I have been on a quest to not only share the value of a whole foods plant based diet but to figure out how to help people actually stick to healthy lifestyle changes. People understand they should eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise more, eat less, sleep more, decrease stress, be present in the moment, stop smoking, etc but they don’t. Why?
- Why do we self-sabotage?
- Why do we keep eating foods we know are killing us and our planet?
- Why do hide from the fact that we can’t eat junk food in moderation?
- Why don’t we treat our bodies as the temples they are?
Seriously, when you think about it we treat our cars, houses and pets better than we do our own bodies. The vehicles that carry us through this life…there are no do overs.
Now that I got you all cheery and happy let’s get to work on how we can keep you healthy. First, you have to own the fact that you are 100% responsible for your health, what you put in your mouth and whether you move your body. Okay, we got personal responsibility out of the way let’s go.
I know you have heard the saying what goes in comes out…garbage in and garbage out. This goes for not only the body but your mind. You must turn off the reality TV and start reading books, listening to podcasts that uplift your spirit, teach you new insights and improve your life. This really is not rocket science, that I can promise.
Next, get two books…the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and The Blue Zones, 9 Lessons for Living Longer by Dan Buettner. These two books alone contain all the knowledge you need to live a healthier and happier life.
The Power of Habit literally gives you an outline on how to start new habits and stop bad habits. Here is the framework:
- Identify the routine.
- Experiment with rewards.
- Isolate the cue.
- Have a plan.
Basically you are going to interrupt the habit loop you see in the picture above by replacing the routine that gives you the same reward and craving. Building a new habit you instill those pieces, practice them daily and viola you have a new habit. I could go into much further detail but he does a much better job than I could ever do in the book…so go get it please!
Blue Zones are areas in the world where centurions are a regularly seen…not populating nursing homes but remain productive members of society. In the back of the book, Dan Buettner, describes your personal Blue Zone and how to get started.
- Lesson one: Move naturally (makes sense)
- Lesson two: Hara Hachi Bu, painlessly cut calories by 20% (yes you can do this too)
- Lesson three: Plant Slant (yes that means no meat/dairy/fish and avoiding processed foods)
- Lesson four: Grapes of Life (drink red wine in moderation or if you are like me just eat the grapes)
- Lesson five: Purpose now (take time to see the big picture)
- Lesson six: Downshift (take time to relieve stress)
- Lesson seven: Belong (participate in a spiritual community)
- Lesson eight: Loved ones first (make family a priority)
- Lesson nine: Right tribe (be surrounded by those who share Blue Zone values)
There is a lot of information here so please take your time and start with the Power of Habit then start the Blue Zones as then you will be prepared to incorporate those into your life.
I hope you found these helpful! Please leave a comment below and share this if you think it could help someone else!