Health is Wealth - How Diet, Exercise and Sleep factor into my routine for healthy living October 27, 2017

For many years, I have tried to be sensitive to my health and to do as much as I think is in my control to ensure a healthy life.

For some people defining success can be very quick and simple – lots of money, a top perch on the corporate ladder, a big house, fancy cars, etc, etc etc. This is typical for people who have embraced a materialistic lifestyle. In my opinion, these are also the people who are less happy because they measure themselves against the material possessions of others. After all, no matter how big a fish you are, there is always one bigger than you.

Maybe it is due to my mother’s advice – “Health is wealth” – or a realization that I need to be more focused on my health due to a lifestyle of heavy business travel and the demands of leading a high-growth global firm.

Over many years through my own trial and error, speaking with various people about their approach to a healthy life and keeping an eye out for the latest research, I’ve developed my list of “best practices” that I follow to try to avoid the hazards of a demanding work life and the natural process of aging.

It all started when I asked a doctor for some basic health advice. The answer was extremely simple and extremely profound - “maintain normal body weight.” Since then, I’ve developed my own approach to maintaining normal weight without going on diets, without counting calories, without any gym membership, and without using any devices such as Fitbit or other wearables.

My list of best practices can be grouped into three categories – diet, exercise, and some miscellaneous stuff.

Diet is by far the biggest component of maintaining normal body weight. A lot of the diets focus on eating particular foods (proteins, salads) and not eating other foods (carbs and fat). I believe that any diet that strikes of an entire class of food is neither healthy nor sustainable.

How much you eat (portion size) is more important. Eating sensible portions is rule #1 followed by eating “less” of the bad stuff – sugars and fat. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and like to have a dessert after my meal, but I balance this off by having only half of the normal portion (or even less) and savoring it to enjoy the taste for a longer duration.

When you eat smaller portion sizes you will need to snack between your meals. Snack on fruits (focusing on dark / deep colored fruits) and nuts – all natural stuff.

I avoid all packaged / processed foods such as drinks including soda’s, juices, chips, cookies, etc.

Someone once said to me “don’t drink your calories.” I don’t drink alcohol, and I also don’t drink sodas or any type of juice. Many juices available have added sugar (and goodness knows what else). Rather than juice, I recommend eating the fruit it comes from to get the full benefits of its fiber.

I also avoid fried items such as french fries.

There are two types of people – those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I’m in the former category and developing the above diet habits has been very easy for me. For those who live to eat this can be the most difficult part.

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