Join a Healthy Revolution
A new client of mine is making BIG changes to her diet and lifestyle in the New Year. We’ve been doing some prep work to get her ready – looking at outdated dietary advice and beginning a pantry clean-out for starters. She checked in with me this week and wrote:
“It’s hard not to feel like everything you are doing is wrong and it’s like starting over. I’m surprised by how immersed I am in my habits and it’s eye-opening how to change it.”
My response to her was:
“You aren’t alone in feeling like you’ve been doing everything ‘wrong’. You’ve been doing what you’ve been educated to do…like the rest of us have. And there is nothing ‘wrong’ with starting over. In fact, there is everything RIGHT with starting over, in leaving behind old habits that weren’t serving you and developing new habits that will bring you to where you want to be.”
I love the feeling of a fresh, new start! Whether at the beginning of a new year, a new week, or a new day, you can do a reboot and make small changes that will impact you immensely. Whatever ‘was’ before, you can literally make the experience different starting today. In fact, starting this very minute.
My Top 10 Acts of a Healthy Revolution
I’d like to share with you the list of the things that I’ve been working on these past three years (and continue to work on daily) to become a healthier, more vibrant person with more physical and mental energy, mental clarity, and great digestion (since it’s the cornerstone to our overall health). As I continue to layer on more and more small changes, it’s been so empowering for me! I hope that you’ll consider adopting several of these–if not all–for yourself:
- Question most of what you’ve been told about how to stay healthy – There is no doubt that you, too, have been misled by corporate America as to how to stay healthy. Our food system has more to do with making money than eating for health and nutrition. The financial incentive of our for-profit healthcare system is in treating illness, not health. Your doctor is more aware of how to manage disease than in how to help you maintain wellness. We are deeply rooted in corporate systems that makes sick and overweight people the commodity that economically feeds these industries.
- Quick fixes don’t work – Relying on the latest fad diet, weight loss pill, miracle product, even over-the-counter and prescription drugs are not your answer. It took time to gain the weight; it will take time to lose it. Most chronic diseases have chronic causes. Dig deep and find the cause; the solution is usually within your control. So you’ll need to…
- Be in charge of your health – Do your research. Learn to listen to your body. It’s a miraculous machine that knows how to heal itself when you give it the proper fuel, recovery time, and maintenance. Assemble a team of wise practitioners that focus within the realm of holistic, preventative healthcare – practitioners like naturopaths, chiropractors, counselors, acupuncturists, nutritionists, massage therapists, and other individuals who will help guide you to wellness.
- Eat real, whole foods – Our food today is more processed, more refined than ever before. And our cells are craving nutrients that are absent in these processed foods. Just look at the ingredient list on the labels of food in your freezer or cupboard. Can you recognize every ingredient on the label as food? With few exceptions, any food with more than 1-5 ingredients that is frozen or in a box, bag, can, or jar is processed and full of synthetic chemicals and additives that add color, stabilize, texturize, soften, preserve, sweeten, deodorize or add flavor back to these foods.
- Sugar is the culprit in your diet, not fat – This statement should outrage you after being told for four decades that saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods are killing us! Can you guess what that fat and cholesterol in foods has been replaced with? SUGAR! Research now shows that sugar, not fat, has given rise to the staggeringly high rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases in America. Eat healthy fats and get rid of the sugar and high-glycemic foods in your diet.
- Get your Zzzzzs! – Obtaining 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is a key part to being healthy. Adequate sleep benefits your metabolism, heart, mind, and those dark under-eye circles. During sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates itself doing biological maintenance and repair. Your brain makes connections, restructuring and consolidating what you learned during the day, improving your memory and creativity, reducing anxiety and depression. Dieters who are well rested lose more fat and less muscle mass than those who were sleep deprived.
- Figure out what food intolerances you have and respect them – Those of us who know that certain foods give us issues such as IBS, constipation, brain fog or joint pain (or worse, an autoimmune condition) know that we need to GIVE IT UP! It doesn’t matter what someone else (family, friends or the waiter) thinks about your diet even when they categorize you as a “picky eater,” “difficult” or “not really allergic.” Gluten and dairy are in almost everything, so if you don’t eat them you will be weird. But if a food inflames your body, makes you feel like sh*t for days after, or generates disease, it’s better to be picky and weird than sick all the time, right?
- Adopt an 80/20 Rule – You don’t have to be 100% perfect with your diet and lifestyle changes, especially not at first. (Remember, you are human and human beings are far from perfect.) Changing life-long habits take time. Give yourself the slack you need as you work out what’s best for you and your health. If you try to be perfect 100% of the time, you’ll be lonely and feel shut off from your circles of support which will not be fun or pleasurable for you.
- Look at what’s setting up the negative patterns in your life – It’s time to address the barriers that are keeping you from being healthy, loving yourself, and living a life of joy, connection and vitality. Let go of what ‘was”. Focus on what will be. What are the issues that you are holding on to? These negative patterns such as job stress, relationship issues, body-image, addictions, lack of purpose, past trauma, etc. keep you stuck mentally, emotionally or socially. You deserve better. Yes, YOU! You deserve to love your life.
- Connect with your community in healthy ways – Getting healthy can be an adventure as much as it is a challenge. It’s a time of rediscovering who you can be. Who do you want to spend time with? Those that tear you down, or those that build you up? That choice is yours. Learn from others, connect with inspiring people and groups, and share what you are learning with your peeps.
This new year offers you endless possibility!
If you can imagine it, you can achieve it!
Do you want to be healthier, leaner, happier, stronger, more confident, joyful, focused, loved, peaceful or _________? You fill in the blank. How could your life be better? Whatever you desire, it’s in your grasp right now.
Make it happen! Start now–
- Write down 3 to 5 things that you desire for yourself.
- Begin to break each of those down into smaller, achievable action steps.
- Take action steps one at a time. If you get stuck, break each smaller steps into even tinier steps.
No effort is ever wasted. Every effort you put it, not matter how small,
moves you closer and closer to a more amazing you!
There is unstated accountability in publicly declaring your intentions. Would you like to share your goals for the New Year? Please post in comments below or on our Wise Habits Nutritional Therapy Facebook page.