During my many musings over this housework malarkey, I’ve frequently come to the following conclusion:
being in good physical condition makes the whole business much less of an issue.
For one thing, it takes considerable energy to keep a home. When you’re tired and exhausted, mustering up the energy to scale the Laundry Mountain might be a chore too far.
As well as affecting your everyday energy levels, health – or rather lack of it - can be very time-consuming. If you have to take to your bed for an hour/day/week, something else will have to give. And if your schedule is already pretty tight, there will be even less time than usual for domestic demands. (I know from experience that in times of illness – ironically, when you most need a healthful environment – housework can be one of the first things to slip.) So in a sense, being healthy, ie dodging the ‘inevitable’ common ailments, can also bring the gift of time. Prevention is not only more pleasant, it’s more efficient, too.
But wait, there’s more!
When you are healthy, your natural motivation, drive and joie de vivre are free to bubble forth and propel you toward the lifestyle you want. (A lifestyle where housework doesn’t get you down.) And when you are feeling great, minor niggles don’t seem to have quite the same impact. You’re less prone to losing your temper at the slightest abandoned sock or crumb-strewn worktop. Since the average household is likely to be chock-full of chores and ‘issues’, being able to cope more calmly with the minor stuff is a sure step toward the serenity of Domestic Goddessland.
So, in our bid to make peace with housework, (or at least to cope better with it), being fit and well is a powerful tactic. And the goodness doesn’t stop with your domestic stuff. Being in good health makes for a better life all-round; improved relationships (courtesy of reduced crankiness), better looks (health is a great beautifier), even your finances can benefit (when you’re in tip top condition, you’re well placed to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals.) All in all, good health can be the precursor for wealth, happiness and a happy home life.
So health is good for you. Admittedly, no news there. However, by considering how much easier life (and housework) can be, wouldn’t it make good sense to not simply hope for better health, but to actually be proactive about it? This has been my intention lately – to not just pop a few vitamins when I felt a snuffle coming on, but to actually put time and effort into my health and wellness. In a bid to conquer the domestic realm, achieve my dreams and rid myself of a minor health issue, I devised My Plan for Extreme Health.
Strike 1 is my new yoga regime, which you can read about here. My body says ‘Thank You’ just thinking about it. (Just as a tip: taking up yoga is easier if you surround yourself with books/pictures of beautiful, healthful figures in enviably flexible positions, à la Christie Turlington’s gorgeous book which resides on my bedside table.)
So that’s the exercise bit off to a good start. But as any female who has ever picked up a magazine will know, the essential two-pronged approached to the body beautiful (and by default, great health) also involves the dreaded D-word.
I have never been interested in diets. Technically, I have been on a diet since I was six months old when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. Having spent close to three decades on a regime as restrictive as a gluten-free diet left me reluctant to add further rules about what was allowed onto my plate. Yet, I have always been interested in healthy eating, And after my recent Six Senses detox, I came to the conclusion that strict eating plans where never going to work for me. (So time consuming. So complicated. So controlling.) Besides, as Gretchen Rubin so wisely says in her fab book, ‘What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” So instead of adopting any particular Diet, I have been on the hunt for nutritional tips and info about how food can actually help (or harm) us in our daily lives.
They say, when the student is ready, the teacher appears, which is how I believe the lovely Kris Carr found her way into my life. When her book, Crazy Sexy Diet landed on my desk, I felt both nervous and excited. I sensed this would be big. I was right. The book is an absolute treasure-trove of information about food, nutrition and diet. For every foodstuff mentioned, there is a wealth of science behind it. Kris explains how each morsel effects us on a cellular level – and it’s powerful stuff. This is not a book about getting a bikini body (though being lean and strong are by-products of the Crazy, Sexy Diet). This book is about empowerment. To know how your body reacts to what you put in it, gives you the power to make informed choices. You may choose to still eat/avoid certain foods anyway, but you make the decision from a place of knowledge rather than ignorance.
So, I think Crazy, Sexy Diet may well have changed my life. However, it is not an easy read. There are some challenging claims and suggestions in the book and I’m still undecided about some of them. But it certainly makes you think about what you eat and drink on a regular basis. It also inspires you to take your health into your own hands, by making changes to your diet that will set you on a healthier path. And a path that leads to a great bod, less illness and more vibrant energy sounds like a good route to me.
So, if you’re at all interested in better health, Crazy, Sexy Diet has my heartfelt recommendation, especially if struggle, despair and exhaustion are currently the order of the day. It may well be that food is the culprit. Happily, though, your kitchen may also contain the remedy. As a caveat, I would suggest that you make the easy changes first. There is a huge amount of information and you may feel that your entire diet needs an overhaul. (I certainly felt that and I used to think I ate quite well.) But as Kris says, any small change for the better is good news for your body and your health. So, my plan is to gradually reduce the bad while at the same time introducing some new healthful additions.
Could Green Smoothies and blue-green algae turn out to be the answer to my domestic prayers? I’ll let you know!