9 Steps to Getting Healthy This Year

By Alexandra Jamieson   |  9Comments|

1. Get clear.
Want to see the most marvelous waterfall at sunset? Let’s go! Wait – where are we going?

You can’t find it without directions, right?

To transform your health, energy, and body, you need to take stock of where you are now, what you’re eating, and what you want to change. Write down everything – how you feel when you wake up, what cravings you have, what your diet is like, your exercise routine (if any), and what you would like to feel and look like.

Got it written down? Good. Now let’s begin.

2. Get support.
Now you’re ready to climb the mountain to see the waterfall, and you’ve even timed it so you can get there right at sunset to catch the most spectacular view.

But what supplies do you need? There are twelve paths to choose from – which one is safe, fast and will get you to the best spot?

That’s where expert support comes into play. Talk with someone who has been there before – read the blogs of experts, watch inspiring movies online or listen to radio shows on the area of health that interests you the most. Find a tribe of people who are dedicated to making the same changes you want to accomplish.

There is power in joining forces – they’ll pull you along, and you’ll help them at the same time.

3. Make a plan.
Once you have the map, the expert guide and the support, look at the goals you’ve created.

Do you want to eat more vegetables? Less sugar? Kick your caffeine habit completely? Do you want to lose 20 pounds or clear up your skin? Great!

What is the first step towards your goal? If it’s eating less sugar, maybe it’s time to learn about natural foods that give you the sweet sensation you’re looking for without robbing your energy (more on that in a minute). Or maybe you need to throw away the bags of candy or chocolate lingering from Halloween. Or maybe there’s something in your lifestyle that triggers your sugar cravings that you can address in a non-food-way.

Whatever the issue is, there are steps you can take to make it a non-issue: Start brainstorming on what to do first, then what you can do tomorrow, and in no time you’ll be free and clear!

4. Be seasonal.
Use seasonal, local produce as much as possible.

When you eat veggies from a nearby farm, they offer you the energy and nutrients that support you where you are and when you are. Here’s what I mean:

Eating iceberg lettuce and watermelon north of the 45th parallel in winter does not support your body in the cold, sunless months. Instead, choose winter squash, cabbage, other hearty winter greens and apples and pears. These fruits and veggies give you great, fresh nutrition rather than arriving depleted from half way across the world.

5. Sleep more.
The human body is built to follow natural rhythms. Our inner body clock, called circadian rhythm, triggers the natural impulses to wake up with the sun, sleep when it’s dark, as well as a host of other natural body processes.

When your natural circadian rhythm is thrown off, due to jet lag or just staying up too late night after night, your body and brain work at half-speed, and your body feels off balance. Years of staying up late and not getting enough sleep during the darker, winter months, makes caffeine necessary and cravings for sugar more intense.

This winter, try an experiment: Go to bed early and wake up early. Get into bed by 9 P.M. and wake up at 4 or 5 A.M. Even a few days a week of this pattern will help you feel more refreshed, healthier, and those intense food cravings will release their hold on you just a bit more.

6. Make breakfast a priority.
Now that you’re sleeping better, you can wake up earlier and get a good breakfast in your body. Still everyone is different and you might need something that your partner or child doesn’t like or desire. Experiment with different types of food for your morning meal, alternating savory, sweet, liquid or combination breakfasts.

You might notice that a protein-rich meal keeps you filled longer. Or perhaps you find that a light meal of fruit and herbal tea is perfect.

Try it out – notice what happens for the rest of the day with your cravings. Your first meal can determine your energy for the rest of the day.

7. Skip the white foods.
Any white, refined food is going to steal nutrients and energy from your body.

White flour, white sugar, white table salt.

All of these foods are stripped of nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and offer only the jolt of carbohydrate or sodium. Without any supportive nutrients, your body must draw on its own precious stores to metabolize the refined food, leading to depleted energy over time.

8. Sweeten the deal.
Use more naturally sweet foods instead of relying on white foods, candy, and soda for energy.

Include sweet root veggies, fruits and even whole grains to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Sweet potatoes offer carotenoid antioxidants, and help your body respond to insulin better. Parsnips are high in silicon and fiber, and are high in calcium. Beets are high in boron, a mineral critical for the production of human sex hormones.

Adding daily doses of sweet veggies, you’ll crave less sugary treats, and you’ll be giving your body necessary nutrients for long-term health.

9. Move your body like your life depends on it – because it does!
I don’t care what you do – you can run, walk, swim, bike, dance, lift, jump or even get jiggy between the sheets more often (I personally vote for the last one! Sex and masturbation are great for your immune system, sleep and attitude.) – just move. Daily. As if it were your last day on earth.

Transform your relationship with food and your body; join Alex Jamieson’s 8-Week Delicious Detox Tele-Series beginning Thursday, January 5th at 2pm EST. Details and sign-up are here:

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9 responses to 9 Steps to Getting Healthy This Year
  1. Great list, especially the last one which made me giggle! And, choose the right water… Kangen Water.

  2. Great list, eecially the last one which made me giggle! And, choose the right water…Kangen Water.

  3. Glad you liked it Debi!

  4. Alexandra, thanks for writing this. My goal for the new year was to get back to the vegan diet I had been following for almost a year and do the CSD 21 day cleanse in Kris’ book. Somehow with all the stress going on in my life, I got away from it and am trying to motivate myself to get back. Hopefully if I keep reading more articles like yours, I’ll be able to “just do it” (as Nike says) LOL.

  5. So here’s my five cents: I really liked the exercise suggestion – many people don’t make it a high priority – I do, but a kick in the butt it’s good reminder! The “get clear” it’s great because life offer so many distractions.

    Other suggestions here, like get support, make a plan and move your body are the same philosophy that I share with my wellness students.

    Great blog!

  6. All these points are SO TRUE and SO essential! Thanks for sharing – I think support and making plans are so essential for switching up healthy habits. I am running another round of my Fab Uplift Detox – – to offer just that: planning and support! Here is to a healthy and happy 2012!

  7. Awesome! I love the clarity in jump starting change. I had a glass of green juice this morning and have started brainstorming! AND….it’s been fun to watch your career since the UO. I joined the Crazy Sexy Adventure after following your newsletter blasts. At a distance I’ve been a fan and advocate for your advice for women on diet and personal transformation. Thank you so much!

  8. Yes! I love this article! Now to print this off because I bet I’m not the only one who may just forget a few of these tips come the middle of March!

  9. Just needed to read this – awesome list! xo