Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Balanced Life

I've been on a health kick. For over a year. Okay, actually it's more of a lifestyle. It's not a diet. Not a fad. There isn't a name and I'm not perfect at the whole thing. But it's working for me. I'll cut straight to the point and give you an idea of what my life was like until I started focusing on my health:
  • I gained 20 pounds after I got married.
  • I ate fast food almost daily.
  • After having graduated from college and getting married all within a month, I was stressed out.
  • I got a prescription of a low dosage anti-depressant.
  • I was constantly bloated, getting migraines, feeling exhausted and I was constantly sick.
Lovely, huh? I start to accept these symptoms as normal! Fast forward three more years. It's February 2012 and I'm at my wits end. As much as I was counting my calories and working out - I wasn't see any changes to my weight, mood or illness(es). I was tired of going to the doctor and buying all new clothes. I was visiting my sister (who at the time was 14) and she challenged me to go gluten-free for 2 weeks. She has celiac and thyroiditis and had to make major adjustments to her diet when she turned 12. After doing so, her eczema and other skin conditions disappeared. So I decided to do it too. And guess what?

  I started cooking at home (no more fast food). I got my energy back. I stopped getting sinus infections. No more migraines. 

 I was jumping for joy. The weight still wasn't coming off but I was so ecstatic about everything else.

Six months after going gluten-free and after months of research - I decided to go grain and sugar free for six weeks. All the weight that I had gained over the past 2.5 years flew off and I literally felt like a different person.

 So what's the point of that story? To convince you to take on the diet that works best for me? Not at all. That is my specific story and we aren't "one size fits all" when it comes to our health. We should all be investigating, experimenting and trying new things. Especially when it comes to the foods that we eat, the medicine that we take and the way we move our bodies.

 To better focus on your health - I thought I would share my favorite tools that I use daily to stay balanced while running my small business, traveling and blogging:


Obviously there are A LOT of foodie blogs. I could spend every day reading and browsing them all but there is only one that I probably visit multiple times a day. Elana's Pantry is my #1 most favorite blog ever (can you tell?) She has so many recipes that she has meticulously worked on until they are perfect. She has gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, paleo, egg-free, diary-free and never bakes with refined sugar. Because of her I am able to make scones, chicken parm AND dessert while sticking to the diet that works best for me.


I'm not athletic or competitive so I try to stick with a workout routine that works best for me. If I'm not at the gym doing a quick, intense circuit (I use Seconds as my time interval iPhone app and just do a set of high intensity workouts for 30 seconds and then I rest for 30 seconds) then I'll use Workout Trainer on my iPad at home. It creates a workout according to your preferred intensity or time restriction. And it's free!


I am so blessed to have someone like Mary in my life! Last month I was feeling so overwhelmed and attacked. She suggested that I start a devotional on my YouVersion Bible app called Business Matters: A Francis Kong Devotional. It's only 7 days but I've been so encouraged by it all. Apart of business, being content and thankful for the life that God has given me is enough to encourage my health journey.


Three things keep my mind pretty alert and awake during the entire day:
  1. SLEEP.
  2. Eating vegetables.
  3. Sudoku.
I truly believe that nutritional health is real. But we must take the first step and learn what that means for each one of us. Because of this journey, Mary and I actually launched our own health blog, Considering You. We'd love for you to stop by! What do you do to stay healthy? Are there any tips that have helped you while maintaining a busy life and schedule? 

Allie Lehman is a small business owner who solves problems through design and works with her clients to unify their brand. You can find her blogging over at Be Up & Doing where her goal is to create a community around ideas, faith and honesty. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her handsome husband and cutie pie cockapoo.

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