I saw the title of this article on LinkedIn this week, and just had to read it: The Lie of Balance & Having It All. Obviously we talk quite a bit about balanced living here - it's even in our tag line! So I was interested in what the author had to say. (Feel free to check it out - it's a quick read.)  While I don't disagree at all with her 3 main points (make honorable choices, surround yourself with good people, and seek strong community), I fail to see where this precludes living with balance. But maybe it is her understanding of balance that is throwing me off....

Firstly, I don't see balance as at all the same thing as "having it all." Living with balance for some people - including myself - often means simplifying - having less, not more. The more you accumulate and add to your life, the harder it is to maintain balance - at least in my view.

Secondly, I admit that I don't have children (yet), and from what I've heard, life becomes infinitely more chaotic once that happens. However, I do have a busy full-time job, two online businesses (including 5 blogs), a new husband, and am in the process of buying a home, as well as fixing up my husband's home to sell. Life is a complete whirlwind! 

I also freely admit that despite my best efforts, I don't always live a balanced life! However, seeking that is a value that guides me, and I am able to achieve it to some degree more often than not. So before you give up on balance altogether, consider these 3 points:

There has been a lot of controversy over the past several years about the value of taking vitamins and nutritional supplements. Some swear by them, and others say they are unnecessary and expensive. Conflicting studies have shown they have no effect, and conversely that they are very helpful in maintaining health and preventing (sometimes even treating) various diseases and conditions.

So what is the truth?

Should you take supplements or not, and if so, which ones?

As with so many things when it comes to health, the real answer is...it depends.

As promised last week, I'm back today with a post about finances. I'll try not to rant too much in this one, but I can't make any promises! Some things just get me going, and irresponsibility is one of the big ones - health-wise of course, but also as it relates to finances - and our country has got to be one of the worst offenders in both categories. But it's not just this irresponsibility itself that really gets me; it's the assumption that this is totally okay, and a completely acceptable way to live! But let's get specific here - no sense in beating around the bush, right?

Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. I was standing in line at the bank one evening after work, waiting to deposit a couple of checks into my checking account. The bank branch I frequent is located inside a large grocery store, but they have their own little corner, filled with signs and propaganda for loans, home mortgages, and such. You know - the glossy brochures, "Ask us how you can own your own home today!", etc. Only the tag line they were currently using on their brochures was a blatant display of encouragement to irresponsibility, and I was rather shocked, not to mention disgusted, by the complacency of our populace that we just accept such a thing as a  matter of course....

"Borrow for your dream!"

declared the brochures in large bold print.  I might have actually chuckled out loud in disbelief. Our grandparents would roll over in their graves if they knew how much debt their grandchildren carry.... And not just carry, but lug along with them throughout their lives as a matter of course, without a second thought.

What ever happened to SAVING for your dream?? When was the last time you saw a promotion that said THAT?

A dream used to be something you worked hard for. Something you saved for for years and years, and when you finally saved enough to buy it, finally having it was so, so sweet. (Maybe some of you remember feeling this way when you were children, and saved up your allowance for that special doll, bike, model car, etc.) But nowadays, the mindset seems to be, why spend all that time saving, when you can just borrow the money, and have your dream now?

I'll tell you why: because borrowed money is not real money. People throw around credit cards like they're cash - but they're not. Borrowed money is not money at all - it's CREDIT, and there's a big difference, because credit always comes due. No matter how you shuffle around low-interest rate cards, choose zero-interest promotions, or try to work out some way that you will come out ahead of the banks and credit card companies, you never will. It will always come due at some point, and then you will have to pay up. Only by then, you've borrowed for 5 more "dreams," and it's a never-ending cycle. Borrowed money is not real money - it's a rope around your neck.

In fact, there's really only one good way to borrow - and that is to borrow from yourself.
Huh??  What in the world does that mean? Isn't borrowing from yourself the same as regular spending?  Not when done honestly.

Let me explain....

We're back!!  Jamaica was amazing - beautiful, relaxing, and fun - everything a honeymoon should be.... I'm still getting caught up on all of the things I missed while gone, so I don't have a long rant or expose' for you today. Instead, I thought I would review for you one of my favorite food-related movies I have seen; it's called Fresh: New Thinking About What We're Eating. It's definitely worth a watch, and here's why.

I watched the documentary film, Food, Inc. a few years ago, after it was recommended to me by several different people, many of whom described it as "shocking," "appalling," or "you'll never look at food the same way again." While I'm sure they felt that way, it didn't do much for me. Already being familiar with so many of the atrocities committed by our industrial food system, the film contained little that was new to me, and I was left wanting more.

For me, Fresh is that "more." In a way, Fresh picks up where Food, Inc. left off.