The vast majority of our health problems are caused by poor nutrition, and the food manufacturing industry has greatly compromised our choices, supplying us with toxins.


Diets are as individualized as our fingerprints. Stores offer hundreds, if not thousands, of diet books. You may have even tried dozens of strategies yourself. By adhering to the following six tried-and-true principles you can make long-term progress with your health.

Eat Whole Foods Instead of Processed
As food processing increases, nutrient density decreases. Typically, the greater the degree of processing, the higher the likelihood that a food:

Has lost nutritional value, such as fiber, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Has gained additives, preservatives, fillers, sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats, and/or refined starch.
Will leave you less satisfied and could encourage over-consumption

Eat Protein with Every Meal
Without adequate protein, our bodies can’t function properly. We need amino acids (protein’s building blocks) to produce important molecules like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies.

Protein absorption varies widely. An important thing to consider is the source. Animal proteins tend to be absorbed more easily by the body. If you are trying to get protein from plant sources, you will likely need a larger amount in order to absorb the same nutrients.

Muscle mass correlates strongly with longevity. This means that the more muscle you maintain as you age, the easier your body can handle the challenges of aging.

In addition, as we age, we have more difficulty absorbing protein compared to younger people. This makes prioritizing protein consumption even more vital for seniors.


A trick I explored recently is looking at negative or stressful events in a new way, called reframing. Before you say, “I don’t want to read about dread, worry, anxiety, and bad habits. Just teach me how to get unstuck!” consider this: what if we look at them as coping strategies that are simply trying to help us?

Every habit is there to serve a purpose. If we reframe our view of “bad habits” into something that is trying to help us, we can find substitutions and lessen their power over us.

When you have a bad experience, try asking yourself open-ended questions to find the “silver lining.” Perhaps you learned something new about yourself. Or you met someone kind and helpful you might not have otherwise met. Maybe you learned how imperative it is to never have that same experience again.

An “open-ended question” is one that cannot be answered with simple one-word responses such as “yes, no, or maybe.” Such questions require deliberate thought, usually phrased with words like who, what, where, when, and how. Some examples might include, “How might you view that experience in a way that doesn’t increase anxiety?” or “What takeaway lesson did you learn about yourself or others that might help you in the future?”



This may be one of the hardest articles I have written because of my own emotional battle with the scale that dates back to my teenage years. As an adolescent, I loved seeing the number on the scale go down. And I hated the confusion that arose when, despite best efforts, it went up. Well before I understood that weight can fluctuate several pounds from morning to night, I sometimes tortured myself by getting on mine multiple times a day.

Worse, I fell into the judgment trap, sometimes getting knocked flat by a number my developing brain interpreted as “too high”. (According to whom?) After decades of struggle, one day I finally realized it was high time I ditched the scale.

What the Scale Measures

A typical scale measures how much mass your physical body has in earth’s gravity. Nothing more, nothing less. It cannot tell you anything about your intrinsic value, your personality or skills, or how you manage crises in the real world. A digital Tanita scale uses bioelectrical impedance to supply information about body composition, but only if the user is properly hydrated. A recent online article in Forbes estimates that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. So at best, scales provide a snapshot of relative trends rather than absolutes. At worst, they can destroy delicate self-esteem, especially in teens whose bodies are changing hormonally and growing into their adult forms.


You’ve found your Traffic Lights list of “green, yellow, and red-light” foods. Now, it’s time to give your kitchen a makeover.

That includes getting rid of the four containers of mint chocolate chip ice cream you conveniently “forgot” you had. The salsa that gives you indigestion. The caramel popcorn you got for your daughter’s sleepover that never got eaten. The vegetables that give you gas. Bags of chips you bought on sale. Your stash of peanut M&M’s hidden in the back of your desk. Anything that you have identified as coming from your “red-light” list, it’s time to say goodbye.

Getting Started

The first step to getting a handle on your kitchen is to choose a small area to start with, especially if you get easily overwhelmed. Since we’re talking about edibles rather than dishes and cutlery, perhaps a good place to start is the pantry. The freezer. The refrigerator. The Lazy Susan. A shelf.

Pull everything out of the designated space. Everything. Clean the shelf to signal to yourself that you’re starting over.


Are you sick of saying you’re going to change but never doing it? Are you really sure you’re ready? Then learn how to get massive leverage on yourself, once and for all, so that the change sticks.

Think of change as a series of stepping stones. You cannot cross any river (metaphorical or actual) without taking the first step. What is the first step you need to take to get massive leverage on yourself?

Are You Ready to Change?

In order to change a bad habit for good, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be RAW — Ready, Able, and Willing — to change
  • Know exactly what behavior you want to eliminate and what you want to replace it with
  • Have a supportive community
  • Make it so that keeping the old habit becomes more painful than creating a new one

Let’s take a look at each, including my own experience with massive leverage. And at the end of reading, if you are inspired to change, let’s talk about what that will look like for you.








A question my clients frequently ask is, “What should I eat?” followed closely by “How much?” Just as no two people have matching fingerprints, our dietary preferences, carbohydrate, fat, and protein needs, and programs differ as well. This week we look at how to assess your unique protein needs with helpful input from my nutrition certifying organization, Precision Nutrition.

Protein’s Bad Rap

Twenty-five years ago, there was plenty of skepticism about protein. After all, bodybuilders ate lots of it—but they also experimented with all kinds of “questionable” things.

In the late 1990s low-fat diets took center stage (we all know how disastrous that was) and high-protein diets grew in popularity for weight loss—an approach health experts labeled as “unsafe” back then.

Over the years, the hand-wringing about protein has faded. Some of those same experts now advise people to “eat more protein.”

But one claim just won’t die: “Protein is bad for your kidneys.”