There are a lot of ways to get to our goals, but not all of us tackle new habits at the same speed. This spring I’m grateful for a couple of tools that can be used by a wide variety of personalities to improve health, whatever your pace.
Each spring, starting a couple years back, I’ve done a cleanse. I’ve tried a few different versions, but the most straightforward and well defined that I’ve found is called “The Whole 30”. The Whole 30 is really simple: it’s about eating only whole, unprocessed and easy to digest foods for 30 days. This means that you’ll be eating mostly vegetables, fruits (including olives and avocados!), as well as eggs and meats unless you are a vegetarian or vegan. You can make it simple and just try to make it through the 30 days with no processed food, or you can take it a step further, which I highly recommend, and make it into an elimination diet by adding back common allergens like wheat, sugar, soy and dairy one at a time, noticing if you have any kind of reaction to any of them. If you were my client, I would very likely advise you to do this. The science is clear: foods that we eat every day can either lead to disease, or heal and reverse it. Why not go beyond a temporary cleanse to find out if there are foods that are slowing your body down and causing inflammation so that you can live without digestive, hormonal and autoimmune issues for the rest of your life? The value of doing an elimination diet is immense–and doing one is FREE. There’s a book/cookbook that you can get about the Whole 30, but all you really need are a couple of pdfs, which you can print out for free from the internet.
Here are the pdfs that you’ll need to start your Whole 30. There are more available here, but these are the essentials:
The other tool that I’ve been enjoying this spring is an app called “Fabulous”. It is a habit-tracking app that is pretty customize-able, and it has some really good, timed exercise routines that are built in, that I can do in my bathroom every morning. It got me to build in the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning, which is really hard for me to do, but so important. It is run by some folks in Paris who are basing the app on research being done at Duke University around health and behavior change. As a Nutritionist I’m super interested in behavior change research, because the biggest part of my job is finding tools that will help people stick to their healthy goals and be consistent with actions that support their beliefs around the foods that will bring energy and life rather than increasing fat, depression and fatigue. Check out Fabulous while it’s still FREE! (Just go to settings if you want to turn off the mesmerizing sounds!)
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Here’s to our future with better health that doesn’t have to taste like granola or alfalfa sprouts!
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