How do you live fresh? We’ve put out the call for people to fill out our survey about
what they do to lead healthier, more balanced lives.

This week’s is from the funny, fabulous, and insightful Therese Borchard, whose Beliefnet blog Beyond Blue follows her spiritual journey to mental health.

Fill out the survey yourself! Copy, paste, and rewrite this into a Word doc or an email and send it to us:

Now, let’s hear from Therese:

Vital statistics (name, age, location, link to website/blog if you have one)?

Therese Borchard, Annapolis, MD,

Do you have a general life philosophy that helps you balance your life and spirit? What is it?

This sounds negative, but it keeps me on track: “Nothing is free. You’re going to have to pay for it one way or another.” Meaning, I can’t totally binge on hamburgers and fries for a week straight without feeling the effect on my mood, my gut, even my concentration.
And when I think I can really get away with burning the candles at both ends,
because all my organs are in okay shape now … that my carelessness and stress
will somehow come to haunt me, either as a form of depression and anxiety or as
some other health condition.

What kinds of activities do you do to stay in that balance?

Exercise is key. Especially running, biking, swimming, and walking. Prayer is also important: sometimes I say a rosary, or repeat a mantra as I’m walking. I often yell at God, and give him/her a piece of my mind. I really want to write the word “meditation” here but I still am so bad at meditation that I feel like saying I meditate would be lying.

What are some of your favorite “power foods” for health and vitality?

Omega-3s are my friends. So I eat a lot of salmon and take six Omega-3 capsules. I’m pretty obsessed with almonds, too, and snack on them throughout the day. Holly got me addicted to tea, which I find is a nice treat in the afternoon to get me to dinner. I’ve always been a big veggie person, so I like to indulge in a large salad with lunch or dinner.
And apples. I do believe what they say, that if you eat one of those guys a day
you can keep SOME doctors away (not the shrinks).

What’s the one vice or habit you’d like to change to Live Fresher?

I would like to think happy thoughts. Really I would! But I have to work REALLY hard at that and I feel as though I’m a permanent beginner at training my mind. Fortunately, my day job involves reminding my peeps how we have to do that – or sharing with them different techniques that have helped me  — so they are always FRESH on my mind.

What’s the best piece of advice or wisdom you’ve ever gotten regarding living a balanced, juicy life? Who gave it to you?

“Everything in moderation. Even moderation.” My step-mother-in-law (is that the right term?) told me that, probably after I had consumed a box of her dark chocolates. But I do think it’s true. Moderation is the key to longevity, but we must always make some room for fun and chocolate milkshakes.

What’s your favorite kind of tea?

Green tea! Because I heard it’s good for you, so I drink like four cups a day (see above about moderation).

Tell us about one thing you do/eat/buy to  stay healthier and feel more alive that people question you the most about.

To tell you the truth, I am surprised at how many people see me walking around town and call me “the walker.”  It’s true, I try to walk whenever I can, because being out in nature is so important to my well-being, especially in the winter when everyone is driving. But I guess I just assumed everyone else felt the same way. Apparently not.

Do you get massages
and/or other bodywork? How often?

No, I don’t get bodywork done. I would love to, but I am broke.

What’s the kookiest thing you’ve ever done for your health?

When I was trying to cure my severe depression in a holistic way, I went to a homeopathic doctor, and he gave me a list of things to take. One was a bottle of liquid with no ingredients listed on it or anywhere. To prepare the solution, I had to pound the bottle on a telephone book ten times, then squeeze five drops of it unto a spoon and fill a ceramic
(not plastic or glass) cup with four ounces of water. The whole process felt like witchcraft, and when I asked the man what, exactly, I was taking, he became uncomfortable. Needless to say, that was my last appointment with him.

Do you try to buy products that have fewer potential toxins in them like parabens, sulfates, etc? Faves to share?

I do try to stay away from food coloring–because I know, from my son’s reactions, it can be poisonous. I stopped drinking Diet Coke two years ago when a flight attendant
told me it was what they used on airplanes to unlatch doors, and that artificial
sweeteners should have never been approved by the FDA. And whenever possible, I
go for products made with whole grains as opposed to processed flour: like
whole-wheat spaghetti and pizza.

What’s a piece of advice you find yourself giving people again and again?

Advice? The more natural the better. Maybe that’s why I hate shaving and don’t wear
antiperspirant? I do believe that. However, I also know there is a place (a BIG
place) at least in my life, for pharmaceuticals.

Which books, poems, or quotes most inspire you?

I think the best advice I could live by–since I fret about the tiniest things, and the worrying
is certainly not good for my mind, body, and soul–would be to not sweat the small stuff, and to keep categorizing everything as “small stuff.” Oh, and to ask for help when you need it. Don’t bother with being a superstar, because they are the ones with really high cholesterol and blood pressure. They’re the ones who get the heart grabbers.

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