I’m a huge fan of green juice. You know, the kind made with cucumbers, kale, lemon juice, celery, maybe even a little apple for sweetness. It’s quenching, refreshing and one of the few things I can actually feel immediately in my body. For me, a green juice is a pick-me-up. But it’s not everything. And if I didn’t enjoy drinking it, it would be nothing.
Many of us are chasing health as a means of finding happiness. They do often go together. In the real sense of what health is, happiness should always be tied in.
We want to be happy. Deep on down, we want to feel calmness and a gratifying sense of fulfillment and contentment. We want to feel good about who we are, what we’re doing, where we’re at and who is joining us on the ride. That is happiness.
Green juice and for that matter, a quinoa salad, a Paleo pancake or a pastured poached egg aren’t going to do this. At least not on their own.
If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have to struggle. Too often, we forget to take those deep breaths; we forget to be here, now. Ultimately, we forget that today is the day and without remembering this simple thing, as often as we can, in any given moment, those feelings of happiness will continue to elude us.
Happiness will continue to be that thing we strive towards in that distant place in the future where our to-do lists are completely checked off and we can finally just enjoy what we’ve struggled for. The problem is we will never get there.
You know that line in my creed that goes, “Eat fruit, lots of cherries, while thinking good thoughts?” It’s the good thoughts that do a whole lot of the heavy lifting. The connection, however, is that good food will provide the fuel for those good thoughts.
Perhaps it’s time then to start sipping up some happiness alongside our UnDiet.
That’s what the final chapter in The UnDiet Cookbook is all about.
If we aren’t enjoying the process, feeling nourished, vibrant, energized and ultimately happy, then we are missing something big, mighty, urgent and important. – The UnDiet Cookbook (page 273)
Happiness Practices To Start Today
Make Happiness Happen
People don’t just luck out at being born happy. Happy people work on it every day in every moment. Happiness is a choice, with the knowledge and awareness that every choice counts. We can choose to wake up under a storm cloud, or to wake up under the proverbial rainbow. It’s all up to us.
Resource/Tool: How To Retrain Your Brain for Happiness
Give Yourself 10 Minutes a Day to Feel Happy With Purpose
Take some time when you first wake up, or when brushing your teeth, or showering, or driving your car, or meditating, to give some goodness to yourself and the world. Contemplate the blessings in your life. As you think about those blessings, note how you feel from top to tail. Get used to that feeling. The more you practice, the more you’ll feel it.
Resource/Tool: How a Gratitude Practice Works
Some Days Will Suck. Focus on Why That’s Awesome!
When the days get rough, appreciate the bumps in the road. If we didn’t suck at life once in a while, how would we know when we were rocking at it? Of course, it would be great if every day were perfect, but that’s just not life. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow, evolve and discover.
Sometimes stress can be a good thing. It’s what helps things to change. If we look at the challenging moments as opportunities to observe and find new ways to respond, we might be able to go so far as to find the happiness in what might otherwise be a a negative challenge.
Resource/Tool: The Powerful Benefits of Stress and The Barrel Effect: How Feelings Of Overwhelm Impact Our Health
Free for For The Taking And The Making: Give Happiness to Others
Most of the time, we don’t have any clue that we’re giving something away with every interaction. That something is our tone of voice, our facial expression, our body language and our energy. Most of us can easily be of service to others simply by doing what we’re naturally best at — being kind. Smiling, saying hello, holding a door, making eye contact (but not in a creepy way, please) — these are simple everyday ways we can be of service and spread positive energy to those around us.
Resource/Tool: Have You Stopping Listening?
Create More in a Creative Way
You know that thing you love to do and are really awesome at that makes you happy? Do it more! Share it, perform it, teach it, photograph it, sing it, play it, write it. The world needs you creating your creations and what brings you joy and that happiness stocks you up with more to share in turn.
Resource/Tool: The Power of Genius and Inspiration to Take the Leap and Ditch Plan B
I’ve been writing about nutrition for 15 years. I have two awesome bestselling books all about it. I know that you know at least one, if not ten things you can start doing tomorrow to improve your health. But what about happiness? Can you think of ten things you could do tomorrow to start improving your happiness?
Great foods, organic juice, clean water, regular movement — these are the accessories to a rock star awesome life. The main event, however — the bit that will have the greatest impact — is simply you: your thoughts, and the intentions you take into every day.
So sip up that happiness. It’s free for the taking, and for the sharing!
Photo: Documentographer for The UnDiet Cookbook
10 responses to “Beyond Green Juice: Happiness Is The Real Health Tonic”
Really loving these posts, Meghan! Being happy is one of the biggest things I try to stress in my practice. If you don’t look forward to the changes we are making, or really dread an element of them, that’s not fun at all and can be just as damaging. Find what works for you and the things you love is the most important part of sustainable health, and it is awesome that you are spreading this message! Thanks so much for sharing! :)
Thank you for your wonderful insight!
Awesome post, Meghan. It’s so true, the part about the green juice and the need to have pleasure or belief in its vitality when you’re drinking it in. Love the photo of you and your sweetheart with green drink in your hands. I wonder if this is any indication of where you’ll be leading us next!
Thanks so much for this post, it resonated with me so much. Green juice and healthy foods are important, sure, but they are not everything. Figuring this out and also realizing that happiness is a choice are the biggest “aha” moments I have had in the past few years. It is very liberating to know that my happiness is down to me, not some external influence, and that I can actively choose to be happy, each and every day. Some days are not so hot, but even they have something of benefit, if I can stop and take a step back to see it. Gratitude and kindness are so important, they are values I work on all the time with my kids. Thanks for this beautiful reminder of what is truly important in life. I am so excited to see what you will do next!!
Thank you Juliette. I think your example of how to simplify life serves as a beautiful inspiration how we can all enjoy more, with much less.
Although I agree with the idea, I was left wanting a link to really why you enjoy green juice and what you find beneficial other than a pick me up. The happiness factor is huge, but still…. happiness and a poor diet don’t work. They must work together.
I agree to an extent about what you’re saying but happiness isn’t always a choice if you’re depressed. I have been happy most of my life till my mid-40’s and then something changed and I would feel blue for no apparent reason. Nothing I used to do before helped to make me feel better until I changed my diet with the help of a holistic nutritionist. So yes I agree there is no point in eating clean without the intention of being happy but it isn’t always as simple as just telling yourself to be happy or choosing happiness.
Very true. My intention here was to explain that it can’t always just be about the food.
What a great post! I have been doing a lot around this very topic/subject/life lesson myself over the last 18 months. I have found when I smile from the inside out…I’ll get a few smiles back from a stranger. I like this sort of connection and if helps someone feel better that makes my day! Cheers and here to happiness a very under rated state of affairs.