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I am not planning on posting these in any particular order, but thought I’d share some of the key components to good health and optimal weight achievement.

It is always a good idea to start with something easily attainable. Setting goals at some point is a good idea, but the most important thing is to commit to making changes, even if they are small.

Some people prefer to dive in head first, and I tend to have that personality type. However, it often backfires on you when you are making life style changes. Pick one or two simple things, and make sure they become a part of your life, just like brushing your teeth or getting dressed in the morning. Then add on incrementally. You will be more successful in the long run as you replace old bad habits with new healthy ones.  

A simple, but not necessarily easy, change that has a huge impact on health and weight loss is to drink WATER - clean pure water. Don't drink tap water unless it is filtered to remove chlorine and other impurities and don't drink flavored water.It has artificial sweeteners that are very harmful to your health. Splenda, sucralose, aspartame - all are neurotoxins and can cause problems with memory, headaches, rashes, and have been linked to 'drug induced' auto-immune conditions such as lupus and fibromyalgia. Once those toxins settle in your brain and fatty tissue, they begin to build up over time. Just because it doesn't seem to affect you, don't count on not experiencing problems later. And, it isn't so easy to flush them out either. It can be a long, painful process. Ask me how I know!

Give up sodas which are wasted calories. It is my opinion that sodas are the single biggest cause of the diabetic epidemic we are experiencing. Type II Diabetes is directly connected to diet, and can be reversed with proper dietary changes. It will save you tons of money - money you can use to choose more healthy foods, and even include quality supplements at some point.  

I know some have a hard time even thinking of giving up their coffee. Well, guess what? I am not going to suggest you ditch your cup‘o joe. Just keep it to one cup, and try switching to stevia or xylitol for sweetening it. Juice too is okay - in moderation. It has just as much sugar in it as soda does, and causes the exact same insulin response (which signals the body to store fat.)  

I always look at any beverage as wasted calories. I am not a calorie counter. Lots of people say 'calories are calories.' This is a true and false statement. If we both consumed 1800 calories per day then we would most likely both lose the same amount of weight (given all other things are equal like starting weight, height, build, etc.) However, if I ate only candy bars, and you ate only low glycemic healthy foods... I'd lose muscle, and you'd lose fat. You'd be healthy, and I would exeperience some serious health problems down the road. You don't have to count calories to be aware of them. Just know that unless it is a freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice your drinking, the calories are generally going to be void of nutrition you're body can use. Choose water instead.

How much water is enough, and how much is too much. Let me start by saying it is really difficult to consume too much water. For a minimum, you should be drinking half your body weight x's ounces. For most of us that is at least half a gallon. If you weigh more than 128 lbs, you should be drinking more than the conventionally recommended 8 glasses per day. If you are trying to detox, or lose weight, you will need to bump it up a notch.  

The common recommendation for cleansing or detoxing is to double the minimum so you would drink the equivalent to your total body weight x’s ounces. If you happen to be an obsessive person, and can manage to consume that much water daily without a problem, it is advised that you not drink that much on a regular basis. You can safely double your intake for two weeks at a time, and repeat the flushing process two to three times per year.  

A problem for many people is keeping up. If you like your water cold, I’d suggest pouring it up and keeping it in a special container in the fridge. When it is gone, you know you’ve achieved your goal. Some people buy the carafe water filters, and keep up with it that way. I was appalled to see water filters that are now laced with aspartame. If you want to flavor your water, add a splash of lemon juice, or squeeze a little fresh lemon into it. Lemon also has a cleansing effect, so it would be an added bonus.

I think I have exhausted the water connection. Actually I guess I could have explained all the benefits of drinking water. I am guessing we all know it is good for us, we just have gotten used to the American fixation for sugar and flavor. It never ceases to amaze me our attraction to added color. Poisons that don't affect the taste in any way - but we add them for  ?? appeal?? Food dyes will have to be the topic of another post.  

I hope this helps you start to take baby steps toward improving your health, and reaching your goals. Comments and critiques are welcome. I am also open to suggestions about what to address next.

Sharing Hope,

Dee Dee


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • Interesting you should write this now, although I’m not a believer in luck. We’ve been having this very conversation with one of our residents that has been complaining of lack of concentration. She would always us 2-3 packets of flavored sweetener in her water. We finally convinced her to go cold turkey, though I don’t think she’s drinking as much water now. She is already experiencing more clarity, and hopefully soon, less pain!

      Thanks for the reminder, my brain needs hydrated often!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • Cindy,
      I don’t believe in luck either. I really feel like my ‘wellness preaching’ is a calling. :) I tell myself when I get discouraged, that if I can only make a difference in one person’s life it is worth it. I know that there are actually hundreds who have made changes because of things I have said or information I have shared. My goal is to reach thousands and make a difference in the world. I have abandoned the idea of making changes politically. There is too much money involved. But I do think that we as consumers can drive the market place. They’ll quit marketing what people don’t buy. Now if only I could convince people to look past the billion dollar propaganda campaigns and apply common sense.... Our grandmas were smarter than we give them credit for. Truly, we are what we eat. :)

      Sharing Hope,
      Dee Dee

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Nov 14, 2008
    • DeeDee.. i drink LOTS of water everyday! in my 8 hour work day, i drink 2 32 ounce glasses of water! lol  i love it with a wedge of lemon, or a wedge of lime!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michelle Rowe wrote Nov 14, 2008
    • HUGE proponent of drinking lots of water. I’ve never had a soda - I don’t like them - guess that’s why! I’m a firm believer in not wasting our precious calories on any liquid!

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