Wellness – 6 Essentials for a Vibrant Life

Wellness Clean Eating Program

In today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find the time to look after ourselves.  There appears that there is no time for wellness.  Meal planning is a nuisance if we decide to do it all, and we often find ourselves scarfing down whatever is convenient, eating food to survive instead of to thrive. We find ourselves fatigued and wonder what is wrong, where does the day go?

We must learn to make ourselves a priority. We need to pay attention to what we do with our bodies because it is our health that gives us the quality of life we want. It is essential that in chasing after these things, we do not forget the organism that is helping us achieve all these things—our bodies.

1. Clean Eating

While it is completely okay to indulge in a favorite comfort food once in a while or bake some cookies to feel all warm and fuzzy, it is important to remember what our bodies really need among all the junk. Our bodies need clean, balanced diets that include fresh fruit and vegetables, clean proteins, and healthy fats.

2. Staying Active

Exercise is not scary. It comes in all forms, in all varieties, in all speeds and intensities. Walking, yoga, stretching, jogging, push-ups, jumping jacks; even gardening, playing with your kids, taking the stairs…anything that helps you move your body can be counted as exercise. Pack a pair of sneakers with you wherever you go, and you are sure to find more opportunities for exercise than you realize. If you find yourself with five or ten minutes, dance or do something with your body to re-energize you, instead of checking your social media. If your body is moving, your muscles are receiving fresh blood and oxygen that will rejuvenate you and release those happy endorphins.

3. Digital Detoxes

It is imperative that you step back from your technology every once in a while. Some psychologists say that humans are not intended to efficiently process human suffering and experience at the scale that social media allows. Take time to reconnect with people in person, practice solitude, and gain some perspective.

4. Pay attention to your feelings

What do you need? Do you need a run? Do you need a rest? Do you need a quiet night at home, or would your emotional health benefit from a night out with friends? Your body is always communicating with you; listen to you to guide your lifestyle. If you are not making healthy choices, your body will let you know. If you are not feeling like yourself, then listen to your feelings.

5. Mix it up

The only thing constant in life is change and change can be a good thing. Variety is important. Try something new for dinner, or go to a new exercise class instead of pedaling away on the stationary bike. Try a new route to work or pick up a new hobby. Just try something new to keep yourself moving forward. Experience is the exercise for the soul.

6. Rest

Everything falls into place when you take a break from work to play and rest. Schedule some time each week to do something fun, meditate, or just relax and make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Rest is a great way to boost creativity and create balance and hormony.

21-Day Clean Eating (Wellness) Program

If you are ready to make you a priority so you can live a vibrant and exciting life full of possibilities, I invite you to join my 21-Day Clean Eating Program. It will begin on August 5th and the Facebook group is already loaded with material to get you started so you are ready to go in August.

Here is the link:


Sugar – Are you singing the sugar blues?

sugar cool math

Let’s be honest, maintaining healthy weight with all the sugar options available is much harder to do today than it was 100 years ago or even 50 years ago. It just seems a bit unfair, but we are humans and we adapt. Sometimes we just don’t adapt fast enough.

Back when we had to hunt and forage for food, our brains were perfectly suited to seeking out calorie dense foods which was a good thing because we never knew when the next meal was coming and we had to expend a lot of energy to get a meal, so it needed to be a good one.

Now we live with food on every corner, donuts in meetings, and candy bowls on desks. And sugar comes in so much more variety. Honey was about the only option in our foraging days, not we’ve got sugar combined with fat and salt; think of all the different ways we do chocolate, salted caramel, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries. I mean it just goes on and on!

Unfortunately for us, our brains haven’t quite adapted to our abundance of food. It’s still in the pattern of seeking out calorie dense and highly rewarding food and when the brain sees death by chocolate cake, it’s eyes get big and does a touch down dance; SCORE! Think about it; lots of yummy, satisfying calories and it didn’t involve any effort except that of you moving a fork from the plate to your mouth.

So, yes, it’s harder for us today, but not impossible. Here are some strategies to help retrain your brain:

  • If you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it – the first thing you can do is keep your money in your wallet. It’s much easier to talk yourself out of buying a decadent treat than it is to stop yourself from eating it. Call someone if you need to.
  • You don’t have to eat the whole thing – if your money does come out of the wallet, take up to 4 bites and leave the rest. It will satisfy your cravings without sabotaging your goals. You can also share.
  • Eat it with a meal – making dessert part of a meal allows the fat, protein, and fiber from the meal to help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream so you don’t end up with roller coaster blood sugar where it goes high and then comes crashing down, leaving you with more cravings for sugar.
  • Get your sugar fix with healthier options – try berries and whipped cream, a kids size scoop of ice cream with cinnamon, frozen grapes, frozen bananas dipped in dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao), or apples stir fried in butter with cinnamon and ginger. You’ll get some nutrients with these treats and they will help cut cravings for more extreme desserts.
  • Create barriers – if you want a treat, make it yourself instead of buying it premade. This helps you expend a few extra calories in obtaining it and allows you to control the ingredients so you can use healthier fats, reduce the sugar and use more nutritive sweeteners. Plus, if you have to make it, you might just decide to do without. Another barrier you can set up is cost. Get more nutritive sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, molasses, coconut sugar, and date sugar. These are more expensive than white sugar which can help to cut down on the amount of sweets you eat.

Note: If you’re looking to make a change with a fresh start then check out this other Family Health Advocacy article on cleansing in just 21 days.

If you just can’t resist the sweet treats, examine your diet. You might not be getting enough salt and fat. It might take some practice and a few strategies, but you can get the upper hand when it comes to sugar.  Be careful with artificial sweeteners as well.  You may think that you’ve found a healthy alternative but all sweeteners are not created equal and many come with some serious health risks.

If you’d like to be notified when my book, The Switch Diet, is available, follow me on Facebook or get on my email list.

How To Find The Best Diet For You

How to find the best diet for you

From keto to vegan, there are a plethora of diets to choose from and proponents of specific diets think their way is the right way for everyone. So, what is the healthiest diet?

Weston A. Price was a dentist in the early 1900s and he went around the world studying the diets of indigenous populations. He wanted to find out why Americans had such narrow jaws, cavities, and required root canals. He found that people who were eating their traditional diets (no processed foods) had wide jaws with plenty of room for wisdom teeth, few if any cavities, and no need for root canals. So, what diet provided these benefits?

This may surprise you, but Price found a wide variety of diets that promoted health, from mostly plant based to mostly animal based. He did not find a one-size-fits-all diet.

Here are some tips to finding the diet that works best for you:

  1. Listen to your body – this is key! Stop paying attention to what everyone is saying and start paying attention to how you feel. Do you have energy? Do you sleep well? Do you feel bloated? Do you have digestive issues like acid reflux? Do you have a bowel movement every day? Any skin issues, like acne or eczema? Get in touch with how you feel and what is going on with your body.
  2. Eat real food – Price did not find any healthy populations eating processed foods. Whatever diet you choose, whether keto, vegan or something in between, you need to eat real food, not fake, processed foods.
  3. Enjoyment – do you enjoy the foods you are eating or do you dread the diet you are on? Life is stressful enough without having to add to it with a diet you don’t enjoy.
  4. Can you stick to it for life? – this is important if you don’t want to keep going on and off diets. A diet should be nourishing, taste good, and support your lifestyle, otherwise you won’t stick to it.

What’s more important than what you eat is what you don’t eat:

  1. Avoid fats that did not exist before 1850, like canola, soybean, corn, and cottonseed oils, margarine, and Crisco.
  2. Limit sugar and flours.
  3. Avoid GMOs, pesticides, and herbicides. Go to ewg.org and print out the dirty dozen and the clean 15 lists to see which fruits and vegetables are best organic. If you eat anything with soy, corn, cotton, or canola, make sure it is organic.
  4. Eat animals that are humanely raised, eat their traditional diets, and are not loaded with antibiotics and hormones.

So, what’s the best diet? The diet that makes you feel good, you enjoy, and you can stick to for life.