Secret to a well-balanced life
Q: What is the key to a wellbalanced life? Thanks, Rob.
A: I amnot 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.
Q: Whyare so many women lacking in the right nutrients? Thanks, Jenny.
A: 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.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. Visit drlibby.com.
Achieving balance in your life may just be down to finding enough time to enjoy a favourite activity, such as tramping.