One food, one habit, one garden, one step, one day, one person. Changing a lifestyle can be daunting, but by starting with one step or one habit does make it easier.

I’m 53 this year and it never ceases to amaze me what I learn every year and 2012 was no different.  I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I have implemented into my life, some from last year and others from the years before that have made all the difference to my life.  By implementing these into your life for 2013 you might find that your health and energy improves.

1. Stay Away From Wheat –   After doing the Changing Habits 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol, I realised that grain, but more specifically wheat was causing inflammatory responses in my body. It was distinctly causing aches, pains and weight gain.  I was puzzled by this, as grain has been a part of evolutionary eating for anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 years.  I listened to lectures and read books and scientific articles to see why this grain was such a problem.  I listened to an interview with Dr William Davis and I had the biggest AHA around the problem with wheat.  Dr Davis is the author of Wheat Belly, this book explains the hybridisation of wheat to feed a hungry planet and how this hybrid is not good for human consumption.  I’m sure if we ate wheat occasionally it would not be a problem (for non-gluten intolerant people), but the fact that we eat wheat up to 6 times a day and that many food additives, including glucose are made from wheat is what is making it a huge problem in modern diets.  It has been 13 months since I’ve eaten wheat and feeling much better for it.  It’s funny I’ve never been about stopping fat, salt and sugar (common dietary restrictions) but when I read about wheat I knew it needed to go.  It’s worth trying and especially after doing the Changing Habits 4 Phase Fat Elimination Protocol.

2. Mindful Movement – The evolutionary body has always moved, we were not built for sitting in cars and in chairs for the whole day, so it is important that you move on a regular basis.  I’m not an exercise expert, I’ll leave personal training to the experts and I wish they would leave diet to the diet experts (but that’s another story).  Let’s just talk about movement.  I do a lot of incidental exercise such as; always finding stairs instead of using electronic upward moving instruments such as escalators and elevators.  I park my car at the back car park, I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to use a disabled car park and I celebrate that fact by being as far from them and allowing people who need these or closer parks to have them.  I find that there is always a park furthest from the shops.  When I clean my house I do it with my exercise gear on and loud music and with lots of vigour.  Every morning possible I walk with my daughter or daughters, then take a swim.  It is a wonderful time with them.  Other times I walk with my walking partner Rikki.  When I see stairs I take them two at a time, if I see a hill I walk it with a little more sprint then when I walk on the flats.  I love to stretch, so I make sure if I’m sitting down watching TV that I have some stretch time.  There are so many ways that you can move it is just about being mindful at all times about your movement.  Make 2013 a time to become mindful about movement.

3. Eat Fermented Foods – Every culture throughout the ages have learnt to ferment foods for preservation and have eaten them on a daily basis.  Cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and pickles are just a few of the foods known around the world.  Fermented foods are foods that have micro-organism teeming within them. They are pre-digested foods which make them easy for the body to assimilate and it also makes the vitamins and minerals more available.  Probiotics are another name for the micro-organisms.  Prebiotics are the foods that keep the probiotics alive.  Many store purchased probiotics have no prebiotic and have been made in petrie dishes, with perhaps genetically modified or patented organisms. Probiotics traditionally should be within foods, not alone.

Another place you can get your probiotics and prebiotics (although they are not fermented) are; – fruits, vegetables and salad greens. These have  probiotics due to the micro-organisms that live on and within them.  The foods that have no micro-organisms and should be avoided are those that are preserved with man-made preservatives. Foods like breakfast cereals, packaged and tinned foods, ultra pasteurised milks and juices etc. The preservatives in these foods have the ability to decrease the micro-organisms in the gut.   Fermented foods help colonise the gut with bacteria as well as the body with microbiomes.  These foods in turn make sure that the immune system as well as the communication system work together for the health of the body.  Fermented foods are a must in the daily diet especially if antibiotics and foods with man-made preservatives have been a constant throughout your life.  Eat fermented foods as much as possible, make them a daily part of your life.  Just in case this seems a bit hard right now I recommend Changing Habits All Natural Probiotics.  These are made from food – not made in petrie dishes, both the probiotic and the prebiotic are present.

4. Consume Minerals Everyday – Minerals are a very important part of human and animal health.  Minerals are needed for many processes in the body.  Official documents over the past 60 years has shown that we are not getting enough minerals and that this is expressed through illness.  The best way to get your minerals is to make sure the food you are eating has been grown in soils that are rich in minerals and to eat a variety of foods.  In 2012 I decided that having only herbs in my garden and eating them everyday in my smoothies and on my salads was not enough, so I planted a bunch of greens including many varieties of spinach, lettuce, kale and anything that was green.  Every day I go out to my garden and pick my greens.  In  the morning I make a green smoothie and in the evening I put the greens in my salad.  I’m amazed at how fast greens grow and I’ve had a continuous abundant crop only 6 weeks after my first planting.  The preparation of my soil was very important, we (Bob Cameron friend and owner of Rockcote and myself) prepared the soil with organic fertiliser (blood and bone) as well as putting in some wonderful natural fertiliser from Nutritech – a local business here on the Sunshine Coast with the owner being passionate about nutrition for the soil.  It has taken me years to do this but I finally did it.  If you do not have the room or the time for a vegetable and herb garden then a great substitute is to use Changing Habits Colloidal minerals and Changing Habits Supreme Green Blend in your salads and smoothies.  Having said that fresh from the garden cannot be beaten.

5. Hydrate Your Body – I have to admit up until 4 years ago it use to annoy me and confound me regarding the drinking of water.  I’d drink water and then half an hour later I would pee it out.  I kept thinking, that surely this much drinking and peeing can’t be right.
I then met a wonderful lady by the name of Janie Turner, the owner of Thermomix UK.  She told me about this great book on water and salt and how it was important to have the right amount of water and salt in order to hydrate the body as well as help with modern illness.  Her habit was when she drank 500ml of water that she always took in 1/8 tsp. salt.  If she was consuming a meal she would put the salt on the meal and drink the water, if she wasn’t eating she would merely lick the salt from her hand and then drink her water.  The purpose of the salt is to change the osmotic pressure of the water and cells within the body.  Instead of the water going into the stomach, then blood vessels, then kidneys and out, it would be forced into the cells after entering the body, clean up any waste in the cells, draw the waste out back into the blood system and then excreted through the kidneys.  What was amazing is that as soon as  I started to do this it would sometimes take 3 to 4 hours before I needed to go to the toilet.  I questioned this with regards to evolution and realised that much of our water is devoid of minerals and the salt was just energising the water to do what it needed to do.  Make sure you use a good salt, the Changing Habits Seaweed Salt is a wonderful salt from natural sources.

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Cyndi O'Meara

Founder at Changing Habits
Not your typical nutritionist, Cyndi disagrees with low-fat, low-calorie diets, believes chocolate can be good for you and thinks cheating and eating yummy food is an important part of a well-balanced diet. Cyndi must be doing something right because she maintains a healthy weight and has never (in her whole life!) taken an antibiotic, pain-killer or any other form of medication. Cyndi is a passionate, determined and knowledgeable speaker on health issues and uses her education and experience to help others improve their quality of life so they too can enjoy greater health and longer lives.
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