Top 8 Tips for a Wholesome Life
The hectic pace of life getting to you? Physique TV presenter Rachel Pether's been there and done that. She told us, "I have never been someone to take the easy path in life. My current workload is punishing – I’m lucky enough to be blessed with two careers: presenting the weekly news show What’s Up on Physique TV and working in an Abu Dhabi-based investment firm. I am also currently studying for two qualifications – to become a Chartered Treasurer and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). This means two things – I have no social life and I have little time to look after myself. I may not be a nutritionist or a fitness expert, but I do understand the difficulties of living healthy amongst all the other priorities in the modern world – juggling jobs, friends, families, socialising and hobbies."
The overriding rule, says Rachel, is to keep things simple. So how do you simplify your health routine to make it manageable? Here are her top eight tips to living a wholesome life, easily:
1. Watch what you drink
Fruit juices, alcohol, soft drinks… all these contribute (in some cases, heavily) to your recommended calorie intake, and even if you watch what you eat, you may not be able to shift the excess pounds if your beverage consumption is high.
2. Avoid the poison that is artificial sweetener
Last year I went on a diet that consisted only of giving up everything with the word “diet” in the title. I lost weight immediately and noticed an improvement in my skin tone, hair thickness and nail strength. Our body doesn’t know what to do with aspartame. Years of evolution have not taught it how to process such chemicals and the result is, literally, toxic. Avoid it!
3. Eat colourfully (but naturally!)
I had my teeth laser whitened a few months ago and it was only when I had to eat colourless foods for three days did I appreciate how hard it was to be healthy. I looked at my options, which mainly included white bread, white rice, butter and sugar, and panicked. Too vain to eat colourful fruit and vegetables and risk staining my teeth, I lived off bananas and rice cakes. Psychologically, I also find that eating coloured food makes me feel happier, but that might just be me.
4. Always have a salad in the fridge
Most Saturday nights I make a large salad, full of all the vegetables I love (painful to admit but I am addicted to Brussels sprouts), and snack on this when I feel hungry.
5. Make sure the first thing you put in your body each morning is good for you
When I start off the day with something unhealthy (a croissant on the go, a muffin from the cafe), I feel lethargic for hours. After sleep, your body is craving nutrients, so be kind to it and honour its needs.
6. Add green powder to at least one meal a day
I recently bought a kilo of spirulina powder online (the shipping charges were horrendous!) and add it to my meals whenever I can. I mix it into smoothies, yoghurt, even hummus. The taste is a little odd at first and people will wonder why you’re spreading green humus on your rice cakes, but it fills you up and is nature’s richest superfood.
7. Build fitness into your routine
When I don’t have time to do a proper workout, I’ll take the stairs up to my apartment. This is no mean feat, given that I live on the 43rd floor! It’s a great butt workout and requires very little time out of your busy schedule.
8. Always remember that you have a choice
You have the choice to go out or stay in; the choice to be miserable or happy; the choice to be healthy or unhealthy. I was walking around the supermarket the other day, it was crowded and there were lots of awkward trolley moments. I took a deep breath and reminded myself how lucky I was to be shopping in a convenient, air-conditioned store, full of abundant healthy food that I could afford, and my whole outlook changed. I was happy to be there. You have the choice to be happy, the choice to look after yourself, and you should. Change your mindset and you will change your life.
INFO: Rachel Pether presents the weekly show What’s Up on Physique TV, the region’s only health and fitness channel in Arabic and English. Born in New Zealand, Rachel has always had a (somewhat eclectic!) mix of passions for numbers, broadcasting and fitness. As you’d expect from someone who grew up in the great Kiwi outdoors, she's a fitness enthusiast. She played hockey at a national representative level in New Zealand, but these days prefers water sports such as kite surfing or paddle boarding.