Se­cret to a well-bal­anced life

The Invercargill Eye - - YOUR HEALTH - Q: What is the key to a well­bal­anced life? Thanks, Rob. A: Q: Why are so many women lack­ing in the right nu­tri­ents? Thanks, Jenny. A: Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not inte

I am not a fan of the con­cept of a bal­anced life as most peo­ple feel this is unattain­able. And what is it any­way? It is highly in­di­vid­ual. Bal­ance for one per­son will be stress or for an­other, bore­dom. I feel like the key to a sense of spa­cious­ness in life is a more use­ful ques­tion for peo­ple to ex­plore. For ex­am­ple, do you no­tice that if you have 20 min­utes by your­self in the morn­ing – does that lead you to ap­proach your day with more calm and clar­ity than if you just get up and get into it? Or does bring­ing aware­ness to your breath and fo­cus­ing on di­aphrag­matic breath­ing, given this ac­ti­vates the parasym­pa­thetic ner­vous sys­tem (the calm­ing arm of the ner­vous sys­tem), each hour pro­vide you with a feel­ing like you can han­dle a busier day bet­ter? When peo­ple talk about bal­ance I feel like they re­ally mean: ‘‘How do I get some time for my­self to do what I re­ally want to do?’’ Con­sider what this might be for you. Schedul­ing tasks can also as­sist with this.

De­spite all of our tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances, we still owe our en­tire ex­is­tence to 30cm of top soil and the fact that it rains. And if a nu­tri­ent isn’t in the soil, it can’t be in our food. Sadly, only three nu­tri­ents are typ­i­cally put back into the soil as fer­tilis­ers. Th­ese are typ­i­cally ni­tro­gen, potas­sium and phos­pho­rus. That means there are about 52 miss­ing. This is one rea­son why we need ad­di­tional nu­tri­tional sup­port th­ese days.

Se­condly, we are ex­posed to more pol­lu­tants to­day than ever be­fore via what we eat, drink, breathe and put on our skin. To change th­ese sub­stances be­fore they can be elim­i­nated re­quires detox­i­fi­ca­tion and the liver is re­spon­si­ble for that. To do that ef­fi­ciently, the liver needs more nu­tri­ents to­day to keep up with the load. Vegeta­bles go a long way to help­ing to sup­ply the body with nu­tri­ents yet very few adults or chil­dren get the daily serves they re­quire for ba­sic lev­els of health.

We are liv­ing in a time like no other, where we are con­nected 24/7 and pretty much on the go from the mo­ment we get up un­til the mo­ment we lay our head on our pil­low – un­less we choose not to be.

Mod­ern life­styles in them­selves put a lot of stress on the body to keep up with the pace we set. Many peo­ple use cof­fee to wake up in the morn­ing and al­co­hol to cool off in the evening. Th­ese sub­stances add fur­ther work for the body and cof­fee stim­u­lates the pro­duc­tion of adren­a­line, a stress hor­mone, which in it­self re­quires even more nu­tri­ents. Plus, cof­fee blocks nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion and leaches min­er­als from bones. Yet many women reg­u­larly drink too much cof­fee.

Most peo­ple could do with dou­bling the amount of their veg­etable in­take. All of this leads to a body that is nu­tri­ent de­pleted while also likely re­quir­ing ad­di­tional nu­tri­ents to cope with the pace.


Achiev­ing bal­ance in your life may just be down to find­ing enough time to en­joy a favourite ac­tiv­ity, such as tramp­ing.

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