My perfect balance

Hello hello! My name is Em Sheldon and it’s an absolute honour to be writing for Yushoi’s blog today. I think it’s probably best to tell you when my love affair with Yushoi started. I was walking through my local supermarket and noticed it in the aisle, low in fat, natural and high in protein. What’s not to love? Usually there’s a catch, added sugar or tastes dreadful but nope, no catch. Yushoi are delicious and something I’ve been buying since they launched into supermarkets. As I write this, my boyfriend’s family just handed me a pack to nibble on whilst working away – if that’s not fate, I don’t know what is. A little bit about me then, apart from healthy snacking,  I love fitness (HIIT training for results, hot yoga and barre for the mind!) and used to compete in athletics for my county. I also love fashion, beauty and travel. My life mantra is balance, which is why I thought today’s topic of ‘finding the perfect balance formula’ would work well!

Balance is so important to me because it means I can live my life to the max, enjoy it and not have to worry. It means I’m not deprived and therefore, don’t binge. I swear by the 80/20 rule with my eating.

For me, my perfect formula for balance really is eating well 80% of the time and then eating whatever you fancy the other 20%. Everything should be in moderation and I don’t really agree with having ‘naughty foods’ and ‘nice foods’, no food is ‘naughty’, some are simply bad for you if you have too much.

Yushoi have worked with neuroscientists and mathematicians from Mindlab in order to work out a scientific formula to help us figure out how to achieve the perfect balance in life. I think it’s a really interesting way to look at balance and figure out how to achieve it.

2,000 people were quizzed in the UK on factors such as diet, work, social lives, hobbies, exercise and how much of an emphasis they put on material items, so Yushoi could work out what it is that makes people feel they have the perfect balance in life.

The study by Yushoi basically found that happier people cherish experiences over possessions and prefer social settings rather than being alone and interestingly, would rather stay at home than holidays away. You see, this is very interesting because I am a happy person, but I enjoy my own company and love being on holiday, as much as I adore my home. I guess it really is a personal thing but I have to agree, as much as I adore holiday, home always wins because my family are there. It’s true when they say home is where the heart is! As I’ve got older, I’ve stopped caring so much about possessions and I do cherish moments with my loved ones or experiences way more than an expensive present for example. I was the girl with the huge Christmas list and now, I much prefer to give, rather than receive at Christmas time. As odd as it feels talking about Christmas in August, I think that shows people really are switching and getting happiness in different ways nowadays.

In their research, Yushoi found that 48% of people claimed to have a good work-life balance. Now, I know I do not have a good worklife balance at all and it’s something I’m trying to push more. As someone who runs a business and works for herself, I don’t often rest, but that’s just because of the nature of my job and I guess the best thing is, at least I recognise I need a better work-life-balance. The research showed that people under the age of 30 were more likely than older people to claim they have too much free time (36%) whereas those in their 40s complained of having too much work (37%). Almost a quarter (23%) said they have too much free time. I remember as a kid I always felt like I was bored and now I’m never bored! Sometimes I wish I had more time to do absolutely nothing but then when that odd occasion occurs, I get bored so easily as I’m used to being busy – it’s a vicious cycle and that’s why balance is so important. I’ve conditioned myself to be constantly working so it feels odd when I’m not working. Remember though, life isn’t just about working, never work so hard making a living that you forget to make a life.

The study also mapped out the happiest and least happy people and looked at how they tend to spend their free time. My free time is mainly spent at the gym or with my loved ones, it really is my way of balancing life out and feeling happy. It’s interesting to see how the most ‘balanced’ people spend their time. The study showed that the internet and TV are not the key to balance, but actually hinder it, while family and exercise have been found to improve it. I’m happy to say family and exercise are my key tips when it comes to balance. Nothing beats sitting on a spin bike, putting my phone down and just having an hour to myself, blasting away on the bike. You can’t beat those endorphins plus, you’re being productive with exercise too!

I have to agree with the TV element of this too, I find that when the TV is switched off, I am much more productive and much more balanced. I tend to binge when I’m sat in front of the TV. I find starting the day with exercise and a nutritional breakfast means I have better balance throughout the day, my mind and body have started efficiently and then it continues as the day continues.

One of the main reasons I adore Yushoi’s baked snacks is because of the story behind them. They were influenced by Japan’s innovative and contrasting culture and so the notion of ‘balance’ is inherent to everything the brand does. They are the perfect choice for a healthy snack between meals because while they are delicious, they are also a protein source, high in fibre, baked and less than 88 calories per serving. Plus the flavours are delicious too! For me, the key to balance is having good snacks and lots of water throughout the day too. I always say, move more and eat better, not less. Start the day as you mean to go on and remember, life is too short not to cherish those around you.