Following the devastating effects we’ve had to face during the global pandemic, which caused unimaginable damage to many people’s health and businesses worldwide, we’ve managed to slowly recover from it. However, amidst these recent challenges, there’s a silent pandemic has quietly snuck into our lives over the past few decades – a health crisis fuelled by poor nutrition, an issue that governments have done little to address.

General Manager and Nutritional Advisor of Fivelements Retreat Bali, John T G Nielsen, shares his knowledge on how to maintain a healthy balanced life that will benefit your overall well-being and quality of life in the long run.

John shares an experience he had with a colleague a while ago. On their way to a mental wellness clinic launch in Denpasar, his colleague’s simple request for a soft drink at a famous fast-food joint exposed a harsh reality – the busy “restaurant” was a clear reminder of the pandemic of nutrition.

It’s been a known fact that practising a balanced lifestyle has abundant benefits to one’s lifestyle, which encompasses healthy eating, regular exercise, and limited alcohol consumption. The age-old wisdom encapsulated in Hippocrates’ famous phrase, “Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food,” resonates even more strongly today.

There is plenty of research from esteemed institutions like Harvard Medical School and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as works by renowned medical authors such as Dr. Michael Greger in his book “How Not to Die” and Dr. Steven R. Gundry’s “The Longevity Paradox”, which highlights the simplicity of actions that can lead to a healthier life.

Switching to a healthier lifestyle starts with an adjustment of our diet, including incorporating antioxidant-rich foods (green tea, dark chocolate, and prunes), polyphenol-packed foods (berries, olives, and beans), and reducing processed food intake can jumpstart this journey. Physical activity, as advocated by Ms. Julie Bach, founder of Wellness Four Cancer, does not have to be a daunting task – staying active for a minimum of 22 minutes per day can help suppress harmful cancer cells.

Embracing a plant-based diet, rich in fruits like blueberries and strawberries, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, almonds and walnuts, olive oil, tomatoes, and whole grains, carries great health benefits. Personal stories, like that of a senior chef at Fivelements Retreat Bali, witnessing his wife’s triumph over breast cancer through a primarily plant-based diet, add a human touch to the science-driven approach.

This doesn’t mean that you have to become a vegan but maintaining a ratio of 75% plant-based to 25% fish or high-quality meat can significantly contribute to overall health. Additionally, prioritising locally sourced foods not only benefits your health but also supports the local economy. Try to steer clear of high sugar and processed foods that include refined carbohydrates.

Regular exercise is another crucial aspect of a balanced life, with numerous studies praising its preventive effects against conditions like type two diabetes and obesity. It’s never too late to start and incorporating physical activity into daily routines, such as post-dinner strolls, can produce significant benefits, from improved metabolism to enhanced sleep quality.

Events like the annual World Wellness Weekend held every September provide an opportunity to engage in enjoyable activities that promote holistic well-being. Finding balance doesn’t mean sacrificing life’s pleasures but rather making mindful choices, whether opting for a refreshing walk instead of a lazy evening or choosing an apple over a calorie-packed treat.

In conclusion, the journey to wellness is a personalised balance that brings joy and positive changes. Seek guidance from healthcare professionals or personal trainers, and keep in mind that wellness is not a chore but a lifelong pursuit meant to be enjoyable and fulfilling. As the iconic Nike slogan suggests, “Just Do It“, the path to a balanced life begins with that first step, and the benefits are endless.

For more information, please visit

Fivelements Retreat Bali
Banjar Batur Rening, Mambal, Abiansemal
+62 361 469 206 | +62 811 3332 0036

NOW Bali Editorial Team

NOW Bali Editorial Team

This article has been written or uploaded by NOW! Bali's in-house editorial team.