Top 30 Things to do in 2014 (16-30)

Welcome back everyone!!  Hope 2014 is treating you well!!  Here is my second installment of 30 things to consider trying in 2014.

16) Get on track with loving yourself, and having a healthy relationship with body, and how you look/feel

In terms of weight- it is important to understand that you can in fact be healthy at any size.  You can be “overweight” and healthy.  But what is just as important as being healthy is that you appreciate yourself, and you make healthy choices to be a better version of yourself – for yourself.

17) Ditch the fad diets, fast fixes, and fanatical advice from Dr. Oz, Oprah, and just about every talk show

As I said in my previous post – there is no (real) fast way to lose weight, and keep that weight off in a sustainable fashion.  Not everyone is qualified to dispense advice on nutrition- Dr. Oz? No.  Food Babe? No.  Talk shows? No.

Who is qualified to dispense nutrition advice? Dietitians.  Doctors who actually have a background in nutrition.  Health professionals who have advanced degrees in nutrition.

Remember if a diet or a food promises that its a cure all, if it is a plan that is promising rapid weight loss, if you see words like “cleanse”, or “detox” – it is probably a hoax.

18) Work with simple substitutions

HUGS Substitutions are my favorite!!!!

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OK.  I will 1000% honest.  Sometimes things like butter, and sugar, are just what you need to make something taste fantastic.  (Please see 19 below).  However, when you’re doing your every day cooking, and you’re trying to hack out some extra calories- consider using some substitutions.  Greek yogurt is probably my favorite.  I use it in place of butter, sour cream, in sauces, etc.

Here is a great conversion chart for subbing in some yogurt for higher fat alternatives.

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These subs can help cut some of the calories you don’t need- to save room for other calories, as well as getting rid of some unhealthy fats you may not necessarily need.  And to be clear- even though the above only lists chobani – you can use any plain greek yogurt.

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Both of these charts are compliments of the vast universe of Pinterest.

19) Indulge yourself without guilt

It’s called an indulgence for a reason- it’s not supposed to happen everyday.  So when you treat yourself to fro-yo, or to a cupcake.  Don’t worry about it.  Seriously.  The only time you need to worry about it is if you’re having a treat/indulgence every single day.

20) Find your happy place

This is a follow up to number #16.  Being happy is part a choice in and of itself, and also result of a series of other choices.  Eat things that make you happy (that includes cake)- but in the right portion.  Do exercise that makes you happy – but don’t stress about it.  Watch shows that make you laugh-but not at the expense of leaving healthy behaviors behind.

21) Learn what’s important to you in terms of your food sources

So there are a lot of terms out there: organic, (non)-GMO, grass fed, free of hormones, wild caught, cage free etc.  For me personally- these terms are important to me.

In terms of what science and research says – for every study that comes out – there is another one that conflicts with it.  To say that the research is fuzzy is an understatement.  My personal thoughts are that there is NO harm whatsoever in trying to limit my intake of highly processed products, meats & fish that fed things they would naturally eat (wild caught fish and grass fed beef), and chickens that are allowed to roam freely (cage free), and eat fruits that haven’t been manipulated (GMOs).


I try to do this as often as I can.  These are important to me.  They don’t have to be important to you- but at least find out what is.  You can sort of find out if this important to you or not by asking yourself these questions: 1) Does it bother you to eat food that could be contaminated by pesticides, or contain genetic manipulations that would not occur naturally?  2) Does it bother you to eat meat that comes from animal that was contained, and fed in a way that would not occur naturally? Regardless of what the research says – it is your call on if these issues are issues to you at all- or don’t bother you at all.

22) Embrace your freezer

DON’T WASTE YOUR FOOD.  But you don’t need to overeat it either.  When you have a lot of leftovers, but them in freeze safe containers, label them, and thaw, and enjoy within the next 3 months.

Additionally embrace all of the variety your freezer can provide.  8 different kinds of vegetables? Done.  4 different kinds of meat? Done.  Your freezer has the ability to provide you variety at your finger tips, and fast meal options.

23) Try something that scares you 

This doesn’t have to be food or health related, nor does it have to be dangerous.  Be bold, order a bison burger, save your money and go sky diving.  Actually use your groupons, take that wine + painting class, go to your Zumba class no matter how silly you think.  Make yourself try something new, enjoy it, and give zero fucks (pardon my language) what people think about it or how you think you look.

24) Keep track of how often you eat away from the home, and try to reduce that if you can

Eating away from home falls under the indulgence category, pure and simple.  Because even when you’re making a healthier choice- you still cannot control all of the details – such as too much salt and/or fat.  Do you eat away from home at least once a day?  Do you HAVE to?  Can you pack your lunch?  Can you take your own snacks?

This is important especially if you are a commuter in a place like Chicago or other large cities, in which many people sit in traffic for long periods of time either from driving themselves, or on a train or bus.  It’s important to not rely on convenience foods for snacks, or get home and instead of make food- grab a fast food burger.  Look at WHY you eat out, and how you can reduce it.

25) Get off your couch and into your kitchen

Cooking and baking.  You don’t have to be a gourmet.  But when you buy, and prepare your own food, you will eventually learn how how save money, and make healthier choices.

Close the takeout app on your smartphone, and pre-heat your oven 2014.

Cook More

26) Set some goals

Remember it takes approximately 21 days for an activity to become part of your routine (habit).

So when you pick something you want to get better at, or do more often, etc.  remember to make your goals SMART


Goals should always be specific- WHAT do you want to accomplish, HOW will you do it, WHY will you do it.  They should also be measurable – how will measure your success or completion of your goal.  Goals should be attainable – meaning realistic- losing 20 lbs in one month? No.  Losing 20 lbs over a year? Yes.  Goals should be relevant – how does it benefit you, your lifestyle, and the big picture of your life, and overall happiness and well-being.  Lastly there should be a time frame in which your goal itself will be completed- and if there is NOT a specific completion date- then set up specific points of measurement of your progress towards that goal.

For example I will do a Marathon in 2014.  Provided I get in, my date of completion will be October 12, 2014.  I will start my training specific to that goal 20 weeks out.  I will be following a training program, and my long runs will obviously be an indicator of how I’m progressing towards that.

Let’s say your goal is to lose 10 lbs over the next year, that is your specific goal- but how will you accomplish this?  Will you go to the gym?  If so how often?  Are you going to do it by eating better?  Are you going to measure your food?  Meet with a dietitian?  All of the above?  Decide how often you will weigh yourself once a month?  Once every other week?

It may sound like I’m telling your to over think it.  I’m only suggesting you think it through, and think about why you want to get somewhere, how you will get there, etc.

27) Genuinely mind your portion sizes

This is key to healthy eating, and especially key with weight loss.  You have no idea how much benefit there can be in measuring your portions (especially of carbohydrate foods) until you do it.  It’s important to know what one cup of rice or pasta actually looks like- versus an entire plate full.  And think of the calories you will save when you actually measure out your carbs, and add more veggies in the place of where you could have put carbs.

28) Figure out what’s missing in your diet

I do this a lot with my patients, as many of them ask about supplements.  My thought is if you eat a balanced diet you do not really need to supplement.  However if there are things flat out missing from your diet, you want to consider why they are missing, and can you get them back in?  Sometimes things are missing due to allergies, or aversions.  If you don’t eat salmon or tuna at least 1-2 times per week I think  Fish Oil supplement is really beneficial- or incorporation those things into your diet even more beneficial.

Do you eat vegetables?  There is not supplement for these – include them.  Remember with vitamins and supplements your body absorbs nutrients better from food versus a supplement.  It’s also important to make sure there aren’t any dietary gaps, as to avoid any deficiency.

29) Use your pinterest pins

I’m equally guilty of this- I have pins on pins- and they sit there on your page and they never get used!  Well use them.  Whether they are for organization, work outs, recipes or all of the above.


Select goals that work for you.  Then work towards them to benefit YOU, to make yourself happier, and healthier!!

I hope you all have a happy & healthy 2014.  I hope this list helps you either get on track, stay on track, or even find a track!

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