A Nourished Life vs. A Healthy Life

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A Nourished Life vs. A Healthy Life

I despise the phrase “healthy.”

You’ve undoubtedly heard me mention how I despise the word “healthy” and prefer the
phrase “nourishing.” The distinction between the two ideas is enormous. I mean,
life-changing in the sense that you will never diet or exercise again.

A fed existence does not come from an extreme diet, medication, or shake. It may be
discovered in a way of life.

A nourished life is a consistent pattern of nutritious decisions that results in a condition of
harmony in how you look, feel, and act. A person may live a “healthy” life without being fed,
but it is impossible to live a “nourished” life without being “healthy.” Consider a friend who is
trying to lose weight: chances are they are on some crazy crash diet, drinking shakes or
taking pills, having a cheat day when they eat a lot of junk, and generally feeling bad about
themselves because they can’t seem to get the results they want—or if they do, they have to
do even crazier things to keep them.

Let me compare the two ways of life as I view them:

A person attempting to maintain a “healthy” lifestyle:

At 6 a.m., the alarm goes off. She’s sleepy, irritable, and hungry. She goes to the kitchen to
prepare coffee and drink the first of two meal replacement shakes she’ll have that day. Still
hungry, she gets dressed and heads to a job she despises, but it covers the bills. She drops
the kids off at school and then goes to work. She eats a microwave meal in a box, a diet
soda, and some low-fat cookies for lunch. After work, she goes to the gym to attend an
exercise class that they despise, but it burns a lot of calories, so they have to do what it
takes, right? She picks up the kids after the gym, drives home, switches on the TV, settles
back, and enjoys her meal replacement shake while the kids eat hot dogs and mac and
cheese since mom is too weary to cook anything else. Everyone is glued to the television,
and the family only speaks to each other during commercials. After around 3 hours, it’s time
to go to bed, just to wake up the next day and do it all over again.

I’d want to claim that’s an extreme case, but it’s not. It’s something I see all the time, and it
upsets me. She may be doing some good things (reducing weight and exercising), but her
other choices are not leading to a nutritious existence by any stretch of the imagination.

Take a break from the roller coaster. This is not how life should be, and it is not how a fed life
is.

An example of a well-nourished person:

Instead, imagine the same mom waking up and eating a nourishing breakfast (maybe an
omelet laden with fresh vegetables and eggs from the farmer’s market over the weekend, or
even a tofu scramble). She gets ready for the day, excited to go to work at a place that
nourishes her and where she enjoys what she does. She drops her children off at school and
drives to work listening to some of her favorite music. Lunchtime arrives, and she prepares a
meal that she believes would really nourish her (perhaps it is some sushi and a bowl of fruit
for dessert). She takes time not simply to eat but also to rest and concentrate on the novel
she’s been working on. She returns to work, spends time with her colleagues, and completes
her chores. She goes to the gym for the day, climbing the rock wall and taking a yoga
session with pals. She had a lovely time and then returns home to cook a meal that she
believes will feed her family (maybe grilled chicken, broccoli, and a side salad that the kids
helped prepare). They all sit down to eat supper and talk about their day. When bedtime
arrives, Mom has enough stamina to read to the kids before retiring to bed to read for
herself.

Can you tell the difference?

You don’t attempt to live a fed life; you simply do. When individuals “attempt to become
healthy,” they identify it with doing something they don’t love, which makes it unsatisfying
and unenjoyable (and, more often than not, unsustainable.) A nourished existence does not
come in one size fits all. You and only you know what it looks like. There are several
interpretations of what it means to live a fed life. To identify yours, you must first sit down and
consider what is most important to you. A nourished existence might include eating meat,
not eating red meat, only eating farm-raised/hormone-free meat, not eating any meat, and
eating vegan (to name a few). It might imply that you have fully eliminated refined sugar or
that you have reduced your intake. You may also eat gluten-free, organic, wheat-free,
dairy-free, or fast once a month. You might spend hours at the gym every day or you may
never set foot inside one again. The idea is that there are hundreds of different ways to live a
nourished life—your task in this lifetime is to seek out what nourishes you. Designing and
living a fed life entails much more than eating low-fat and performing the exercise you
despise.

Doesn’t it sound so simple? Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people, will begin diets
on January 1st, only to be disappointed, frustrated, and depressed by their lack of
(long-term) results. Don’t be lured by the “healthy” hype! Make a list of things you enjoy in 20
minutes. Determine what excites you and then pursue those interests. It’s funny how, once
you start living a nourished life, you’ll find yourself making more and more nourished choices
regularly. There is an undeniable snowball effect, and once you get started, you will find
yourself in a very different (and nourished) place very soon. So, how do you define a
nourished life? What kinds of hobbies do you want to pursue? Or perhaps friends? Or
perhaps a job? Consider this carefully, and keep in mind that life is about creating yourself,
not finding yourself. Seize the day.

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