Archive for self-help

How to Stay Grounded During This Trying Time

Here are some tips on how to ground yourself at this very challenging time:

1) Journaling. I get to anchor my thoughts and anxieties when I journal. So as to not have my thoughts all over the place, causing further wear and exhaustion, I write it all down. This helps me focus on what’s important even only for an hour or a day. Now it doesn’t need to be an actual journal, it could also simply be a scratch pad – somewhere you could write things down. It has been proven that the act of physically writing things with your hand can have a deeper and more therapeutic effect than simply composing on your computer, iPhone, etc. There appears to be “a brain/hand connection’ if you will, that connects you physically to what you write. In fact, I first wrote the draft of this article in my journal and then transferred it onto my computer. I use my journal for everything – I call it “My Book of Life”. I get to figure out problems, be creative, rant, and even write poetry in it. Yup, it’s all in there. But that’s my way – find your own way of getting things out of your head and onto, preferably, paper.

2) Talking/Chatting. Talk to those who really know you. If you have good relationships with your family, and certainly with your friends too, talking with them in times of need is very nurturing. I’m fortunate to have a close knit family – we can easily talk, connect, laugh and even worry together. Even though they all live in Canada – the phone has always been a bridge for us. And, of course, talking with really good friends provides a great deal of comfort and relief no matter what is going on in my life.

3) Pets. Not sure how I would have survived the past five years caring for my husband if it wasn’t for the daily comfort of my little Mitzy, who I often call my “Comfort Cat”. Brian, our other cat, sadly passed away in 2016 – he was so loving as well. They are sweet and loving little companions for sure – keep them near.

4) Sleep. Perhaps not necessarily grounding in and of itself, however, I find it if I don’t get the best sleep possible – the next day I am unfocused and unproductive. I call this the magic and necessity of sleep or “Vitamin S”. Not only is sleep so important for overall health but also for your immune health – which we need to strengthen now more than ever. Turn off your computers and TVs by 10 or 11 PM and get some sleep.

5) Meditate. Meditate if you can. I’ve had the fortune of learning transcendental meditation some 35 years ago and I’ve been practicing it daily since then. Don’t get me wrong; some days I do miss out but I would say I’m able practice my mediation consistently at least 95% of the time. It’s a must for me. If meditation is difficult for you just slowing down your mind for 10 minutes once or twice a day can do wonders. By slowing down the raciness and even fears in your head it can actually improve your stress response, improve brain function and balance your blood pressure. You can also try deep breathing – close your eyes and slowly count to 6 as you inhale then another 6 as you exhale – slowly. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. Miraculously you’ll feel calmer. Of course, listening to relaxing music will also do the trick. If the phone rings or you hear a text coming in ignore it – you can attend to it when you’re done. Even during this crisis you need to give yourself a break.

6) Sunshine. Let the sunshine warm your body. If you are able to go outside – away from others – and just sit in the sun for 5 to 10 minutes that would certainly be good medicine for you. Getting vitamin D, which sunshine provides, onto your skin will increase your immune system considerably. Try and do this practice early in the morning. I know it’s still winter for many so if you can try and do this. Exercise is OK but hanging out outside for no reason is not OK.

I hope these tips will calm and center you a bit more. This is a time to slow down, for sure, we really don’t have any choice in the matter. Perhaps this is one of the best gifts coming out of this pandemic. We do need to slow down and really assess our lives and discover what’s important and what’s not. 

Getting to the essentials of what matters IS What Matters. 

Thinking of you and sending many, many blessings, 



P.S. Social Distancing doesn’t mean not connecting online, by phone, facetime, skype etc. Stay tuned in.

Habits to Ditch

It’s the New Year and it’s time to clean up your act –right? Well there are some habits you may not have thought were unhealthy or needed to be ditched. I reveal some of those shortly.

Back to the new year, It’s invigorating to think we have a whole year to create what we want. It’s our very own canvas waiting to be revealed to ourselves and maybe even the world. If you’re wondering what your year will look like heed the words of Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

I’m sure by now you’ve reviewed 2013 and devised a plan for 2014. Despite all the usual things like lose weight (my favorite cause I help so many with this one!), make more money, save more money, have better relationships, find your soul mate, etc.

Wanting to overhaul the not-so-healthy habits for healthy ones is always a smart idea not only at the start of a new year but, of course, always.

Here are 5 Healthy Habits to Incorporate This Year:

1.  Marathons. If you are running more than 30 miles a week you are creating more of a problem than a health benefit. Researchers have found that the tissue damage that repetitive endurance training causes raises the risk of heart damage and large artery stiffening let alone wear and tear on joints. Better to do a casual run or walk around the block than running a marathon this year. Doesn’t that sound more pleasurable and do-able?

2.   Snooze Button Essentials.  Opting for more rest rather than getting up earlier to catch the worm is the best. A Japanese study found that those who wake up before dawn have a higher risk of having medical problems. As you know I’ve been saying this for years – getting enough Vitamin S (Sleep) is so vital for weight loss, hormone balance and happier moods. If you can swing it try waking up naturally rather than with the disrupted, and sometimes startling sounds of an alarm. If that sounds impossible perhaps getting to bed earlier would help you get the best natural sleep cycle.

3.   Forget Having Dessert For Breakfast. Let’s face it most “breakfast” foods in the marketplace are just desserts – cereal, muffins, pancakes, yogurt parfaits, and even many smoothies.
You must get your day started with protein and some non-starchy carbohydrates like 2 eggs with tomatoes, or a combination of cottage cheese, plain yogurt and almonds. These types of choices have sufficient protein to balance blood sugar and reduce further cravings for refined carbohydrates throughout the day. Stop thinking sugar or refined grains will give you what you need to get your brain and body in gear in the morning – it will in fact have the opposite effect – brain fog, low energy anyone?

4.  Stop the Pour. Although an occasional glass of your favorite wine may be just the thing you’re looking for at the end of a long day – don’t plan to make it a nightly ritual. Studies show frequent indulgence of alcohol will have an effect on your brain function, hormonal balance and sleep patterns. Sound familiar? Sort of like what I just mentioned regarding sleep. Know that everything affects everything. Best to drink a nice soothing cup of tea to calm you down at the end of those challenging and full days.

5.  Become a Fat Head. I’m not referring to a big ego but rather the need to consume healthy dietary fat.  Don’t be afraid of having it in your diet. Good fat is essential for brain function – your brain is primarily water and fat. So being called a “Fat Head” is actually a compliment.  Have the avocado, coconut oil or butter, regular butter, nuts and seeds. Fats are pre-cursors to the production of all your hormones. Fats line every cell in your body. Avoid the bad fats – the ones that are combined with refined carbohydrates and sugars – these are the bad guys. Plan to have good fat in every meal.

Back to School – Back on Track

Ahhhh … for some of us now’s the time to go back to school – and for most of us it’s time to get back on track.  Have you felt a little off track since the summer started?  Now is certainly the time to re-focus on feeling better – actually feeling the best you’ve felt in years – why not?  This is truly possible.  It just takes making a decision and getting started.  Nothing ever happens if you don’t take action.  Visualization has its place but you do eventually need to get moving.  Thinking about eating well or exercising or getting to bed early remains only a thought if you don’t take practical concrete steps to make it happen.

Here are 5 ACTION STEPS you can start doing today:

Action Step #1: Keep a List of 5-10 Daily Commitments

These are commitments you make to yourself – things you want to do, improve or let go of.  For example – “I did not eat ice-cream today” would be an example of something you let go of and is part of your daily commitment of eating healthier.  Go ahead check that off – that is an accomplishment – something you committed to and achieved by the end of the day.  Don’t be too obsessive with this exercise – as long as the intention is there and you plan to take your commitments seriously you will make progress.

Action Step #2: Focus on Year End Goals

A more long range focus is to look at the goals you plan to accomplish by December 31st.  You started off the year will grand ideas of what 2013 would look like right?  Now looking ahead you may want to review and revise some of those goals.  Perhaps you’ve already accomplished what you set out to do, or maybe the things you thought were worth your attention turned out to be not that important.  It’s OK you can let them go.  Turn your thoughts to more updated and relevant goals.  Perhaps your life has changed dramatically and you are in the throes of a major transition like moving, changing jobs or suddenly having to care for an elderly parent.  Certainly in those cases your priorities have shifted.  But what if it’s a little more subtle than that like your energy isn’t what you’d like it to be – you know by making some shifts in your evening routine and getting to bed earlier would help you.  Or maybe a close relationship has been strained and it has suddenly occurred to you that your communication with this person needs to change, hopefully for the better.  These shifts in goals and priorities give you an opportunity to course correct and create something new and fresh in your life.

Action Step #3: Do Something You’ve Never Done Before 

Speaking of something new and fresh why not explore something out of the box for you. Go ahead I’m sure you can think of a few things.  And no it doesn’t need to be as dramatic as jumping out of an airplane.  Maybe it’s leaving work early on weekday and taking a walk on the beach.  Or how about … you fill in the blanks.       I recommend you do something you haven’t done before at least once a week.  And again, don’t just think about it actually do it.  By taking this action step you will move out of your normal routine and thinking and become more spontaneous. And often you will find that you have a fresher perspective and able to see creative solutions to any problems you may be facing.

Action Step #4:  Give to a Charity

Don’t just think about it.  If you can’t think of any you’d like to contribute to might I suggest my favorite charity which is called Nourish the Children.  For $22 a month (or more) I am able to feed a hungry child for an entire month.  I feel so honored that I can help bless a child with a month’s worth of a nourishing whole grain, high protein food product called VitaMeal.  Most of the donations go to Malawi Africa– which is considered to be the 5th poorest country in the world. With the Nourish the Children Initiative we have been able to proudly say that no child died of starvation in Malawi Africa in 2009.  It fills my heart that I was a part of this project to end world hunger.  Meals are also contributed to other areas of the world that need attention including here at home in America as well.  It is very important to give back – don’t hesitate.

Action Step #5 – Keep it simple

We are a nation filled with overcomplicating everything.  We often find ourselves overwhelmed not knowing what to do first and having too much on our plates and never really feeling fulfilled.  We have lost the art of being happy with the small things – a baby’s smile, the sound of the bird’s song in the distance, a quiet Sunday morning when there is not sound in the neighborhood.  Often our nervous systems have become so raw and vulnerable that we can’t hear or sense these simple things.  However, we must learn to open our hearts to the simple things in life for better health.  If something becomes too much of a struggle perhaps it’s a clear message that we may need to either leave it completely or attempt it again tomorrow.  Stop, give yourself a kind and deserving break today and then begin again.

What’s in Your Pie Chart?

So school is about to start – and you might be thinking of getting things in order.  September is always the time of year we get to evaluate where we’ve been so far this year and how we want to end our year. After the summer of letting some areas of your life get off track you may want to start paying attention again.  You might want to start measuring things again.  How about how you spend your time, energy and focus?

I have had several of my clients reviewing just that.  What are your priorities?  Is it work, meetings or volunteering more than you’d really like to?  Don’t get me wrong making contributions to community or organizations you belong to is a wonderful thing to do.  But you need to ask yourself – is the time you are spending in these areas eroding or enhancing the balance in what you want to have in your life?  Do you go to meetings rather than taking time for fitness, making healthy meals or closing your eyes for 10-20 minutes when you come home from work?  If you aren’t doing any of these latter things than you must learn to take things off your plate.  Stop saying yes to everything and start saying yes to you 1st.

I have seen so many struggle with their health and weight simply because they are doing way too much.   So that’s why I am recommending a way to look at important categories in your life by creating a Pie Chart – a visible representation of where you spend most of your time and effort on a daily basis.  Many are surprised, even shocked to discover that they may only eke out 2-5% for themselves.  Could that be your story, too?

Here are 3 Simple Tips on Creating Your Pie Chart To Reflect What You Truly Want:

Tip #1 Get out of vagueness – Being vague about important things in your life can be a killer.  There’s no clarity or sense of direction living this way. If you do, you most likely don’t have much of an idea as to where you are at all.  This strategy (or lack of) can be compared to not writing down what you eat when you want to lose weight or keep your weight in check.  You are not conscious of what is really happening.  In order to become more aware and make necessary changes you must have some form of measurement.  Remember  you can’t change what you don’t measure.  What do you spend your time, focus and energy on during your day?

Tip #2 Making choices – After you’ve identified what’s in your Pie Chart – it’s time to determine where you’d like to spend more time and focus and where you’d like to spend less.  Perhaps you don’t want to be in work mode 24/7.  Or how about reducing some of your PTA activities.

Again, only if these activities are cutting into some of your own self caring personal time do you want to make different choices – modify a little.  If you are not sleeping well, eating on the run (most of the time) or  becoming more irritable with loved ones it’s time to make some changes re-vamp your Pie Chart. 

Tip #3 Have Fun –  Yes, even determining what is important can be a fun, and certainly revealing assignment.  You can have fun creating a new Pie Chart for Your Life.  Suspend reality for a moment and think what could be possible in your future.  Could you carve some time for date night with your spouse more often, have a massage 2x/mo or go to the theater to see a play every 3 months or so.

Plan for a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go to.  Whatever you choose know that it will take some time to integrate less of the “have-to’s” and more of the “want to’s” into your life.  Have fun with this process.

Is Your Life Delicious

Yes, I asked it!  It’s a great question, yet something no one ever really asks themselves.  And no I’m not talking about “50 Shades of Grey” here.  I’m talking about Your Dreams. Are you living them?  If not where have they gone?

You may have really good reasons why you’re not living your dreams – your kids, your job, your parents all require your attention right now. You have to put “on hold” what’s really important to you for the time being.

Here’s are 6 Tips on How to Make Life Delicious by Reviving Your Dreams:

Tip #1  Become a Doubt Remover – How do you become a doubt remover when you are surrounded with doubters?  That’s easy surround yourself with believers instead!  I realize that may not be as simple as it sounds considering some of those doubters may be spouses, siblings or co-workers.  Do the best to limit time with those that squash your dreams and that may mean creating a new support system.

Tip #2  Recognize Dreaming is Serious Business – Sure you’ve had dreams all your life even when you were a kid and it was play then –wasn’t it?  Your present dreams may have been created when you were younger but it takes adult action and responsibility to make them come true.  You may also need to review your dream or dreams are they really what you want now?  Have your goals, values and priorities changed?  Are you hanging onto a particular dream simply because it’s a habit for you to do so?  It’s OK to let go of worn out dreams and create new ones.  Then take serious action to accomplish them.

Tip #3  Identify what’s Sucking the Life out of You as quickly as possible.  Do you have little time in your day to focus on what’s really important?  Do you find yourself “drained” at the end of the day?  You want to go to your Yoga Class, you really want to eat a healthy dinner, you are committed to starting writing an article tonight but somehow you just don’t have any energy at all. You choose the wrong foods to eat because they’re convenient – there goes your healthy eating.  You skip yoga because you’re too tired and the article?  Well forget about it.  So what’s really draining you – your job, your relationships, poor food choices, unhealthy communication?  As soon as you can identify “the what”  you can start taking steps to change.  You’ll soon have the energy, focus and determination needed to work on your True Dream.

Tip #4  Take a break – yes, that’s right take a “time out” to go inside and ask what’s true for you now not in the future or in the past.  Give yourself the gift of time to help sort things out.  Whether it’s an afternoon, 2 days or a Vision Quest like Julia Roberts went on in Eat, Pray. Love.  Whatever you can afford – in time, energy and money – decide and then do it.

Tip #5   Keep Agreements with Yourself.  This one is so often ignored it’s not even funny.  We think nobody will know the difference if you “cheat” on your healthy eating program, skip the gym, fritter away hours on Facebook rather than working on the “Dream Project”; maybe it’s the book or what have you.   If you have this habit of continuously cheating yourself out of these small commitments how about the bigger ones – the ones you call your dreams?  Actualization of a dream – whether it’s losing 30 lbs, getting in shape, having better relationships takes time.  It all starts with you. You need to keep your word 1st to yourself – you are worthy of that (aren’t you?) and then to others.

Tip #6  Re-write a New Story – if your story is painful and you keep repeating it you will most likely  continue to suffer, remain stuck and you’ll never find any healing or peace.  Painful stories can be a distraction and keep you from your dreams – creating them and realizing them.   If you are stuck in  an old, unproductive story you won’t have much time or motivation for much of anything else.  Turns out there may be some hidden (and not so hidden) reward in sticking with that old story.  You need to step back and ask yourself – is this pain worth repeating over and over again?  Can I be done with it?  Once you create a new, fresh and inspiring story share it with everyone you know. Share your Dream.

What’s in Your Stimulus Package?

Here are 5 easy tips to stimulate your economy.

  1. Stay calm. If you are panicked, you will not be healthy. You need to be calm in order to see all the goodness in your life. In order to take full advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you each day, you must come from a centered place. If you operate from fear, panic, or anxiety, your body and mind will suffer.
  2. Greatest resource you have is your brain. Your ability to create your life is the most potent solution to any problem and of course, everyone needs help to accomplish that. Help from family, friends, trusted colleagues, and professionals who can assist you on your path. It’s really tough, especially for women, to do it on your own. We women need a community, which we can share with, explore, and connect. We need our tribe where we feel accepted and honored each and every day.
  3. Decrease stress—it’s a must! We know stress can easily decrease vitality, strength, and health. Negative thinking can also stress you out. It can affect your cortisol levels, which in turn can prevent you from losing the weight you want to lose, sleeping well, having energy, and looking your best. By decreasing your negativity and focusing on the good things in your life, you will have more peace of mind, more energy and will naturally want to take care of yourself.
  4. Wanting something more. Did you know that most of us want something bigger, better, and more stable in our daily lives? Even though we want to improve, we also want to find the peace we long for and the depth of connection that makes it all worthwhile. I, of course, often wonder what more can I do to help my clients achieve more balance in their busy lives.
  5. Doing less. I am now reading a book entitled “How Not To Be Afraid of Your Own Life” by Susan Piver. The author discusses three forms of laziness. The first is the “regular” kind, where we snooze a little longer on Sunday morning and then laze around the rest of the day. Then there’s discouragement, where we give up too soon before we see the results we want to see. The third type of laziness is actually being too busy. How many of you know about this one? This is actually, where you fill up your schedule and forget about your personal priorities and self-care. Yes, its true being too busy is a way of not doing what you should be doing to make your life rich, rewarding, and fantastic! In this world of overwhelm and no time, it’s certainly something to think about. What if we made time for ourselves every day to center, relax, and regenerate. I think if we did that, the world would actually be a better place.

And here’s a Bonus Tip:

To make your day a little lighter—laugh more, love more, play more and let go more.

Until next time, be well!

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the “Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.” Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit

Upswing for 2009 Reported Now

You know that’s the way we need to think of the year we are carving out right now. Never mind about what the media, your Uncle George, or neighbors are saying. Stay positive. I’m not suggesting you isolate yourself and not help each other. What I am suggesting is you remain calm, light in your heart and mind, regardless of what your “reality” might be telling you at this time. You know things will change—they always do.

I went through a challenging time a couple of months back. What I did to calm and center myself was to first, not deny my feelings. I allowed myself to feel the good, bad, and the ugly. However, I didn’t allow myself to wallow in my intense emotions. I felt them deeply and then moved on. I started looking at my accomplishments, I started reviewing how far I’d come. I looked at the times when it seemed like the sky was falling and I always came through a much richer and stronger person.

Please try not to indulge yourself in self-defeating or self-loathing behavior. This can become a negative habit.

Unlike the Biggest Loser, I ask you to think of yourself as the Biggest Winner. No matter what your present challenges are, stay in the in the light, whether it’s regarding your weight, health, finances, or relationships. Even in the darkest night, even if you don’t feel like it, you must take care of yourself. Increased stress only causes undue stress on your body and mind, so make sure you do what you need to—eat well, exercise, and sleep enough.

Speaking of the Biggest Loser, you know I’m all for healthy weight loss and being the best you can be; however, my approach is slightly different than the Biggest Loser. My approach to health and wellness is much gentler and nurturing with an eye on long-term success, and helping you build a healthy relationship with yourself. When you get to the heart of the matter and get to know yourself better, your life changes. The obstacles that once burdened you become a thing of the past.

This month’s Teleseminar is about feeling like a failure, when you think you finally found the answer to the biggest problem in your life and suddenly it rears its ugly head, again! Ala Oprah. You just feel like a failure.

I’ve always said whatever you focus on is what you will get, which is the essence of the Law of Attraction made popular by The Secret Movie a couple years back. So, if you focus on weight loss versus having a healthy weight and being healthy—inside and out—you will always be trying to lose weight, which is a never ending battle. If you always focus on not having enough money, you will always have not enough money.

So instead of focusing on weight loss again, think of having a healthy and physically fit body, mind, and spirit. Instead of focusing on lack of money, think abundance, think of all the opportunities that are right in front of you, waiting for you to take advantage of them.

Always think of the opposite to the negative thought you are presently thinking. For example, “I can do this;” instead of “I can’t do this.” That’s a very simple example, but the point is you always look at the negative thought and think of the opposite. That will definitely make you start feeling better. It’ll be a way of easing your mind and moving you forward in the direction you want to be going.

It does require discipline to calm your mind down and focus on the good things in your life, and your vision for a bright future. It requires skill and training. As many of you know, when I work with you one-on-one, we spend a lot of time working on your mindset and your emotions. It’s so crucial to get a handle on this part of your life. We all can feel a sea of emotions at times, feeling overwhelmed and out of control. When you reach this state, it is precisely when you stop considering yourself and stop taking care of yourself.

The warning signs of reaching this state are eating too many refined carbohydrates like sweets and breads, which creep back into your diet. You start drinking more alcohol, and the gym—what gym? You start becoming lax in your boundaries, saying yes to everyone and everything except saying yes to you! You become more irritable and may start having more arguments. You don’t feel very attractive. Your sleep is off. You start putting more on your plate—figuratively and literally. Everything gets in the way. Everything gets out of balance and you cry out, “Why bother? I can’t get this right and it’s easier to give up and not take care of myself.”

As I close, my challenge to you is what one thing can you do for yourself today, tomorrow, and every day this week? Write it down and stick to it.

Self care is really a way of saying I love you. One of my goals this year is to help you fall in love with yourself by taking care of yourself.

Until next time—be well.

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the “Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.” Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit

52 Weeks—52 Healthy Suggestions

Here are 52 suggestions that can help you stay healthy all year long. Even though you may know most of this, I would encourage you to start doing many of the things listed. That’s the only way you will start seeing results—the kind of results you like—in the mirror, in your closet, and in your energy.

I must also let you know that even if you stick to these 52 things, you might not lose the weight you would like to lose. Often, we need to consider and take into account hormonal fluctuations in a woman over 40 or a woman who just had a child.  Also, someone who has blood sugar issues, or someone who is tired and overworked, which I know many of you reading this can relate to, will need additional specialized attention. And yes, there are the emotional patterns that keep us stuck as well. This list is; however, still a good place to start.

Continue to change your life in 2009 with these 52 tips. Help yourself to these little changes, one for every week or the year. Each small suggestion is a practical and manageable change for the better.

  1. Drink water instead of sodas (including diet sodas).
  2. Keep a packed gym bag in your car at all times. That way you’re always ready to work out.
  3. By noon tomorrow, do something that has you in a full sweat.
  4. When you are busy working in your office, stand up and start balancing on one leg. It will strengthen your core.
  5. Include at least two serving’s of veggies at every meal.
  6. Pick out a 5K walk or bike ride in your community and pay your registration fee well in advance. That way you won’t drop out.
  7. Tell a friend you did No. 6. Now that you admitted to it, you have to do it—right?
  8. Eat from a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
  9. Never miss breakfast. Your brain and body work better all day long if you start off with a healthy breakfast. Also, when you’re hungry, you make bad choices.
  10. Eat slowly, savor your food and pay attention. Don’t do other things while eating like reading, watching TV, etc.
  11. Don’t deny yourself a guilty pleasure. But have just a bite or two, not the whole thing.
  12. Keep a food journal.
  13. Sit when you eat.
  14. If you really want it, order one dessert and share it with others.
  15. Try and drink your glass of red wine only on the weekends or special occasions.
  16. If you work out in the evenings, don’t stop at home from work. The mail and phone messages may distract you from your mission.
  17. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. If you do have mayonnaise make sure it’s “non-hydrogenated.”
  18. Keep in mind that one portion of protein (4 oz) is the size of a deck of cards.
  19. Eat fish twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart, skin, and so much more.
  20. Create a few healthy and motivating affirmations, and repeat them daily.
  21. When dining out, always have your salad dressing on the side.
  22. Eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.
  23. Make a “treat” something rare. If you’re eating a bowl of ice cream every night, it’s no longer a treat. It’s a habit.
  24. Bake, grill, or steam foods instead of frying.
  25. Set little goals and reward yourself, but not with food.
  26. If you work out in the mornings, make it easy, get your workout clothes ready the night before so you’ll get dressed by rote.
  27. Usually portion sizes are much bigger than you need. So when ordering in a restaurant, ask the server to bring you half of the meal and to set the other half aside to take home. That way, it won’t tempt you when it’s sitting on your plate.
  28. On occasion, while dinning out, you may want some bread. Plan to use olive oil on your bread instead of butter and limit yourself to only a piece or two, no more.
  29. Instead of sour cream try Greek yogurt instead. It is a much healthier choice without compromising taste.
  30. Skip sugar-laden exercise drinks. You’re probably not working out hard enough to need the extra calories they provide. Nor is the added sugar what your body needs. It tends to reduce your immune system as well as most systems in your body. Instead, have watery fruits such as watermelon or grapes in addition to water for hydration.
  31. Eat the whole egg, it’s a pure protein. Mother Nature made it that way for a reason.
  32. Taste food before adding salt. Only use salt to enhance the flavor of foods not to mask it.
  33. Trim all visible fat from meat.
  34. Use low fat dairy products.
  35. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes. White potatoes can cause fluctuations in blood sugar for many people—often causing weight gain.
  36. If you find yourself eating pasta often, shift from eating white-flour pasta to whole-wheat by mixing half of each until you’re accustomed to the flavor and texture of whole wheat. As a general rule; however, limit your pasta consumption to only a couple of times a month.
  37. Of course, eat whole wheat instead of white bread. However, sour dough is a beneficial “white” flour product for many—not all.
  38. Park far from an entrance and walk instead of driving around to find a closer spot. Exercise whenever you can.
  39. Rather than sitting and having a conversation, take a walk with a friend or loved one to talk about the day’s events.
  40. Eat fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert. It’s good for you and not filled with sugar and empty calories.
  41. Always combine protein and carbohydrates with each meal to help balance your blood sugar. For example, string cheese with an apple. Spikes in blood sugar make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry.
  42. Always keep nuts and dried fruit (unsulphured) with you, so you can maintain proper blood sugar while traveling or during hectic days.
  43. Nuts (not peanuts they are a legume) make great snacks. However, don’t overdo them. The limit should be a handful a day—no more. And try different nuts, so you don’t develop any food sensitivities. Also, always choose unsalted ones.
  44. Make working out a family affair. While your kids are on the ball field, jog around the park.
  45. Find workout activities your family can do together—ride bikes, hike, or jog.
  46. Alter your exercise routine to avoid getting bored. If you take a spinning class one day, try yoga or lifting weights another day.
  47. Sometimes a workout partner is a good idea—you encourage each other.
  48. Schedule your workout like an appointment, so skipping the gym is not an option. It becomes as automatic as eating well and like brushing your teeth.
  49. Create a daily log of fitness activities with specific goals, and then keep track of them.
  50. Check out several exercise CDs or tapes from your local library. Try them all and buy the ones you like.
  51. Go to your local track with a stopwatch once a month and time yourself for a full-out, one-lap sprint.
  52. When you’re home watching TV, sit on a large exercise ball, rather than the couch, to tighten your core.

Stay with it and good luck with developing your healthy habits!

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the “Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.” Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit