Goal of the Month Club

One reason turn-over-a-new-leaf pledges may be soon forgotten is that they bite off too much setting us up to fail. Consider tackling one of these tips at a time and working on that aspect of health until it becomes a habit and then try another. The list below is a just a start and, because everyone is different, it isn’t in priority order. Pick the one you think might make the biggest change in your health and energy and tackle it first. Or, check off the ones you are already good at and pick another that sounds easy. That way you can build on your successes. In any case, don’t just think about it. Print this out and assign a step to each month. Post the plan where you will see it and remember that a trip of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step.

  1. Reduce sugar in your diet. The more you remove, the better you will feel and the less you will crave it.

  2. Consider reducing your intake of wheat and corn. Not only are they starches that turn into sugar and at the top of the list of most common allergens, there are a lot of other reasons. Learn more from my article 12 reasons to cut back on grain products like bread
    and this one, Moldy Corn.
  3. Eat more vegetables. Every study that I review, no matter what the disease focus or overall diet plan, agrees that veggies are important. One reason is that they are what our intestinal good guy bacteria like to eat. Frozen vegetables are often as good as fresh and easier to have on hand. 

  4. Choose more organic foods. The Environmental Working Group is a great resource. They rate the foods they have found to be the most contaminated with pesticides and weedkillers and those that might be safer. You can download a shopping guide and a list of hormone disrupting chemicals to avoid. CLICK HERE.
  5. Plan meals a week at a time. A lot of our nutrition indiscretions occur when we are hungry and our survival instincts lead us zombie-like to a vending machine or drive-through window. Twenty minutes a week of planning before going to the market will make sure you have what you need. Having a plan will also allow you to pack your lunch, pull something out of the freezer or turn on the crock pot before you head out for the day.

  6. Drink sufficient water. The standard advice is to (1) take the number that equals ½ your body weight in pounds and (2) convert that to ounces per day. (For example, a 150 lb person would drink 75 ounces. See how many ounces your glass holds and you’ll know how many glasses to drink. Some may hold 8 but other standard glasses are 12 or more.) Of course, I’m talking about pure water, not tap water. Water filtered at home is much better than any brand in a toxic plastic bottle. Measure out the amount for the day into a glass bottle or pitcher and you can see as the day progresses how you are doing.

  7. Get 8 hours sleep. If you are in the habit of staying up late, try going to bed ½ hour earlier each night until you get to the target. Computer work or staring at the phone screen (Facebook?) before bedtime makes shutting your brain down harder. If prayers or visualizing a relaxing vacation spot doesn’t send you to dreamland, consider melatonin.

  8. Improve your digestion. Chewing thoroughly and being relaxed when you eat are a good start. Probiotics are very important. (Learn more in my book, The Probiotic Cure) If you need more help, consider a fiber supplement, enzymes and adequate water (as suggested above). As I discuss in my heartburn book, it is a very, very dangerous idea to shut down digestion with acid-blocking drugs for more than a couple of weeks.

  9. Get your structure straight. Make a standing monthly appointment for a chiropractic tuneup to make sure you aren’t stressing your body with something being out of place. Miss-alignments can cause interference with nerve supply and/or circulation to almost any body part or system.

  10. Reduce stress in your life. You likely know where it is coming from. Make a plan to get rid of the sources and add in more pleasurable things. At the least, be determined not to let the things you can’t change control you. Don’t forget the little things that add up, like clutter. (I disabled the annoying ding that tells me I have email.) Pay attention to your breathing. Slow deep breaths from the gut are relaxing and cleansing.

  11. Reduce toxic chemicals in and around your home. Substitute natural environmentally safe cleaners like vinegar and baking soda. Use organic pest and weed control—follow the advice of Howard Garrett.

  12. Be regular about supplements. Make up packs (in little zip lock baggies) so that you are more regular with your supplements. (These are described in my article on supplements.)The bead department at a craft store is a good place to get the right size baggies. (In my evening packs I put a little clue to remind me to take my fish oil which I keep in the refrigerator.)

  13. Take better care of your gums. Gum problems lead to cardiovascular problems and adult tooth loss. Use a Sonicare brush, floss, Waterpik, dissolve a probiotic gel cap in your mouth as you sleep, see a periodontist…whatever it takes.

  14. Exercise. I saved this for next to last because advice to exercise is everywhere. Start wherever you are and make gradual improvements. If all you can do today is walk to the mail box, maybe by next week you can get to the neighbor’s. We are reminded less often to do strength training, but it is equally important. You don’t have to go to a gym or even have fancy equipment. I have a page on this website that lists 16 reasons to exercise and here is a site with some useful suggestions: Link.

  15. Lose weight. This is most likely the New Year’s Resolution made and broken most often. As the joke goes, I vowed to lose 10 pounds…I only have 15 to go.) It too can be reduced into steps starting with some of those above. One you might not have thought about is taking probiotics because your gut bugs have a lot to say about what you crave.

Sadly, no one can do these things for you. Some eager beavers might tackle three new goals at once. Someone else might work on one for three months. But, it is clear that if we keep doing what we’ve been doing we will keep getting what we’ve been getting (and maybe some unwanted stuff we didn’t see coming.) Good luck!

 

This information is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional. You are urged to seek healthcare advice regarding any illness.

Copyright 2014 by Martie Whittekin, CCN

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