Recently I was speaking with a patient who has been following a very strict dietary and nutritional plan for the past year with fantastic results. She eats mainly from the organic produce section, sticks to lean proteins, and carefully watches her ingredients for artificial additives.

As a result she’s lost weight, lowered her cholesterol, and has gone from taking 4 prescriptions medications to 0, much to the amazement of her primary care physician I might add.  From a medical perspective I would classify this individual as having an extraordinary diet and lifestyle; however, as we conversed during her appointment the other day I got the sense something was wrong.

While this individual had made great lifestyle changes the effects of following the regiment 100% of the time had begun to wear on her.  Despite looking great, having more energy than ever before, and being in the best health of her adult life she was just plain unhappy.

As she finished her story, I responded, “You need a one-night-stand.”

She stared at me with a look of confusion.

“You’ve done everything right with fantastic results,” I told her, “But you need to realize you can’t live inside a vacuum, and that includes your health.”

Most people think happiness in life is about doing things 100% correctly. Whether it be getting to that weight goal or receiving that raise at work; as human beings, we strive for perfection by trying to do things as well as possible.

What is often overlooked however, are the sacrifices made in order to achieve that perfection. While my patient was out shopping from the organic section and working towards her goals, she was missing out on that girls-night-out swapping stories with her friends.

When it comes to health and wellness, my family and I follow an 80/20 rule.  80% of the time we eat really well and stay active, but the other 20% we cheat. We don’t stick to what we’re supposed to do, but instead we go and do what we want to.  You’d be amazed to find out how much life happens in that 20%.

As a doctor it is easy to tell patients what they should be doing, but real life isn’t about always doing what you’re supposed to. Patients need to understand that in order to be healthy and reach goals you have to have balance.  Sometimes balance is going to mean skipping that workout to go home and watch a movie with your dog, other times it’s going to be getting buffalo wings while the game is on.

I’m here to tell you, those isolated “one-night-stands” are ok to do. You just need to bounce back afterwards and keep working towards your overall goals.

The next time an opportunity comes up to live outside the lines, go ahead: Have a one-night-stand. You can continue on your journey in the morning.

For more information on 3 Elements’ Nutritional care and Dr. Kimberly G. Brengle contact us at Support[at] or 615-599-5333.