When you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We see someone's interpretation of health everywhere we look. Billboards plastered with rail thin models and magazines flooded with pictures of bulging biceps. Yet have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "Is this really an image of picture perfect health?" If you are like the majority of us, probably not. We simply accept that is how we should look regardless of the truth, because surely the gym rat bench pressing more weight than you can count is the epitome of health. Right? Wrong. 

We make the same mistake we made as kids. We judge a book by its cover. Someone along the way probably told you what was on the inside really counts, not the outside. This rings true even when applied to health. Compare an individual in a wheelchair to another who is a professional body builder. We commonly perceive the one in the wheelchair as less healthy. In this case, imagine the body builder has high blood pressure and high cholesterol which puts him or her at a higher risk for heart disease or stroke. While the person in the wheelchair eats healthy, gets plenty of rest, and continues to undergo physical therapy. Did your opinion of the healthier individual change? Sure it changed. Why? Because you understand that balance within the body is far more important than the outward appearance.

This is not to say models or body builders are unhealthy. It is simply examples to show how looks are deceiving. Most likely if you are living a healthy lifestyle, you will feel better and may even look like those models or body builders. I would like to propose a concept for those of you that have not successfully reached this goal or find yourselves on the weight loss trampoline. Up, down, up, down. This type of result is common as most diets are hard to maintain over an extended period of time. 

If you are like the majority of us and seem to only have 18 hours in the day, simple is good. The holistic approach to wellness is just that. Simple. Holistic care is not ground breaking news, yet so many seem to be missing crucial elements of health. In order to reach a healthy state, you need to consider all the factors. Do not isolate just one aspect of your life and believe it will produce the results you want. You will be sadly disappointed. Holistic incorporates all the facets of health and recognizes how they work together. Reaching health with a holistic mindset looks like someone eating proper nutrients, drinking lots of water, exercising regular, and taking much-needed time for relaxation. 

The first step to change is reflection. You need to realistically evaluate your current lifestyle to be successful. Do not become discouraged if your list of bad habits begins to mount. We are human, and we are on a journey that at one time or another has led us astray. This is perfectly normal and okay. The point is to apply what you are now learning. If you fall off along the way, dust yourself off and try again. It's your determination to keep trying that will prevail in the end. 

Keep in mind that small change is better. It can often be more manageable in our daily lives. These slight changes will look different from person to person. It may be as simple as taking the flight of stairs or parking farther out at the grocery store. Light exercise similar to these are almost unnoticeable in spending of your valuable time. Instead of hitting the snooze button three times, get up and take a twenty-minute brisk walk. Not only does this count as light exercise, it can also be therapeutic.

Speaking of therapeutic, it its essential for overall health and happiness to take time for yourself. It is easy to get caught up in the every day grind and forget to treat ourselves. If you enjoy a good book, make the time to catch up on your favorite characters. If you enjoy movies, catch an early show or dollar theatre if you have a hard time parting with the ticket prices. Regardless of what you love to do, you should take that extra time or little bit of money and relax. Don't give yourself guilt. I'm sure you deserve it, because everyone deserves to be happy.

Another change that will have a huge impact and you will barely notice is water. Ditch those sugary drinks for a bottle of water. Have you ever looked at the amount of calories you digest from your liquid intake? It's insane. So do yourself a favor and carry that water bottle around. You will thank me in the long run. Trust me. Getting me to drink water was like pulling teeth at first. Now that I have sucked it up, I feel much better. We could write an entire article on water alone and its many benefits. If you are not already doing this, get started now!

Drum roll for what you already knew was coming...nutrition. What can I say that hasn't already been spouted and twisted around? Listen, it's basic and please don't disregard what seems self-evident. Eat organic vegetables and fruits. Switch over to whole grains. Reduce your meat consumption. When you do eat a juicy steak, make sure it's grass-fed. Opt to buy the cage free eggs even though they cost a little more. It's better to pay a little extra now than increase your chances of heart disease, diabetes, or stroke to just name a few from eating lots of saturated fats. Do you know how much a bypass surgery costs? Hopefully not, and trust me you don't want to know. It's more money than you and I want to dish out. Before starting any new nutrition program, check with your doctor first. It is great if you can find out your food allergies and deficiencies or excess essential amino acids if possible. 

Remember, we want to change our lifestyles. Key word being lifestyle. It's clear that diet fads are temporary. Consider what you want, what you need, and what you are comfortable doing. It's about you. Go from there and use moderation as necessary.

 I would also like to recommend a great book that is an easy read and digs deep into nutrition. It is called, The Food Revolution by John Robbins. His father and uncle co-founded Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Company. You may have heard of their ice cream before. He walked away from a profitable and promising future, because he believed so strongly in nutrition. It is an extremely interesting and knowledgable book that has changed many people's lives.