Healthy Living: food, exercise and mental health

Yesterday I didn’t blog and I’m sorry I missed a topic on the blog everyday in November challenge. But today’s topic is Healthy Living. This is an important subject for me and I want to share my ideas.

Healthy Living food, exercise and mental health

Healthy Living: Food

We all know the things we eat can and most likely will affect our health. This is why some companies are taking advantage and are saying on the package their food is “gluten free” or “low fat” when in fact those foods are naturally gluten free and low in fat. Also, I don’t believe gluten, the protein in wheat, is bad unless someone is celiac. I also don’t believe fat is bad either. We need fats in our diet and not all fats are the same. For example, unsalted peanut butter is healthy while deep fried doughnuts coated with sugar aren’t the best for a healthy lifestyle.

Moderation and diversity are the key for a balanced diet. As a vegetarian I’m sometimes asked about this, how is my diet diversified. Well, I eat lots of different veggies and fruits. Today I had a look in the fridge and I saw fennel, potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, green grapes, apples, bananas, turnips, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, olives, orange and red grape natural juice with no added sugar. In the freezer I have okra, cauliflower, veggies mix with peas, corn and green bean. In the cupboards I have lots of cans of different veggies, beans and plum tomatoes. I have wholewheat pasta, wild rice and rice, lentil, beans, soya, tahini, peanut butter and lots of nuts, dried fruits, healthy snack bars. I have different oils too: rapeseed, walnut, cold pressed rapeseed and I usually have olive oil too. My fridge is also packed with different types of cheese, milk, yogurt and eggs. It’s safe to say that as a vegetarian I have a diversified diet.

You can also find in my cupboard chocolate and 3 types of sugar and lots of types of flour for baking desserts. I need those too, because a balance diet means that I can indulge in things I like that aren’t necessarily good for me. I love eating all sorts of things and if I can make them healthy or healthier is fab, if not it doesn’t matter because most of the things I have in my diet are good.

Pineapple dessert: grilled pineapple with whipped cream and sugar on top.

This is a wonderful dessert that I consider it to be healthy: grilled pineapple with a dollop of whipped cream on top and some muscovado sugar.

I say it’s healthy because the pineapple is only grilled. The cream I used was whipping cream that has a lower fat percentage than double cream. In the whipped cream I put only 1 spoon of icing sugar, that is less than 10g. It’s sweet enough because the flavour and sweetness of the pineapple are intensified with cooking. I added a few grams of muscovado for an extra flavour on top.

A few more recipes I consider to be healthy: brownies, chocolate truffles, and plum dumplings.

Healthy Living: Exercise

The second aspect I want to talk about is exercise. We know we need to exercise but not everybody likes exercising. I tried dancing and I don’t like it at home, but only as a class and I don’t have the time for it. I tried cardio and I don’t like that either. Hubby started P90X, a weight training routine and I say I should give it a go and I loved it. I love pushing my limits and at the end of the workout to see that I did more push-ups than before, that my weight was a little higher or that I did an extra rep.

That is one aspect of exercising, but there is another aspect, the everyday life. When hubby and I are going to L1 to the shops, we park in a cheaper car park that is 15-20 minutes away and we walk. We walk faster as there aren’t any shops to look at and we have a chat. It’s not exactly as exercising, but it’s a healthier way to go to the shops. We both work from home, most of the time on the laptops, but I still consider us as having an active lifestyle because we are taking every opportunity to walk. Even in the car park we’ll park further, where is shadow or quieter and walk more.

We also try to have as much outdoor activities as we can: feeding the birds, geocaching, hiking, camping, kayaking, shooting and so on. I mentioned them before in my post unusual hobbies.

Healthy Living: Mental health

The last aspect is mental health. I’m not a happy-go-lucky person and I know that. So I addressed that by making a goal for 2015 to keep a good things jar where I put notes of good things that happened and I read them at the end of the year. I also have a “Good things” series on the blog. I enjoy writing these posts and I also love reading them after a while.

In the last few years I made the decision of cutting out from my life people that didn’t bring me happiness just because “I have too”. I don’t think anybody has to keep in touch with a neighbor from a place they lived 10 years ago who is constantly complaining about all sort of things. I don’t have to talk and keep in touch with someone I met by chance and I don’t have anything in common. I really doubt this kind of relationships are beneficial for them either. Cutting out the negativity and most of the “I have to” parts made me more happy and relaxed.

These are my thoughts on healthy living. I would love to hear from you too.

4 Comment

  1. I love your balanced approach to a healthy life. I was nodding along in several places. Food and exercise are two obvious areas for a health life, but I am glad you mentioned mental health too – its an area that is very important to me, as I have not always had good mental health. Your good things jar is a great idea, I am looking to do something similar for 2016 with my children. Cutting out the negative people from my life – that’s hard for me, I’d be interested to read about how you have found doing it in more detail. #SelfCareSundayShare

    1. Thank you Alice. I will write a post about cutting out the negative people, it’s a great suggestion.

  2. I totally agree with you that we shouldn’t go by the book when it comes to food. I heard a diet tip one time where they said to cut out fruit altogether because of the sugars. NO WAY am I cutting out fruit, yes there’s sugar in fruit but you need some sugar, and fruit is also packed with vitamins, anyway! I’m a vegetarian as well (*high five!*) and people often have the misconception that our diets must be so limited, but that’s not the case at all, as you’ve just pointed out! It’s great that you and your husband try to incorporate exercise in daily life, too, I try to do that when I can, like taking the stairs instead of an elevator, etc. Cutting out negative people is something I learned along the way but you are so right, it’s definitely a big step toward mental health. Great post, Anca, hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂 x

    1. When I was on a diet to lose weight I read a lot of crazy things about diets, avoiding fats or carbs or fruits. Sadly few people talk about balance and lots talk about loosing weight fast. I’m glad you like the post xx

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