Healthy Diet News and Reviews Episode 4 – Tips for Improving your Health

4(1)Hi, this is Mathea Ford, and today I wanted to take a break from my usual book review podcast and talk to you a little bit about change and changing your habits, and how to make that a valuable part of your life, and making change a positive thing instead of making it a hard thing to do, or something that seems overwhelming.
Now, the last month or so, everybody’s been doing resolutions and trying to get themselves changed, and converting themselves into a whole new person, and making the year a better one. I wanted to take a minute and pause and talk about what is important about when you make a resolution or when you make a change, and how to keep it.
Now, I’m not saying I’m an expert on how to change, or anything like that. I just know, throughout the years, what has worked for me and what has worked, what I’ve read. And when I’ve tried to change things, what seems to be the best path to go down.
So, I wanted to talk about, what is change? I think when you look at change as something that is just different, or adding to your way of life. It’s not the normal things that you do; it’s trying to dance a little bit outside of the normal path that you’re going down. That is change.
So, when you change something, you’re causing your body and yourself to be outside of the normal pattern. That is what is most challenging about change, is because you’re really not used to doing this, and you have to make it a part of your habits. And you’re not exactly sure how to do that.
So, what I recommend is a few things. When you do change, when you look at what you want to change, I think you should choose one thing to change at a time. We all have heard that it takes 21 days or 30 days to make a change happen and to make it stick. I’ve got to tell you it takes at least that long. When you’re trying to change multiple things, it can be overwhelming.
So, just choose one thing that you would like to change. One thing such as a way you drive to work or when you get up and exercise, and stick to it. So, if you say, “I’m going to exercise on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday,” then you make yourself exercise on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, even if it’s just for five minutes.
Make that part of your habit. But if you say, “I’m going to exercise, and I’m going to start walking the dog, and I’m going to read more blogs.” When you say all those three things, maybe you can accomplish two of those, but the only way you’re going to be able to track it is to be overwhelmed.
So, in order to make it reasonable, then, I suggest that you just choose one thing to change at a time, like your exercise pattern. Get that down. Get through the 30 days doing that. Obviously, even though it’s not the new year any more, any time is the right time to make a change, if that’s what you want to do.
Change one area or item per month, like I said. Make it easy to change. So, when you’re looking forward to changing something, you need to look at the ways that you can make it easier for yourself. Make yourself accountable to other people.
Change the way… If you say you’re going to exercise, then make sure that you enroll in a gym or that you get out your piece of exercise equipment that is currently a clothing rack and clean it off, and make sure it works, and set your clothes by it. Get your alarm set to get up earlier, and put an appointment on your calendar.
If you’re going to change the way you eat, then get rid of that food that is bad for you. Also, make sure that you have some snack foods in the house that you can eat. So, if you’re trying to eat a lower fat, or a more vegetables, make sure you buy more vegetables, add them to your grocery list. Let them go bad if they have to, but if you can eat them before they go bad, that’s better. But make sure they’re in your refrigerator or on your counter.
If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, an easy thing to do is make sure you have more of them in the house. Go to the grocery store more often to get them. Go twice a week instead of once a week, so that you remember that.
When you pack your lunch, if you’re changing the way you eat and you’re like, “I’m going to eat a better lunch,” you can pack your lunch the night before. But everything you need to do, you need to kind of plan out ahead so you know this is what I really need to do this successful.
So, make the things that you’re doing easy to change. Add your grocery list. Make your plan ahead of time. Do what you need to do.
Finally, you should commit to someone else to keep you honest. Whether it’s your spouse, or your friend, or your mom, or your dad, or maybe it’s just your people on Facebook that you talk to in your little group, that you say, “Hey, I’m going to start this diet.” You’re going to document on Facebook, “Hey, I did this today, ” or “I walked a mile today,” or I did whatever. A lot of times those people are very encouraging, that are on there, and your family will be very encouraging.
But find the right people to talk to about stuff, so that they’re encouraging you and not knowing if you have a bad day, or you don’t get something done, that they’re going to say the right things to you to help you get back on the right track instead of saying, “Oh, yeah, I knew you wouldn’t stick with it, ” or something like that. You really don’t need to hear that. [laughs]
You need to hear things like, “It’s OK, you can try it again tomorrow,” or “Make sure that you get this or get that.” Maybe they’ll give you some helpful articles or helpful links that you can go to, to read about getting a little bit of motivation.
When you think about change, as far as like diet planning, or changing your diet, or starting a new type of diet, one of the few things that I would recommend is to follow a national guidelines diet. So, don’t choose some fad diet, or something that’s crazy.
I mean, I know I read all these books. Don’t choose something that’s kind of outrageous or outside of national guidelines. I read a lot of books, and I review them on this program, where I talk about reading the book and what are the positives and the negatives, and how does it reflect the national guidelines.
I think it’s important to do something that fits in with national guidelines so that it’s sustainable. When you do something that is a fad diet, or you eliminate a complete food group from your diet, that’s not something that’s necessarily sustainable. At some point you’re going to feel tempted to eat meat again or to eat carbohydrate again. You’d like to be able to have that so it fit in your diet.
When you’re looking at a diabetic diet, or a heart diet, or even a renal diet, something that fits in with the national guidelines as far as how much sodium you’re supposed to eat, how much carbohydrate you’re supposed to eat. So, don’t under do it and don’t overdo it. Follow what works. Follow what’s been researched.
It might take a little bit longer, but you’re doing it for life anyway. So whether you lose 10 pounds for the high school reunion or by next week, you need to do something that is more bite sized, something that you can do over time that will work for you   Again, over time.
When you plan for your diet, it keeps you ahead of the curve. So, it keeps you working on those things that you’re thinking about ahead of time. So, you’re planning for your grocery list. You’ve got your grocery list, which means you had your menu plan for the week, which means that you’ve thought about the foods that you’re going to take to work, that you’re going to eat at lunch, that you’re going to eat at dinner, that you’re going to eat for breakfast.
Then you’re going to through the process of purchasing those at the grocery store and finding the right things. That sets you up for success on your diet change, because you’re going to have them in the house. If you need to eat three to five fruits and vegetables a day, and you don’t have any in the house, and you forgot to buy them at the grocery store, then you didn’t set yourself up to be very successful and you’re going to end up running to the grocery store or eating something that’s not appropriate.
So, do make a plan ahead of time, and that will keep you ahead of the curve. Meal plans; you need to know your nutritional guides. You need to know how much of each type of food you’re supposed to eat. Are you supposed to eat two vegetables at dinner? Are you supposed to eat two carbs at lunch? Are you supposed to eat this much fiber? How much sodium? How much salt? Can you add salt at the table? What kind of spices do you need?
So, when you look those things, know what your nutritional guidelines are and try and calculate them. If you’re supposed to get so many high fiber servings a day, you need to track that so you know that you got that. And finally, that way you know you got that. And you make a grocery list before you go.
Make the grocery list, or print the grocery list out before you go. Have a standard one set up. Maybe type one in Word that you can use and go through and check off, yes, I need this, or no I don’t need this, that has the food items on it, so it’s easy for you to plan. Print that out. We do that at my house all the time. We have a set grocery list. We work through the week, and we write things on there. Then when we go to the grocery store once a week, we just get everything that’s on the list.
It also helps us with coupons. We do use a lot of coupons. When we go through the grocery list, we know what coupons we need to take to the grocery store with us. So, it also helps our budget, because that way we don’t buy things that are not on the list that we don’t need. We’ve usually gone through and looked to see if we need… you know, “Do we need more mayonnaise?” “Do we need more mustard? How much soda do we need? Do we need some margarine? Do we need olive oil?”
All those things, and we know if it’s on the list, we needed it, if it’s not on the list, we should have already checked to know if we needed it or not, so we don’t buy things that aren’t and have six jars of ketchup in the fridge and not need but one.
So, I think, that when you look at meal planning and trying to get ahead with your diet planning, that the best way to do that is to make a plan. Making a plan, choosing to change just minimal things at a time. So, hey, today this week, if I’m working on a plan, I’m going to make sure I get so many servings of high fiber food this week.
And then maybe in a month I’m going to change and do this or I’m going to do the high fiber items and the fruits and vegetables. Then next week I’m going to do this a little different, but I’m also going to incorporate what I did last week.
So, you can make incremental smaller changes, or you can make a big change, but just do one area at a time. It will help you keep in tune with your diet plan and help you stay on the right track.

Thanks for listening. That’s my podcast for this week. I wanted to let you know that I appreciate all my subscribers and all the people that listen to me and help support this podcast. If you have comments or feedback, please send them to me at, so that I can incorporate those.
I’m looking forward to doing a future podcast for questions from subscribers. So again, if you would send me your questions at, I will incorporate them into future podcasts. Thank you, and have a great day. Remember healthy eating is only a bite away.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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