Firstly, let me start by saying that I am not writing this article on health and wellness from an expert’s perspective, but rather from someone who cares deeply about holistic health and wellness overall. This journey for me started a few years ago, when I had a serious health scare. I had only given birth to my second child less than a year prior, and was having trouble hearing. An MRI showed a tumour in my head, and from then on things moved very quickly.
Since I was living in the Borneo jungle at the time, and they lacked the resources to operate this kind of tumour, I was quickly evacuated to Singapore for surgery. I will never forget the day, at a Singapore hospital. My neurosurgeon at the time wanted me to make a decision on which plates to choose to replace a part of my skull once they removed the tumour in my head. I felt completely removed from the decision making of what was to happen to me, and deep down I had an unshakeable feeling that surgery was not the right course of action for me.
Having two small children at the time, I was also concerned as to how we would cope in the months following surgery, as I was aware that recovery would take 4-6 months. I also felt there were other options that I wanted to explore prior to making such a drastic decision, and I simply didn’t have the time or opportunity to explore if they were right for me. During my interactions with my doctor, I felt as well that he was primarily focused on the process itself, rather than myself and my personal circumstances, and by not including me in the process of making such an important decision about my health, I didn’t feel like I could trust that he had my best interest at heart.
So on my last conversation with my neurosurgeon, and just hours prior to my scheduled surgery, I decided to confront him and asked him to consult with two other colleagues and come back to me with the exact same diagnosis and course of action. As I saw my husband’s face of panic, I assured him that if all 3 doctors came back with the same prognosis, I would oblige and go through with it, but if I felt that there were other options, he’d need to give me space to figure out what I felt was right for me. My neurosurgeon was not happy with my request, and yet he agreed to do it as he felt very confident about his conclusion.
It was a long wait until he got back, and I’ll never forget his face as he entered the room. He told me that the three parties had differences of opinion, and even though he strongly suggested that I had it removed regardless, it gave me enough confidence to trust my gut and do what I wanted to do. At that time I had this overwhelming instinct to walk out and try something different. And so I did, and I never looked back. To cut the story short, I sacked my neurosurgeon and I continued to be monitored for a while by a paediatric neurosurgeon with a big heart; and, after 3 years, I was given a clear picture of health.
“I don’t know what you’re doing, but whatever it is, keep doing it. This is one of the happiest tumours I have ever seen. I never though I’d say this, but I don’t ever want to see you again.” And with that, I had won the battle. This experience ignited a very personal revolution that taught me how to take responsibility for my health and wellbeing. I spent countless hours researching the fields of nutrition, natural living, holistic healing, mindset, spirituality, etc. As a result, I decided to live a holistic life, one where I looked after myself on all levels physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The results have been short of amazing, and you too can join the health revolution by just applying a few simple steps.
“Vibrant health is not just about what you eat, it’s also about dealing with what’s eating you.”
Nowadays, the amount of information regarding health and wellness is simply overwhelming. It appears there is a new revolutionary diet released every week, and constant new developments and ways of doing things, which leaves us confused and afraid of making the wrong choices. The important piece here is that you choose to do something that works for you. We are all different, and so I wouldn’t expect a single approach to work for everyone.
Whether you choose paleo, ketogenic, vegetarian, raw food, Ayurveda or others, it is entirely up to you. There are however some common guidelines that will help you at the time of making the switch. In everything that I do, I love simplifying things, and in order to help me stay on top of my health – and look and feel great – I have created 4 simple rules that I live life by, and I want to share them with you, in the hope that you’ll be able to easily adopt them in your own life too.
My 4 rules in life are as follows:
Rule number 1: Eat nutritious food
Food is your medicine. We can’t just eat what we like, but what our bodies need. When it comes to nutrition, I follow the very simple formula: nutrients in, toxins out. You not only need to provide your body with foods that will nourish it, but also ensure that whatever toxins are entering your body (i.e. environmental, ingested, through the skin or cleaning agents), you are actively reducing and removing the level of toxicity within your body. You can remove toxins by detoxing and learning to live green. Do your bit for yourself and the environment.
The rule of thumb here is that you need to get back to nature and eat a plant based diet (that’s right, plenty of vegetables!), preferably organic or less sprayed with pesticides. You also need to learn about the health detriments of inflammatory foods (such as gluten, dairy, meat, sugar, coffee, soda, energy drinks, alcohol and processed foods – AKA the white and packaged stuff). Green juicing is a terrific way to get an instant blast of sustainable energy and you will also feel satisfied longer. Be aware of drinking loads of clean, purified water, and add a squeeze of fresh lemon to your glass to help alkalise your body. Dump refined sugars, fried foods and sodas from your life. If it’s made in a lab, your body won’t be able to digest it properly, and it will create inflammation, impairing our immune systems and fuelling disease in our bodies.
Rule number 2: Exercise regularly
In our busy daily lives we seldom make time to exercise. Exercise and sweating helps us carry away waste, remove toxins and strengthen our bodies. It is also a natural mood and energy booster. Pick a type of exercise that you enjoy and a type of activity that is within your level. Whether this is bike riding, swimming, cross fit, running, brisk walking, yoga, etc, shake it 3 to 5 days per week for at least 35 minutes to really enjoy the benefits of exercise.
Rule number 3: Sleep and rest
Studies show that everyone is tired. No one gets enough sleep. Without proper sleep, your body cannot fully detox, heal and repair itself. When we lose sleep, our decision making, reaction time, memory and communication (among others) goes down by 20 to 50%. A lack of sleep is also linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even Alzheimer’s disease. So do not underestimate the need for sleep, it is just as important as good nutrition and physical activity. Ideally you want to get 7-9 hrs sleep daily. You just have to figure out how to get enough sleep and make it a priority.
Rule number 4: Cultivate a positive mindset
Vibrant health is not just about what you eat, it’s also about dealing with what’s eating you. The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive. To counteract this, practise activities that help you wind down, such as meditation, prayer, deep breathing exercises, positive affirmations, a gratitude journal, guided relaxations, time in nature, etc. Again choose an activity that resonates with you and stick with it. The results are worth it. Making time to take care of your physical and emotional needs is not selfish, but beneficial not just to you, but everyone around you.
I hope these simple rules will inspire you to take an active approach to leading your health, so you can live a healthy and happy life. Wake up and learn to live life like you really mean it. Join the pursuit of personal health, spiritual wealth and happiness and create a huge impact in your life, and hopefully, become a role model for all those around you too. Eat right, exercise, sleep and rest. That’s it. Start where you’re at, then work out a plan to implement small baby steps to help you continue to grow in your health journey. You will not only look good. You will feel great. Take health into your own hands and make nutrition the primary form of prevention for you and your loved ones.
Here’s to your health and success!