If perfect health were a Venn diagram, it would probably look something like this:
Photo illustration by Kory French.
People living the healthiest lives would be those existing in that magic sweet spot at the intersection of these three elements, but we all know that’s not such an easy target.
Kelly Famiglietti, an NCAA division one distance runner, current tri-athlete, mother of two and principal of KLF Wellness, knows a thing or two about what it takes to get to that sweet spot.
“I’ve seen people’s lives change,” she tells BTR over the phone from her home in Canada where she both lives and works, “It is something that kick starts them away from their current state and gets them feeling good about themselves.”
The road to a healthy lifestyle is never one-dimensional. Those who succeed at quick weight loss but fail in the long-term are usually those who focus too much on one aspect of health (be it diet, rest, or exercise) and ignore the other two.
“The people who want a quick fix or they want to lose weight really quickly, or want to look good in a bikini because they are going away on Spring Break, or are trying to fit into a dress for a wedding, don’t get the big picture. Most of the time, what people are really looking for is an overall health change,” says Famiglietti. “I don’t work with people who want that quick fix. It is all about taking a look at your whole lifestyle—choices, habits, everything.”
In 2011, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a bit of a paradox. On the one side, healthy living is easier than it has ever been—supplements, good, free information, rigorous workouts, 24-7 gyms and therapeutic mattresses all make access to healthy living nearly omnipresent. On the other hand, the temptation to plop in front of the television or computer, order unhealthy takeout, drive everywhere, get little sleep and live a stress-filled, heart-attack-paced life is higher than ever. For many of those Kelly has worked with, the motivation for the former is there even though they are living the latter.
In Famiglietti’s experience, it is the “kick start” that is needed most–and this is where she comes in—introducing them to a 9-day or 30-day cleanse that boosts both their body and their mind into a new realm of living.
“The cleanse in particular helps people get snapped out of the place that they’re in, and provides them with something fresh to get started on being motivated and inspired to being healthy and not have cravings. For the most part, for health and wellness, what I see is that people want: A) to have energy; B) to sleep well; and C) they want to be able to manage stress. The cleanse provides the solution to all three.”
Many of us are too busy to spend hours of our spare time investigating all the necessities and risks associated with poor eating habits. If you are anything like me, you’re just plain not interested. In preparing for this article, I asked many co-workers and friends about their dietary habits, and the general consensus out there is that everyone wants to ‘live healthy,’ yet most rely on the information they receive through others to do so. That’s why for me, having a specialist is the perfect solution—they provide all the vitamins, minerals, fibers, nutrients, etc. that I need, and can also be a coach who manages and supports my intake. It’s like having an investment advisor so you don’t have to spend hours of your day researching the market.
The North American lifestyle is not about patience and cultivation, it is about fast turnover and immediate results. The following point Kelly shared was mind-numbing:
“Number two—there are recent agricultural studies that are showing the depletion of nutrients in our soils because of environmental change, pesticide use, pollution, etc. There was one PhD. dissertation that I was reading from the US that proves in order to get the same amount of nutrients from one apple in 1976 one has to eat 12 apples in 2010 (in terms of nutritional value); one bowl of spinach in 1957 equals 51 bowls today.”
There are often times when I wish I had my own herb garden complete with fruit and vegetable rows where I was responsible for all my own groceries and could take the time to cook healthy, balanced meals three times a day. The reality is that I live in New York and work fourteen-hour days. Like many of you reading this, I’m sure, there are days where I forget to eat, or find myself chowing down a quick lunch on the A train between Chelsea and SoHo. If this sounds like you, and you want to start that road to healthy living (like most people do, as Kelly has said), take the plunge. You will be happy you did.