Feeling Fantastic! Tracy’s Top 13 Choices

Something we often hear from our clients over time is that they just can’t believe how well they can feel. This isn’t a surprise! It’s hard for any of us to know just how poorly we felt until we actually start feeling much better. Often we find our clients have become so accustomed to feeling “okay” or “fine” that they simply can’t imagine what’s possible. This list includes the highest-impact lifestyle choices we have found in helping our clients to feel fantastic. Some are familiar. Others may surprise you. We are deeply passionate about client education and empowerment.

  • Sleep.  Simple, I know.  But powerful!  Ideally, go to bed at an early enough time that you awaken in the morning at least 90% of the time in advance of when an alarm would otherwise go off. Many, many of our clients have trouble sleeping because they are exposed to full-spectrum light right up until bedtime (e.g. television, email, phones, video games). Avoid all of these in the hour prior to bedtime. If you think about it, missing another Seinfeld re-run is probably not as valuable to you as sleeping like a rock and feeling energetic and rested the next day.
  • Check your Vitamin D at least twice a year and keep it at 50 ng/ml or more. At the end of summer, your Vitamin D is as high as it’s going to be naturally. Check it mid-winter because most of the world’s population cannot make Vitamin D in the skin for over half of the year.
  • Eat Real Food, not “edible food-like substances” (M. Pollan). At least 90% of the time, choose to eat exclusively foods that your great-grandmother could have eaten when she was growing up. This is the one topic people have the hardest time believing. The plain truth is that your body has been evolving for a very, very long time learning to thrive on real food, not chemicals. Nutrients matters! Our clients are often shocked to learn that suboptimal levels of a few key nutrients is actually the root cause of their ailments (e.g. headaches, hypertension, anxiety).
  • Find out what food sensitivities you have, and honor them. If you don’t know, then don’t eat gluten. At least not as part of your mainstay 90% diet. Clinical research is discovering more and more each day the increasing variety of gluten sensitivity and the diseases to which it can contribute. Gluten-triggered release of zonulin (and subsequent intestinal permeability) is a key triggering factor in autoimmune disease. We see this in our clients routinely. Wheat (the most common gluten-containing grain) is also very high-glycemic and contributes to insulin resistance. I have had many of my individual clients recover long-term from chronic depression simply by eliminating gluten. It’s just not worth it!
  • Eat as much Organic food as you can Find and as you can Afford. Yes, it’s really that bad. Most pesticides and herbicides are estrogen mimickers. And we have an exponentially rising rate of estrogen-mediated cancers in both men (prostate) and women (breast/uterus/ovary). Where possible, maximize nutrition by purchasing local, fresh produce which is pesticide-free or only reactively used for pest outbreaks (few small farmers can afford formal organic certification). At a bare minimum, make good use of the handy “Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen” shopping priorities revised each year by the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org)
  • Play. Seriously. Many of us behave as though working as many hours as possible and checking off as many things as we can from our ubiquitous to-do lists is going to earn us a large prize at the end of life. Well, guess what? It’s not! Just perhaps some regrets and missed opportunities. Savor life. Laugh. Play. Relax. Have fun. Don’t let your rejuvenating activities end up being just an hour or two of mindless TV each night. We were all five years old at one time. Revive what is Fun for you now. Allow time for it. Make time for it.
  • Prioritize using only healthy oils at home, like pressed olive and coconut oil and grass-fed butter. If there is only one change you make in your grocery shopping list in order to be healthier, let it be this one. I recommend you don’t use typical bottled, yellow vegetables oils (e.g. Wesson). Unless the label says “pressed”, the oil is chemically leached and likely damaged in the process. And these oils are already pro-inflammatory by nature. Also, if you see the phrase “partially hydrogenated” oil on any food label, don’t buy the product. Those are transfats, which are quite conclusively shown to dramatically increase risk of heart disease.
  • Avoid fluoride. Don’t use fluoridated water or seek fluoride treatments at the dentist. Does it kill bacteria in the mouth? Yes. Does it increase calcium uptake in teeth? Yes. But likely at very high costs. From low thyroid function (which is epidemic!) to joint calcification to reduced IQ in children. The key to avoiding cavities is regular brushing/flossing and to keep your immune system strong.
  • Make sugar, sweeteners, and foods made with Flour part of your occasional 10% diet, not the 90%. This one feels hard in the beginning but actually becomes easy (truly!).   If you need help, we can support you, but this one is important. We have an epidemic of insulin resistance and its progressive states of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes. This disease progression begins with the diet, every time. Many, many people with “normal” fasting glucose have a false sense of security and actually already have insulin resistance. Without realizing this and taking steps to reverse it, diabetes will eventually take hold.
  • Drink plenty of plain, clean water every day. Make sure you know the real quality of the water coming out of your tap (don’t rely on regional or town source data). If necessary, invest in a water filter, both for drinking water and shower water. There are a huge number of dissolved toxins found in regular municipal drinking water. A charcoal pitcher filter is only of minimal use.
  • Stop Shoulding on Yourself. You are a divine child of the universe. Perfect. Start realizing this. And honoring who you really are, what really makes you happy, and how you really want to spend the days of your life. Seriously, start right now! Choose as many activities in your life as you can based on what is Fun and Fills your Heart. Release the need to use words like Should, Must, and Have-to. Instead, use the word Choose. Then allow yourself to change your mind when that phrase chokes in your throat. Honor your truth. Make time for a spiritual practice that allows you to release the “gunk” of expectations from society/family and reconnects you to Who You Really Are.
  • Get Rid of Toxins. Do regular detoxification Cleanses (at least twice a year). I consistently do these myself in mid-spring and mid-autumn every year. Yes, our bodies are designed to detoxify themselves on auto-pilot. However, in the modern western world, we live in a toxic soup of chemicals. Over 100,000 new chemicals have been introduced into commercial use since World War II. Even with efforts to protect and isolate ourselves and our family, we are still inhaling, eating, and absorbing through our skin dozens of chemicals each day. We can also have genetic impairments in our ability to process toxins. Our liver/kidney/GI tract can easily become overwhelmed. Then we store toxins in our body fat, and over time, this creates chronic inflammation which then creates chronic disease (the big ones that most of us fear).
  • Be a part of something wonderful that is Larger than Yourself. Make your life mean something on a larger scale. Find a cause or a contribution that highlights your unique talents, history, and/or skills. One that is powerful to you, not necessarily your family or anyone else nearby. Give regularly of yourself in a way that makes you feel gratified, useful, and part of the larger perfection of the universe. In my experience, this is a sure-fire pathway to real joy.

If you’d like a copy of this list to print out and have handy as a gentle reminder (or perhaps share it with friends and family), feel free to use this PDF file.

We often get derailed in efforts to get healthier because we try to change too much too quickly. So please don’t try to take on all of these at once. Pick just one or two choices that resonate with you right now. Feeling great in your body isn’t an accident. It’s a choice. If we want different results, we have to be willing to make different choices each day. Choose to Live on Purpose!  And Be well.

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It was such a treat to have you cooking our meals! Your food definitely nourishes our body and soul… Tracy, you are so knowledgeable but it is your passion, your energy, your joy, your acceptance of wherever we are on our health journey, your ever-present smile, and the “little kid ” that you let out… Read More »

Lynn Jameson
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Sherborn, MA