Have you set an intention to make better choices around diet and exercise in the New Year? Kudos for recognizing a change needs to be made and committing to it! As you begin to adopt new, healthier behavior, remember that change is a process. Be kind and patient with yourself. It takes about six weeks for a new behavior to become ingrained in our lifestyle, whether it's exercising, eating more veggies and less meat, or limiting those sodas you've come to love.
Success involves creating plans for moving forward, as well as for for managing those inevitable setbacks. Here are some simple strategies to help you achieve your goals.
Know Your Why. Write down why you want to adopt a particular health behavior or change a poor one. Motivation is an important predictor of behavior, so be honest with yourself. Think deeper than just wanting to fit into smaller clothes - examine how you want to feel when you achieve that goal. Connecting emotion to your "why" strengthens your motivation and willingness to stick to the goal: I'll feel healthier and stronger and more confident when I lose weight and fit into a smaller size.
Find Your Tribe. Enlist the support of loved ones, friends, and co-workers. Working toward a goal together provides social support that makes it easier (and more fun) to stick with making the change. You might start by telling the people closest to you what you are doing and why. Ask people for specific help: When you see me reach for a third cookie, please say something. Tell people what you need as you start and keep them updated as you progress.
Have a Plan and Be Flexible. Anything you want to achieve isn't about finding the time, it's about making the time - and that's a choice in your power. Look at your daily and weekly routines to identify blocks of time when you can exercise or prepare meals in advance. It may mean getting up 20 minutes earlier or getting off social media. Do it. Make actual appointments with yourself and keep them. Planning also means knowing your environment - at home, work and play - and being aware of triggers that could put you off course. Examples: bring your lunch instead of going out; take a walk before eating; reduce temptation by removing salty, fatty snacks from the house; shop for food mindfully, staying in the outside aisles of the store where the food is typically healthier. And be flexible: life happens and things will get in the way. Those are temporary shifts. Get right back to your health routine the following day or as soon as possible.
"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man." - Benjamin Franklin
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Because herbs come from nature, many people believe they're safe to take at any time. But, that's simply not true. In fact, many herbs
should not be taken while trying to conceive or during pregnancy and post-partum, while breastfeeding. The constituents of plants -
phytochemicals and other active compounds - can interact with hormones that circulate during the prenatal period and as the fetus is developing.
Some herbs can stimulate the uterus to contract. And, if you have other health conditions for which medication is prescribed, there is
potential for a drug-herb interaction...
Commonly known as NAC, N-acetylcysteine is an amino
acid that supports critical functions and helps
fight infection. Our body manufactures NAC
using the cysteine from the foods we ingest. Sources
include most meats and certain plants, including
broccoli, red pepper and onion. Bananas,
garlic, soy beans, linseed (aka, flax seed) and
wheat germ also contain cysteine.
The splitting pain of an earache: while mostly common
in children, adults can also be affected. We all know
the itchy, scratchy, stuffy, feverish, achy feelings
that come with a sore throat and a head cold, but ear
pain is probably the worst. It starts with an overworked
immune system, affecting one of our most vulnerable
systems - the respiratory tract - which includes the
mouth, throat, nose and ears.
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