Plan for Success

Every successful endeavor including healthy lifestyle change is only successful when a plan is created and executed. Did you know that at least 95% of all people who start a diet regain all of the weight they lost and often more?

Part of the failure is the lack of a long-term plan combined with shortsighted goals including weddings, reunions, special events, and selected calendar dates that hold very little power over our ability to successfully create lasting change.

The diet and health journey you are beginning should be considered a life-long change without an end date or return to previous unhealthy dietary and health habits. It is simply changing the way you live and making choices today to maximize your health and effectively improve the quality of life.

The first step to lasting healthy lifestyle change is to prayerfully examine your life and ask the Lord to help you find a “why” that effectively moves the dietary changes from a “should” to a “must”. This may include the realization that your body is not your own but is instead owned by God and that as stewards, an unhealthy body will significantly limit your opportunities to serve the Lord and others, provide for family or children, and impact the quality and quantity of your days on this earth. Next, decide today that this is the day for change. Take action on your decision by implementing step 2, and share your vision with others; this adds accountability to your decision. Then, begin planning your first shopping trip and first healthy meal to celebrate your decision.

Commit to eat one healthy nutrient-rich meal the first week, two meals the second week, three in the third week, until you reach seven nutrient-rich meals in a week. This may take some extra time at the grocery store as you visit new aisles and look for healthy alternatives, but don’t give up. Soon this new healthy style of shopping and cooking will become the norm and the time you spend shopping, planning and preparing healthy meals will become easily manageable. Finally, visit our website for updated recipes or order Kristen’s Healthy Kitchen Recipes for healthy and easy to prepare meals.

Purge the Pantry
We need not look any further than our pantries and refrigerators for the answer to today’s obesity and health crisis. The vast majority of pantries and refrigerators are overflowing with foods that promote disease and lack living foods that not only prevent disease, but also can reverse many of today’s most dangerous degenerative diseases. Processed foods in bags and boxes filled with white sugar, white flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and salt line pantry shelves, while juices, jams, meats, cheese, processed dairy, and desserts fill our refrigerators. How does your pantry and refrigerator stack up? Take a couple of minutes right now to go to your pantry and refrigerator and scan over the foods that fill the shelves. What percentage of your food would be considered unprocessed plant-based food that promotes a healthy body? How many boxes, cans, and bags of man-made food do you count? Remember, a healthy body begins and ends on the shelves of your pantry and refrigerator, and the foods that line your shelves will soon line your stomach.

The first step to making a successful life-long dietary change is to purge your pantry and refrigerator of unhealthy foods. If these harmful, addictive foods are within easy reach they will derail even the best laid plans and leave you craving more. Once these unhealthy foods are out of sight, they are more likely to be “out of mind” and more importantly out of your mouth. You will never be able to break free from the power of these foods until you remove them from your home. Here are some foods to look for: Crackers, processed cereals, chips, sweets/treats, soda, breakfast bars, boxed cakes, cookies, cheese, canned foods, white breads, and ice cream. In general, the more times the food has been altered from its original form, the more negatively it will affect your health. 

You may find that your cupboards are bare, but consider them ready to re-stock with healthy food that will strengthen, regenerate, and heal your body.

Purchase Healthy Living foods
Now that you have purged your kitchen of the unhealthy disease promoting foods, you are ready to purchase food that will strengthen, heal and regenerate your body. As a general rule, you will now be shopping in the produce section and the health/organic aisles of your grocery store, and will rarely venture down the well-traveled middle aisles or the broad path to disease and degeneration. Poor health begins by shopping the middle aisles of the store and I am sure you will begin to notice the difference between your shopping cart (and body) and those of patrons shopping the in the middle of the store.

This may seem like a daunting task right now and you may be asking yourself, “What am I going to buy and cook for myself or my family?" Be encouraged; like every change in life, within a couple of months the new and challenging will become much second nature and more routine. Believe it or not, your grocery shopping will become much easier because you will spend the majority of your time in two locations; the produce aisle and the healthy foods/organic aisle, purchasing a very consistent shopping list. Eventually, you may want to explore bulk purchases from your local health food store as this can be a way to cut down on your shopping time and save money. Below is a general guide that can be used to build both a healthy plate and shopping list. Following these basic principles of a healthy, well-balanced plate will make your first few shopping trips much more fun. Also, it is often helpful to review several of the recipes before heading out to the grocery store.

Here is a general guide of healthy foods to begin restocking your kitchen:

  • Vegetables: spinach, romaine lettuce, green lettuce, cucumbers, kale, beets, collards, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage, mini carrots, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, artichokes, green beans, red/yellow/orange peppers, sugar snap peas, zucchini, mushrooms, fresh herbs, an assortment of frozen veggies–all types of vegetables
  • Oranges, grapes, all types of berries, pineapples, mangoes, apples, pears, lemons, limes, bananas, plums, peaches, nectarines–all types of fruit
  • An assortment of raw nuts and seeds–raw unsalted almonds are the best, then black walnuts, pecans, and millet
  • Organic nut butters
  • Dried herbs and spices such as turmeric, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, etc.
  • Healthier substitutes for cooking and baking: see Kristen’s Healthy Kitchen Recipes
  • Sprouted grain breads, 2-3 times per week
  • Fruit spreads
  • Coconut butter
  • Fresh salsa
  • Tahini
  • Organic blue corn taco shells
  • Sprouted grain pasta
  • Whole-grain rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole (oat groats) or steel-cut oats for oatmeal
  • Raisins
  • Goji berries
  • Dates
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Yellow potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams
  • Kashi–grain
  • Low sodium vegetable broth
  • An assortment of no-sodium canned beans (BPA-free)
  • An assortment of dry beans
  • Almond milk
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Coconuts and coconut water