. Of course, when we do this test, we should go to sleep at approximately the same time and, if possible, before 12 at night, which is when the sleep is of the highest quality.
Keep stress at bay! Something that seems impossible these days but is absolutely necessary to achieve optimal health. Poorly managed stress causes many pathologies and is considered one of the diseases of our century. If we maintain a stressful situation for a long period of time our cortisol levels will increase causing, what we call, adrenal fatigue.
Apart from all the pathologies at a psychological level that it can cause, it also increases the risk of suffering countless diseases apart from making it difficult for us to enjoy our day to day as we deserve.
We are animals and as such we need to be in contact with nature. With modern life, we have increasingly moved further away from it, prioritizing screens and artificial lights instead of being guided by natural cycles that are so accessible and at the same time so unknown to the vast majority of us. It is important to have the maximum possible contact with nature, breathe, take off our shoes, be in contact with the earth and surround ourselves with green.
Apart from this, it is highly recommended to observe the animals and try to follow, to a greater or lesser extent, the natural rhythms. Thus, when the sun goes down, we will try not to eat or eat the least so that our body can rest. After certain hours we will try not to look at screens or be in contact with blue lights since they distort our ability to generate melanin and cause so much insomnia.
Emotional management is another of the great deficiencies of our times. We listen very little to ourselves and, generally, there is a great ignorance of our emotions. What happens to us on the inside is reflected on the outside and what we feel weighs heavily on our health. For this it is important to learn to know ourselves, to know what we like, what we need, how our body works, etc. Because we are all different and we do not have the same needs.
We are social animals and therefore it is very important to cultivate our own social circle with which to share and make a tribe.
Time for yourself
Finally, the last pillar that we wanted to highlight is time for oneself. This seems obvious, sometimes, it is difficult for us to achieve, especially if we have children or other people around. Spending time with yourself is a gift that we should give ourselves every day, even if it is only ten minutes of our day. We can go for a walk, have a coffee or tea at our favorite place, read a book,… in short, have a date with yourself. This is important because it helps us to be free, independent, self-sufficient people and to foster healthy relationships with others. We have to be able to learn to live with ourselves and only in this way will we be able to do it with others.
As we said at the beginning of the article, each person will stipulate their own vital pillars and priorities, but we believe that these are basic in the life of anyone who wants to live in harmony and balance, we understand that nothing is linear and that there will always be good moments and others of not so good.