Our guest this week has been on quite the adventure!. She founded her health consulting company, Healthy Discoveries, in 2001. She has been teaching corporate wellness classes since 2004 and last year started her blog, Healthy Discoveries by Jolene. With a passion for health, Jolene inspires her audiences to create balance in all areas of their lives. She promotes individual responsibility and believes in the power of information to provide options for choosing healthy lifestyles. Please welcome Jolene Park:

Hello, some of my core philosophies that I have adapted from my own life experiences, my on-going study in functional medicine, and teaching others about healthy lifestyles.

1. Health is about balance not perfection- It’s important to “nourish” all areas of our lives. Someone could eat a “perfect” diet or achieve an amazing level of fitness, but what’s going on with their interpersonal relationships? Do they take time to relax? Do they manage their financial life? Do thy have a passion and/or purpose that make them jump out of bed? Nutrition, exercise, relaxation, leisure, emotions, relationships, finances, career, service, vision and spirit are all important when we focus on a healthy life balance.

2. Everything is interconnected- When we make a change in one of the above areas it affects all areas of our life. For example, if we take time for our hobbies and downtime we will probably feel better emotionally and have more energy. When we feel better emotionally it’s easier to be more productive during the work day. When we’re productive and energetic we’re more motivated to exercise and move our bodies. The scenarios are endless, but the point is, any one area can influence and have a direct effect on other areas of our lives.

3. There is no cookie cutter approach- What works for one person may not work for another person. I don’t believe everyone should follow the same eating plan, exercise regime, relaxation practice, etc. However, that’s not to say we should ignore or not include these areas into our lives. We have more health resources, choices and options available to us today than ever before, take advantage of this variety.

4. Focus on adding things into your life more than taking things away- Deprivation doesn’t work long term and it often has a backlash effect in the short term. Think of healthy living as “adding in the good instead of taking away the bad.â€Β

5. Little things done consistently make the biggest difference- Taking action and follow-through are the hardest part of making a lifestyle change. Ask yourself “is this something I could stick to and continue to do month after month, year after year?” If the answer is no, chose something that is more practical and realistic for you. Practical + realistic = consistency!

6. You have a lot of choices and control regarding how you feel- For the most part we have control over what we put in and on our bodies, what environments and situations we place ourselves in and who we spend a significant amount of time with. These daily decisions can have direct and positive effects on our energy and general health.

7. Never stop questioning- Get second, third even forth opinions. There are no absolutes. Always ask what the financial motivation might be for you to believe or act upon what someone is telling you. Also question the personal or organizational pay-off and bias regarding health opinions, studies and statistics. “Health information” today is often just “health marketing”. I’m NOT saying everything you hear or read is wrong, nor it is ill-intended (there are amazing resources, research and practitioners), I’m just saying think critically!

8. Listen to yourself first and foremost- Your likes, dislikes, responses, reactions and cravings are not something to suppress and belittle. Listen to your body; it has a lot of innate wisdom.

9. Recognize your body, mind and spirit are always working to keep you healthy- Be kind to yourself, be aware, be flexible, and know that information is power. White knuckling things and beating ourselves up in the name of trying to be “healthy” is missing the point.

Thanks for sharing Jolene! Visit Jolene’s blog Healthy Discoveries to read more! You can also follow Jolene on Twitter at JoleneP.