Living the Balanced Life

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What does a well-balanced life mean to you? Does it include taking good care of yourself while striving for great success in the workplace? Or is it treating yourself and having a great workout afterwards? We all have our own definitions of living a balanced life and the best thing about it is that there is not a ‘right or wrong’ scenario pertaining to it. You can be a vegan and enjoy cupcakes (vegan, of course) and you can be a non-vegan or non-vegetarian and support fair-trade and ethical shopping experience. Find your balance and I believe you can be happy and content. Here are some tips that I think creates a balanced life – a life in moderation. Real, solid tips that are actionable.

Mind

  • Nurture yourself, not only the body, but also the mind
    • Treat yo’self every once in a while. Even though it might not nourish the body, it nourishes the mind. For instance, go get some of that McD all day breakfast every radio station is advertising about. Make sure to get the hashbrowns too.
    • Think positive thoughts and have positive vibes. I’m trying to improve on this as well, as I tend to gravitate towards less positivity and more negativity
    • Stress for one day at a time. This is an advice that a friend’s mother gave to me. Don’t stress for things that are coming ahead. While cautious worrying is normal, stressing really hard about an interview or a life event in the coming month is unfruitful. It prevents you from enjoying the now. So, take one day at a time or not stress at all!
  • Have a good, open-minded perspective
    • Dare to try new things! Eat exotic foods on a trip or skip a class to go to a farmer’s market.
    • The world is a better place when you judge less, blame less and hate less. No one is a saint and we can’t change that, but I believe if we try to think of the other side of the story, we won’t be rushing to blame or judge others.

Body

  • Nourish the body with by eating well
    • Eat more whole grains, non-processed foods. For instance, pick whole grain bread instead of white enriched bread. The enriched ones are stripped off of their nutrients through processing – the nutrients that the whole grain ones still has.
    • Eat less processed meats such as bacon and sausages.
    • Try to incorporate more vegetables in every meal. Even if I don’t have a substantial amount of vegetables sometimes, I would chop some raw, crunchy carrots to accompany my meal. It’s better than nothing!
    • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT feel guilty, if you “fell off” the wagon. Living a balanced life is not about adhering to a strict “diet”; it’s about doing what makes you happy and on the other hand, about doing what’s good for your body as well. Meet in the middle. Enjoy your indulges in a moderate amount.
    • Portion control is important as it contributes to eating in moderation. What I have learned from myself (from having very high metabolism) is that I can’t finish hugely portioned meals so I tend to save them for the rest of the day. Leftovers are my best friend. Drink water when you eat – about a cup right before eating and some more in the middle of eating – so you won’t end up eating a larger portion than you can actually handle. Sometimes thirst for water can disguise as hunger.
  • Get fit, toned by exercising
    • Have a regular workout routine whether it’s cardio, yoga, boxing or pilates, and stick to it!
    • If the gym membership is too expensive, which is exactly my case, invest in a yoga map to do yoga or pilates. Or go jogging at the park or around your house!
    • I found out that my relationship between working out and eating healthier is intertwined. When I workout, I get more motivated to eat more healthy and when I eat cleaner, I get more motivation to work out. Find out what your source of motivation is and make it stronger everyday!
    • If you’re having an off day where you’d rather curl up on the couch and watch Netflix, then do it! But work out tomorrow.

Money

  • Grocery shopping on a budget (For more tips: click here)
    • Never go grocery shopping when you’re even remotely hungry! You will definitely end up buying a lot of unnecessary stuff like prepared foods and other impulsive buys.
    • Don’t buy too much of anything especially when it comes to perishable items, like meat, vegetables and fruits. Instead, make another trip to the grocery store in two days to buy fresher produce and other items!
    • Don’t feel guilty to buy potato chips or Cheetos or ice-cream every once in a while. And when you do eat, remember portion control!
    • Focus your spending on quality products rather than quantity.
    • Rely on coupons when you go to more health-conscious grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market, because they can be expensive.
  • Buy less, preserve more
    • When it comes to miscellaneous items such as clothing, save money by not shopping a lot. When you do buy, don’t settle with cheap clothing; instead, look for quality brands that do not support outsourcing or unethical fashion. Unethical consequences are much graver than you would think, so shop for quality products and infrequently so.
  • Maintaining social life while saving money
    • Do eat out – alone, with a SO or with friends. Eating out is fun, memorable and every foodie’s dream! I can’t stress enough how excited I get when I eat out whether it’s on a date or with a group of friends. On the other hand, don’t eat out too often of course. Limit to one or two times per week.
    • Have a party, get drinks and have a blast. There’s no need to delve into this one since it’s self-explanatory. Just have fun, but don’t forget to drain your wallet while doing it! Even better, have a “going out” budget for the week and stick to it.
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