My wellness philosophy is simple and informed by well-documented scientific evidence. Like most people, my wellness philosophy is also guided and supported by my feelings and intuition, common sense and my own experiences. Listed below are my six guiding principles for a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.
Emily Honeycutt’s Six Principles for Optimal Health
- Eat a varied and balanced, low-fat, whole foods, purely plant-based diet free of artificial flavors, preservatives, colorings and chemicals. Eat organic and local whenever possible. It’s good for our bodies, good for animals and good for the planet. It’s advocated by nutrition experts including Drs. T. Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, John McDougall, Joel Fuhrman and many others.
- Exercise daily. This includes fresh air and sunshine. This may sound like a tough one, but it doesn’t have to be the same thing every day. Try going to the gym 3 times a week, then on the other days, going for a walk or a bike ride after dinner. On the weekends, go for a walk, a run, a hike or play tennis. In the summer, go swimming or kayaking. Instead of going out to the movies on a Saturday night, why not try dancing? It’s fun and it gets your heart pumping.
- Get enough sleep – at least 7 hours (minimum) for most people. Many people (including me) need at least 8. Sleep affects mood, immune system, and many other bodily functions. When you wake up each morning, you should feel good, rather than grouchy and a wreck, trying to drag yourself out of bed (sound familiar?). In the evening, turn off the TV, have a cup of chamomile tea instead of wine, take a hot bath and read something pleasurable. Don’t skimp on the zzzzzz’s.
- Reduce stress by finding “me” time, “family” time and “couple” time. Increased stress levels inhibit your ability to lose weight by increasing your levels of the hormone, cortisol. De-stress to help your body find its optimal weight.
- Socialize. Make time for friends. We’re all busy, but studies have shown that people with a network of friends and family live longer, happier, healthier lives. Having a warm and supportive social life can make almost as big of an impact on your life as dietary changes. (For more on this, read John Robbins’ book Healthy at 100 and The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer by Dan Buettner.)
- Discover your purpose in life and pursue it with passion! It’s never too late to become the person you never knew you could be. Find a way to use your talents to help others and create a kinder, healthier, more compassionate world and reap rewards beyond your wildest dreams! (I recommend books by Dr. Wayne Dyer to help unlock your potential!)
The more we move toward these six simple principles, the better we’ll feel and the happier we’ll be.
We’ve all heard of numbers 2-6, right? In my blog and website, I’ll discuss all of these topics in more depth, but the primary focus will be on diet – health and vitality through delicious, purely plant-based food.
I am neither a medical doctor nor a registered dietician. Before embarking on any diet or weight-loss program, please consult your physician. If you are on medications, they may need to be adjusted and/or eliminated after making the change to a plant-based diet. Do not go off medications without consulting your doctor. However, please realize that most doctors have not been trained in nutrition. Only one-fourth of medical schools even require doctors to take a single nutrition course. I suggest taking a book or two on plant-based nutrition from our store to share with your doctor. Doctors don’t know everything and patients deserve to be treated with respect. If you don’t like what your doctor is telling you and your doctor is not willing to educate him/herself about the healing powers of a plant-based diet, you are free to find yourself another doctor who will work with you to improve your overall health and wellbeing using diet and lifestyle intervention along with (if/when necessary) medications or other interventions.
“Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.”
– A. Cornelius Celsus