No doubt about it: you are what you eat.
When you want to be healthy, you’re told to “eat your greens.” Great advice, certainly. But yummy kale, scrumptious chard and delicious bok choy alone do not make a nourished, vibrant, and satisfying life.
You and I both know your life is bustling, and you like it that way, for the most part. But to continue moving at this active pace, there are other things besides eating your veggies and getting in your hour of cardio that keep you going. Hint: it’s not just more coffee!
Eating good food is just one piece of the puzzle. Exercise is another, of course. And yet, there are other ingredients that go into a life that is healthy, balanced, mighty and whole.
I call these your “soul greens.”
Here are a few nourishing soul green suggestions:
>>Movement. This goes well beyond just exercise—it’s about being active and feeling alive in your body. Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? Ride your bike to the store for a quick out & back trip instead of driving the car? Get out on the grass in your bare feet for an afternoon stretchfest? Hug somebody?
>>Quality Time. This is about who matters to you most—and then taking time to be present with them. Do you sit down for meals with family or housemates at least once a week (or everyday)? Do you end the week with family time, or date night, or what a friend of mine calls “lonesies” (that is, taking time to recharge and be with yourself)? Hint: cooking and meal prep can be great quality time!
>>Beauty. When you look around your home, do you feel at peace, held and supported? Okay, so maybe stuff is strewn about like something exploded. But it’s not about an immaculate living space, it’s about creating an environment that feels like home—and beautiful! It doesn’t need to be expensive. A simple vase of flowers or fresh clementines in a bowl can add everyday sparkle to your space. Can you think of one visual treat you could bring into your surroundings that would make you smile every time you see it?
>>Stillness. Yes, you read correctly. This can be a tough one for many of us, but I’ve found that with all my activity (which I love!), I also need quiet time to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. I’ve actually hired a meditation teacher to help me with this—I’ll let you know how it goes! But there are plenty of other ways to stop being a human “doing” and become a human being again. Sitting and drinking a cup of tea. Yoga. Going for a walk, without thinking of your to-do list. Enjoying lunch outside and watching the world around you.
When I’m really on top of my game, I’ve noticed that I’m not only eating well and exercising, but I’m also partaking in my soul green habits, too.
I think about eating my soul greens the same way I think about food and nutrition: you won’t find the answers in a book written by someone else. It really comes down to figuring out what makes you feel more alive and energetic and noticing what doesn’t. After all, your soul greens can help you “keep pace” with your bustling life, and make sure you’re not too busy to miss it.
I invite you to share your own soul greens menu and post about it in the comments section below.
Elise Museles believes you can have your kale…and your chocolate, too. As an attorney turned nourishment expert and founder of Kale & Chocolate, Elise helps busy women balance their bustling lives with real food, simple strategies and sustainable health habits. Elise is on a mission to show active women how to fuel body and soul so that they look and feel better than ever. She delivers programs that are easy to follow, outrageously nourishing and results-driven. Find out more about Elise’s workshops, events and one-on-one coaching at www.kaleandchocolate.com
Editor: Kate Bartolotta