The wellness movement is a powerful force for enabling positive change in our lives. Never before in our history have we had access to so much information on health, movement, and nutrition.
The dark side of all that information is that many of us are super confused as to which path to follow. Should you eat a paleo diet? What about going vegan? It’s enough to make anyone get a little stressed out about their wellness choices…which is the exact opposite of wellness.
Time to simplify. Love your Instagram feed, but ditch the pseudo-scientific advice: no, you really don’t need to worry about whether kale should be raw or cooked. Just eat it! Since life is complicated enough, I’ve embraced a ‘Minimalist’s Manifesto’ that makes wellness work in the real world.
Wellness is a lifelong pursuit; diving into complex routines or programs that aren’t going to jive with your schedule are going to be little more than a rose quartz-infused flash in the pan. Instead, I focus on foundational habits like food prep, movement, and mindfulness that bring real results.
It’s way too easy to fall for well-marketed ‘wellness’ that doesn’t actually do much for your health. I take a minimal, targeted approach to supplementation and gadgets. Buying less stuff keeps that money in your pocket to help you achieve larger goals, like a nice vacation that really will help you unwind.
Food and consumer waste is a huge burden for our environment…and our wallets. Planning out grocery lists, doing food prep (so you don’t opt for takeout while food rots in the fridge) and making fewer impulse purchases (do you really need 12 pairs of leggings?) will help you declutter, save money and build a sustainable future for the planet.
Wellness is for everyone, so how do you make it work? With a stripped down approach that brings results.
Your Minimalist Guide to Healthy Living
Eat Single Ingredient Foods Most Often
It’s not the exotic superfood potions that bring you the greatest health: it’s good old-fashioned food, applied daily. Simple, single ingredient foods (think apples, broccoli, and hemp seeds), are nutrient-dense to optimize cell function and repair. Basic produce is also way cheaper than manufactured health foods. Search out local greengrocers with high turnover; you’ll save an enormous amount on your grocery bills. Buy bulk nuts, seeds and legumes and DIY it, instead of buying pre-mixed trail mixes or deli items.
Make Half Your Plate Plants
Research suggests that the more you consume a plant-centered diet, the healthier you will be. The key is to eat more actual plants…not just plant-based treats like raw date brownies. In fact, the more plants you eat – even if you still consume meat or fish – the more you will benefit. One of my favorite rules (that literally transforms eating habits) is to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. In return, you’ll load up on anti-inflammatory nutrients to support healthy aging and repair, in addition to plant fibers that feed beneficial microbes in the gut.
Cook At Home
Without a doubt, cooking at home is one of the easiest ways to improve your health, reduce waste and save money. You can easily pay $15 for someone else to prepare $2 worth of rice and beans. Build a capsule pantry of versatile staples like beans, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies that you can turn into grain bowls, pastas, stews, smoothies and overnight oats. Having flexible meal plans (build in leftovers nights!) will help you focus on the foods that need to get used up first, reducing food waste.
Get Minimal with Supplements
If you have a specific health concern, individualized advice on supplementation is important to help you maximize benefit and minimize waste. For the rest of us, good nutrition can provide most of the nutrients we need. I prefer that people get their calcium and omega 3s from food for general health. In fact, there are only two supplements I take every single day: vitamin D3 and Bio-K+. As an anti-inflammatory dietitian, I know how gut health can support better immune health. My daily dose of Bio-K+ helps keep my digestive system feeling in balance and fortifies my immune defenses against all the travel, busy work schedules and germy kisses from my kids.
I am not always the most consistent with exercise, but I’m improving! I know that movement is critical for mental wellbeing, stress relief, and optimizing metabolism. I can feel the difference a single jog makes in my energy levels and outlook. Whenever possible, I try to double down and take my workouts outside. Time in nature (even if it’s just a local park!) helps improve mental health and reduce the effects of stress. Best of all, walking, jogging, and hiking are all free activities – and they fit around your schedule.
You do a lot: life is packed with work, family, friends, and side hustles. Wellness should be a positive tool to help you get the most out of life - not another thing to stress about. Pare down to the basics and remember that deep wellness is about having the energy, and mindful awareness, to really enjoy life.
To learn more about a minimialist’s approach to wellness check out Desiree’s new e-book. If you have a healthy living question you want answered, let us know in comments below! For more healthy inspirations, join our community. Click here to find the closest point of sale. Contact us or find us on Facebook and Instagram.