I was once asked to do an interview with a focus on what overworked and overstressed people could do to stay healthy. After giving it some thought, I decided not to do the interview because I didn't want to send the message that people can experience their best health by following a few tips on diet and lifestyle without regularly ensuring adequate physical and emotional rest.

Being overstressed and under-rested and thinking that there are a few simple steps that can be followed to stay healthy brings to mind the following thought:

It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law. - Cecile B. DeMille

Over time, a healthy diet, high quality supplements, and a smorgasbord of natural therapies cannot undo damage that is created by chronic stress and lack of rest.

A fundamental law of health is that our bodies need regular physical and emotional rest to heal itself from the rigors of everyday life. When we repeatedly disregard this law, we can expect to succumb to illness and/or injury.

With all of that said, I understand that there are life phases and circumstances that make it diffcult to get proper physical and emotional rest. During such times when you simply don't have the luxury of getting adequate rest, you might consider following one or more of the tips below:

If your schedule allows for only a few minutes of pause during the day, spend those minutes in complete silence with your eyes closed.

Closing your eyes can dramatically enhance the quality of rest that your body experiences. If you find it hard to believe that closing your eyes can help you rest, take a minute to observe the eyes of someone watching television. Simply put, processing our world through vision is enervating, and giving this pathway a rest, even for a few minutes, is restful for the entire body.

Keep a large container of field greens in your refrigerator. Include generous amounts of these greens with every meal that you eat.

Eating fresh, raw, green vegetables will provide you with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and phytochemicals, all of which can help offset the negative health effects of being overworked and under-rested.

Whenever possible, choose mustard over mayonnaise.

Most commercial varieties of mayonnaise utilize inexpensive vegetable oils like soybean or canola oil. These oils can contribute to an imbalance of fatty acids in your tissues.

Cheap vegetable oils are also likely to contain large amounts of damaged polyunsaturated fatty acids which can cause direct injury to your tissues.

Even the least expensive varieties of mustard usually contain little but mustard seeds, turmeric, vinegar, and salt. While large amounts of vinegar and salt should be avoided, the amount of vinegar and salt found in modest portions of mustard are far less likely to cause health problems over the long haul vs. cheap vegetable oils found in mayonnaise.

Even better choices than mustard are hummus and avocado slices.

Start your day with a green smoothie.

All you need are fresh green vegetables, fresh fruit, and a strong blender.

Green smoothies are extremely easy for most people to digest. They provide healthy carbohydrates, fiber, and plenty of antioxidants. These features make green smoothies an excellent fuel of choice to begin your day. When pressed for time, take your green smoothie to go in a thermos or mug and sip as you travel and work.

Get into a habit of making a large pot of healthy soup over the weekend and split it up into smaller containers that can be stored in the freezer.

Before heading off to school or work, transfer one container from your freezer to your refrigerator so that it's easily warmed up for dinner when you get home.

For a bunch of healthy soup ideas, please feel free to view:

Healthy Soups Recipe Archive

If a busy schedule isn't allowing you regular time to exercise, aim to walk part of your way to school, work, or home. If you take a bus or subway, get off one or two stops before the stop closest to your destination and walk the rest of the way. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes to provide all of your major weight-bearing joints optimal support.
If you have to take an elevator or escalator at work or at home, consider walking up a few flights of stairs instead.

If you have time to watch a little telly in the evenings, stretch all of your major muscle groups while you're being entertained.

Ideally, these tips are best incorporated into a lifestyle that allows for optimal physical and emotional rest. Your body is always at work to keep itself well; the key is to give it the rest and resources it needs to keep itself well over the long haul.

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