I recently attended a business conference that took me away from home for a week and it taught me a very valuable lesson.

Since I have adopted a vegan, plant based life style I have come to expect complications when I travel beyond my comfort zone of home and the vegan friendly environment of Atlanta. Well, for me there is no greater source of discontent with my meals than in conference settings, especially if they are in small southern towns. I grew up in the south, so I know you are not going to find a lot of restaurants with vegan food. In those types of conference settings they typically cater to the masses. Sadly, vegans and vegetarians are still the minority.

Don’t worry, this will not be a blog where I rant about the suffering I endured from the inadequate and insufficient vegan options I was offered during my conference. I already did that on my personal Facebook page to my friends, so I think I got that out.

Actually, I want to talk about how I learned -albeit kicking and screaming-to adapt. Let’s face it, when you have a limited budget you have to make adjustments. In a perfect world, I try to stick to a vegan, no soy, gluten free, plant based diet.  I also rarely consume bread. I will do an occasional wrap, but no bread. When I eat like this, I function so much better, and I’m generally much happier and much more energetic.

While attending my conference I had a lot of fruit and veggies, but on some occasions I consumed bread. Initially, I wanted to beat myself up about it because I really try to practice what I preach. When I started feeling convicted by my food choices, I came to a realization that really helped me. For the most part, I eat really healthy about 80-90% of the time. So, it dawned on me that a few days of eating unhealthy food was not going to hurt me.

I try to maintain a life of balance -I’m not always good at it -but I try. A good balance for me is about 80/20. Eighty percent of the time I work out, eat right, get the rest I need, meditate, etc. The other twenty percent of the time I take a break from those things. I’ll skip a workout, eat a vegan cookie, eat potato chips, or just zone out in front of the TV watching reruns of Criminal Minds!

So, here are three reasons why I believe it’s a good idea to apply the 80/20 rule in your life.

1. Nobody gets it right 100% of the time. Let’s face it nobody is perfect and we weren’t created to be. So, save yourself the stress of feeling disappointed when you miss the mark.

2. Life Happens. As much as some of us try to control every aspect of our lives there are still some things that are out of our control. Just know that whatever comes up you will be able to adjust to it and move forward.

3. If you live a life of balance it’s much easier to get back on track. Even though I ate foods I normally don’t eat, it wasn’t difficult to get back to my normal habits once I returned home. If I were someone who always ate unhealthy food, then it would’ve been much harder to start back on a healthy regimen.

Question: What are some ways you try to incorporate balance into your life? Do you follow the 80/20?  ]]>

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