Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

Archive for August, 2014

Take the road to SMART goals!

hillsRoadWhat are Your Goals?

 

Everyone has a summer bucket list – go on a picnic, go to the beach, finally hit that new rollercoaster, finish that trashy novel that you’ve been meaning to read. But as summer comes to a close, it’s time to start getting serious about your health, your career, your relationships, and your spirituality. Fall is a great time to sit down and think about what goals you may have. Break them down into S.M.A.R.T. goals and then work on accomplishing them. After all, how will you know you have accomplished your goals if you haven’t identified them?

Now setting goals like this is NOT the same thing as your “honey-do” list. This is not things like get your laundry done or vacuum your house. Those are chores. Goals are your dreams and aspirations. For example, one of my goals is to bring lunch to work 4 out of 5 days a week at a minimum for one month. This will allow me to be healthier by not buying food that is unhealthy for me such as fried foods or foods that come in a package, it will allow me to know that I am purchasing the highest quality food that I can afford and I will be able to buy higher quality food because it will cost less than eating lunch at work every day. In addition, I’ll probably be able to save some money, too!

Let’s get out a piece of paper and do this with me…

What is a S.M.A.R.T Goal?

As you have probably guessed, S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym. It stands for:

Specific – Be as specific as possible about your goal. Envision what it will feel like when you accomplish this goal. Write this down on your piece of paper. For example, in my goal I was specific about how I would eat healthier by avoiding less than optimal choices for my body and save money. I may make that goal even more specific by putting down that I will put an extra $50 dollars a week into my savings account. Think how happy my body and my savings account will be!

Measurable – If your goal is not measurable, how do you know you’ve reached it? Maybe your goal is to exercise 5 out of 7 days a week. You could set your goal of running 30 miles per week. In my goal, it’s measurable and I’ve attained it when I bring my lunch 4 out of 5 days a week.

Attainable – If you are not realistic about your goal, you set yourself up for frustration and failure. When your goals are attainable, you have a sense of accomplishment and it makes it even easier to tackle the next goal. Do stretch yourself. Do NOT over extend yourself.

Relevant – Is this goal relevant to your life? Since I work outside of the home, bringing lunch to work is part of my life. If one of your goals is to run a 5K, then setting a goal of running 5 out of 7 days a week would be relevant to you. Are you overweight or lack energy? Then losing 10 lbs in a month is not only relevant but think about how great you will feel and how much healthier you will be when you accomplish that.

Timely – Set a time frame on your goal so that it does not continue to be out of reach. In this example, my time frame is one month. When I have achieved this goal within one month, I will do something special to reward myself. For example, I may use the money I save to have an overnight camping trip with my family or buy a novel I’ve been wanting to read and put the rest in my savings account. Knowing that my goal has a time frame AND a reward at the end inspires me to work hard toward accomplishing it.

What are some goals that you would like to achieve and how are you going to reach them?

 

 

Creamy One Pot Pasta – recipe

I am very excited to be hosting Angi Thompson, Independent Director with the Pampered Chef, on my television show, New Beginnings to Health. Angi will be sharing with us an incredibly tasty recipe that is a win-win-win situation. It is friendly on the financial budget since it costs under $3 per serving to make, friendly to the time budget since it takes less than 30 minutes to make, and is much healthier than going through a drive-in. In addition, if you have food allergies or intolerances, it is very easy to adjust for various situations which we discuss.

You can see the show here:

The recipe is also very easy to adjust for dietary needs:

Everyday Detox

“Cleansing” and “detoxing” are hot right now. Unfortunately, many people that are going that route are looking for a quick fix to lose a few pounds and are not exploring a detox as a way to change the way they eat and their health. When done properly, cleansing or detoxing acts as an elimination diet and is the gold standard to learn what foods do not work for your individual body. However, our bodies are detoxing every day. It is the kidney, liver, colon, lungs and even skin’s job to remove toxins from our bodies. When our systems are working optimally, waste is eliminated from our bodies and not stored as fat or causing us problems such as fatigue, headaches, foggy brain, achy joints, autoimmune disease or mood disorders. Try implementing one of these ideas at a time and building up to doing all of them to get lasting changes.

Lemon Water

 


Start every day with a glass of water with a ½ lemon squeezed into it. Even though lemon is acidic, the body digests it into an alkaline ash. Our bodies function more effectively in an alkaline state and this is a great way to start hydrating right away and get the digestive juices flowing.

Get Plenty of Rest

 Turn off the t.v. (or any other screens) at least one hour before bed and do not read anything that might cause you stress. This is your time to unwind and prepare for sleep. Go for a walk. Practice some light yoga. Meditate. Give your worries over to a journal. Take a warm bath with Epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and when you soak in an Epsom salt bath you absorb magnesium through your skin. Magnesium is a common deficiency. It leads to restless leg syndrome, muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations and constipation.

Practice going to bed at such a time that you can get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body and true healing doesn’t start until you’ve been asleep for about 5 hours, so it’s important to prioritize it.

Eat Whole Foods

Eat whole, real foods provided by nature. Food manufacturers create foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt and low in nutrients. Then our bodies have to work to remove those toxins but we are not giving our bodies the tools it needs to do that. Stick to foods high in nutrients. Especially important are the green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables which provide the liver with the nutrients it needs to do it’s job.

Breathe

Breathe! Such a simple thing yet one that a good friend reminds me to do on a regular basis. Why? Focusing on breathing resets our stress hormones. When our stress hormones are activated everything slows down – our digestive system stops working effectively, our elimination system slows down and is not efficient, and our bodies are given a signal to store food as energy which equals an increase in our fat cells, i.e. weight. By doing this simple breathing exercise, we reset our cortisol and get our bodies working again Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 8, and release for 7. Repeat 4-6 times at least twice a day.

Move Your Body

Notice I didn’t say “exercise.” Going to the gym and working up a sweat with a bunch of other people is not everyone’s idea of a good time and if you don’t love it, you won’t do it. Find ways to make use of your body every day. Use a basket at the grocery store instead of a cart. Take the stairs instead of an elevator Get off the bus a stop earlier than you need to. Play with your kids. Pay attention to opportunities to add movement into your days.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Thirst is often mistaken for hunger and people typically under consume water. There are many reasons to consume plenty of clean, pure, unadulterated water but for the sake of this topic, water is required to allow the toxins to leave our cells and be excreted in our urine and stool. If you are not taking in enough water, our body does not detoxify well. The results are headaches, muscle fatigue, constipation and other problems.

These are some very easy tips that are sustainable and help our bodies to detox every day – not just when we decide we need a strict diet.

Which tip are you going to implement first?

Do you need guidance and support to get started on detoxing daily? Sign up for my 28-Day Jumpstart to Weightloss starting September 4th under “Services.”