Healthy Living How To: 10 Things You Can Do Today

When we are unhealthy, many times our symptoms manifest themselves in our physical body in the form of weight gain, headaches, back pain, muscle aches, joint pain, exhaustion, fatigue and disease. Sometimes our symptoms manifest in our mind, with excessive worry, anxiety, stress, negative thoughts/attitudes, low self-esteem, complaining and perfectionism. While other symptoms manifest in our spirit resulting in a lack of joy, peace and calm, feelings of discontent and restlessness, as well as uncertainty and unforgiveness.  It wasn’t until my own health went awry, that I had to examine what being healthy really meant.

What I discovered was my mental and spiritual health were not exclusive of my physical health and in order to be truly healthy all three had to work in harmony. Living healthy in mind, body and spirit is what Healthy Living How To is all about.

10 Things You Can Do Today

to live healthy in mind, body & spirit in an unhealthy world


1. Read the Bible

God has provided us with an “owner’s manual” that tells us how to operate the human body. That manual is the Bible, a book that contains instructions for proper maintenance. Although it isn’t a medical text, it is God’s Word, and in its pages He reveals many basic principles for good physical, mental, and spiritual health.  God is the Great Physician, He knows everything about us and He’s provided the necessary keys for good health. The choice to obey His Word and reap the resulting benefits is ours to make. (source:www.gotquestions.org)

“85% of Americans say they are Christian. 16% say that they read the Bible every day, 21% say they read it weekly, 12% say they read the Bible monthly, 10% say less than monthly and 41% say that they rarely or never read the Bible.” (source:www.centerforbibleengagement.org)

2. Pray
Prayer has a profound influence on health. People who pray daily have been found to have lower stress hormones which results in aging well, living longer and being able to handle adversity better. People that believe in God and pray consistently are happier and have a better quality of life. God gave us the gift of prayer so that not only could we talk to him, but so we could heal our bodies and better cope with the stresses of daily life. Through our prayer we can learn patience, forgiveness, hope, love and true happiness. (source: David Maillie)

“For this reason, those who have witnessed its phenomenal results encourage prayer and spirituality as important aspects of the healing process.” ~Cracking the Metabolic Code

3. Be Thankful
Gratitude is the forgotten factor in happiness research. Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful. Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods, are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated and are less envious of others. (source: University of California Davis Research on Gratitude and Thankfulness)

“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish positive experiences, have better health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” ~Harvard Medical School

4. Forgive
We are imperfect beings. Everyone makes mistakes, says things they don’t mean and does things to hurt others. People who are hurting, hurt others. When we harbor unforgiveness against others or our own self, we become unhealthy in mind, body and spirit. Unforgiveness is a stumbling block to healing and living healthy, it leads to bitterness and resentment. To forgive is to let it go. It is not a feeling but a decision, a choice. Unforgiveness is driven by selfishness.

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.” ~Author Unknown

5. Think and Say Things on Purpose
We must realize and understand the power carried by our thoughts and words. They’re so powerful that they can bring either blessings or curses into our lives, depending on their nature. Our thoughts and words are like the rudder of a ship—they may seem small, but they affect the very direction of our lives. A negative mind produces negative words and, consequently, a negative life. We must choose life generating thoughts. When we do, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow. (source:www.joycemeyer.org)

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.” Henry Ford

6. Sleep
7-9 hours of sleep is essential for your brain and your body. Sleep is involved in rejuvenating every cell in your body. Sleep deprivation is hazardous to good health and puts you at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, Depression, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and Obesity. If you want to have glowing skin, high energy, a good mood and stable weight you need sleep.

“When the people slept only five and half hours, they consumed an average 221 more calories in high-carbohydrate snacks than when they got eight and half hours of sleep.” ~American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

7. Eat Real Food
The most powerful medicine you take isn’t found in your medicine cabinet but in your kitchen. Food has the power to heal, it also has the power to harm. Conventional nutrition advice is steeped deep in food politics, agribusiness and now the pharmaceutical industry. Mounds of peer-reviewed research contradicts the decades old advice that carbohydrates are healthy and fats are dangerous, however, the USDA food pyramid lives on. A healthy body thrives real food; meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, full-fat dairy, red wine and dark chocolate and avoid grains, vegetable oils, sugar, and processed foods!

“Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” ~Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.)

8. Exercise
Want to combat depression? Exercise. Want to lower your blood pressure? Exercise. Want to prevent bone loss? Exercise. And on and on the list goes. Exercise has been proven over and over to be a necessary part of robust health. Most experts will agree that consistent light to moderate exercise can help alleviate mental and emotional health as well as have a positive impact on your physical health.

“Physical exercise acts like a natural wonder drug for the brain.” ~Dr. Daniel G. Amen

9. Serve Others
The easiest way to take your mind off your problems is to serve others. When you serve others it brings perspective and appreciation to your world. It doesn’t require much to serve others, it can be as simple as smile to volunteering your time for a cause. We are all given gifts by which we are called to serve others with.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

10. Surrender
In every situation and circumstance we are called to surrender. Identify what you have control over (thoughts, attitudes, words, actions, reactions) and what you don’t. Determine what you can change and what you can’t. Start working on what you can change. The rest you let go. Surrendering is not giving up, but quite the opposite.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” ~Reinhold Niebuhr

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Comments

  1. Shantel Isidore says

    Good morning,
    I just read 10 things you can do today and it just spoke volumes to me. I have been kn this journey to a healthy lifestyle for years and for some reason I have always allowed life to steer me away. Yet the yearning has never left. This just gave me what I really needed to starting over and embrasing all aspects of wellness. I have not succeeded with this in the past because I would do one or two out of the 10. But now with a better understanding I am ready to move forward. Thank You

  2. Daniel B says

    Greetings Vanessa,

    I am curious if you have any experience with folks who have Fibromyalgia and/or Arthritis?

    I am 35 and my parents are in their mid 50s and we all have both of the issues stated above. I am personally sick and tired of the pharmaceutical companies getting rich off of selling people on medications that have far worse side effects than the benefits they offer (and quite often not working at all). I would like to try and find a more natural approach to healing the body through natural substances and exercise which specifically help in dealing with inflammation and pain.

    I completely agree with eating real foods, as we were designed to live off of fruits and vegetables and naturally raised meats, and not designed to eat garbage that has lead to America’s insane morbid obesity rate.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Daniel

  3. bri says

    I am so excited to have found your website. I came across it after a link was posted on the baked boiled eggs on my facebook. Then I read this article on 10 things you can do today for healthy living and I was shocked (but mostly excited) to find a fellow christian who eats the way I do (grain free, no toxic oils, low carb and real food! :) Yes! Looking forward to learning from you

    • Linda says

      I too find Healthylivinghowto my go-to place! It is refreshing, education and spiritual! Vanessa is as authentic and heart driven as they come! For me these 10 things you can do are life giving! It is such a joy to come to this site daily and find hope and focus to get healthier everyday, in every way… Body, mind, and Spirit!
      Thanks Vanessa!

  4. says

    Thank you Vanessa. Great read and reminders of what is most important AND easy to do, IF we just take the TIME to do it! I just found you and your site, listened to your recording this morning. Very insightful, especially re: Adrenal Fatigue. I’ve often wondering if that’s what with me. I’m thinking yes. I will visit and revisit often. Feel free to visit my site too, just to drop by… Take good care! I’m so happy for you!

  5. ELSA JACOB ALEXANDER says

    Dear vanessa,
    i was so blessed by reading your articles about health.i suffered very similar even worse crisis years back and i am still recovering from it.one thing i found God is my great physician and He came when i was dying , i repent and received His forgiveness .He opened my eyes to what to do about my health and He did it an d even He used people like you in my life .i prayed a lot and now even my family started eating healthy,His word is true By His stripes we were healed.
    me and my husband migrated from India .we are missionaries and still we have work back in India and we pastor a church in Irving ,Dallas.
    May God bless you saying truth about about the divine health where many people are afraid to say.
    May God bless you
    Jesus reigns
    elsa

  6. Linda says

    Good Morning, Vanessa! Don’t think I have told you in my past posts how much I love,Love, LOVE these 10 things you can do! I live them so much that I posted them on the bulletin board in my adult Ed classroom. I have had an ear full of “what I can’t do” and my list would be longer! :) what we all need to focus on is what we can do…. And as God for the grace to “Just do it”!
    I am grateful that you are my encourage from the Father of all encouragement, saying, “Linda, you can do this!” Love ya!

  7. Shelia says

    Thankful for finding your site today…..have been struggling with some things and your words have helped me see a different side… God bless you

  8. says

    This is wonderful! So glad that I found your blog and facebook page! You are a blessing!

    Ann

    PS it is so refreshing to see other Christian’s help people to lead a healthy happy life, one that is filled with God’s glory and not afraid to speak it!

  9. Maureen says

    This is awesome! I found your site through Google while searching for a sweet potato chip recipe and was surprised that the first things on your list for “Healthy living” are read the bible, pray and be thankful! What a great witness to everyone!
    Thank you!

  10. melissa says

    I am so happy that i found your website. I was browsing through and saw this article on ten things u can do today& am so grateful i did. This is what i needed to read tonight. God is so good. I am taking steps to get my life back on the right track. It is a process & will take time but keeping faith :) I am excited to read other articles on your site! Have been trying to cut out sugar but it seems to be inevrything! Ive read some things on stevia. Does it taste like sugar?

  11. Robin Blair says

    So glad I found this….just followed you on Pinterest as well,
    What a wonderful list! I try to live by these also….Reading it here is inspiring!
    Thanks! :)
    Robin

  12. Emel says

    Wow, what a blessing to read your 10 things for your overall health (mind, body, and spirit. I was also blessed by your article regarding melasma. I have suffered with this condition for about ten year and look forward to getting rid of it.

    Again, thank you!

  13. Gen says

    After leaving an immensely stressful job (for a much more sedate position elsewhere) and cutting my working hours down by one less day a week, I find that I have gotten so stressed, and so physically tired and achy, that I am about to give up even trying to live healthier. I’ve known for a long time (my own “gut” feeling) that I have adrenal fatigue. The kind of long-term, immense stress that I was under and the symptoms that I have, I just know. I also know that I’m dealing with hormonal issues from my newly discovered walk with menopause. And I know that I have five benign thyroid tumors that act up at times. I also know that I have yet to find a physician that has a clue as to how to treat the person as whole and with something other than pills. So, I feel about ready to throw in the towel so to speak and think, “Well, I guess I might as well say this is me…it doesn’t get any better than this and it’s all down hill from here”. But I turn 52 years old in just over two weeks time. If I am blessed to turn 53, I would love to do so in a much healthier body physically and emotionally. Finding your website and your inspiring words almost makes me think that maybe I should try one more time. I want to be the best 52 I can be. I don’t know where to start. But I want to try. And maybe that’s as good a place to start as any.

  14. Camille says

    I just came across your site today and am intrigued. I am having my daughter try a detox bath tonight. I have two questions: I read part II of Detoxification, but still wonder how the detox bath works. Does the bath cleanse your liver? AND Why do you say to “avoid grains”?

  15. Alison says

    Now that my husband is willing to try a low carb way of eating for one month. My next challenge is coming up with a variety of tasting dishes to cook. Unfortunately, I am not very creative in the kitchen and the family schedule (2 teenagers) doesn’t allow for lengthy food prep sessions.
    What recipes would you recommend for lunch & dinner?

  16. Darlene Walters says

    I began the low-carb lifestyle 28 days ago after a Nurse Practioner recommended I try it. (I’ve tried EVERY diet you can think of but could not stay on it—I now know it was due to an extreme carb addiction. I just couldn’t conquer it and it was effecting my health. All my blood work numbers were high, blood pressure was high, and I was on the way to diabetes and I am sure a heart attack/stroke).
    I am reading, searching, and learning all I can about the low-carb lifestyle and what a blessing that God lead me to this website!!
    Thank you for being there!!!!

  17. Dana says

    I’ve seen your information quite a bit on pinterest, and I follow you on facebook, but until just now, I’ve never read the “about you” section of your site. When I read the “10 things…” portion, I was pleasantly surprised, and incredibly thankful!!
    I think I get caught up in looking at recipes, and forget to read the other info. But….WOW….I am thrilled to find that you are a believer in Jesus Christ!! It warms my soul to know that you aren’t just putting info out there without a purpose behind it, and you also have a purpose for living. It’s just all very cool. Thanks :)
    I have a long story, but I’ll keep it short…I used to work out and eat healthy…then I got married (at 45). I’m 50 now…almost 51, and I’ve had a TON of health issues the past 5 years…totally related to the foods I ate….they threw my body into all kinds of trouble (metabolic issues, hormonal issues, auto-immune issues). It’s crazy…you get married, and start eating junk (???). Yep, that was me in a nutshell. Everything I knew, kind of flew out the window. Additionally, a lot of other things happened over the 5 years…(I made an out of State move and job change [due to getting married...we met on line...long distance romance...christiancafe.com], issues with his ex-wife, received emergency custody of his boys, became a full time mom at 46 to tween boys, a year long court case, I quit my job to be a stay at home mom, started feeling sick and tired ALL the time, gained 40 pounds in 3 months, my elderly mother with dementia moved in with us, husband lost his job due to a corporate downsize, had to move out of State for a job, etc., etc., etc.,) BUT…God is good and faithful as always!!!! I’m on the right track now (gluten, grain, and sugar free), and I’m working on the dairy free part. I use bio-identical hormone cream, and that helps a lot as well, and take good vitamin supplements. My husband and I started working out with a trainer in June, and have lost some weight and gained some muscle. What is really strange is that I am only down 11 pounds, but I am down 3 sizes!! In my past life (single life), 10 pounds was a size. This has been really strange, and unlike any other weight loss I’ve had. I’m sure it is a combination of functional training and primal eating.
    Anyway, your information is invaluable, and I look forward to reading more, and learning more.
    Thanks so much for putting it out there!!
    Dana

  18. Tama says

    After years of invasive measures by Western medicine to solve my issues with infertility, I was fortunate enough to meet a wonderful herbalist. In a few short weeks, she identified the underlying problem as adrenal fatigue. And within six weeks, I was pregnant. The doctors had given up on the problem saying that we needed to adopt. Imagine the surprised look on the face of NP when she saw me with my first two children. This lady had performed along with her husband, an endocrinologist, nine (yes, 9) intrauterine inseminations and a GIFT procedure. Unsuccessfully. Her reaction was that the children looked so much like my husband and me that she knew they were not adopted. She still refused to believe that an herbalist was able to solve problems that modern medicine could not.

  19. says

    Hi Vanessa,

    Several months ago I came across your short bio through Kristin Michaelis’ site Food Renegade. It was listed with many others in connection to the Healthy Life Summit, and for some reason stuck with me. I am glad to have finally followed up and find your site.

    Through a great deal of reading on food, and due to diagnoses of cancer (thyroid for me, testicular for my husband, both from which we have recovered and currently remain cancer-free), I have continued to make changes in the food I cook at home for my husband and I, and to be mindful of what we choose when eating out. However, we still struggle with different intolerances (wheat for me, dairy for my husband) and the issues (psoriasis for me, digestive for my husband) that can occur when we eat those foods, even though we are eating organic, raw, or non-hybridized versions of dairy and wheat.

    Recently I came across a program called the Whole30 which essentially cuts out all grains, dairy and any form of added sugars for 30 days, and we are planning on following this program starting just after the first of the new year (2014) to see if that helps us feel better and deals with some of the issues we still experience. This is a big step for me as I love to bake with grains (both gluten-containing and gluten-free). Nonetheless, we are willing to undergo a “fast,” as it were, to see what transpires.

    That being said, going completely grain-free isn’t something I’m convinced of (at this point) as necessary in the long-term, because I believe God made those foods for us to consume when properly prepared, and because I also believe there is a spiritual component to healing that can perhaps restore a damaged digestive system so that removing a food group isn’t necessary (at least that’s what I’m hoping for).

    I think this list has some great, balanced wisdom when it comes to healing, and again, am glad to have found your site. Thank you for sharing!

  20. Nancy S says

    I can start with these ten things. My health is spiraling downhill. I can change things, I just know it. I’m going to keep looking here for help. Thank you!

  21. Anna E. says

    Your words to build a healthy life for me and my family for the New Year! I’m ready and your words motivated me! Thank you for ALWAYS being positive and for helping your readers as we start a new path to healthy living.! Blessings to you Vanessa! Keep up the positive posts, So many readers still learning and making healthy changes to last a lifetime! Here’s to 2014!

  22. Jenni says

    Just discovered your blog today through a google search on “melasma”. Thank you so much for your insight and willingness to share your experiences! This has really prompted me to take steps to reduce stress and address my long-time suspicion of adrenal fatigue. This particular “10 things” post is a great reminder for me. I look around me at all the things that will take a LONG time to change, but these for for this moment. And as much as I may need a doctor or lifestyle changes, in the end the grace of God’s rich blessings in Christ is what will bring true and eternal healing. Thank you!

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