You SHOULD and You CAN

I want to apologize. I’ve been talking a lot (on social media @carysgarage on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) about what you shouldn’t do, and I actually think it’s more important to talk about what you CAN and SHOULD do. So let’s do that…..

1. You SHOULD stop using your cell phone as an alarm clock and get an old-fashioned clock radio. Having your phone in your reach while sleeping is causing many people to have disrupted sleep and that’s contributing to the obesity problem in this country. (Buy that clock and plug your phone in, in the other room on silent. It will only take a few nights to get used to not having it right there. You WILL survive. _

2. You SHOULD stop eating two hours before bedtime. Your body’s energy needs to be devoted to repairing injuries, fighting offending viruses and building muscle while you sleep, not digesting food. (Clean the kitchen up fully after dinner so you’re not hanging out in there later on, brush your teeth two hours before your approximate bed time, and be willing to go to bed a little hungry. It won’t kill you!)

3. You SHOULD…..SLOW DOWN — while eating. Time yourself and see how long you’re taking. Most of us eat in less than 10 or 15 minutes, but it takes the brain about 20 minutes to get the message that the stomach is full. (Try slowing down your chewing, setting your fork down in between bites, and doubling the amount of time it takes to finish a meal by setting a timer for twice what you normally take. This simple tip alone can cause you to eat less overall. And enjoy your meals more.)

4. You SHOULD stop buying “low-fat” products so you can avoid added sugar and fake ingredients that your body can’t recognize as food. (When you put fake products into your body, it has to use energy to metabolize and get rid of them. Then it craves more food because what you gave it wasn’t actually food. Eating low-fat and overly-processed foods leads to overeating almost all the time.)

5. You SHOULD start using real, healthier oils when you cook. Avocado, and olive are some top choices and can even be drizzled onto your veggies to increase their nutritional impact to your body and brain. I add avocado oil to my smoothies as well. (If you eat healthy fats, you may end up eating fewer overall calories because your body feels more satiated from you meals. Try just one of these if you don’t already use them and stop using low-fat products to cook with.)

6. You CAN figure out how to add more movement in your days. We are adding more and more technological advances that make us less and less likely to get up from our chairs and move. (Things like parking further away from the store, shopping in an actual store-maybe take an extra lap or two, and going to the thermostat to adjust the temperature are all small ways to add back movement into your day. Of course, a blocked-out time to exercise for at least 20 minutes can go an even longer way towards helping the body stay healthier. And thinner.)

7. You CAN question everything. If your doctor is unwilling to search for root causes for the things you’re suffering from, keep asking more questions, and perhaps see another doctor or wellness professional, before automatically taking new prescriptions. Prescription meds have their place and certainly save many lives. But we are a nation of over-medicated people who are getting less and less healthy as a result. 🙁 (Ask more questions and remember that doctors work for you, not the other way around!)

8. You CAN be the best version of yourself. I believe in you!! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick any one of my suggestions (#3 is a great one to start with) and implement it for a month. Then pick another. You don’t have to do it all at once. 🙂

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