What does healthy mean to you? I mean... really think about it.
What does it mean for your diet? your exercise routine? your thought processes? your body image? your amount of rest?
I have found that a lot of people get so obsessed with one fitness/healthy lifestyle (paleo, vegan, crossfit, yoga, weight lifting, etc) that they don't realize how many different perspectives there are on being healthy. We're all so unique. We all have different schedules, different lifestyles, different goals, and different perspectives. And because of that, "being healthy" means something different to a lot of people. It's not a one-size-fits-all kinda thing.
Anyways, I'd like for this to become a series of interviews. I want to talk to people and get their perspective on what it means to be healthy for them. It's refreshing to hear someone else's perspective and be reminded that health doesn't need to be put in a box.
To kick us off, I interviewed the lovely Cass Lane of Happiness & Wellbeing Magazine (I've written several articles for this Australia-based magazine, and have grown to really admire Cass throughout that process).
Without further adieu, here's our interview:
1. Hey Cass, thanks so much for chatting with me. Let's just start off by letting you give a brief into for yourself.
Hello! My name is Cass, and I'm from Sydney, Australia. I'm the creator and editor of online wellness magazine Happiness + Wellbeing and the founder and copywriter of creative writing and branding agency, Wild Spirit Co. I wear many hats in my career but my true love is words. Delectable, inspiring, delicious, evocative words. Words to make you cry, words to make you laugh and words that unlock the secrets of the universe. Oh, and I'm a crazy cat lady and a soon-to-be crazy dog lady. That's pretty much all there is to know!
2. What does "being healthy" mean to you, and how do you live that out?
Great question! When my partner and I started Happiness + Wellbeing Magazine, we wanted the brand and content to be synonymous with glowing, radiant and bursting-with-awesomeness health. Nothing restrictive or prohibitive, just the type of health that made you feel well, well. And to this day I still view being healthy as being well in every possible way: a well body, a well mind, a well spirit and a well environment. What is healthy and well is different to everyone too! My vision of health is sleeping sweet, waking with muchos energy and going through my day feeling balanced and nourished. I encourage and live this out in my daily life by listening to my body, keeping tabs on my emotional state and switching my routine to keep both happy. Usually this includes journaling, meditating, daydreaming, eating nourishing meals and walking along the coast to wind down of an afternoon.
3. What are some of the most important lessons you have learned about health from your experience running Happiness and Wellbeing Magazine?
It doesn't have to be done today. Trust me - the world isn't going to end if you don't get to finish that proposal, write that email or design that newsletter. Focus on three things, do them well - there's that word again - and make your health and wellness a priority. This was a tough lesson for me to learn and I spent my first year in business ensconced in my office, refusing to come out until I'd 'finished' what I was working on. But when you run your own biz, there is no such thing as 'finished'! So make sure you keep your perspective straight and nurture a sense of balance.
4. What do you do to prepare for the week/prepare in advance?
Mondays are usually my creative days and this helps me refuel and recharge for the week ahead. I start off by tackling all of my emails and then I create an action plan for the rest of the week. Then I will check out and spend the rest of the day creating (art, stories, daydreams - whatever my soul needs). This is the one day of the week where I don't have to be anywhere and I don't have to do anything if I don't want to. I might plan our meals for the next few days, go grocery shopping or eat out in a cafe and people watch. Or I might not. I leave it up to my mood and trust that the day will progress as it needs to so I feel fulfilled and happy.
5. Everyone needs a support team. Who do you have in your life that helps to support your healthy living efforts?
Without a shadow of a doubt, my partner Brian. Before we got together my eating repertoire consisted mainly of two-minute noodles and chocolate bars. He's the cheerleader for my healthy lifestyle and makes sure I eat right (most of the time), move my body and take time out for me. Oh and if I lose too many hours in front of the computer, our cats ,Tank and Bear, make sure I know it! I can't tell you how many times I've lost a document because they've sat on the keyboard at the wrong time.
6. What are the major roadblocks/obstacles for you when it comes to health, and how do you overcome those roadblocks?
I'm a total junk food addict. So for me, it's about finding sweet treats that aren't soul-destroying and keeping my diet predominantly clean. We have take-out and junk food, but try to keep it as a treat rather than a daily decadence.
7. What is your favorite way to sweat?
Hiking, yoga + snowboarding!
8. Do you have a favorite recipe? If so, please share!
Sure do, and this one is easy! Chop up some strawberries and bananas, melt some raw cacao or dark chocolate (the darker, the better) and dip your fruit in the chocolate. Roll in your fave nuts and voila - one of the best desserts ever!
9. Any other healthy tips that you would like to share?
Pay attention to how you feel. Health isn't just about eating right and working out all the time, it's about how you feel too. Stress is such a massive thing for us these days and is insinuated in so many health concerns like diabetes and heart disease. But - stress is manageable! And research has shown that people who manage their stress and nurture a positive outlook are happier, healthier and live longer. So pay attention to your emotions and give them your time. If you're feeling crappy, there's probably a reason for it. Don't stand for a less than awesome life!
Isn't Cass such a pleasant, sweet, and healthy person! Her kind of healthy looks different than mine, but that doesn't make it any better or worse. Do you have any questions or comments for Cass? Leave them in the comment section below!
And stay tuned for more "My Kind of Healthy" interviews in the future!