Living Well

Mind, Body, and Spirit

Life is about balance. There is the balance of our environmental, social, and economic needs. This needs to be balanced to keep our planet healthy, as we know it. (The Earth will continue to exist long after we are gone, and life will evolve.)

There is also personal balance within ourselves: our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health and well being. For many of us, we live in a fast pace world where we are constantly connected to technology. We are trying to keep up in our lives of new technologies, rising costs of living, and just trying to fit everything in. This is stress inducing and not good for our health. Also, we are polluting the planet more and more every day. All of this takes a heavy toll on our health.

We need to take an active approach to our health, and not just accept what ads are telling us that this product or that pill is going to help keep us healthy. Our bodies have evolved over thousands of years, and evolved with nature. We are starting to understand the processes that our bodies go through to keep us healthy, and there is a lot of synergetic activities going on to make it all work. This means eating whole foods and a wide variety of foods, not highly refined foods or popping a pill. In many cases, it is the various components within our food working together to process and utilize the nutrients we consume. Ever wonder why North Americans have such a high rate of osteoporosis when we drink so much milk that is supposed to protect us from getting it? Milk has calcium, but it also has protein and protein tends to inhibit the absorption of calcium. Many leafy green vegetables also contain calcium. So here again balance is needed. Too much of anything is not good for us. Eating too little of certain foods, such as, a variety of fruits and vegetables (of different colours) is not good for us, either. Plant foods are full of nutrients, phytochemicals, and anutrients (like fiber) that work together in the various processes our bodies go through to keep us healthy. Eating well, along with physical activity, proper rest, and active learning will help keep us healthy. Also, in today's world we need to consider the health risks from the pollutants and toxins we are putting into our environment, as these also greatly effect our health and well being.

And this is where nature comes in.

The Earth's ecosystem services provide us with clean air, clean water, clean soils, and healthy foods. But, we are using and abusing the Earth beyond its ability to keep the air we breathe clean, the water clean, the soils that we need to grow our food in clean and healthy, and in turn, us healthy. This doesn't affect just us but all life on Earth.

So what can we do to help keep ourselves and our families healthy?

  • Get out into nature, it is a great stress reducer. Respect nature, and pack out what you pack in.
  • Buying organically grown foods, not only helps to nourish us better, but also helps keep the soils healthier, and the water and air cleaner, and helps protect our pollinators from pesticide poisoning. (1/3 of all foods we eat need to be pollinated) It also helps protect the soil microbial communities that intermingle with the plants. This interaction helps support the plants and keep them healthier. Buy local as much as you can, and support your local farmers.
  • Exercise - keep your body active. It doesn't have to be going to a gym. It can be a brisk walk with your dog (if you have one), going for a bike ride or swimming, get into a regular stretching routine, and some strength building exercises. Basically, stay active.
  • Be an active learner, it helps keep your mind clear and sharp. It's kind of like a muscle, "use it or lose it".
  • Find activities that make your heart (inner kid) happy, and take time for those activities. It could be getting out into nature, gardening, reading, a hobby, such as, art or pottery, tinkering in the garage, whatever, speaks to you.
  • Getting enough rest and sleep.