Is Living Healthy Living Well?

Dessert can be part of a healthy lifestyle
photo: Crystl
Living well and living healthy.  Are they the same thing? I think most people would say the answer is no.

And therein lies the problem.

Somehow, the word "healthy" has become synonymous with "deprivation."  In that context, it is no wonder that so many people decide to forgo a healthy life for one that is, ahem, a bit more fun.

Well, dear reader, I believe living healthy is exhilirating.  Here is my secret: you have to make your own version of the word "healthy."  You need to figure out what healthy means to you and make it work so that it is fun, exciting, and most of all sustainable.  My friends and family would quickly volunteer that I am a health nut, with weird and sometimes annoying quirks.  (I won't order chicken salad out because it always has too much unhealthy mayonnaise, and I would not walk into a fast food restaurant if my life depended on it).

But I've learned over the years that allowing some cheats makes life more palatable, and it certainly makes it easier to stay healthy.  Here is my list:
  1. I never drink coffee without half and half.  Never
  2. My favorite cheese is the gooiest, richest, brie there is: Fromager D'Affinois.  I eat it with crackers before dinner from time to time.  A girl needs to get in some calcium, right?
  3. Wine.  I enjoy red wine with my meal every evening
  4. Dessert.  I never eat sweets during the day, but I almost always end my dinner with a treat.  This has been a tradition for a long time, but now that dark chocolate is on the "good list", I relish in this indulgence with even less guilt.  I love biscotti with dark chocolate chips.  I'm also a sucker for LU Petit Ecolier dark chocolate European biscuits.  And my favorite summer dessert is a very berry focaccia.
  5. I exercise 5 days per week, but I don't sweat it if the workout is cut short due to my children's needs.  It's annoying, but it's life.  There's always tomorrow.
  6. If I don't feel like a traditional gym workout, I go with it.  A brisk walk with my daughter in the stroller is a nice alternative.  A bike ride through the reservation is a great family activity.  Practicing soccer with my kids keeps my heart pumping. I've found that switching up my routine on a whim keeps things fresh.  Stagnation is never good.
What are your cheats?

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