Time Out!By Carol Alt / Post / June 29, 2016
I sometimes think I’m immortal. Yeah, it’s a bold statement to make. It feels like I could keep running my body hard and working without much, if any, consequence. Way back in 1999, when I turned 39, I was offered an opportunity to raise money for the Amazon rainforest. Clearly I said yes, and I went down to Venezuela to shoot a special episode of Carol Alt and Friends in the steamy depths of the Amazon. We had one mission, one goal: to raise money and awareness of what was happening to this beautiful, vital rainforest of which more and more seems to disappear daily. Let me tell you, it was a wonderful trip that really opened my eyes. I knew the rainforest was in trouble, but actually being there really made it hit home.
Now whether or not we were successful is beside the point here. The Amazon is steadily receding, and it’s entirely our fault. One day, when on that trip, I met a young girl. She wasn’t necessarily what I’d call “pretty,” but she had an aura about her that I had lost. She was comfortable in her own skin, graceful and confident. I, however, just wasn’t feeling it.
I know now that this “off” feeling was due to a myriad of health issues I’ve dealt with over the course of my life. But back then, according to the photographer who told my manager, I was “so out of shape.” This, I feel, prompted me to get my head straight, and stop continuing down my path to self destruction through unhealthy practices. I was embarrassed, but it pushed me to fully recognize that something was wrong, and so I’ve been forced to look for new and different ways to keep healthy.
I left the rainforest and arrived in Los Angeles feeling extremely depressed. Coincidentally, my friend Steven Canter called me that day about one Dr. Timothy Brantley. I got in touch with Dr. Brantley, we hit it off, and the rest is history, documented in my book Eating in the Raw. I don’t mean to ramble on, this isn’t a blog JUST for talking about raw food.
I’ve always advocated for my readers to live and eat healthier, and that can involve eating less processed, organic, non-GMO food. That’s just a given. Clean water is important too, and alkaline water is best if you can find it, as it’s thought to ease inflammation. In your living and work spaces, clean air is a must! I run purifiers in mine (AerusAir.com sells the best!) and couldn’t live without them. Now what I’m gonna tell you today is the fourth piece in this puzzle of living healthy.
Take a day off. You heard me.
I never believed in a day off. I constantly work because I more or less own my own business. If I’m not at work I don’t make money, and most of the time my work involves trying to find MORE work. That’s just the way the art world works. This past weekend, however, I took four whole days off. I shut my phone down (except for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram of course!) and spent the days on a farm. That’s right, I went to a farm for four days. It was neither a “fat farm” nor a “health farm;” it was a plain, old-fashioned, growing vegetables kind of farm.
Let me tell you, I didn’t realize how tired I was, and had been. This mini-vacation put a swagger back into my step. Waking up with birds and the sun instead of an alarm clock, getting dirty and not caring about my nail polish, sitting in the sun and ignoring phone calls, and being out of my regular bustling city environment energized my soul. Sure, eat well, drink clean water, and breathe good air, but sometimes you just need a break from the routine- a day off.
You need to take that time and not feel guilty about it. It’s time for resting the mind, breathing deeply, and just… Just relaxing. Do something for you. It’s the best thing I ever did for me.
Edited by Jake Layton