Top five tips for living a balanced life

Dec 19, 2019

The term “balanced” has become the latest buzz-word in a digital world full of inspirational memes, and titillating taglines designed to make us feel a little better (or worse) about ourselves.

But what does “living a balanced life” mean, anyway?

It conjures images of perfect people breezily leaving their offices at 5:05 to partake in mindful yoga sessions before arriving at their immaculately styled, clutter-free homes, filled with clean-cheeked children, throw rugs and raw salads.

And while this is all well and good for those capable of keeping up an “Instagrammable lifestyle”, for the rest of us, finding this kind of “zen” on a daily basis is more than a little bit tricky.

So, here’s a thought… what if living “a balanced life” was just about indulging in guilty pleasures – the yins to your yang, the naughties to your nice – without the guilt?

We’re all trying so hard to “be good”, be balanced, and be perfect, that sometimes we forget how invigorating is to just be a little bit “wicked” every now and then!

So, with that in mind, here are our top tips for getting your balance back, guilt free…

Sleep in!

When you’re 16 it’s almost expected, when you’re 25 it’s acceptable, but when you’re 30 plus sleeping in is a big no-no! A social faux pas on par with forgetting your best mates third child’s birthday – not cool.

But you know what? Sleeping in is not only a wonderfully indulgent, absolutely free, and inoffensive way of getting a bit of balance back in to your life, catching up on your zzzzs over the weekend can also be good for you!

While the average adult should aim to get around eight hours of sleep a night, many Australians only get four to five a night during a busy week, which can lead to a number of health issues, such as insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The good news? A recent study published by the American Diabetes Association has shown that indulging in two nights of “recovery sleep” (10-12 hours a night) a week, can help in reversing the negative effects of short-term sleep restriction.

So, whether you go to bed early or get up late, enjoy your extra sleep this weekend – it’ll not only make you happier, it might just make you a little healthier too!

Pasta made good

Carbs have been given a pretty bad wrap in recent years and while there’s no denying eating pasta five nights a week will give you an unwanted caloric kick, the occasional bowl of pasta is something to be savoured, not shunned!

But pasta doesn’t have to be dripping in sauce and cheese to be delicious, some of the tastiest pasta dishes are the freshest.

If you mix your pasta with an equal ratio of blanched greens (asparagus, spinach, broccoli, snow peas), a delicious pesto made with good quality Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, it will not only be double the goodness, it will be fresh, crunchy, delicious and wickedly guilt free!

Netflix marathon

Who can resist indulging in a Netflix marathon every now and then?

With so many great shows coming out every year that are not only entertaining but also informative (who knew the Monarchy was so interesting?) it’s damn near impossible to turn the TV off when you’re faced with the dreaded “Next episode playing in…” button at 11pm.

But here’s the thing – sitting on your arse for three hours straight just ain’t that good for you!

So, to get the blood pumping and prevent “couch sores”, why not make your next Netflix marathon a mini fitness marathon too.

Next time you’re between episodes press “pause” and get your workout on.

We suggest the following exercises as a base line:

  • 20 push ups
  • 50 squat jumps
  • 20 sits ups
  • 50 star jumps
  • 20 triceps dips

Once you’re done, get up, drink a tall glass of water then, and ONLY THEN, press play, for a Netflix marathon minus the remorse.

Have your wine and drink it too

While most of us aim to have a few AFDs a week, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a glass of wine every now and then.

Not only is wine delicious, it’s also full of antioxidants and when consumed in moderation can be good for your health!

Looking for an even more guilt free wine drinking experience? Go organic!

The grapes that go into organic wine are produced without the usual harmful chemicals - often used in vineyards to keep disease and weeds at bay - which makes it good for you and good for the earth.

It’s also low in sulphites, so if you have sulphur allergies or aversions, or get a bit sniffily after drinking red, organic wine is the way to go.

Homemade burgers

Sometimes you just feel like a burger.

And you know what? We think that when you get that feeling, the only thing to do is eat one.

Forget the angel on your shoulder telling you it’s a bad idea, embrace the devil and just do it!

Now, you could go to a fast food restaurant and get a greasy drive through burger – no judgement here – but you know that you’re going to feel pretty average after you’ve scoffed it down and regret the whole thing.

Our suggestion? Make the ultimate burger at home.

Head to the supermarket, or your favourite fancy grocers, and buy all of the ingredients you need to make the perfect burger.

The springy bun, the best quality mince (mushroom or chicken), the meltiest cheese, the crispiest lettuce and all the delicious condiments.

If you’re going to indulge, do it right, and do it your way!