Wednesday, December 1, 2010

At Your Desk Hip Flexor Stretch



If you are stuck at your desk and know you need to get up and mobilize your hip flexors, but just can’t get away, this is the next best thing.

Shift over to the right in your chair so that both sit bones are still on the chair, but your right leg can hang down.  Now just let the leg hang, upper leg perpendicular to the floor, lower leg and foot behind you (on your toes).  Sit up straight and hold a few minutes.

Switch sides and repeat.  If you have a chair with armrests this is obviously not going to work, but as long as your chair has no sides, you can stretch out tight hip flexors while still being productive!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Muscle Health 101


Maintaining muscle health is one of the most important things you can focus on, as it benefits overall health just as much as it does your muscles!

Here are 6 simple things you can do to help your muscles stay pain free!

1)    Avoid overuse.  If you use a particular muscle or group of muscles repeatedly, they will become over worked and possibly tear and/or develop trigger points.  Try to take breaks, or mix up your activities so that you aren’t doing the same thing over and over.  Also, if you work on a computer all day, going home and spending all night online might not be the greatest idea.
2)    Ice is a great help to tired or overworked muscles. If you are on your feet all day, soak them in a bucket of cold water.  If it is forearms, fill a sink and plunge them in.  Use a garden hose on calves and legs after a vigorous workout, or put an ice pack on an overworked shoulder.
3)    Eat anti-inflammatory foods and avoid pro-inflammatory foods.  This means choosing food like fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts, seeds, fish, and turmeric, and avoiding food like sugar, processed snack foods and meat, refined grains, trans fats and dairy as much as possible.
4)    Strength train.  Stronger muscles can withstand much more repetitive use, are more resistant to trigger point formation, help maintain your metabolism, posture, and just look good too!  Research has shown that working your muscles to fatigue even once per week is helpful, so no one has an excuse not to anymore!
5)    Move.  Your body needs motion to lubricate joints, pump blood back to the heart, oxygenate and feed nutrients to cells, and keep all your systems functioning.  Maintaining full range of motion helps keep muscles and joints loose and limber too.
6)    Get regular massage!  Massage therapy helps relax muscle, alleviate trigger points, maintain range of motion, reduce stress, and the list goes on!   

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fundraiser for Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Foodbank

"Heat to Eat" October fundraiser:

During the entire month of October, 30% of ALL Thermal Palm sales will be going to Loaves and Fishes, in plenty of time for the busy Christmas season.

This is a great opportunity for you to try Thermal Palms heated massage during your October visit, and support a great organization at the same time.

The Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank helps feed the hungry of Nanaimo, providing survival rations consisting of a combination of five to seven non-perishable items selected to meet the basic nutritional guidelines.

Thermal Palms are silky soft bundles that are heated up and held in the therapists’ hands during a massage treatment.  They are similar to hot rock therapy, but unlike rocks, these super pliable bundles can be massaged right over bones, providing for a fluid, seem-less warm massage.

Applying heat over the spine is very relaxing, and having a thermal palm run from your neck down the spine to the low back could very well make you drool!  It is a great way to warm tissues prior to deeper work, and helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is your “rest and repair” mode.

This is definitely a win-win fundraiser, so book your thermal palm treatment in October, have the most relaxing massage ever, while helping fill the tummy’s of Nanaimo’s citizens in need!

If you already have an appointment booked in October, and would like to add thermal palms to it, just give me a call or email to set it up.  If you don’t have an appointment yet then let’s get it booked!

I will let you know in the November newsletter how much was raised!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Quinoa Salad Recipe

I just made this salad the other day for a barbeque. Quinoa is a great grain (it is actually a seed, but used like a grain) to make a summer salad with. It is high in protein, calcium iron, and fiber.

Salad:
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber or zucchini, diced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
½ head cauliflower, chopped

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
pepper to taste

Toss and enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Exercise: Sprints

Have you hit a plateau with your cardio training? Are you getting bored with your workout, and not getting the fat burning results you want? Add some sprints to your workout.

Sprint intervals (also known as fartlek’s) are a great way to increase your fitness level, boost your muscle strength and kick up your fat burning!

All readers who do not run – fear not!

I want you to speed up your routine, whether it is walking, running, skipping, hiking or biking.

Start with a ten second pick up. If that feels OK, try another one. Work up to three sprints of ten seconds, and then increase the time, working up to three sets of 30 seconds.

Sprints are effective, and super fun! Get a friend and race each other. Make it a game and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Habit Guide: How to be Healthy and Happy

This is a quick message from Mike Kinnaird, author of the Habit Guide,

I hurt for 13 years. It was hell... torture... feeling very bad for a very long time. And that had a

devastating effect on every aspect of my life.

With the little energy and focus I had, I hunted for answers. In fact I spent twenty YEAR

S trawling for answers. You can just imagine the trying, and stumbling, the desperation and frustration...

But now I've seen BOTH extremes of life... from wanting to die every day to the joy of health and happiness. The truth is that all my suffering drives me with a passion to help you not to suffer. Why I can't say, because it's just there, in me.

So don't make the same mistakes I did. Life is too short... I want you to feel good without falling into the pitfalls. I have this knowledge now and I would love you to have it.

It's all laid out for you in a free weekly email guide...

Click here to enjoy a happier, healthier way of life

Best wishes,
Mike Kinnaird

I am sharing this with you because this is a great resource for helping

make lifestyle changes that will last forever, not just a three day cleanse, or 6 week diet. Please check it out and start living a healthier, happier life!

Cheers,

Denise

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Raw Smoothie “Ice Cream”

You know how much I like smoothies! I made one for my son the other day that was so thick and creamy it was more like ice cream, so I had to share the recipe.

2 ripe bananas – peel and freeze overnight
1 cup frozen mango chunks (or blueberries)
1/2 to 3/4 cup almond milk
2 teaspoons green powder (optional – you know I have to get the greens in somehow!)

Place all in blender and blend on low or medium, adding just enough milk to get it blending. Be patient, as it might take a couple of minutes to blend into a nice consistency. This is when a more powerful blender helps. This is a dish best served immediately, but if you store it in the freezer just let it sit for about 10 minutes and then give it a stir before enjoying. Just a note, if you use green powder, the color of the ice cream will be interesting, but it still tastes yummy!
Perfect on a hot summer afternoon.
Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Superman Exercise for back strength

This is my favorite exercise for building back strength.

You can perform this exercise from a few different starting positions, depending on what is comfortable for you. Start either by lying forward over a physio-ball, with hands and toes touching the floor to stabilize you, on the floor on your hands and knees, or lying flat on your tummy, with arms outstretched overhead.

Now raise your right leg a few inches of the floor, while at the same time raising your left arm up off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat with opposite leg and arm. Repeat 10 times.

The more advanced version is to lie flat of your tummy, and raise both arms and legs off at the same time, holding as long as you can – up to 2 minutes.

Keep your neck neutral during this exercise, and maintain a strong core while performing it – that means belly tight.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Brief Introduction to Fascia

Fascia is a connective tissue in your body that surrounds and supports every single structure, including bone, organs, muscles, blood vessels and even individual cells. It runs from top of your head to the tip of your toes, in a 3-D web, literally providing the framework off which everything is contained, separated, supported and protected.

Fascia is tough yet pliable, but can become solidified and shortened through poor posture, trauma and inflammation. (Fascia has lots of nerve supply, but not as much blood supply, making it slower to heal, but more painful than some tissues when injured.)

This tightening and shortening in one area will pull on the rest of the fascial web, causing distortions and strain within the body, not to mention more pain and decreased range of motion.

To break it down on a smaller level, lets take a muscle. Fascia surrounds the muscle itself, separating it from other muscles near by. It also surrounds everything that makes up the muscle: every muscular fascicle, fibril, mycrofibril and cell within the muscle. If there is a restriction in one part of the fascia within this muscle, it will place tension and pressure on the entire muscle, causing it to work harder to contract and relax, leading to fatigue, and potentially more trauma.

The restrictions within this single muscle will cause tension on surrounding structures as well. Think of it like a pull in a knit sweater. If you tug on the pull, it will tighten the weave of the garment, causing scrunching and bunching not just at the pull site, but way up at distant spots also.

So sometimes your neck pain isn’t coming from your neck at all!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Vegetarian Low Carb Sushi Recipe


California rolls are filled with white rice, fake crab, and sometimes mayo, along with some veggies (like the smallest piece of avocado on the planet, and a tiny sliver of cucumber). Not a great choice for someone trying to eat healthy. I want to share with you an alternative that is much more nutritious, but just as yummy.

Dee’s Veggie Sushi

Nori sheets – 4, can be purchased at most grocery stores.
Cabbage – about 1/2 small head, shredded finely – replaces the rice
Carrot – 3, shredded
Lettuce – 3 leaves, chopped into strips
Asparagus Spears – 4 (one for each roll)
Avocado – 1
Sprouts – any kind

Put a bit of each veggie across one end of a nori sheet, add a dash of curry powder and turmeric, and roll it up. Wet the end to seal, and let sit a few minutes before cutting into bite sized pieces.

You can purchase a bamboo mat to help with the rolling, and they are great. You can find them right beside the nori sheets at most grocery stores.

I will sometimes put a drop or two of soy sauce on each one (rather than dipping them into sauce), but they taste pretty good as is too!

This makes 4 rolls, which cut into about 5 or 6 pieces each. I would eat this all myself for lunch. It looks like a lot of food, but other than the avocado, it isn’t much in the way of calories. You can split this between a few people, and have it with some lean protein, or double the batch and make it a stand-alone meal!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Exercise: Wall Squat

Wall Squat

This is a fabulous exercise for building leg strength, and anyone that has a wall can do it! You might want to have a chair close by also, just in case you need the support.
Start by leaning your back against a wall, with feet shoulder width apart and about a femur length away from the wall (Just my cheeky way of saying that when you squat down, you want your knees to be stacked over your ankles).
Now press your low back into the wall, and slide down the wall until you are squatting! Just go as far as is comfortable – remember that you have to get back up again! Hold the squat position as long as you can, up to a minute or two, and then slowly rise back up, supporting your back on the wall.
If you didn’t feel that you are either in need of further instruction, or you are amazing!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Protein Bar Recipe

No time to make lunch? No problem, just grab a protein bar, a few precut veggie sticks (because you all have those ready in your fridge, right), and lunch is done! We make these every couple of weeks, so that there is always something quick and easy to grab that is still good for you!

Dee’s Protein Bars

1 cup protein powder
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup oat bran
½ cup brown sugar*
½ cup chocolate chips, raisins, currants, gogi berries, chopped dates, etc.
1 cup mixed nuts and seeds (my favorites are pumpkin and sunflower)
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup organic peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla

This is a one-bowl creation, so just put everything in a big bowl, mix it up, and spread it into an oiled 9x11 cake pan. Don’t use a non-stick pan, because after you bake this at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, you need to cut it into bars, and move them onto a cookie sheet. Then bake another 15 minutes! I often individually wrap mine and store them in the freezer. They thaw in a couple of minutes at room temperature.

*Just a note, if you use dates or prunes rather than sugar if you like. I have even made them without sweetener, but the boys don’t like them as much that way!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 Super Tennis Ball Self Massage Spots

Have you ever had a muscle ache right between the shoulder blades, just out of reach? It can be so frustrating, unless you have the secret weapon – a tennis ball!

Tennis balls are great because they are firm yet give a little under pressure, so they contour nicely while at the same time applying a decent amount of pressure to achy muscles. I have heard of people using golf balls and baseballs, but you need to be careful not to run over bony prominences with them – they are much too hard and could cause injury. If a tennis ball isn’t firm enough you can also try a Kong dog toy.

Once you have found the perfect massage tool, all you need to do is place it into a long sock. This will be your handle. Now you can toss the massage ball behind your back, holding onto the top end of the sock, and position it wherever you need it.

Next up is the final piece of equipment – a wall or floor!

Now that you have all the pieces of your self-massage tool assembled, lets get on with the treatment!

Super Spot #1
Between the Shoulder Blades

Stand with your back to a wall, and place the tennis ball behind your back. Lean against the wall, and position the ball so that it lies in the groove between your spine and shoulder blade. Move yourself up and down, and side to side while leaning against the wall to massage the area. If you feel a specific tender spot in the muscles, hold on that spot for a few seconds, and take a couple deep breaths.

Feel better? Now do the same thing on the other side of your spine and shoulder blade.

Super Spot #2
Neck

You can work your neck with a tennis ball while relaxing in your favorite chair, as long as the back of the chair is high enough! Simply place the ball into the groove between your spine and the side of your neck, and below the base of your skull, and rest your head back onto it. You can even put two tennis balls into one sock, and work both sides of your neck at the same time. Pure heaven!

This technique can be done lying down as well.

Super Spot #3
The hip

This is a fairly large area, and so you have some freedom to move the ball around wherever it feels good. Work all around the hip joint, and into the tissue of the gluteal muscles. You can do this by lying on your side, or leaning against a wall. If using the wall, bending forward and pressing your hip and gluteal area into the wall will help increase pressure and really get those muscles!

Super Spot #4
The hamstrings

Tight hamstrings are a common and tender area. Simply place the ball on a chair and sit on it. You can then roll forward and back on the chair, and side to side to work the muscles from the sit bones down to just above the knee. Please be careful not to put pressure behind the knee joint.

You can also put the ball on the floor and sit on it there too. Either way works well.

Super Spot #5
The feet

All I can say is Oh Ya! Place the tennis ball on the floor, and roll it around on the ball of your foot. You can do this while sitting at your desk, or if you feel that you need a little more pressure, just stand up. Stabilize yourself if needed by holding onto a wall, back of a chair, etc.

Don’t’ forget to work the other foot too!

These are just a few of the spots you can self-massage with a tennis ball. Try some other spots out like calves, forearms, and quadriceps.

Do it on a regular basis and feel your aches and pains melt away!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

3 Great Ideas for Staying Motivated with your Health and Fitness Goals

As most of you know, we have a puppy, now almost 10 months old, who needs a lot of exercise. I have had to work her walks into my schedule, and therefore have only certain windows of time allotted. Obviously the weather doesn’t always cooperate with my schedule, and there have been days when I pick the only torrential downpour of the entire day as the walk break. After getting soaked to the core one too many times, I went to MEC and purchased some great breathable waterproof pants and jacket, so there could be no excuses.

I have to admit to you though, even with the activity scheduled into my day-timer, the perfect all weather outfit, and a pure bred Doberman puppy who either goes for a walk or becomes nasty and chews my slippers, I still have motivation issues – even on the nice days!

I guessed that if I am having motivation issues, there is a good chance that others out there are too. So how do you stay motivated? Here are 3 ideas.

1) Just for the Health of It

Using health as a motivator often doesn’t work for a lot of people. This is because the approach is wrong, as many of us are relatively healthy, or at least think we are, and so feel we don’t need to improve. It is the same reason we still eat sugar and refined flours. This stuff is truly toxic to our bodies, and yet we keep on eating it. Somehow we think we are invincible to degeneration.

I think one of the biggest issues is the fact that it often takes years of neglect for our bodies to become diseased. So we think in our 20’s and 30’s that we are fine, and must be somehow genetically gifted and not affected by eating crap and lack of exercise. Then by the time we are in our 40’s and 50’s and have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and degenerative diseases, we think we are genetically doomed and there was nothing we could have done anyway.

What does the previous important paragraph have to do with staying motivated, you might ask? To use health as a motivator, you need to look at where you are heading, not where you are now. If you have relatives with diabetes, digestive disorders, cancer, obesity, and other degenerative conditions, picture them as your outcome for not getting off the couch, or eating another doughnut. Actually take a picture of them and put it on your fridge.

Then take a picture of someone who inspires you with their health, and put that picture up too.

Now every time you chose to go to the movie with a friend, rather than asking them to go for a walk, you know which destiny you are choosing. Is your choice the picture of Uncle Albert, who has congestive heart failure, and needs a walker because his knees are riddled with arthritis, or is it the picture of your cousin Joe, who eats well and looks great in his 60’s.

This might seem cruel or drastic, but you need to make your health motivations real and precise. It is a fact that most degenerative diseases are avoidable, so we need to avoid them. The medical industry is so busy trying to find “cures” for everything, that they have ignored the fact that many of them are preventable in the first place. We don’t need cures, we need prevention, and you have the power to prevent your own health issues.

If that doesn’t motivate you, I don’t know what will!

2) For the Love of Money

Money is another big motivator for many people. If you pay for something, you are more likely to utilize it. This works great for some, and not at all for others, so you need to know for yourself if this is a motivator that will work for you.

You can use this a few different ways. The most obvious is to pay for fitness classes, weight watchers, or a gym membership.

You can also team up with a few friends or coworkers and play a game. Everyone throws $5 or $10 or so into a kitty, and you set a goal, which could be to lose 5% of your body weight, loose 1 inch on your waist, train to run 5 km, etc, and the first one to achieve the goal wins the kitty.

This is fun because it involves friends, keeps you accountable, and might just reward you financially for your hard work! So you could end up making money to stay motivated rather than spending it – cool!

3) Write it Down

Journaling is a vital tool for staying motivated. You can purchase a traditional diary, a sport or food specific journal, or just use a notepad or spreadsheet.

Writing down what you eat and what activities you perform (or don’t) each day can really open your eyes to where you are at and where you need to go.

Try this for a week: keep track of EVERYTHING you eat, down to the cream in your coffee. Also write down what you are doing and feeling when you are eating (especially snacking), and what times you are eating.

Next write down any exercise you do, from walking up flights of stairs to gardening, washing floors, as well as the “exercise” we do every day, like walking, running, lifting weights, etc.

Next, keep track of the hours you spend sitting, either watching TV, playing video games, working on the computer or doing crafts.

Review these lists at the end of every day and decide one thing you are going to improve on the following day, be it to cut out the muffin at 7pm, eat more at lunch so that you aren’t starving and binging by 3pm, cut out 30 minutes of TV, or add a few pushups during that 30 minutes of TV.

When it is written down in front of you it is very apparent how everything adds up, and your progress is also very clear for you, which keeps you moving forward.

Pick one of these ideas and implement it today, or try all three!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yummy Green Smoothie


Oh my goodness, I just made the most yummy green smoothie, and I had to share it.

2 cups water
1 apple - cored and quartered
3/4 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh - I buy a gallon or two in the summer and freeze them)
3 leaves kale - stems removed - the kale will make it a little chunky, so omit and add more spinach if you are new to the green smoothie thing - the spinach blends well and keeps the smoothie smooth! You can also use swiss chard, romaine, or any leafy green.
1 handful spinach (I added more, but start with less, you can always add more!)
1 handful parsley

Put water and fruit in blender and blend. Then add greens and blend - you might have to add a few at a time, or give them a little push in with a spoon (TURN BLENDER OFF BEFORE YOU DO THIS!!!)

Pour into a glass and enjoy! It will be a lovely dark green, and taste surprisingly sweet! This is packed full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, and a great way to get a couple of glasses of water down too!

Have one of these every morning, and face the day with loads of energy. How cool is that!

If you want more great green smoothie recipes, check out this link:
https://denisemackinnon.com/Green_Smoothies.html

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Make the Connection

We were in a restaurant the other day, and I overheard a conversation at the table next to me. One lady was asking the other how a mutual friend was doing, and the response was that he had recently been diagnosed with diabetes. She then said that he had been fighting it for a long time, but had finally lost the battle.

This response was a perfect example of how disconnected we have become to our own health and well-being.

It is now pretty common knowledge that there is a direct connection between our Western diet of excess and most of today’s chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers, just to name a few. There have been many studies over the years to back these ideas up, and yet we continue to overeat the wrong types of foods, somehow thinking it won’t affect us.

If that man the ladies in the restaurant were talking about had truly made the connection and fought the onset of diabetes, he almost definitely would not have “caught it”.

Our “normal” way of eating in this country is not normal at all. We were never intended to eat man made edible oil products, chemical preservatives, food coloring, gluten-laden, sugar-laden and fat-laden foods, and food with a shelf life until next Christmas.

If you are struggling to maintain your weight, or have been slowly increasing your weight over the past few years, you need to make the connection (and no, it is most likely not your genes, or your thyroid). If you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, allergies, autoimmune disorders, GI disorders, you need to make the connection (and no, you are not predestined to these conditions, you were most likely preconditioned through familial food choices). If you think you are eating healthy, but still feel fatigued all the time or get cold and flu’s easily, you need to make the connection (and no, healthy eating doesn’t mean you buy things at the health food store, or with the health check mark on them – many of these things are still filled with junk).

Here is the connection: There is a direct correlation between what you eat and how your body functions, in both the short term and long term.

It doesn’t matter if it takes 5 minutes, or 50 years, the fact is it will happen. Our bodies are so resilient to attack and can adapt to an incredible degree, which has helped us flourish on this planet for so long. But this amazing ability has also allowed us to treat our bodies horribly for decades, and although it might not look like our ridiculous food choices have an effect, there effect is profound and deadly.

Our bodies give us little clues along the way that we usually ignore. Hives, rashes, bumps on the arms and legs, acne, eczema, fatigue, poor sleep, excess weight, allergies, gas, bloating, arthritic pain, heart burn, depression, and the list goes on. These are all things that can occur or be exacerbated by the food choices we make. They are warning signs that we are not treating our bodies the way the need to be treated.

After years of dietary neglect, our bodies just can’t cope anymore, and begin to severely falter. Heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and no doubt many other degenerative processes like some forms of arthritis and bowel disorders are preventable.

We have all heard the warnings for white foods – white sugar, white flour, white rice and potatoes, and of course the zero trans fat crusades which are now underway. This is a step, and it is great, but it will not solve the weight issues nor chronic diseases we face. You can’t start making cookies with whole-wheat flour and brown sugar and think you are OK. These might have a few more nutrients than their white counterparts, but they are still junk foods that will bog down your system, set you up for inflammation within the body, and set the stage for degenerative processes.

If you are serious about taking back your health, and correcting the issues you currently have, while also helping to prevent the chronic conditions that plague our society, you need to make the connection.

You cannot continue the lifestyle you currently live, and expect this to happen. You can’t drink a green smoothie in the morning, then eat French fries for lunch, and wonder why you have a heart attack 15 years from now. If you never want a heart attack, you should never eat fries. Yes, I said never. Do you seriously think there is anything healthy left in something that you dip into boiling oil?

And why waste your money on a multivitamin if your system is so inflamed that you can’t absorb them anyway?

Another personal favorite of mine is the after-binge cleanse. You go on holiday and binge on all your favorite fat and sugar laden treats, and then go home to a three-day cleanse. I have done this myself, and it is ludicrous. That crap you ate will affect you on a cellular level for the next 6 months, no matter what you cleansed after. It doesn’t erase the fact that you filled your body with inferior fuel. A cleanse might be a good idea if you are about to embark on a new clean eating life plan, and want to jump start the process, but using it as a vacuum to allow you to eat garbage and then somehow nullify your indulgences is a joke.

Have you ever watched shows like “The Last 10 Pounds”? They go into your house, and throw out all the garbage in your cupboards. This is the only way to do it. Get rid of all the crap and don’t replace it. Ever. We have gotten to the point where we need to think of ourselves as addicts.

We need to make lifestyle changes, and stick with them. You need to eat whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. Enjoy lots of vegetables and moderate amounts of lean meat, legumes, plain nuts, seeds gluten-free grains and fruit every day.

You need to decrease your reliance on grain products. Whole grain cereal for breakfast, a low fat bran muffin at snack time, a veggie sandwich on multigrain for lunch, and whole-wheat pasta with tomato and meat sauce for dinner is probably a healthy sounding “diet” for some, but it is not. This much grain bogs down your system, and robs your body of important nutrients (due to the slowed digestions, and the fact that you don’t have room for nutrient rich foods when you eat this much gluten-laden food).

You need to exercise every day. I don’t care what you do, or how long you do it for, just consciously do something every single day. 10 squats at lunchtime, a 20 minute walk tomorrow, a flight of stairs the next day, a half marathon on Thursday. Don’t get hung up on the details, or you will never start. Everyone has time to do something, no matter how crazy your schedule might be, you just have to make it important enough.

Our lives have become so fast paced and out of our control, that we have almost become bystanders to our own existences. We just let things happen and then usually blame someone or something else when the walls start to fall in.

Take back your power. You can make your life anything you want to. Put your energy and intention into the things you want, and become a bystander to all the other garbage we are surrounded by.

Fill your body with clean fuel and it will run beautifully. Don’t accept anything less. When those leftover butter tarts are staring at you, admit to yourself that you are addicted, and walk away. Remove yourself from the situation. Grab some celery sticks, and think about your arteries with clean blood flowing smoothly through them. It is your choice whether to make that the reality, or to make your blood vessels inflamed, plague laden and sluggish.

Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity are your choice, but so is health. The question is how bad do you want it?

Make 2010 the year to create a your new lifestyle, one of prevention rather than provocation. It will be the toughest, most rewarding thing you could do for yourself, and it could just save your life.