In this podcast episode, I am talking to Esther Yukin and getting the best healthy lifestyle tips. Esther was an ER nurse and is now a stay-at-home mom of 4 boys and a holistic life coach.
In this episode, Esther helps break down how you can start living a healthier lifestyle with five simple steps. What I love the most is Esther likes to keep things simple.
Five parts to health
So when people think about health in this western world that we live in, we typically think of diet and exercise. And there’s nothing wrong with diet and exercise, but that’s not the whole picture. So if you think of a table or a chair that has five legs. We had one in the break room of the ER and one of those legs was off kilter. So you’d be eating your meal and somebody would lean on the other part of the table and the whole table would shift and it would just throw you off. Well that’s what your health is like if you don’t balance all five parts.
So what are these five parts? You are already familiar with three of them—mind, Body, and Spirit.
But the two that you may not be familiar with are diet and environment. You will find whole health when you balance these five pillars of health.
Esther uses the example of stress and how it affects the five pillars.
Maybe we have to work on stress. And for a lot of women, stress is a huge thing. So we work on their stress or maybe we’re not sleeping right?
Having chronic stress can impact your mind negatively. Stress makes it easier to develop bad moods and depression. This can lead to insomnia or a decreased amount of sleep.
If you continue to have unchecked stress, your body will suffer.
Chronic stress makes you more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Whether you pray, meditate, or do yoga, keeping your spiritual health is key. Maintaining your spiritual health helps keep you at peace.
With high stress, you can become easily agitated and more at risk for depression without the balance of your spiritual health.
Diet is more than what diet you prescribe, like paleo, keto or vegan. You want to pay attention to what foods you’re eating.
We look at the diet before bed. Like from supper time on. How can we change the diet so that you can sleep better? Because women who are short on sleep eat three about 300 calories more every day just because they’re tired.
This is one area in which I had to get Esther to spend more time. We have all heard about the mind, body, and spirit/soul balance.
Of course, diet is something, especially in the states, you hear about almost daily.
But what about the environment? Esther had to break this down a little more.
The environment that Esther shares are everything around you.
And so we look at the environment of their bedroom, like how can we facilitate sleep?
Are your lights too bright? Or is the room too warm or too cold?
These things play into an environment that affects the other five pillars.
My favorite example is when Esther talks about plastics.
Just the plastics in our environment, they are now calling them obesigens. Obese of course, coming from fat and -gen from genetic or from like genesis. So it starts the fat storage process. So when we are surrounded by plastics or when we store our food in plastics. When we microwave stuff in plastic. When we have plastic on our bodies while we’re sleeping, we are actually absorbing those plastics in the teeny tiny amounts. And they signal our hormones to tell us to store fat. So plastic is just one example in our environment that can screw up our body, our physiology.
So what does Esther suggest? Stick with natural products like cotton or wool in your clothes and sheets.
Stress is a common problem that moms face. But there are ways for you to manage stress better.
I have a free resource that anybody can grab it any time, and it is specifically about stress. It’s seven different strategies to soothe stress in 60 seconds or less.
I asked Esther to share one of her tips in the guide for soothing stress.
My favorite one is to breathe. Now that sounds silly because we’re always breathing. If you’re alive, you’re breathing. But there’s two different ways we breathe.
Deep breathing is an easy and effective way to decrease stress and feel more relaxed. You are probably wondering how you are supposed to breathe because you are breathing right now.
If you ever watch a little kid breathe, so I’m talking like baby or toddler, they are sitting upright. If they know how to sit, they’re breathing with their belly like they’re just totally unaware of how they look. They don’t care about their gut. They don’t care about anything. They’re just breathing how God created them to breathe and their belly is going in and out, in and out. If you look at an adult breathe, especially an adult who’s feeling stressed, their shoulders and their chest are going up and down quickly. So what you want to do is you want to switch back to that belly breathing.
Esther explains that breathing like this helps to massage the vagus nerve.
This nerve has many roles, including controlling muscles in the throat, regulating your heart rate, and keeping your GI tract in order.
This long nerve down your spine can also send signals back to your brain to calm down.
Anytime you feel that stress level going up, you can instantly start to calm the physiologic symptoms or signals in your body that tell you to relax.
Esther busts a common myth about having a healthy life
So I had to ask Esther what myth she wants to dispel about living a healthy life.
The biggest myth is that it’s complicated and it takes too much energy. It’s not complicated. But that’s the myth that we all believe … The fact is is that health can be simple. When you look at it from a whole person perspective, body, mind, spirit, diet and environment. There are always simple things you can do to get healthy. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
So having a healthy lifestyle can be simple and easy.
What diet should you stay away from?
I had to ask Esther about diets and fads.
Because she likes to keep things simple, I figured she had something great to share about what diets or fads to avoid. And she sure didn’t surprise me.
And I would say all of them. Because a diet or a fad isn’t long term. And when you do something, even if it’s going to work for longterm, if you do it with a short term mentality, it’s going to backfire.
Esther used a great example to drive home the point with her husband.
Esther has smoothies every morning, and her husband decided to have shakes in the morning too, but only to help him lose weight.
He was successful and lost weight by drinking shakes.
However, once he was done losing weight and got the results he wanted, he reverted to the diet and habits that he once had. As a result, he gained all the weight back in months.
So for diets and fads just don’t do them as a diet or fad. You need to change your entire lifestyle. And so does that mean you can never have a donut again? Well no. That would be silly. You have to work it into a livable lifestyle. So I think that’s what I would caution people to stay away from is short term solutions because short term solutions don’t really work.
Esther’s simple healthy lifestyle tips that you can implement now
So now we know that diets are something we should avoid, but implementing a lifestyle for a long-term healthier life.
You may be wondering how to get started. Or what first step should you start taking?
My number one tip for anybody who wants to take that small step to improving the lifestyle is increase your vegetables. You want to get to a place where eventually you’re having like half your plate at your meals is full of veggies because that is an ideal way to eat.
Vegetables contain many of the nutrients that we need to sustain a healthy life and body.
Increasing your vegetables reduces your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Plus, vegetables are usually low in fat and calories and fill you up quicker than a bag of potato chips.
- Work to keep the five pillars in balance—mind, body, spirit, diet, and environment.
- Breathe with your belly to help reduce stress levels.
- Having a healthy lifestyle is not complicated.
- Avoid diets and fads as they are only short-term solutions. Make long-term lifestyle changes.
- Eat more vegetables!
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Guide to soothing stress
- Esther on Instagram – @esthery.rn
- Esther Facebook page – @thewholeyounurse
- Weekly Planner + Meal Planner
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