CROCKPOTS

English: Chef Pepín Slow Cooker

CROCKPOTS have to make my top 5 list for tools to make healthy living easier and more practical.

 

Is there anything these things can’t do?  Besides tasting amazing, what are some of the benefits of having one of these things lurking around your kitchen?

 

1. GOOD FOOD COMBINING and GOOD DIGESTION:  Cooking low and slow for hours creates an even “mixture” with whatever you decide to put in it.  Food is best eaten in simple combinations.  Often it is best to eat one food at a time, by itself.  However, cooking with a crockpot allows the food to “work out their differences” inside the pot.  Carrots, peas, chicken, onions, and garlic TRANSMUTES into “crockpot chicken and vegetables.”  This translates into better digestion.  Also, cooking things at a low temperature for hours is almost always better than quick-heat methods.  Cooking things (especially proteins) at very low heat is the best way to go.  This way, everything softens up for your digestion to go to work.  Ever have a burnt grilled chicken breast?  Not very appetizing to me.

 

2.  PRACTICAL:  These things are probably the most practical tool to have around the house.  Cooking and cleaning require little work.  There is no guesswork on timing.  They are super easy.  Instructions?  Chop up whatever vegetables sound good to you and your family.  Optionally throw in a piece of meat.  Set the timer.  DONE.  If you are fifteen minutes late from work or class?  Doesn’t usually matter.  Also, this is the perfect way to cook for large families without messing up the entire kitchen.  If you are single or in a small family, leftovers usually abound.  This is a great way to plan two days worth of food in a one time cook/clean job.

 

3. SAVES MONEY:  How many of us throw out old vegetables?  How about those rough cuts of meat we screw up?  This is a great way to start saving all that stuff.  Got some veggies that are starting to go bad?  Throw them in the crockpot.  Some cheaper cuts of meat are usually tough and chewy.  We can soften them up with the crockpot.  People have been doing this for thousands of years.  This is especially true of rough red meats and/or game meat.

 

There you have it folks.  I would recommend getting a LARGE crockpot.  It is better to have more room than you need to cook.  Sometimes we use ours to make giant meals with plenty of leftovers.  Other times, it can be used for simple vegetable dishes.  It depends what we are in the mood for.  Don’t be afraid to leave it on your counter.  It is easy to get hooked on the “crockpot meal.”

 

Happy Hunting =)

 

-JOE

 

 

 

INDIGESTION?

BK Meal

What about INDIGESTION?  Does it happen to everybody?  Do we even know what it means?  Maybe it is something most of us experience, yet view as a normal part of life.  Does it sound normal to you?  INDIGESTION?

I would wager to say that it is NOT normal.  It is not something to be experienced on a night out with the guys or date night with the girls.  What does indigestion really mean?  Well, it means what it sounds like.  Your digestion is not properly digesting, assimilating, and eliminating your food.  We can run into trouble at every step, but it really is all the same.  Where your system is weakest is where the chain will tend to break down.  So what is going on here?  Why do we “in-digest” and how can we fix it the natural way?

CAUSES:  We need to look at the causes of indigestion first.  Most of these aren’t too hard to guess on, but some are a little harder to avoid than others.  FOOD is obviously the primary culprit here.  Simple put?  WE EAT THINGS WE WEREN’T DESIGNED TO EAT!  So that puts us at a disadvantage already.  What are the worst offenders?  As usual; gluten, pasteurized dairy, processed foods, sugars, most quick-prep grains, overcooked food, “instant-food,” etc.  Surprisingly, high-fiber vegetables and fruit can be offensive as well.  Eating large amounts of high-cellulose salads, raw veggies, and unripe fruit can cause problems for people as well.  Add on to this the sheer BULK of food we eat at one time.  We often eat gigantic portions of food.  Usually we eat them in horrible combinations as well.  Do we really think a burger, fruit salad, french fries with cheese, and a large coke is a good thing?  You can add stress to the list of causes as well.  Eating while anxious, stressed, in a hurry, or emotional can all cause indigestion.  So what can we realistically do about all of this?  There are a few simple remedies that will keep indigestion at bay and keep you free from OTC medications.

DIET:  As usual, the diet is the biggest factor for most of us.  Cut out the offensive foods.  Eat smaller portions more frequently.  If roughage veggies and fruits bother you; don’t eat too much of them.  Juicers and blenders are great here as well.  Try to follow good food combining.  This is a post in itself (maybe tomorrow), but there are some easy things to remember.  Eat fruit alone on an empty stomach.  Fruit digests quick and will ferment and produce gas if it is eaten after a major meal.  Don’t mix heavy starches and proteins together at the same meal.  Unfortunately this cuts out most people’s favorites.  Mashed potatoes and steak.  Burgers and fries.  Pizza.  The list goes on.  Those are the biggies.

STRESS:  Figure out where your stress is coming from and try to eliminate it.  Don’t watch upsetting news or stimulating movies while eating.  Don’t argue with your spouse or children.  Try to create relaxed mealtimes.  Having family time and blessing your food is a great habit to get into.  If possible, don’t rush yourself.  How are you supposed to digest anything well when you are already somewhere else in your mind?  Plan ahead, cook in bulk, etc.  Do what you need to do to be able to have relaxed, pleasant mealtimes.

CLEANSE:  For most of us; some form of cleansing will be necessary to completely fix the problem.  Why is the diet not good enough?  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn’t.  How clean are you willing to go?  The problem is that most of us have YEARS of bad habits behind us.  Think of adding up all the cereals, the cheese, the bread and pasta, the pizza, etc.  You get the idea.  So you end up with a big job on your hands.  Cleansing can speed up the process for most of us.  Simple things like herbs can really help.

So there you have it.  INDIGESTION.  As usual, eliminating the causes is the most important step.  The body will always heal itself when given the opportunity =)

-JOE

“Comfort Food” MY ASS

Macaroni and cheese is an American comfort food

Ok, I admit it.  I have a small beef with “comfort food.”  I am not talking about real comforting, nourishing foods.  I am talking about the junk food that we have grown to label “comfort food.”  Don’t think that emotions don’t play into this as well.  Let’s look at some qualities of what most of us have come to think of as comfort food.  Soft, mushy, usually warm (except ice cream), starchy, fatty, etc.  Basically heavy, easily digestible, high-calorie fare.  Is that the whole story though?  More and more I begin to think there is a whole other side to this issue.  Are we simply eating for nourishment or is it more as a buffer?  What about the emotional side?  When did we eat comfort food?  Birthdays.  Christmas.  Thanksgiving.  Hopefully happy times right?  Cake, pies, cheesy potatoes, cookies, meatloaf, etc.  It is pretty hard to take a break right?  Let’s look at some traditional “nourishing foods” that serve the same purpose in the body.

FATS:  Raw butter, raw or lightly cooked egg yolks, coconuts/oil, olives/oil, animal fats, raw nuts, bone marrow.  These fats have been used for thousands of years.  They are rich.  They taste great.  They nourish the body.

CARBS:  Carbs are many people’s favorite “comfort foods.”  At least we like to think that is the case most of the time.  Is it really the carbs though?  Or is the “gunky stuff.”  The breads, the pasta, the cereals, lasagna, fried rice, etc.  Ask yourself which it is?  Nature has provided us with plenty of carbohydrates to choose from.  Root vegetables are particularly useful.  Parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.  Fruit can also be great.  I am not one for “whole grains” but unprocessed and properly prepared grains are a hell of a lot better than the processed stuff. 

PROTEINS:  Protein is often included in comfort food as well.  Favorites may include burgers with fries, fried chicken wings, meats on pizzas, cheese, fried steaks, and ribs.  I can’t lie; ribs are pretty damn TASTY.  So what are some good proteins?  Lightly cooked animal proteins would include egg whites, wild caught fish, and free range poultry and ruminant animals.  Healthy cooking options include crock-pots, baking, steaming, etc.  Frying or high-heat grilling is not recommended.

Now that we have taken a look at things, I will ask the question again.  Do we like the nourishment or do we use these things as a buffer?  I will tell people to eat as much REAL FOOD as they want.  Let’s compare a few nourishing meals versus fake food comfort.

PROCESSED COMFORT:  Most of us don’t have to think too hard on this one.  Pizzas, pastas, anything with pasteurized dairy, burgers with fries, cakes, donuts, cereals, pastries, latte’s, anything fried, etc.

NOURISHING COMFORT:  Most of us have not been introduced to these foods in the modern world.  Steamed sweet potatoes and broccoli with coconut oil.  Parsnips and peas with raw butter.  Lightly cooked eggs and avocado omelet with veggies.  Crock-pot meals with chicken or lamb mixed with vegetables and olive oil as a topping.  There are plenty of healthy treats as well.

So there you have it.  Give yourself a test.  Is it the calories and nourishment you are after?  Or does “comfort food” serve some other function in your life?  Looking at what types of comfort food it is hard to give up can tell you a lot about your internal state.  Do you crave fried fats and foods?  Or maybe for you it is the sugar.  What are you buffering against? It is great to reminisce about high school or times in childhood but we need to learn to separate the “good times” from the food that is associated with it.  After eating real food for a while, most cravings usually start disappearing if they are related to true nourishment.  Our modern culture has skewed what food we think we need to function.  So having said that, COMFORT FOOD MY ASS.

-JOE

Healthy KITCHEN Gadgets and Appliances

English: Food dehydrator Français : Déshydrateur

 

Being healthy is always possible without modern tools.  However, they seem to help a lot with the convenience of it all.  They usually save time, effort, space, etc.  Most of these are helpful for our food preparation and storage.  So what made the list?  In no particular order.

1.  JUICER:  Juicing is something most people have heard about by now.  You basically extract the juice out of fruits and vegetables and consume.  The price range on these things is huge.  I wouldn’t recommend getting the cheapest one you can find.  I also don’t think there is any need to get the most expensive one either.  Get a solid unit that has a powerful motor that won’t break down on you.  Juicing is a great way to start “re-alkalizing” your body and to start pumping in powerful nutrition.  One glass may contain 4-5 servings of vegetables.

2.  CROCK-POT:  These things are invaluable.  They are especially handy in the winter when animal products become more and more useful.  I would get a large one.  This way you are able to fit family sized meals in one pot.  Things like whole chickens, legs of lamb, roasts, etc.  The ability to throw stuff together and slow-cook it all day is great.  The more we learn about cooking, we realize that “low and slow” is the way to go.

3. DEHYDRATOR:  A little less essential but still valuable.  It really depends on who you are and what your schedule is.  A dehydrator can help you create high quality raw soaked nuts and seeds, dried fruits and vegetables, homemade meat and fish jerky, and more.  Personally, I think of these as more snack or travel foods instead of regular food.  However, many people find correctly prepared nuts and seeds to be a great part of their diet.

4. GOOD KNIFE/CUTTING BOARD:  Who wants to cut vegetables or fruit with bad knives?  We have all used bad knives before.  The words “flimsy” and “dull” come to mind.  I certainly don’t want to chop up anything with one of these things.  Buying an expensive knife set is not needed.  Invest in one or two high-quality knives and a sharpener.  Keep your knives sharp and you will have a lot more fun doing kitchen work.  Keep a large cutting board around as well.  Make sure it is large enough so that the things you are chopping don’t want to wander off.

5. FOOD PROCESSOR/BLENDER:  I don’t have much experience with these, but I know how valuable they can be.  Food processors can be used to chop vegetables far quicker than we can chop them.  This may be great for large families.  Using them for small meals or personal proportions may be going overboard.  Cleanup may be an issue here.  Blenders are a little bit different, although many machines are starting to do both.  Blenders are as valuable as their motors and blades.  These can be used to do a lot of great jobs in the kitchen.  Creating smoothies and other similar creations can be helpful on the go.  Cleanup is not too bad with certain models.

6.  MASON JARS:  Mason jars can be used for all kinds of things in the kitchen.  They can be used to create fermented vegetables and drinks.  Storage for foods like sauerkraut, raw kefir,  fermented salsa, etc.  They can also be used to keep herb mixtures around for easy usage.  Definitely find the older-style ones made out of glass for these.

7.  COFFEE GRINDER:  This isn’t necessarily for coffee folks.  These little guys don’t take up much space in the cabinet.  They are inexpensive.  What do they do?  They can help you process fresh herbs and spices.  Fresh cinnamon tastes a lot different from stuff that has been sitting on a shelf for a year.  The same goes with cloves.  Many freshly dried herbs can be processed in coffee grinders.  Creating small batches of things keeps it fresh.

8.  GLASS TUPPERWARE:  Go with the glass guys.  Get different sizes.  It is always nice to have storage containers around for leftovers.  These can also be used to store homemade things like raw butter, pre-made meals, etc.

9.  HEALTHY COOKBOOKS:  Some people hate cooking.  Some people don’t like cooking with cookbooks.  Some like cooking with cookbooks.  It is always nice to have some recipe ideas sitting around that we can whip up.  These keep things fresh in the kitchen.  It is amazing how easy it is to fall into eating the same stuff day in and day out.

10.  SKILLETS/POTS:  These are essentials.  Stainless steal or ceramic is best here.  Drop the teflon and “non-stick” varieties that usually have chemicals in them.  Cast iron is another good option.

11.  STEAMER:  Another essential.  Steaming vegetables is one of the healthier ways to prepare them.    You can’t get much easier either.  Most vegetables are done in 5-10 minutes.  I would try to find a stainless steel one.

This list could probably go on forever guys.  These are the basics.  Each one of these things will help keep the kitchen fresh and pumping out healthy food.  It sure beats slicing vegetables with that old knife.

“The CONVENIENCE FACTOR”

Meal

The “Convenience factor huh?”  I really believe that there are only a handful of reasons that most of us choose bad habits.  Time, money, effort, convenience, fears, ignorance.  I think some of us play the ignorance card but that is becoming harder and harder to do with today’s culture.  So what about convenience?  I will admit that sometimes living a healthy lifestyle isn’t always convenient.  I have faith that things are improving though.  Grocery stores are popping up with more organic produce.  Farmers markets are booming.  Things are definitely moving in the right direction.  But what about the average person on the go?  Someone who doesn’t have time to cook and clean up all day.  I know making your own supplements and all is cheaper but that requires time and effort right?  Of course if you have the money you can always purchase your own but most of this stuff isn’t really too hard.  Here are a few tips to help save time and effort when it comes to achieving true health.

1.  Buy in bulk.  This saves money, time, and effort.  How can you lose?  Fruits and vegetables generally can’t be bought this was and are better off nabbed up from weekly farmers market or grocery store trips.  The best things to purchase in bulk would be healthy oils, raw nuts, grains/beans (for rare occasions/emergencies), eggs, and meats.  Most good farmers have options of buying 1/4, 1/2, or even whole animals to stock up on.  Think about purchasing a “chest freezer” to store all of this stuff in.  Healthy oils can be purchased large quantities as well.  With olive oil I would recommend getting smaller bottles as the oil is a lot more fragile and goes rancid quicker.  Coconut oil can be purchased in gallon jugs.

2. SNACKS.  This is the saver for a lot of people.  Healthy snacks are a must if you want to stay on track. We are all busy.  We are on the go.  Sometimes we are bound to be hungry while we are out and about or at work.  The easy route?  Candy bars, pop, junk beef jerky, roasted nuts, etc.  Please don’t fall on that wagon.  There are easy ways to eat healthy snacks at work and on the go as well.  If your work allows it, try to gain access to a “mini-fridge” you can place your own stuff in.  Keep some homemade stuff ready to snack on you can grab before heading out the door.  What are the best healthy snack-foods?  The options are only as limited as we are.  Good go to snacks would include any in-season fruit, soaked and dehydrated raw nuts, wild-caught seafood in cans, properly prepared olives, homemade jerky, high-quality protein powder, etc.  Don’t be afraid to bring glass Tupperware with leftover vegetables or last night’s dinner.  If you are really daring you can keep things like eggs or fish for sashimi.

3.  Cook in bulk.  Sometimes cooking is relaxing.  Sometimes we don’t want to do it.  An easy way to mitigate this?  Cook in bulk.  A lot of stuff doesn’t need cooking.  This includes fruits, most fats, and certain high-quality animal foods.  This is about the stuff that generally is better cooked.  Hardy vegetables, certain meats (poultry), etc.  The crock-pot is an amazing invention.  They are relatively inexpensive.  Get a large size.  These things can hold whole chickens and pounds of vegetables.  Literally all we have to do is throw the chicken in and quick-chop some veggies and boom.  Dinner is ready 6 hours later.  Try to eat a variety of vegetables.  A good idea is to make a large pot of steamed vegetables in the morning hours to use throughout the day.  These tips avoid a lot of unnecessary clean up by more-or-less cooking one large meal throughout the day.  Maybe this means using the same vegetables in an egg scramble in the morning and with baked salmon or lamb at night.

4.  Keep “fruit and root bowls.”  This step is simple.  Keep large bowls around the kitchen to store fruits and roots.  In the fruit bowl can go hardy fruits such as apples or pears.  In the root bowl can go all kinds of vegetables.  Onions, sweet potatoes, garlic, potatoes, etc.  Keeping these in bowls also helps save room in the fridge.

5.  Gadgets.  This is a section in itself, but keeping kitchen gadgets around can help a lot with time and convenience.  Things like food processors, blenders, juicers, good quality knives and cutting boards all come in handy.

6.  Try “kitchen medicine” and “super-foods” first.  Before you rush out and buy boatloads of supplements try to utilize things you can just include in your daily diet.  These include most kitchen herbs and super-foods.  You may find that you won’t need too many supplements after a while.

7.  FREEZE.  I would prepare most of your meals fresh.  However, who doesn’t like to just come home and throw something in a skillet sometimes?  Sometimes just having easy to prepare meals at home is all it takes to avoid some quick junk.  Take an hour or so and create a few complete meals to pre-freeze.  These could be just vegetable meals or vegetable/protein combos.  Just take them out, throw in the skillet, and reheat.  Easy.

8.  Implement healthy choices into your “lifestyle.”  These often revolve more around mental/emotional or spiritual patterns than food.  Get your sleep schedule down, get involved with a spiritual practice, watch funny movies or t.v. shows, etc.  When you are cooking, cleaning, or eating; try to spend time with your family or friends.  Meal times are natural times to work on our relationships.

9.  Don’t buy into the hype on exercise and gyms.  We truly do not need to purchase fancy gym memberships or exercise for hours daily in order to achieve our goals.  The shape of our bodies are primarily going to be shaped by the food that goes into our mouths.  Exercise is a stimulus.  Mild-exercise is the best thing for health.  Brisk-walking, light jogging, biking, swimming, kayaking, hiking, etc.  Light strength training is also excellent.  Bodyweight exercises are among the best.  Try to keep everything rounded.  We realistically do not need to sit on treadmills or elliptical machines for hours on end to achieve good results.  Some stretching, cardio, strength training, and meditation practices will keep you well-rounded.  

This all ties into priorities guys and girls.  Sometimes working on our health is not easy or convenient.  It depends on what we are willing to do to achieve our goals.  There is always a way to live a reasonably healthy-lifestyle while keeping up with our job, family, etc.  We usually just need to be creative and often use modern-technology to help us do it.

-Joe

 

 

Principle of STEP-by-STEP

Step Pyramid

Step Pyramid (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)

 

Step by Step.  This applies to a lot of things in life.  Today, we are talking about health.  We live in a society that generally wants quick-fixes.  We want six-minute abs.  We want on-demand movies.  We want a lot of things.  It sometimes seems like we are not worth working for certain things any more.  These things may include our health, family relationships, mental/emotional health, spiritual health, etc.  These things are THE FOUNDATION of our lives.  If we do not have our health then we cannot build an efficient, happy life.  Health can always be rebuilt.  However, it often takes some serious dedication to achieve.  This does not mean hopping on a diet plan for a few weeks hoping to shed a few pounds.  It does not mean swallowing pills and drugs to “fix” the problem.  It often means a steady uphill climb.  It means changing the way we live our lives.  It also means changing our mindset.  The mindset of accomplishing certain things without effort.  It often means changing the way our family and friends perceive us.  Often it means changing the way WE see OURSELVES!  It also means undoing this “get everything done this minute” attitude.  Which brings us to the principle of “step-by-step.”  How do we work on our health step by step?  I have a few basic tips to help you put this principle into action.

1.  INVENTORY:  Take a good hard look at where you are currently.  We are usually so busy that we don’t always take the time to really BE with our bodies, minds, and souls.  Take a personal day and really take inventory of where you FEEL that you are right now.  This is often a very hard step.  It is especially hard if we have health challenges, have been ignoring our bodies for a long time, or have bad mental habits to break.  This is an inventory on all levels.  Where is your physical health?  How is your family life?  How is your spiritual life?  Do you have any traumas or repressed emotional conflicts that need resolution?  These questions will give you a good idea of what you could work on.

2.  BASICS:  I think I will repeat this stuff all the time, but it’s because it’s the most important stuff.  Implement the basics into your life.  Fresh air, clean spring water, whole-foods, sunshine, grounding, mild exercise, good sleep, rest, laughter, love, play, etc.  These things should be a part of your daily routine.  The most challenging of these is the food.  Sometimes it is important to figure out WHO you are and what food is right for you.  We are all different and require different stuff at different times.  Keys are focusing on real food and cutting out fried foods, pasteurized dairies, gluten, sugar, packaged stuff, etc.

3.  DEDICATION:  Do what it takes to improve in these areas.  Often times the biggest areas include family issues, spiritual issues, relationships, mental thought patterns and belief systems, etc.  It is hard to believe that that birthday cake is bad for us when our inner child was SO HAPPY eating it!  Fixing the lifestyle is of foremost importance.  However, sticking with the lifestyle choices may be a matter of fixing relationships with God, ourselves, our families and friends.

4.  ALLOW:  Here is the kicker.  Allow room for error.  Allow room to mess up.  Allow a cheat day on your diet.  The point is not to “ARRIVE” at health as quick as you can.  The point is to create a lifestyle that facilitates health.  There is no way to fake this stuff.  TRUE healing and health only come from one source.  That is God and nature.  When we live in accordance with these doctrines health and healing tend to occur on all levels.  The farther we separate ourselves from these principles; the worse off we tend to be.  My chiropractor has a sign up in his office that says “Healing is on God’s Time.”  I always loved this sign as it reminds us to allow the body to do what it was designed to do.  We don’t need to tell a cut on our arm to heal up.  We need to fuel ourselves properly and allow it to heal itself.  The same is true when we remove blockages to our own healing.

So in summary, health is a step-by-step game.  Don’t expect to achieve it overnight.  But know that there are people out there enjoying amazing health and vitality.  They are the people who work for it.  Or play for it; depending on how you look at it =)  The ironic thing is that the more we live in accordance to natural law, the more beautiful and elegant our lives seem to become.

-Joe

Benefits of Health PROTOCOLS/ROUTINES

English: A White Clover (Trifolium repens). Fr...

With so much information out there, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of health data.  We have thousands of different people jibber jabbering away on the right thing to do in ALL CASES!  This guy says NEVER eat animal products.  This guy says ONLY eat animal products.  We are humans.  We are not ALWAYS correct and it is frustrating that this mentality prevails.  Unfortunately, we are raised in America usually to think with our minds and not with our hearts or intuition.  This prevents a pretty big problem.  We are always looking for the best logical thing to do without always listening to what is working for US!  We come from different ancestry, lineages, etc.  We live in different locations and climates.  We have different jobs and activity levels.  Why in the world would we do everything the same way?  Ok, enough ranting for today.  This is a post on how to calm all of this down.  How to get set up with a healthy schedule that you can count on.  If you are analyzing your own program every day you will be miserable; trust me =)

BASICS FIRST:  These are the things that used to be no-brainers but today we need to be careful with.  What are the basics?  FRESH air, CLEAN water (not tap water), sunlight, grounding, going to bed on time, avoiding EMF, avoiding junk food, laughter, joy, LOVE, etc.  These are things that are natural for what a humans environment should look like.  These are things that become routine and then we don’t have to think about them much.

GOALS?:  Figure out and make a list of your own personal goals with your health.  This can be as small or as broad as you want.  It could be as simple as getting into better shape or dropping a few pounds.  It could be as complex as curing cancer or other serious disease “processes.”  It could have nothing to do with physical health and everything to do with spiritual or emotional health.  The point is to figure out your PERSONAL goals to separate yourself from what goals others may have.

PERSONALIZE:  Create a personalized program.  This can be done with a professional health practitioner, a natural health practitioner, etc.  It can be created by yourself if you are familiar with what you are doing.  For instance; if you are trying to clean out your liver, you may be eating a very cleansing diet, avoiding fried fatty foods, using herbs to aid in bile production, coffee enemas, etc.  The point at this step is to customize a program that you can STICK TO.

GIVE ROOM:  Give yourself a little bit of room.  Allow a small treat meal here and there.  Give yourself permission to miss a day, accomplish 99% instead of 100, etc.  If following a program stresses you out or makes you afraid of that 1% of the time you fall off the wagon; you are not going to accomplish as much.

LONG-TERM:  Think long-term here.  When creating your goals, try to avoid things that you will be doing for a week and stopping.  Things like crash diets, hardcore cleanses, etc.  Those may have their place at certain times but they shouldn’t be part of a long-term practice.  The whole point of this process is so that you can find a relatively simple, inexpensive, gentle program that is easy to stick to and that you can TRUST.

RE-EVALUATE:  Periodically reevaluate your program.  This does not mean daily or weekly =)  Maybe once a month or so check out what progress you have made.  Maybe it is time to change around your goals. Maybe you have accomplished your original goal and it is time to move on.  Perhaps it is a different season and you need to adjust the diet.  This phase is designed to figure out what is working and what isn’t.

Those are the basics guys.  It is always important to listen to your own intuition.  Especially when it comes to things like what we are eating, how much rest and exercise we need, etc.  Keeping things simple is a great way to mitigate stressful situations.  Health challenges create a lot of stress for people.  The last thing they need is some extremely complex protocol and trying to follow advice from every person out there with an opinion.  So let’s improve our lives by using healthy protocols and programs.

-Joe