Happy last day of January and Tuesday everyone! How has your week started out? Monday was very busy for me, and Tuesday isn’t looking much better. However the remainder of my week appears to be good and for that I am very thankful. I am looking forward to getting some of the backlog of tasks crossed off my to-do list. I will feel much better when my life is more “under control”. Some people do their best work under pressure, but I am not of them any longer. At this point in my life I find it hard to believe I ever thrived in a high pressure environment, it must have been “smoke and mirrors” is I can say. ;-)
Day 2 – Determined our Purpose and Looked at Passion
Day 3 – Listed Our Goals for January
Day 4 – Listed the Things We Have Needed to Work on for a While
Day 5 – Looked at Optimism vs. Pessimism and Fear vs. Intuition
Day 6 – Practiced Conscious Eating
Day 7 – Hara Hachi Bu
Day 8 – Taking the Stress Out of Meal Time
Day 9 – Acknowledgments
Day 10 – No Excuses, Do it Anyway
Day 11 – Is it True?
Day 12 – Have You Really Connected With Someone Today?
Day 13 – Motivation is a Decision
Day 14 - Successfully Navigating Dinner at an Unfamiliar Restaurant
Day 15 - What Do You Want, Have You Asked?
Day 16 – Treating Others as You Wish to be Treated
Day 17 – Food as a Budget
Day 18 – Silence Your Inner Critic
Day 19 – Replace I Have to With I Want to
Day 20 – Identifying Your Rituals
Day 21 – Face Your Fears
Day 22 – Give Up the Diet Mentality
Day 23 – The Meaning and/or Purpose of Food
Day 24 – Trigger Foods/Situations/People
Day 25 – Words Have Meaning
Day 26 – Lose All-Or-Nothing Thinking
Day 27 - Decide to live as if ……
Day 28 – Two-Bite Test
Day 29 - Vision Board
Day 30 – Are You Hiding Behind Excuses
What did you think of the last topic regarding hiding behind excuses? When I wrote that one I knew it was a tough topic emotionally which is why I left it for the end of the month. Very few of us like to consider that there are things we could be doing but we aren’t. However being open to the idea that there is something that we could do or change is the key to moving forward. I hope something that I wrote leads you to consider changes that you have otherwise been unwilling to seriously consider. If there is anything that you would like to me explain differently about this or anything else just let me know.
· Do you routinely get adequate sleep?
· Are the vast majority of your meals healthy?
· Is your weight in a healthy range or steadily moving in that direction?
· Do you make it a point to be active most days and preferably every day?
· Have you learned to manage your stress?
· Do you spend time cultivating your relationships?
Being healthy is not as complicated as people make it sound. However it does take consistently good decisions. You can’t expect that eating occasion healthy meals or working out on weekend is enough to stay or get healthy. Being healthy requires consistently healthy behavior which becomes how you live your life, not something temporary like a diet.
· Weight (based on height)
· BMI (<24.9 = normal)
· Body fat percentage/muscle mass (there are different numbers based on age and sex)
· Blood Pressure (115/75 or less)
· Blood Sugar(<99, 100-119 = prediabetic, 120 = diabetic)
· Cholesterol (<150 is ideal)
In order to determine if any of these need improvement you need to know what your numbers are, and what they should be. I am going to go back to the example of my friend whose weight loss has stalled at 50 pounds. When moderation was working to reduce weight it might have appeared that the concept was working. However at the same time the weight was dropping lab results showed that fasting blood glucose was 105. I knew this was pre-diabetic but my friend was in denial and was convinced it was fine. This why it is important not only to know your numbers but to also know how to interpret the numbers once you have them. Do your homework and educate yourself about what should be your health targets.
Items to include in unlimited amounts in your diet:
· Fresh vegetables, concentrating on leafy greens (at least half raw)
· Fresh whole fruit (fresh fruit juice should only be drank occasionally since it can elevate your blood sugar)
· A variety of beans (including soy but the less processed the better like edamame, tempeh and then tofu)
· Mushrooms are extremely healthy and make a wonderful meat substitute (be sure to generally cook them as mushrooms contain low levels of natural toxins which are probably fine in small amounts but certain not in the quantities I think mushrooms should be consumed)
· Green and white tea (unsweetened of course, but be sure to add some citrus to increase your absorption of the EGCG)
· Water (most Americans are chronically dehydrated be sure you aren’t one of them)
Items to include but not in unlimited amounts:
· Whole unprocessed grains, like quinoa not things made from whole grain flour (these are only on this list for two reason, they are higher in calories and tend to crowd out the more nutritious food like vegetables, fruit and beans)
· Raw seeds and nuts (I listed seeds first because they tend to be more nutritious, they are only this list because they are very calorie dense and can lead to weight gain
· Avocados (included here only because they are calorie dense meaning if your weight is good this isn't an issue)
Items to restrict or better yet eliminate from your diet:
· Animal flesh (this includes red meat, pork, chicken and seafood and I recommend eliminating it because of it elevates IGF-1, is calorie dense crowding our healthier foods, increases calcium loss and adds saturated fat to your diet. However if you won’t eliminate it than eat it like the Asians an ounce or so at a time and not every day)
· Animal products (dairy and butter and yes I am including skim milk and non-fat yogurt here for the same reasons that I listed for meat. Diary and butter are more harmful than meat due to the concentration of saturated fat some cheeses getting 70% of their calories from fat. I think this is very important to eliminate these.)
· Soy protein isolates (should be eliminated for the same reason as meat and meat-by-product, it elevates IGF-1)
· Processed food (things with more than 5 ingredients are suspect)
· Sugar (it adds empty calories and increases your blood sugar levels which isn’t healthy)
· Oil (included here because it is empty calories and also adds saturated fat, yes even olive oil)
· Salt (increases your risk of stroke as well as increasing your blood pressure)
· Chemical additives like: artificial flavors and colors, pesticides and chemical fertilizer residue, BPA and parabens (chemicals have been associated with everything from cancer to autism and I do my best to keep our exposure to a minimum without driving myself nuts)
Now that we have finished this January series I would love to know what you think. Did you have a favorite topic? Would you like me to expand on any of the topics from this month? Is there a topic that you had wanted to see here that wasn’t included? Should I include one of these “health” posts once a week or once a month? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
1. Pick one item to change in your diet from the dietary habits listed above. I would suggest you pick a big one as it will make the most impact. However you should also pick one that you know you can stick to. Many people find that giving up dairy has a huge impact. I have heard from many people that they didn’t realize they were lactose intolerant until they gave up dairy and then had some later and the familiar symptoms of mucus and stuffed sinuses came back almost instantly. Given how prevalent lactose intolerance is you may want to start with dairy. I find that being able to feel the difference helps people stick with dietary changes. There is a very good chance you will also see an improvement in your weight and cholesterol as a result of this dietary modification.
2. Keep track in your journal of the results of making this change. Did you feel better, lose weight, and need less OTC medication? Just be sure to record your experiences. I would also suggest that you try adding a little of whatever you have eliminated back in a few weeks so that you can feel the difference. You might be surprised by the difference that you can feel in your body. Maybe people have told me that they feel things first by the change in their GI system and that know immediately when their transit time is increasing since they start to feel bloated and uncomfortable. However you won’t usually know this unless you take something away for a while and then add it back as a test. This is the same principle they use with a formal elimination diet.
1. Newsletters – Monday was another busy day which meant the newsletters didn’t get worked on. This will definitely move up on my February list now.
2. Body Bugg – I continue to wear my bugg and I have gotten back into using it the way I had intended when I purchased it. Go me! J
3. Date with Dan – No date on Monday, but we ran errands together Tuesday evening. I guess that doesn’t count for most people but we have fun whenever we are together even running errands.
4. Measuring calorie dense food – I am making progress adding nuts and seeds to our food. I
5. Working on my business – My schedule got in the way of working on the business today. Once January is over and I have more free time I will jump on this again. I remember that I promised you the link to my second website on February 10th and I really, really don’t want to miss that deadline. *eek* Nothing like self imposed pressure. ;-)
· Recipes (which won’t be that frequent since I don’t have much time to measure and document)
· Our daily food choices and why we made the choices that we did
· The log of our day which would include the food
· Links to articles on health and nutrition
· The mental/emotional issues related to making changes to improve your health
· Nutrition specifics about individual foods (for example the benefits of hempseeds or kale)
Do any of these ideas appeal to you or would you like to see something different? Please let me know what you think, I really do want to know.
· The 2012 - 31 days to Better Health series is finished! *woo hoo* I hope that it meant as much to you as it did to me and that you found some ideas to apply to your life and health. It was definitely a labor of love for me.
· I received a $1,000 scholarship from IIN today to award. I have offered it to the first reader who contacted me about the program. However if she doesn’t want it I am going to offer it to anyone who is ready to sign up in a few days. The scholarship would require signing up for the program between Wednesday and Friday of this week. If you are interested send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. If now isn’t a good time no worries, there will be future scholarships and I will keep you all in the loop by posting the information here.
· My fur children were very appreciative of the Blue Buffalo cat kibble that we picked up for them this evening. I love to see the little ones get excited about things like this. They are such sweet little babies it is nice to make them happy with something like a special food. Normally they get prescription cat food but occasionally we treat them to something different, like tonight.
· Dan and I were talking this evening and we are going to try to step up our diet a little. In our case that means more beans, and raw veggies. We are also going to start shifting our sleeping schedule so that we can get back to 6am workouts at the gym before work. Wish us luck on this one since neither of us are morning people. ;-)
· We had the most amazing weather on Tuesday; it was literally 68 degrees here on the last day on January. It does not feel like this is Maryland in the winter time but I am not complaining.
· Our refrigerator is stuffed full of fresh produce again which means that I feel much better. We had an appointment to take care of this afternoon and decided to stop for food while we were out. Life is definitely better with produce. ;-)
· We picked up a bag of Blue Buffalo cat kibble for the little ones and you would have thought we brought home drugs. They dove at the bag and opened it with their teeth while I put away the produce. Okay so they were a little uncivilized but they are felines so I cut them some slack. It was nice to see them so happy about different flavor of kibble.
· There was the cutest little bird at the pet store all by himself that I was talking too. Dan had to practically pull me away from him. I am sure my fur children would not have appreciated a bird in the house but he was darned cute.
· Dinner was raw veggies and hummus this evening and I loved it. That is such a simple dinner but one that I never grow tired of, I could eat it every day I think.