What is “Optimal Living?”
Optimal living is a theme you’ll begin hearing as my client and reading more often in my posts. It’s the perfect phrase to describe your own overall bio-individual health and wellbeing, tailored to what you want. No, it doesn’t have to mean switching to a straight vegan diet, but it could mean adding more vegetables to your diet. Living optimally can also mean your gauge of overall happiness and wellbeing based on stress, sleep levels, and other factors in your life. Seeing as we literally are what we out down to our very cells, it’s clear that one of the first things to get right when beginning your journey is getting optimal nutrition from your food. Believe it or not, food also has an impact on your hormones, nervous system, immune system, as well as many other important functions that holistically comprise of who we are.
Breaking Down Optimal Nutrition
Food belongs in what we at IIN call the Secondary Nutrition group. This is the actual food we put into our body, whereas the Primary Nutrition group focuses more on holistic health. I’ve studied Nutrition for over five years and can honestly say that I’m confident in what I know in terms of which vitamins and minerals our body needs. My year at IIN introduced me to literally hundreds of different diets, all designed for a specific purpose. However, my focus is primarily on the diets that give us optimal nutrition. What I mean by this is examining factors such as: What’s your family history of certain chronic illnesses/diseases? Where at in the country/world do you live? How often do you go to the gym? Is your job physically demanding? Are you vegan/vegetarian? By answering these questions, I get a good idea of what kind of nutrients you’re currently taking in, where you may be deficient, and what you may need more of based on current diet and physical activity.
One of my favorite subjects is food. It’s a big reason I got into the nutrition field. In fact, I love food so much, I expanded my knowledge into learning how to cook and locating places in a new town to try new foods and beverages (“good” or “bad” food). Being a Health Coach means I can eat whatever I want to eat and live the way I want to live as long as I am mindful. This means as long as I have a clear goal of what I want to make me happy and I have the general knowledge to make my own healthy choices, I’m free to eat what I wish.
Optimal Living Through Secondary Nutrition
To give you an example of this I’ll use my typical daily diet. I eat a mostly plant-based diet because I wish to clear up my skin, boost my immune system, gain and maintain energy throughout the day without coffee, and keep unnecessary body fat off. My diet consists mainly of at least three leafy green salads, greens, and a little bit of chicken meat. I make a deal to eat like this for the whole eight hours I’m at work. This means I always make sure my food is packed for the next day. After my eight hour window and I’m home, I’m free to eat whatever I want. But by the time I’m home, I’ve already consumed most of my energy from healthy foods, and my desire for other foods is limited.
Optimal Living Through Primary Foods
Living optimally goes legions farther than just adjusting your diet. You can eat all the kale you want to, but the truth is if other areas in your life aren’t right, i.e. relationships, work, lack of physical activity, and spiritual/interpersonal misguidance, then you’re not going to be functioning optimally. And when you’re not functioning optimally (stress making you irritable, depressed, anxious, worried, etc.), you’re not in optimal health. It even becomes physiologically evident sometimes when we’re so stressed out that we break out into hives or shingles, for example. As cliche as the saying is, we truly aren’t meant to pay bills and die. There’s a reason diagnoses such as anxiety and depression are so high in America. We work ourselves into bad health. And when we’re not working, we add our own unnecessary stressors to our lives. That may be in the form of a toxic relationship that requires strength and clarity to move on from. Or it can be in the form of a dead-end job that’s just not fulfilling to you.
Where My Passion For Health Coaching Lies
In my mind, this is the fun part of my job. I enjoy listening to my clients talk about their stresses with complete confidentiality. It’s important that I listen to what they do for a living, the relationships in their lives while asking high-mileage questions that get to the root of what’s truly the stress barriers keeping them back from an optimal life. From here I start asking questions about how he/she would prefer certain situations be, allowing them to come to their very own conclusions. These high-mileage questions also help us get to their true desires: what really gets them excited and up and going. That could be more traveling, for instances (I’m currently working travel resources into my 1-month curriculum!). It could also be going out and connecting with nature more. Or going shooting more. Maybe it’s simply spending more time with friends and loved ones. Whatever they are, these are the true things that keep a soul thriving. Guiding my clients towards this level of clarity and ultimately freedom is what I live for. I just know the feeling of discovering my passion too well to not share my excitement and knowledge.
What’s your idea of optimal living? How do you envision your life? What are some unnecessary stressors you know you can get rid of like right after reading this? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about my health coaching services. Follow me on Twitter @Anthonyjrich11 and my FB page by the same tag!
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