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You can have it all and be healthy too

I come from a long lineage of women who once strived to push the bounds of societal norms, who said “I want it all” and questioned if they could truly manage to balance their career without compromising their personal values and priorities. Oprah once said “You can have it all, just not at the same time”. This resonated with me, and I was left questioning just which aspect of my full life did I need to neglect? For many of us, it’s a subconscious choice, the investment in our own health.

The real truth is that time is your most valuable resource. When you prioritize and focus on your personal health goals, you may just be able to have it all.  Rather than thinking about the next diet to plunge headlong into, switch your thinking to lifestyle changes that are sustainable for long term success.

Here are four major contributors to your wellness, listed in order of positive impact on your health. So if you had a lousy night’s sleep and wondering if you should still get up early to work out, you might be surprised at the answer.

  1. SLEEP | Our bodies heal only when we sleep. Getting at least seven hours each night, helps us regulate our blood sugar, think clearly and positively. Sleep deprivation causes us to self-medicate; when we feel exhausted our bodies crave simple carbs, metabolizing quickly to sugar to give ourselves an immediate mood and energy boost.
  2. FOOD QUALITY | Food is not just fuel. Foods break down into chemical messengers directing all kinds of signals in your body, to repair, to grow and to produce estrogen (please!). Whole foods, locally grown that are mostly vegetables and lean meats sans hormones and antibiotics, and carbohydrates that are complex–think 100% whole grains–is a solid go-to plan.
  3. FOOD QUANTITY | Keep your metabolism revving as high as you do! Eat small meals, with balanced macronutrients—start with protein and add complex carbs and healthy fats—and be careful not to go more than four or five hours between meals. Practice this, and you’ll help maintain your lean muscle, while training your body that it’s okay (ahem, more than okay) to let go of the fat.
  4. EXERCISE | Start with weight bearing exercises. You’ll build muscle, which boosts your metabolism, while maintaining bone density. A win-win as we age. And simply keep moving. Walking, hiking, swimming and dancing are great ways to exercise the most important muscle, your heart while also spiking your happiness quotient!

Start prioritizing these four critical lifestyle habits and you truly may have it all!

| Toni Julian is a northern California-based health advocate, accomplished motivational speaker, author of BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time,  and creator of Toni’s {Hot Protein Meals in Minutes!}. Visit her at

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