12 Ways to Feel Great This Year

If you only needed to make a few sacrifices with a promise of greater health, would you do it?  For each and every change – to some that means a sacrifice, you will benefit.  Even if it is only one.  Even if it is only the reduction of one thing.  Everything that we add that is healthier makes a difference.  Even if it’s only a little, or only once in awhile.  It still makes a difference.  So what can we tweak a little to improve our health?  Here’s 12 ideas – one for each month of the year:

Substitution #1: Real food instead of fast food.  Replace at least one fast food stop with a home cooked meal per week.  Grab a pan, throw some vegetables in it (and maybe a small potato per person as well), steam them to perfection, broil some fish, add a small green salad and call it good. No fancy sauces, no elaborate recipes.  Just simple, fast, wholesome food.

Substitution #2: Exchange your synthetic vitamins for real vitamins.  Don’t know the difference?  Just look on the label.  If the ingredients say things like “d-alpha tocopherol”, “ascorbic acid”, “beta carotene”, or “vitamin A acetate or palmitate” those are the wrong ones.  Those are fractionated or synthetic.  They are isolated pieces of the entire complex and are not foods.  Whole food vitamins (the real stuff) sound like foods.  The ingredients sound more like “carrot powder”, “liver powder”, “cod liver oil”, “acerola cherries”, and “rose hips” – something that sounds edible.  They will nourish and build your body.  The counterfeit kinds cannot.

Substitution #3: Use good old fashioned real honey.  Preferably raw, unpasteurized local honey, however, any is better than the alternative.  Nix the sugar and especially the artificial sweeteners (all of them), which tend to do more harm than good.

Substitution #4: Butter.  Go back to butter. All the old fears about butter are gone.  However, all the old fears about margarine have been validated.  Margarine clearly causes more harm than good.  It turns out we need fats.  But the right kind.  Butter is the right kind, margarine is not.  Also while you’re eliminating the bad fats, watch your labels for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats and eliminate them as well.

Substitution #5: Replace all drinks with water.  Dump the sodas, the iced teas, and the juices.  Drink more water.  Approximately 70% of the human body is made up of water.  A perfect amount of water to drink is half your body weight in ounces, up to 100 ounces, per day.  So if you weigh 120 pounds you need 60 ounces.  If you weigh 180 pounds you need 90 ounces, 250 pounds, you max at 100 ounces.

Substitution #6: Replace your morning coffee with herbal tea or hot lemon water.  Check the health food store for “morning teas” that give you a lift without the harmful effects.

Substitution #7:  Eat real eggs or turkey burger patties for breakfast instead of cereal, pancakes, waffles, toaster pastries (any pastry), donuts or bagels.  Eating protein for breakfast supports your health in many ways, but it especially helps you resist carbohydrates for most of the day.  This helps you to control your blood sugar better, helps your energy and helps you to lose weight.

Substitution #8:  Drop the sugar out of your diet.  If you have any questions about how much sugar damages the body, read the book “Sugar Blues” or Nancy Appleton’s “146 Ways Sugar Ruins Your Health”.  The bottom line, sugar is harmful.  Replace it with good wholesome fruits.  There are many natural recipes for “treats” that don’t include sugar or sugar substitutes.  If you want the treats bad enough, look up some healthy recipes.

Substitution #9: Forget the couch potato posture and pick up some form of exercise.  If you don’t currently exercise at least 20 minutes, 3 times per week, any exercise will do.  Even a measly 10 minutes would be an improvement.  Eventually, it will become a habit that you can maintain for a period of time and build upon.

Substitution #10: Improve your attitude and outlook on life.  Try to see things for the good that is there and don’t focus on the bad.  No matter how unhappy you may be about a situation in life, find the good in it.  The change in attitude will help you not only feel better psychologically, but research has shown that it improves the health of your body as well.

Substitution #11: Go to bed earlier.  Ample sleep, not just get-by sleep will make a big difference in how you feel and in your body’s ability to handle illness.  If you have “tried everything” and are still not sleeping, it’s time you seek the services of a natural health care provider that can figure out what’s wrong.  By eliminating the cause, you will find you will sleep better.

Solution #12:  Eliminate those nagging health issues.  You don’t have to suffer!  If you want to do more than just manage your illness, you’d prefer to eliminate it, see a natural health care provider today.  Don’t go through one more year of your health sliding downhill.  Consult with a physician skilled in uncovering the underlying issues responsible for your symptoms and who can guide you into living a life of vitality!  Don’t wait – make this the year you feel great! I challenge you to take one of these solutions per month and make the changes a lifestyle change.  Not something you do just because you want to feel better now, but because you know that a lifetime of good habits will result in a life that is more vibrant, alive and happier.  If you do all of these at once, implement them in such as way that you can maintain it, and not get tired of it and find yourself sabotaging your health.  Even if you do only one or two things it will make a difference.  If you want to feel better, you can’t continue to do the same thing day after day and expect a different result.  You have to act.  I’ve just given you a start.

©2008 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling

Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Dr. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Dr. Carling considers herself a “professional student” – she has attended more than 600 post-secondary education courses related to health and healing. Dr. Carling gives lectures here in the U.S. and internationally and has been noted as the “Doctor’s Doctor”. When other healthcare practitioners hit a roadblock when treating their patients nutritionally, Dr. Carling is who they call. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’ Alene clinic.

Medical/Health Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article or podcast should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken based solely on the contents of this article or podcast. Readers/listeners should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided here are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the author, but readers/listeners who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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