Living your best life — wisdom from my health journey

Three wellness practices to help you live your best life…

…and show up for your business resourced and ready to go.

This is the first in a series of occasional articles in which I’ll share practices, recipes, and more from my vast wellness toolbag. My health journey has been a big invitation for me to be more and more present to the choices I make. Maybe something I share will be useful to you. You don’t know unless you try. So, bubbeleh, try.

Live your best lifeWe choose all the time.

  • You choose what you eat and how much.
  • You choose the content of what you read and what you watch.
  • You choose how you spend your time.
  • You choose how you move your body, and for how long.
  • You choose the people in your life.

It’s your choice what you do with every minute of your precious life. Fill each moment with the things and the people you love and cherish. Change yourself and by doing so, watch how it ripples out. You will change your family, your clients, your friends, your community. You will change the world.

Today I’m sharing with you three game-changing practices (okay, two practices and one recipe) that can help you maintain fitness and flexibility and a positive outlook.

Make time every day for self-care.

Put it in your schedule.

The only way to sustain a self-care practice is to actually put it in your schedule. (You do use a calendar, right? If you don’t, we should talk. Seriously.) When you elevate self-care to a commitment, and put it in your calendar, you are much more likely to be a Yes to your own precious self.

I have made a big shift here. Since my health crisis last year, I now begin my workday at 10:30, three hours after I get up. I use those three hours for a bath, my daily walk, my tai chi practice, my lifting and yoga workouts, my art journal, time in the garden, and whatever kitchen activities might be on the agenda. Sometimes I invite a friend along to walk with me. Sometimes I connect by phone with a friend. Sometimes I get a massage.

To make up for my later workday starts, some days I work a bit later, and I often work on one of the weekend days. Totally worth it!

You may not be ready for three hours a day of self-care time. But I know you’re ready for some time every day to honor your body and your sacred self. Give yourself this gift.

Walk for 30-ish minutes a day.

Honestly, it can be that simple.

I started this practice last autumn, when I began to wonder if I would ever get my strength back after the two hospitalizations and the long weeks on the couch or in bed processing serious infection and medications through my body. I started by walking around the block. Or maybe just to the corner and back. But I kept at it daily. Now I average 25–35 minutes each day. I walk in my gritty urban neighborhood most days, and love the wide streets and big sky available to me just a few blocks away. Some days I get in my car and drive to the bay. Some days I walk by Lake Merritt. Some rare and precious days I actually walk in the redwoods or at the seashore.

I love that my phone tracks my movements, tells me how long I walked, how many steps I took, how many stairs I’ve climbed. Many people say that 10,000 steps is ideal; others say that a 30-minute daily walk will prolong your life. I’m not near the 10,000, and I don’t know how often I will make that number of steps, but I am near the 30-minute mark nearly every day, and that is such a gift to my body!

It’s said that your body is not yours, that’s it’s just borrowed. That at the end of your life, you have to leave it behind. Treat it with care, yo. It’s precious. Treat it generously and impeccably, so that it will serve you well.

Nourish your gut with bone broth.

Vegetarians get to skip this one (although I know some vegetarians who make this one exception).

I’ve been a daily drinker of bone broth for quite a while, and have really perfected my recipe. I’ve had a serious chronic digestive situation for over three years, and bone broth is one of the first remedies suggested to me. It’s healing, and strengthening, and delicious.

I use three vinegars, because why not? I use brown vinegar (brown because there’s molasses added; this should be available in Asian markets, I get mine at Berkeley Bowl), raw apple cider vinegar, and kombucha vinegar that I make (if you’re a brewer, let a batch of kombucha overbrew by a week or so and you will have vinegar!). You can do a fine job with just the raw cider vinegar. The vinegars help extract all the goodness from the bones.

Quantities of everything depend on the size of your soup pot. I buy 3–5 pounds of bones, I use a spaghetti pot for my broth, and I end up with three quart-size canning jars of broth when I’m done. Your mileage will vary.

  • Buy marrow bones, gelatinous bones if you can get them, tendons, and a piece of inexpensive meat for the pot. The more grass-fed the better, of course.
  • Roast the meat at 425 for 25 minutes.
  • Boil a pot of water. Add sliced ginger and 1–2 T of brown vinegar. Add the bones and meat. Simmer a long time. I do 1.5–2 days.
  • Remove the bones, ginger, and meat. I keep the meat in a separate jar for adding to the broth, or I just eat it. Decant the broth filling jars halfway or a bit more. Refrigerate the jars.
  • Put the bones and ginger back in the pot with new water. This time I add 1 T cider vinegar  and 1 T kombucha vinegar and simmer again for a day or two. Get rid of the bones and ginger (this time for good), add the broth to the jars. ***If there’s a layer of solid fat at the top of the first batch, break that up so the two batches mix. Keep the fat that rises to the top until you’re ready to have that broth; it helps retard spoilage.***

I’d love to know what practices are at the top of your own best life list, and if you have any questions. Please join the conversation in the comments. I love to hear from you!

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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. Interesting… I’ve learned to use bone broth and find it very helpful. Had just never thought to make two batches from one set of bones. Thanks!

    • Andrea, I’ve even wondered if I could go three rounds with the same bones and fresh water each time, but I’ve settled on two — the bones look quite done by that point. The second round is not as rich as the first, that’s why I fill the jars halfway with batch #1 and then add batch #2 and mix.

      Rich, and so good!

      Love and light,

  2. I love how you emphasized all that we choose in life. I spoke to graduating seniors a coupe of years ago and that was my main point.

    Now about that bone soup, got a 5-minute microwave version? 😉

    • Sheila, no microwave version, sorry! My local grassfed butcher does sell their own broth, as does Three Stone Hearth here in the SF Bay Area. Maybe you can find something where you are? Lucky for me I have what KitchenAid calls a power simmer on my gas range, so I can let it go for days.

      I don’t know what I’ll do if/when I move to a new place to live (am looking to do that); I may have to buy a crockpot.


  3. This is so important! I started to put self-care in my schedule a while ago and it made a huge difference. The getting out in the fresh air makes a huge difference too. Think I’ll be skipping the bone broth though 🙂

    • Joanna, I had a two-mile walk this morning at Lake Merritt here in Oakland. My spirits are lifted.

      Too bad on the broth, it’s delicious! 😎

    • Daniela, welcome!

      I pass so many dog walkers every day. And then there’s me, walking myself… smiling at most people I pass.


  4. I use a slow cooker Sue, started making it after reading Louise Hay’s book an loving yourself to great health., I like your recipe and will try it next time I am making it. I add lots of veggie offcuts to that i keep in the freezer. Now I just have to remember to drink it daily 🙂 Yes I too walk at least 30 mins each day. thanks for sharing xx

    • Suzie, I don’t add veggies to mine (well, I do on rare occasions). Many people do. I guess I’m a bone broth purist. Sort of 🙂

      I often will go out for pho or hot and sour soup and bring home the leftovers and add them to my broth. So, for me mostly routine, with occasional variations.


  5. Well said Sue and your morning ritual sounds inspiring. I’m a morning person so my body clock manages to get me up quite early each morning, but that’s also my best time to write so I normally reserve “me” time for the afternoon – whatever works, right? While I haven’t had bone soup (yet) I took a screen shot of your recipe and plan to give it a try this weekend – sounds wonderful! Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

    • Marquita, I totally agree, whatever works. I often have days when I have a morning appointment and I’ve been semi-successful moving that “me-time” around. I have found, though, that moving me walk to afternoon instead of morning often does not work. And when I do shift it, I regret it, because then I don’t have the endorphin release to set the stage for my work from my morning walk.

      Living and learning, yo.

      Let me know how your broth turns out.


    • Linda, I have found that I have an enormous capacity to adjust my tastes to suit my body’s needs. I thought broth was a really bad idea, but since my body responds so well to it, I’m really grateful that I’ve learned to relish it. Adding an ounce or two of my famous roast chicken helps.


  6. I’ve learned the hard way that self-care must be a priority if I want to maintain my energy levels – but it does take some experimenting to find your own right combination of techniques. That said, I’m still tweaking so this is a good reminder 🙂

    • Yup, Marla, me too. Except for my tai chi practice, everything is always being tweaked. How much, how often, where, when, and how — keep tweaking and listening to your beautiful body and your intuition.

      Love and magic,

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