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America’s Healthy
Cooking Teacher

The Art of Living Well

Food is merely the foundation upon which we build the rest of our lives. We live in a world where it is quite difficult to maintain a natural balance. Everything around us pushes us to work harder, make more money, move more quickly. Even our leisure time is frenetic with activity.

Think about how you feel when you take a holiday to a beach or camping. By returning to natural surroundings and rhythms, the body is allowed to shift into a more natural way of being. That’s why even a weekend away, with no agenda, is so incredibly refreshing. If we observe nature, we will notice that she is wiser than us. She maintains periods of activity and periods of rest in perfect balance.

I am not, by any means, suggesting that we all vacate our lives, move to the country and accomplish nothing. I am suggesting, instead, that we strive for a bit of balance in our lives--which we take care of ourselves, so that we can accomplish our goals and realize our dreams.

A bit of natural balance goes a long way in keeping us vital...here’s ten tips to get you started.

1. Try to retire before midnight and rise early in the day for the most restful sleep.

2. Try to get outdoors each day, regardless of the weather.

3. Keep your home environment clean and orderly. Orderly surroundings make us feel more calm and safe, while a chaotic home agitates our frazzled nerves. Think of your home--be it simple or palatial--as your sacred haven.

4. As much as possible, utilize natural materials in your home, like cotton sheets, pillowcases and towels and natural carpeting and flooring. Use stainless steel, earthenware or cast iron cookware. Avoid aluminum and non-stick pots and pans for your cooking. Bring nature into every aspect of your life.

5. Open the windows every day, if possible. Even just a crack in a window or two, for ten to fifteen minutes each day, will freshen and enliven the air in your home.

6. Place several green plants throughout your home. They freshen the air in our homes and enrich the oxygen content in the air we breathe.

7. If you work on a computer, keep a green plant close by to enrich the oxygen content of the air. Plants will also help you to stay a bit more hydrated, as computers make us feel dry and tired.

8. Take a break. If you are working at a desk or at a computer, take a stretch break for about ten minutes every hour or two. This will prevent tight back muscles and stiff joints, re-focus your energy and keep you from feeling exhausted. And if you are on the computer for long stretches, be sure to sip water to stay hydrated.

9. Exercise at least four days a week, but five is better to achieve your best overall health and radiance.

10. Be grateful for your life and all that it entails, even your difficulties. Show gratitude for the many blessings you have--family, friends, neighbors, life and work, the food you eat. Each day, each breath we take is a blessing for which we must be deeply grateful.

And if you forget all of this--or feel that it’s just too much, simply smile and enjoy your day. That alone will change your life.

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