The Art of Wellness

Wellness can take on many meanings; so, what's the secret to health and wellness?

What does wellness mean exactly? Is it practicing a sustainable lifestyle? Eating the right foods? Resting your mind? Engaging in physical activity? Investing in clean beauty products?

The practice of wellness sounds exhausting right out of the gate and doesn’t seem all that stress free.

I’ve always pride myself in living a healthy lifestyle, which, for me meant getting plenty of exercise, eating the right foods (which also includes staying away from alcohol), practicing that whole work life balance which everyone talks about. I can safely say that I’ve tried most wellness fads that have come and gone in the last few years.

With all the wellness practices integrated into my lifestyle, I sat back and waited for the benefits to roll in. I soon realized that I was packing my day with working out and stressing about whether each meal broke any cardinal wellness rule. The truth is, keeping up was exhausting and slowly burning a hole in my bank account.

Beauty win: A jade roller which was easy on the wallet.

While exercising yielded the best feeling for me (I felt energized and was generally in a better mood), everything else just fed into my anxiety. I decided to “DIY it” in hopes that I would save some money and have control of the ingredients that went into my beauty products. However, without stabilizing agents, it has the shelf life of no more than a few days. I was determined and committed to finding a better way. There’s so much out there after all! Maybe a wellness summit is the way to go….

When I heard that the Goop summit was coming to Vancouver, I couldn’t be more excited. In the infancy of the Goop franchise a few years ago, I had the pleasure of trying their juice beauty line. Their goal to create an all natural line spoke to me and I’ve been an observant “Goopie” since then. It wasn’t long before I realized that maybe Goop is a now reaching the status of a luxury brand after I noticed the high price of tickets to the summit.

It was at this precise point that I decided to take a step back and reassess the paradigm of wellness.

Finding my way through the wellness noise

Once I let go, decided to listen to my body and did what made me feel good, everything seem to work out just fine. I wasn’t racing to keep up and finally practice the key to wellness. Here’s what I learned:

Listen to your body and mind. Do what feels good.

I stuck with what I knew made me feel good which was working out and decided to stick to whole foods that were fresh and not processed in any way.

Try: (Lagree West) A high intensity, low impact pilates training perfect for sculpting and toning.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

I still do cheat days once in awhile and indulge in pasta and cheese which are my achilles heels. Sometimes, you just need to do you and that’s okay.

Stay informed but don’t be obsessed with keeping up with the latest trends.

This is a hard one. There’s always better versions of anything that comes to the market and the clean beauty industry is flooding with competition based on the demand of consumers. Have fun with trying new things (ask for samples) but spending hours and all your money on a beauty routine is no way to live.

Look to spas as a source for wellness.

R&R Favorite: Fairmont Pacific Rim Willow Stream Spa.

Treating yourself to an all relaxing experience is much needed. I head to the spa once every few months to relax. It also doubles as a day long staycation. Spas such as the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver has also partnered with skincare lines such as  Biologique Recherche and Beauty Through Balance for a next level experience of wellness.

Understand and recognize variances when it comes to needs.

We all respond differently to things and depending on your age and existing ailments, this will change your wellness practices. There is no “one size fits all” solution. It’s a little bit of trial and error but try new things and stick with the ones that work well for you but recognize that this may change with time and refinements may be needed for best results.

Think long term.

If you can’t see yourself doing something long term, it’s not going to work. They call it wellness practice for a reason and being able to stick to something is key for results.

Cook book win: Clean Plate by Gwyneth Paltrow

Make your own food.

I like knowing what goes into my food but I also try to make cooking simple, delicious and healthy. This may mean prepping sauces and food ahead of time but the result is rewarding knowing that you’re investing in yourself. Lately, I’ve been trying recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, Clean Plate and the sauces are a must try! I also like to find new ways to enjoy what I like by substituting in healthier ingredients. I’ve recently been indulging in a healthy chocolate milk recipe which is dairy free, sugar free, soy free and gluten free. Stay tuned for the recipe in a future post!

Engage your mind.

It’s not just about your body. Your mind works in close tandem with your body for overall wellness. Take time to find what really feeds your soul whether it’s reading, meditating or time out with your girlfriends. Try something new each month to keep things exciting and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone.

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