How do you get healthy & make health simple?
That question has led me on a 20-year pursuit of nutrition. I have looked high and low, even spending far more money than I’d like to admit on a few college degrees promising to answer the question, how do you get healthy and make health simple?
Yet, I’ve learned, health is not as complicated as we make it. It was never intended to be a focus of life but a tool to live our lives. Unfortunately, I believe we have tangled up the intricate details and processes of the body, which are complicated, and have assumed that getting healthy must also be complicated.
Just because our body’s inter-workings are complicated doesn’t mean our lifestyle has to be.
It’s another picture of the backward law:
The idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, and the more complicated it appears. Reinforcing the fact that you lack it in the first place.
But your body is perfectly capable of getting healthy.
That may not look like textbook health or the social media definition of healthy. But we all have a definition of what healthy means to our body. And our body craves that. But it can only accomplish it based on the environment in which it lives—making it our job to produce an environment of thriving over surviving.
And that comes down to the flow of energy.
The one thing you need to make health simple is understanding your energy flow. It’s your energy levels that determine your hormone health, metabolism, mindset, and truly everything about your life.
This topic of energy is a passion of mine, and I believe if you start living based on energy – health becomes simple. Check out Health Made Simple to overhaul your health, mind, body, and soul.
Here are a few ways to simplify your health plan, energize your body and get healthy.
12 Tips to Make Health Simple
1. Create an eating schedule
Did you know, your body prepares for digestion according to your normal eating patterns? Meaning if you eat breakfast at 8:00 am, you’ll probably find your stomach starts growling 20-30 minutes before your body prepares for that food.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Given your body prepares for food at specific times, it means it’s also the most efficient time to eat – at least speaking of your metabolism. So work with this system to better digest, absorb and use that food. You can do this by creating an eating schedule that works for you.
The health term for this is called intermittent fasting. But don’t get hung up in the logistics of that. The only metric I stand by is making sure those meals are consumed within 10-12 hours and then allow the rest of the day for fasting.
2. Meal Prep Food
The only way you’ll eat healthy is if you have access to healthy food. I know this first hand. The weeks when my refrigerator feels empty or if the sweet potatoes remain uncooked on my pantry shelf, I’m probably going to be heading out to eat.
But taking a few hours one night a week or on the weekend to meal prep, basic ingredients that I can layer together with leftovers or other batched ingredients makes healthy eating easy.
Think in terms of simple ingredients like roasted vegetables, rice, shredded chicken – things that can be layered a million different ways with different flavor profiles to create delicious and healthy meals that only take a few minutes to heat up.
Need help with meal prep? Check out these seasonal meal prep guides giving you 16-weeks of meal prep ideas.
3. Focus on movement > exercise
Your body was designed to work. Making movement a must to keep your body functioning well. But I don’t want you to assume that movement and exercise are the same.
Instead of getting hung up in an exercise program, focus on movement. Making movement a non-negotiable, but what type of exercise you do become a choice based on what your energy levels are telling you.
If you hate it, you probably won’t do it – at least not long term. But in the same breath, you’ll never feel motivated without first taking action. Put on those workout clothes, fill a water bottle, sign up for a gym membership, buy a Fitbit and make movement mandatory
4. Live your purpose
It may seem out of the ordinary to talk about purpose and health in the same breath. But there is the underlying assumption that getting healthy will allow you to live. The notion that you have to wait until you arrive.
But if you can emphasize your purpose and live passionately, you will begin to live. Using energy to accomplish your purpose.
Using health as a tool to live, rather than living for health.
5. Focus on filling > fixing
The reality is we’ll never be able to fix ourselves and fixing leads to the assumption that you’re working from a debt, leading the fix to bring you back to ground zero.
But I don’t want you to settle. I want you to thrive, which means recognizing that you’re not too far gone.
Stop focusing on fixing and instead do the one thing we have the power to do, fill yourself up, doing more of what gives you energy, and puts a little more pep in your step.
6. Think of your body as a whole unit
We often hear about our hormones and metabolism. We also have categories designated to your mind and your soul. But when is the last time you evaluated how they are all working together? When have you looked at yourself as one being?
We tend to emphasize systems but fail to recognize the entire unit – blaming one thing when they are all working together.
Take an inventory of how your mind, body, and soul feel. Does anything feel out of balance? If so, how can you support all three together to create that change?
7. Open up flow
Health is movement, and it’s not just physical movement, although that helps. Everything inside your body has a flow to it – whether it’s a flow coming in through your blood or lymphatic flow, or it is energy movement. But our flow can get stuck, bound-up, and become sticky.
Open up that flow by paying attention to your energy levels. When you feel like your energy is lacking, figure out what keeps you stuck and do something to support your energy levels.
8. Let things go
Potentially the most critical step in making health simple is learning the art of letting things go – especially silly things that should not define how you feel. Like that person who cut you off in traffic – don’t let their bad day create your bad day. Take a breath, let it go.
It doesn’t mean you can’t feel upset, but it’s what you choose to do with the emotion that determines what your body does with energy.
Let things go and create space to receive something new.
Did you know that body fat is lost in our breath?
I know it sounds crazy, and you’ve probably made the assumption that you must excrete that in other ways – but the research shows that 84 percent of fat is lost as CO2. Meaning you have to be taking deep breaths, relaxed breaths to let it out.
In the space, when you feel like you’re holding your breath, when you feel tense, take a series of deep breaths.
- Breathe in for a count of six.
- Hold for a count of eight.
- Exhale for a count of four.
- Repeat 4-5 times.
10. The Joy-meter Score
Enjoy it – even the discipline of it. It’s not always going to be easy, but if you stop yourself every time it’s difficult, you’ll fail to see the benefit on the other side.
Stay in it by using the joy-meter.
There are a lot of things you could be doing, a lot of different ways to exercise, and not one has been proven to be better than another. The most important place to start is the one that you enjoy, at least a little.
We desire what we like and enjoy. Doing something you enjoy most likely means you’ll get back out there and do it again!
11. Use space, Not time to make health simple
You may not have time, but we have space. Space is the in-between moments of your scheduled time. The 10 minutes here or the 30-minutes there that usually fill with scrolling. Activities that don’t have any positive health implications. There is a surprising amount of space in our day that could be filled with life-giving activities.
If you have 10 minutes in between that work meeting, take a stroll around the house or office, fill up your water bottle, do some stretches.
That extra 30-minutes, while you’re waiting for supper, could be used to meal prep.
That minutes you spend waiting for your kids to come out of their activities could be spent journaling or praying or reading a book.
Use space intentionally. While you may not have time, you have space, and health is lived in that space.
12. Think in Terms of Energy
Health has become more about calories and macronutrients than the flow of energy. We have boiled it down into numbers we can calculate. But our body doesn’t work that way. The numbers matter, but the defining factor is what your body does with these things. Your body cares far less about how many calories you consume because its only focus is how much energy you have.
All of health, from the food we eat to water, sunlight, even our relationships, and emotions, are a metric of energy. Everything in life has energy. It’s how we interact with this energy that changes our energy, changing our health. Energy matters, and if you know how it works, it will change everything.
Make Health Simple
Don’t think about the 30-day plan or 90-day plan. Think about today. What is the next thing you can do for your health and keep walking in it.
It takes a lot of energy to worry about 90-days than it does worrying about today. And when you’re not spending that energy worrying about things that are completely outside of your control, you have the energy to invest in things that fill you back up.
Stay focused on today – do the thing today. Even if you want to do it for 30-days, the only way to complete that is to do it today.