What is A Healthy Lifestyle? – Your Ultimate Guide!

What is a healthy lifestyle, and what is the easiest most painless way to achieve it? Often bad health is a result of bad conditioned thinking patterns around food and exercise. Maybe you over eat for a number of reasons be it comfort, contentment, or simply because you just love your food. Whatever your reasons, if your eating habits are making you overweight, sick or completely miserable then it’s time to get out of your unhealthy food rut for good.

Living a healthy life is a journey – you learn as you go and you will never stop learning, and this ultimate guide is designed to help you achieve a healthful and abundant life, whilst also living to your full potential. 

How exactly do you live a healthy lifestyle? 

eating an apple

Some people believe they are living a healthy lifestyle simply by adding an apple to their lunch and taking the stairs instead of the escalator every now and then when the situation calls for it. While others go to the extremes of only eating organic raw foods, drinking lurid green drinks (which I am actually a big fan of, but more about that later) and getting up at 5am to squash in that hour long training or yoga session all before a full day’s work (which for the record, I am not a fan of).

In this post I will go over the many facets of healthy living. There are actually many factors involved that need to come together in harmony if you want to enjoy great health for a lifetime, and there are no guarantees, but hopefully with a few tweaks and changes you can lower your risk of disease and add years to your life.

The road to health is a journey

footprints in the sand

Mediocre attempts at staying fit and healthy like those mentioned above, will not yield you great results (especially if your main diet consists of junk foods, refined sugars and trans fats), in these cases eating the odd piece of fruit just isn’t going to be enough to balance out all the bad stuff.

You need to proportionately balance out your bad habits with good habits, and ideally cut the bad out completely. If you smoke 40 cigarettes a day then there is nothing you can do to counteract that damage, so this rule has its limits. “Everything in moderation” is a saying that has stood the test of time for good reason, and I live happily by it myself every day.

The reason why a healthy lifestyle a ‘journey’ is because that is how it feels; the body and mind need time to change, adapt and grow – all of which is a process, and if you were to jump straight in at the deep end chances are you would fall off the wagon very quickly.

How to Change Ingrained Belief Systems

The reason why it’s good to start with small changes is because it will give your mind a chance to not only form new habits, but also change its deeply embedded belief systems AND build new neural pathways in your brain.

The changing of old belief systems is key here, and as with any other new journeys or paths in life this is no different. The mind needs time to adapt and making small changes one step at a time is not only the best, but also the most proven way to form new habits for life.

Where To Start:

The tips and strategies in this post are changes you can start making today that will start you off on your amazing journey to supreme health. You WILL literally start to feel the healthy lifestyle benefits within days, and every day after that you will feel better and better – yes food really is that powerful!

jumping for joy

By the time you’re a year down the road you will feel totally transformed and bursting with energy and vitality, your skin will be clear, your eyes bright, and most awesome of all you may be helping to protect yourself from disease.

Make a couple of changes a week and stick to them. Don’t try to do too much at once, and give yourself a chance to get used to this different way of living. Keep in mind the word ‘journey’ as it will be your best friend when things get tough, and it will remind you that you don’t need to do everything at once.

All these changes can be made on a budget

I know not everybody can afford fancy superfoods and gym memberships, so I have made allowances for that. You can live a healthy lifestyle on ANY budget, and you shouldn’t let a lack of funds be the reason for not giving your body good wholesome food and regular physical exercise that it needs. 

1. CLEARING OUT THE JUNK

fries and fork

Start by taking a look in your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer, and take note of all the high sugar and fat foods you have lurking in there. If you look at the labels you will be able to see at a glance how much sugar is in a food; it is under the ‘carbohydrates of which sugars’ section.

Anything over 22.5 grams per 100G is considered high, and anything under 5 grams is considered low.

Sugar can come disguised under many different names (there are over 50 different titles for what is essentially just sugar, please check out the full list here) and they are hidden like dangerous little assassins in almost everything you buy if you aren’t meticulous about checking.

What are Free Sugars?

ring dougnut

Free sugars are any sugar that has been extracted from its original source such as in the case of granulated sugars – be they white or brown, honey, fruit juices, agave syrup, maple syrup or any other kind of syrup. Yes, some are considered healthier than others, but they are still free sugars and so need to be eaten in moderation.

The average person is consuming more than DOUBLE the safe amount of sugar than the recommended guidelines, and when you start to  clear out your cupboards and realise where your hidden food sugars are coming from it is easy to see why.

It is in fact, downright dangerous to repeatedly consume more sugar than your body can assimilate. Too much causes a fast blood sugar spike, which triggers a high insulin response, in turn leading to more cravings, weight gain and risk of many other diseases.

Type 2 Diabetes

stop diabetes sign

An insulin response is quite normal and natural after a meal, but an unnatural amount of sugar on a consistent basis may eventually cause insulin resistance. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes, and also increases your chance of other diseases such as obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and even some cancers – all of which come with their own risks and complications.

SO, cutting down drastically on sugar really is the NUMBER ONE thing you should start doing for yourself today. Below are the amounts of ‘free sugars’ (in grams) that is considered safe by medical professions, and that you should try your best to adhere to as much as possible.

  • Men – 38 grams (9 teaspoons)
  • Women – 25 grams (6-8 teaspoons)
  • Children under 8 years old – 12.5 grams (3-4 teaspoons)

This isn’t much I know, and seems mean when you consider that one can of soda is 10 TEASPOONS of sugar in itself, but I don’t make up the rules and if I did then chocolate cake would obviously be healthy (although, I do make my own healthy chocolate cake, but that’s for another post). For now, there is light at the end of the tunnel for all you sweet toothed ones out there, as this rule only applies to free sugars and not whole sugars.

Difference between free and whole sugars

FREE SUGARS

Free sugars are so called because the original food source has had its sugar extracted from it, making it what is known as a ‘fractured’ food. The extraction process of many foods automatically turns them high GI, which means their sugars hit the bloodstream quickly due to the fact that most of their fibers and nutrients have been removed. Fibers and nutrients that would have otherwise ‘slowed down’ that release of sugar into the bloodstream, thus giving a much slower energy release.

Free sugars are very high GI

honey on toast

This process is actually done with many food and not just sugar. Free flowing oils have been extracted from their original source too, but this doesn’t necessarily make them bad for you. The same goes for sugars – maple syrup and honey are both free sugars, but still have nutrients in them so therefore making them preferable to refined white sugar. However, they are still a high GI free sugar, and therefore need to be treated the same as any other sugar and added to your daily sugar allowance.

How Free Sugars Affect the Body

Good old-fashioned white table sugar is a ‘free sugar’ because it has been extracted from its fibrous cane, and further more, during the refining process has had all of its nutrients removed.

This means the body doesn’t have to work at breaking the sugar down like it would have to do if it still contained its fiber and nutrients. ALL THIS has already been done for you in the refining process, and as sugar gets broken down and refined even further still (as in the case of syrups and fine icing sugars) it becomes even higher GI, and even MORE unhealthy – just think high fructose corn syrup if you want a good example of such a case.

FREE SUGAR FOODS

glass of orange juice

Free sugars come under the terms of white sugar and derivatives of, such as icing sugar, syrups, syrups made from other plants such as corn, brown rice, agave, honey and maple syrups; also sodas and fruit juices are free sugars. Yes, you heard that right, even fruit juices are not healthy as not only have they have had their fiber taken out, but have been juiced down for an unnatural consumption of fruit.

You could easily drink the equivalent of 10 oranges in a juice, but you would never eat 10 whole orange in the space of a couple of minutes in the same way you can when it’s juiced up . This means your body will be hit quickly with an unnatural amount of fruit sugar thus promoting a huge insulin response. Remember, our bodies were actually designed to eat the whole fruit and trying to mess with nature always leads to trouble.

This process also applies to refined flours, white rice, white pasta and white bread – though technically not a sweet kind of sugar as we know it, they are still high GI and act the same as a sugar inside the body, causing the same insulin spike. So thinking you’re safe because you’re not sweet toothed isn’t necessarily the case.

Whole sugars that can be eaten safely

Whole sugars are sweet foods that haven’t been fractured in any way and are still in their whole form, such as:-

  • All fruits – the lowest sugar being berries (of all kinds), and the highest are tropical or other high sugar fruits such as bananas, mangoes, pineapple, papayas and grapes.
  • Dried fruits – in moderation, as it’s easy to eat too many.
  • Slow roasting sweet vegetables – such as parsnip, butternut squash, beetroot, sweet potato and carrots really helps bring out their sweetness.
  • Sweeteners – such as xylitol, stevia, date paste and brown rice syrup are all the lowest GI substitutes, though not technically whole sugars, they are still a much healthier alternative but should only be eaten in moderation.

UNHEALTHY FATS

bacon in frying pan

Now you have an understanding of sugar and the sugars hidden in your cupboards, let’s move on to FAT. Often fat is demonised unfairly, but we still need fats on a healthy diet, just the right kind.

Trans fats are the bad guys here, and these include almost anything deep-fried, plus pretty much ALL junk foods contain trans fats as their primary source of fat for the simple fact it’s cheap. These cheap fat’s are made in a factory process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oils to make them more solid (a process that is technically illegal, but there are ways around it as it’s a grey area), but the end result of this process makes them very bad for your body.

Which Foods Contain Trans Fats?

You will find these trans fats on your food labels under the term ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’, but a trans fat is also produced in another form when oils are heated more than once in the cooking purposes. You will find examples of this in most fast food joints where the same cooking oil is used to deep fry foods over and over again.

Food’s in your cupboards that will contain either trans or unhealthy fats will be items such as:-

  • Biscuits
  • Cheap commercial chocolate
  • Cakes
  • Pre-made frosting for cakes
  • Ready meals such as pizza, frozen chips, burgers and anything else deep-fried.

GOOD FATS

These are the fats that you should be using in future for either cooking. or to pour cold onto salads, vegetables, or in cold dressings:-

  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for using cold only)
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Flax oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Coconut oil

Need Help Clearing the Junk from your Cupboards?

If you have lots of items you need to swap, or even completely remove from your cupboards, and you think it will be an arduous task, then please read here my 10 steps to eating clean. This will explain how to go about replacing food products over a period of time. Remember you don’t have to do it all at once; small changes are much more likely to last, and will also give you time to adapt to your new lifestyle.

The Plant Based Diet

colourful vegetables

Once you’ve sorted all the rubbish from your cupboards you can start to think about going for more healthier options when out shopping. As well as the above healthier versions of sugars and oils, you should also add in lots of alkaline plant based foods rather than animal products as much as possible. Make them a staple and main part of your diet, and if you have to eat meat and dairy then keep it to a minimum or in very small portions.

Plant foods should steal the show on your healthy plate as they are full of antioxidants, fiber and a whole array of nutrients to keep your immune system strong, your weight down, and your skin glowing.

Foods you should eat every day

Eat the below foods as much as possible, and try to swap unhealthy foods for some of these plant based alternatives. When you first start out eating lots of nutritious plant foods you will need to learn the art of correct food combining to be sure you put together a nutritionally complete meal that includes proteins, fats, and low GI carbohydrates together.

  • Fruits – especially dark berries.
  • Vegetables – especially leafy greens and orange coloured veggies. It is good to eat a ‘rainbow’ of colours to get the full spectrum of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
  • Pulses – including lentils, beans, such as cannellini, borlotti, soy, kidney, butter, aduki, chick peas, and green peas.
  • Nuts of all kinds
  • Seeds of all kinds
  • Wholegrains – such as quinoa, brown rice, brown pasta, amaranth, pearl barley, millet, buckwheat.
  • Green superfood powders

SUPERFOODS

Adding specific superfoods to your diet will be the most important thing you can do if you want to boost your health completely into the stratosphere. The difference this makes to how you feel can only be experienced and not explained, and the effects will just get better and better as your body starts to detoxify itself better.

Superfoods don’t need to be obscure and bank breaking products, they can come as some of the most budget friendly foods when you know what you’re looking for and are available in most supermarkets.

What Exactly are Superfoods?

The word superfood is the term given to a food, or group of foods that have high amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals and nutrients. Antioxidants in particular act as free radical scavengers in the body, and can help prevent and even reverse the aging process. Yep, you sure heard that right – antioxidants are THAT important and will help slow down the aging process on both the inside and out.

Green Superfood Powders

shots of green superfood powder

You can go to whatever level you wish with your healthy eating lifestyle, but you should also take a shot of green juice every day such as wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina, moringa, chlorella, or best of all buy a blend of all of them. I do this every day at the same time as having a big spoonful of my homemade turmeric paste and they work fantastically well together. The fats and powerful anti inflammatory antioxidants in the turmeric work in harmony and help the absorption of the fat soluble nutrients in the superfood powder.

This is the one major thing that I know helps keep my skin looking amazing and my brain firing on all cylinders. In fact, I often muse myself with the thought that it’s my turmeric and superfood combo that powers me through endless hours of blog writing when I also have a full time job to contend with. 

Check out my Amazon reviews on these awesome green superfood powders as they are also simple way to make sure you are getting all the greens you need into your diet, not just for the anti aging benefits but all the other myriad of healthful benefits that go with it. They give you a noticeable energy boost (which is great before a workout or the mid-afternoon slump), and did I mention they also make your skin glow? Yes they really do – literally within about half an hour of drinking them!

2. EXERCISE

 running on a bridge

Fortunately, you don’t actually need to pay for expensive gym memberships in order to get fit as you can either do it in your own home, or better still use nature’s very own fitness facilities. Opportunities for fitness are everywhere and you probably come across them every day – these include, the beach for running, hills for climbing, or a power walk to work instead of using transport.

A physically fit body is MAJORLY important to a healthy lifestyle. The fitter you are, the stronger your heart and immune system will be, meaning less chance of sickness and disease in the first place!

Fitness and Weight Loss

Having high amounts of muscle mass on your body will also help you to burn calories even when you’re resting. This is because muscle burns more calories than fat just to maintain itself – so great for those wanting to lose weight, or just maintain their physique. 

Get your exercise in at least 3 times a week, making sure you combine resistance training such as weight lifting, HITT training, boxing and power walking; with cardio such as running, cycling, skipping – or even lots of sex (I’m serious, it’s actually great for fitness) Or, you can just do whatever else floats your boat – just make sure you get moving!

4. SLEEP

Getting enough good quality sleep is another absolutely vital part of a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t get enough then you slowly but surely start to fall apart in both body and mind, and it can be truly painful. This is because your body is healing and rejuvenating itself whilst you sleep, and doing all the repair work it can’t do during your waking hours when it is busy using its resources elsewhere. It’s the deep REM sleep that is the most important, and we need 2-3 cycles of it a night which is only possible if we get a good 7-9 hours of good quality shut eye in.

Can lack of sleep be harmful?

Not sleeping enough on a consistent basis can lead to serious health issues such as cardiovascular disease, irregular heartbeat, heart failure, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes (due to blood sugar levels being thrown completely out of whack).

cbd oil drops

If you have problems either sleeping or getting off to sleep, then you should maybe look at some natural sleep remedies to help you out. Or even try CBD oil as some people have amazing result with it. I’ve even heard some say that it was the only thing that cured their insomnia after trying everything else, including sleeping pills.

With CDD oil recently becoming legal it is bringing with it many testimonies of its powerful benefits, and a relief from insomnia is one of them. Read this inspiring blog about how one man found this to be the best thing he had tried for not only his life destroying insomnia, but also other other problems such as depression and anxiety. Just remember to always consult with your doctor before using CBD as it can interact with certain medications.

5. ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICALS

You cannot escape all of these, but you can some of them, such as the chemical cleaners you use in your home and the lotions, potions, soaps and make up that you put onto your skin. Your skin is highly absorbent – meaning everything you put onto it eventually makes its way into it.

Sounds pretty awful when it’s put like that, but really hammers it home just how much junk our bodies have to detoxify from every day, so the very least we can do is give it a helping hand by cutting down on this chemical assault as much as possible.

Using chemical free products in the home

There are all sorts of organic and chemical free cleaning products, make ups, shampoos and soaps on the market making it is pretty easy to find swaps for most of your regular things. Or another option – you can always also make your own at home out of much cheaper items such as lemon juice, baking soda and white vinegar.

TOP TIP – Extra virgin coconut oil is the ultimate multidimensional product: It can be used not only in cooking, but as a skin moisturiser for face and body, a make-up remover, a deep conditioning treatment for hair, and it’s also great for teeth whitening.

Detoxification Foods

Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and green superfoods will all help to neutralise and flush out heavy metals and other toxins from your system, which happens to be another great side effect of a plant based diet!

6. STRESS

computer stress

Stress is another potentially life threatening disorder, but luckily one that you have complete control over if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Stress, when left out of control, is a big killer – if not the biggest killer of our time.

On one end of the spectrum stress can cause headaches, low immunity, frequent infections, palpitations, loss of sexual desire and insomnia. On the other end it can lead to heart disease, heart attack, cancer, plus accelerated aging and inflammation – of which studies are showing to be the root cause of many modern day diseases.

Keep your body in a state of homeostasis!

om

You can now start to see the connection of all things in the body, and also how everything has a knock on effect on everything else to eventually bring about ill health and disease. When you start to see things from this perspective you can see how it’s actually a hundred times EASIER to keep your body in a state of constant homeostasis in the first place, which will help prevent all of these problems.

Ways to reduce stress levels:-

  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Exercise, especially weight bearing
  • Eating a healthy Diet
  • Getting enough good quality sleep
  • Talking about your troubles
  • Switch off all phones/internet/TV distractions and read a book
  • Take up a hobby you know you’ll enjoy
  • Exercising or walking in nature
  • Visualisation techniques
  • Yoga

For some more great tips and techniques on relaxation please check out this YouTube video for inspiration!

7. KEEP ON LEARNING NEW THINGS

No matter what your age, keeping yourself in a continual cycle of learning new things about the world around you is so important to an all round healthy lifestyle. Learning keeps your brain sharp, which slows down the aging process and gives you a sense of achievement and worthiness.

You can keep your brain active by reading books, starting a new hobby, enrolling on a course that could send you down a new and exiting career path (you can do this at any age so don’t let being older stop you, as there are no limits these days), OR start your own blog as I have and share your interests and experiences in order to help others.

The world really is your oyster the moment you realise that anything is possible, and that in every second you are in fact creating your own reality.

I hope you now have a better understanding of what a healthy lifestyle actually is, and if there is something I haven’t covered here that you need help with then please do not hesitate to give me a shout in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2019; not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving. I have lived this healthful lifestyle for over 2 years, which is the reason why zestforever was born to share my experiences, trials and errors, how I overcame them, and how to turn to this lifestyle in such a way that you will thrive too.

I have studied, tried and tested healthy foods, superfoods and diets for over 25 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz of wellness that plant based eating has. To expand my knowledge further I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor - all of which can tie in with the plant based diet.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant as a way of showing you how to boost your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

I am grateful for your support, and I hope that the tips and guides you find here will help to guide you on your own plant based journey.

19 thoughts on “What is A Healthy Lifestyle? – Your Ultimate Guide!”

  1. Thanks for your inspiration to get healthy. I’ve been on an eating binge lately and have not been living well. Your thoughts into all of this makes me re-think my situation. I know I need to sort it out, and I’ll first start by replacing bad fats with good fats, and also trying to cut down on calories. Thanks again! You’re a star.

    • Hi Brandon, I’m so glad I’ve inspired you and I really hope you are able to slowly change a few things. It all adds up in the long run, and most of the time it’s just down to having a little understanding and knowledge about food. Once you start to feel good you will never want to go back! We all get into bad habits, even I have days where I can’t stop eating, I just try to eat ‘healthier’ versions of things – or make my own. Good luck with it and please let me know if you need any more advice etc. I’m always ready to help.

  2. What a comprehensive and informative post! I’m with you on the importance of all of these things, especially exercise and learning and cutting out the sugar. It’s exciting to think that our bodies can regenerate and reverse the damage from all the bad fats and stress…gives me motivation to keep making healthy choices.

    • Yes, it is SO exiting the fact that we can actually regenerate! In fact, it wasn’t long ago that science thought this was impossible, but now everything has changed and we know now that it is possible to actually reverse the aging process IF we give our body the materials it needs (as in the right food). Such exiting news hey? That’s why I go on a lot about that green super food because this has in it those very raw materials that are the building blocks of life.

      I hope all this means I will never get old, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see on that count.

  3. Thanks for this most informative article. I agree that changes need to be made a little at a time in order to make the switch to a healthy lifestyle. Since I had to go on a gluten free diet for medical reasons, I had to make the switch more rapidly, and it was difficult because I had to read every label of everything in the grocery store that I was considering buying. It is much easier now, as I know what is safe for me to eat. You are doing a great service by teaching people about healthy lifestyle living.

    • Hi Carol, yes that must of been a shock for you having to make such big changes over night! That would be really hard for anybody. It took me years to fully change my diet and understand food and how my own body reacts to it, so you got thrown in at the deep end! Still, I hope you are thriving now and don’t feel like you are missing out on too much. I suppose you have become accustomed to your new way of eating by now, and I bet you’ve learnt an awful lot about food with all that label reading.

  4. Super helpful post. The biggest problem for me is, we have a large family, and everyone is not on board. This makes it a little more challenging to change my habits. I do have considerable will power, but my environment makes this super challenging. Do you have any advice? I’ve already tried to change their minds, but like stated in your post, things don’t happen overnight. Change one small thing at a time.

    • Hi Jeff, I know how hard it can be when you are trying to please everybody in a family home. It’s not like you are going to make separate meals just for yourself. This is a tough one, but I think it’s a matter of small changes that aren’t too noticeable and build on that.

      You could for instance start swapping some treats for healthier versions, like bakes instead of fried crisps/potato chips, make your own oven baked fries which is actually quite quick, just chop potatoes into fries and toss in a little olive oil and bake on an oven tray. You can also make your own sweet potato wedges that are delicious cooked in their skins in come coconut oil.

      You can buy lower/no sugar versions of breakfast cereals, or make your own porridge and sweeten with mashed ripe banana. In fact, you should read my post as this actually has some meals plans at the end that I’m sure you will find really helpful. Good luck in changing their minds!

  5. Hi Sarah, thanks, and yes I like to keep things simple to do for people as I know we are all busy and health can often take a back seat in peoples lives. But it is so worth that little bit of effort for much reward, and in fact staying healthy gives you the power and stamina to lead a busy life and keep on going without getting sick and exhausted.

    I’m glad this advice has been useful to you and I hope you can incorporate it into your life with ease.

  6. This article is so thorough and well written! You’ve hit on all the variables I can think of that affect your health and well being. I particularly like how you stated “healthy living is a journey”. This is so true! I think too many people view living healthy as a very sequential process with a huge price at the end of the struggle…when in fact living healthily is a journey that is constantly being adjusted and tweaked to improve your mental and physical well being.

    To me, it’s just like you said – a journey. Will it be perfect 100% of the time? Of course not. But you will gain so much from picking yourself back up and repeatedly doing what’s best for yourself. Thanks for sharing such a great read! Will definitely be returning to your site in the future.

    • Thank you Sarah for your lovely comment, it always warms my heart when people enjoy and get something out of my posts. And you are right, nobody can be perfect 100% of the time, you’re just setting yourself up for a failure. That’s why my all time most important piece of advice that I’ve learnt from time and time again is to not beat yourself up.

      If you have a slip up move on instantly and don’t let it throw your whole day or week off of your healthy eating plan. I did this a lot myself when I was younger and it literally ruins your life and you become obsessed with food.

  7. Hi Sarah, yes I like to stick to this guide for myself as much as possible as it really is life changing. Healthy living is so much more than being just about food and I wanted to portray that to people. In fact, there are a lot of things on that list that many people wouldn’t even think about, and most of us for a start don’t get enough sleep!

    Thanks for enjoying this post and sharing it with your friends as I’m sure it can help make their lives better.

  8. Stefanie, great post. I just recently gave up sugar a couple of weeks ago. I never really thought about how much I was eating until I gave it up. I could definitely tell the first couple of days, it wasn’t as easy as I had thought. So far, I feel so much better.

    For sugar alternatives, what’s your opinion on Monk Fruit?

    • Hi Brian, most people don’t realise how much sugar they are eating until they try to give up. It’s only when you look at food labels properly that you realise just how much added sugars are in everything, and often hidden under obscure names. It can be really frustrating!

      As for monk fruit, I actually have never heard of it over here in the UK, but I did just google it and saw that it is meant to be a natural low GI sweetener that is up to 200 times sweeter than sugar, so it does sound great on initial inspection. Definitely sounds like it’s worth a try if you feel you need some kind of sweetner. I myself like to use xylitol which is the only thing I have found that is actually so low GI that diabetics can use it, and it still tastes like sugar.

  9. Hi, Stefanie, this is a fantastic and well-rounded article that hits on all the components of health and fitness. After reading this, my flaw is that I definitely need to get more green vegetables in my diet, which I’ve limited as of late, but everything else is up to par. I do have a tough time getting to sleep, but I also have a tough time waking up, so I can usually get seven hours in.

    The most interesting portion of your article was toward the end, where you stated to take up hobbies and learn new things that you enjoy. This is an epic yes, and something that I can personally attest to keeping stress levels low.

    • Hi Todd, sounds like you are already quite a healthy guy!
      Yes, getting enough green vegetables is something that most people have a problem with and is why I recommend using the green superfood powders. These just make doubly sure you are getting all the nutrition that you need that only green foods can offer. I always have a shot every day or some green powder or another (I like to mix it up) and they always make a noticeable difference to my skin and energy levels. I drink them regardless of whether I eat green veggies that day as I kind of think they are two different things. The actual whole vegetables might not be as concentrated, but they do contain lots of fiber which is vital to health too.

      Sleep is something that I always have a problem with, but it’s getting better the healthier I get and the more I exercise… and relax. Definitely relaxing and keeping stress down as much as possible helps sleep no end.

  10. This article justifies whats mentioned in the title i.e., ” The Ultimate Guide”. It is truly an ultimate guide of living a healthy lifestyle. Health and healthy lifestyle is far more important to live a happy life, to have mental peace, happiness and well being, all your amazing information is so so helpful. Homeostasis is something new that I learned from your post and practical easy advises you have given to reduce Stress is awesome. I am a busy mum of two kids and I really need these tips which you have mentioned. I will share it with all my friends who are also busy mums. Thank you:)

    • Thanks for the praise Sarah, I tried to cover as many angles of a healthy lifestyle as possible to help people understand that it’s not just any one thing they do, rather a series of continual habits.

      A state of constant homeostasis is the ultimate goal we need our bodies to be in for great health and a great life. It would be great if you could forward this article to your friends as I am sure it will be helpful to them too!

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