Lately I've been indulging in all sorts of very healthy food. The healthiest food there is, according to science. Do you know what that is?
Food that is fun, made with love and eaten in a relaxed atmosphere with good company. For example, this sandwhich, eaten on the deck with The Programmer, who made a surprise lunchtime visit. He was probably attempting to bust me lazing around watching Crime TV now that studies are over for the year (I move quick).
I've read a lot of research on health and longevity and noticed that most 'diet and exercise' books miss something molto importante. The longest lived and healthiest people don't just eat an unprocessed diet and keep moving. As The Okinawa guys found, health and longevity tends to occur within a strong social network that doesn't habitually 'do stress'. This is the forgotten factor, and the thing which attracted me to Health Psychology.
I'm not saying that a strong social support system will give you immunity to steady diet of hamburgers, but I do think that there is not much healthy about a supreme diet and strategic exercise plan if it only adds to the stress of daily life or isolates you at meal times. Your health and fitness habits should buffer the stresses of life, not add to them.
In order to really healthy, it may also be necessary to deal to life's stressors directly. In my case, I struggled with implementing my health and fitness plans and battled daily fatigue until I took action as regards a horribly stressful working situation. Closing my laptop and walking out was a radical and terrifying move, but also one of the best things I ever did for myself. Health is a synergy of factors which must be present in the right quantities - just like..... baking a cake.
Which is what I did yesterday. Maybe you can guess which cake it was and why I made it?
Here are some clues:
Result: Happy Food, a happy birthday to Mamasana and an encore blog appearance of Death by Chocolate. For certain, there are worse ways to go than with a face full of chocolate heaven.
I balanced it with a killer Bodyrock session before and an equally killer green smoothie this morning.
A question for you: what part does happiness play in your health and fitness plan?