Our diets and lifestyle choices for the most part in this country have taken a turn for the worse…this will come as no surprise, I imagine. Obesity rate is at  epidemic proportions and people everywhere are developing allergies and illness. Statistically we are most likely to die from cancer than any other dis-ease. Each body is different and responds in different ways. There are no perfect answers but there are however some basic, general, and let’s face it, pretty obvious “rules” to live by. DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES~ I mean THIS one is a gimme, right? QUIT already!

EAT VEGGIES~ The fresher, more local organic the better but any kind is better than none. Look at your plate…how much COLOR is on it? Are you eating a variety or is is mostly white?

CUT DOWN ON SUGAR ~ So maybe I should be say cut “out” sugar, but let’s face it, cutting out sugar is one of those things that inevitably sends you running to the ice cream isle at midnight when you just cannot help yourself any longer. This is true for pretty much any kind of forbiddance…only makes you want it more. So cut back and find healthy alternatives for that sweet treat after dinner. Unsure where to start? Well there are a ton of great ideas on the internet and on my site as well. I also am teaching a class in February devoted to healthy dessert options…good plug right?

EXERCISE~ And I don’t mean that you have to be doing cross fit for crying out loud but GET MOVING! Walk, ride your bike, take the stairs instead of the elevator, lift a few weights. Even 10 minutes a day is better than nothing (think jumping jacks in front of the telly).

GOOD DIGESTION~ Truly one of the main contributors to a healthy body is good digestion. Why? Well because it assures that what you put in is moving out. If it is not going out then everything is just sitting inside of your body somewhere…you need to be pooping people! At least once a day if not a few times!. Read this article by Dr. Mercola…it will shock you.

DRINK WATER~ And plenty of it. Water flushes out toxins, creates healthy cells, hydrates and lubricates your joints and muscles and is a key component in digestion. Water also helps you feel full, 9 times out of 10 when you feel hungry you are actually thirsty. And no, soda, juice, coffee and not even wine take the place of water (beer neither guys, sorry). Drink GOOD quality water that is not full of chlorine, pharmaceuticals and heavy metals. And don’t try and get away with this zero calorie “Life” water stuff. These flavor enhanced waters and hydration drinks are acidic and an acidic body creates dis-ease. You can have the wine but be sure to hydrate while you do so. As I sit here writing this I am suffering a bit of a headache from an amazing dinner graciously cooked for me by another talented friend of mine, too much wine and not enough water, guilty as charged.

DE-STRESS~ Emotional stress is the biggest killer of all. You can eat the cleanest diet out there. You can be a olympic athlete (think Lance Armstrong). But if you have negative emotions and stress that run rampant in you life, no amount of super foods or marathon running will keep toxic feelings from poisoning your body. HEAL your heart! Think POSITIVE thoughts, be NICE to yourself and to others.

REST & REJUVENATE ~ Don’t let a busy work, family, life schedule prevent your from relaxing and recharging. If you do not take TIME FOR YOURSELF no one else is going to take it for you. Not to mention that if you are out of battery life then you have nothing left to give. Make time for yourself at least once a day, even if it is for only 30 minutes. It will make all the difference when you have to take life head on, I promise you. This is perhaps my biggest offense…but it NEVER fails that when I treat myself I have so much more to give to the world. With enough reminders maybe someday I will learn.

So you can see that I write these tips to myself as I also write them to you. Much of this we already know, some of it we already live on a regular basis. We all however need our gentle reminders. Be kind and patient with yourself. Know that each minute is an opportunity to start fresh, it is never too late. I BELIEVE that we are already great but have the power to be even GREATER. Now is the time