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2012: Time for Mini-Resolutions

As we approach the new year, here are a dozen or so small resolutions that will boost your health, are likely to prolong your life, and will just make you feel good:
1. Have one small square of dark chocolate each day.
2. Use more garlic in your cooking.
3. Have a cup or two of green tea each day.
4. Eat more organic fruits and vegetables.
5. Walk briskly outside for 20 minutes every day.
6. Laugh more—read more jokes, watch funny movies, invite your funniest friends over for dinner.
7. Decide what the single most stressful aspect of your life is and make a project of doing something about it.
8. Start planning and saving for a vacation, even if it means putting a few coins in a jar every day.
9. Eat breakfast.
10. Vow to read labels and eat nothing containing high fructose corn syrup.
11. Take pride in the choices (environmental, social, political, personal) that you make.
12. Give away something of value.
13. If considering a new pet, rescue one.
14. Buy a child a book.
Obviously, some of these are easier than others. For example, #1 is a whole lot more fun than #7. But good clinical studies have been performed on the health benefits gained from each of these.
Chocolate, garlic, and green tea are all powerful antioxidants, which block the damage caused by altered oxygen molecules called free radicals. The current theory of just why we age is that our bodies are damaged by a lifetime of exposure to free radicals.
Organic fruits and vegetables have greater nutritional content than those that are conventionally grown. They’re also free of pesticides and herbicides that probably cause more damage than the government is telling us.
A modest amount of walking has been repeatedly shown to provide great benefits for your heart, blood pressure, muscles, and bones—and also your mood.
We now know that a switch by food producers from cane sugar to high fructose corn syrup has contributed mightily to our soaring rates of obesity and diabetes. Because high fructose corn syrup is cheap to make–and because so much corn is grown for this very purpose–food manufacturers seem to add it to everything. If you’re stuck at a weight you hate, quit eating corn syrup. Better yet, stop eating sugar, refined grains, and prepared foods and start enjoying real whole foods: vegetables, fruits, protein, legumes, and whole grains.
The benefits of laughter, stress reduction, and vacations are self-evident if you’ve read . Laughter, for example, boosts levels of stress-protecting feel-good serotonin (so does doing something nice for others). You know how I feel about stress reduction: it’s Job 1, as they say.
And breakfast? When a large group of 100-years-olds was questioned about their lifestyles, the factor common to them all was eating this most vital meal of the day.

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6 comments on “2012: Time for Mini-Resolutions
  1. mery krause says:

    Good thing you put the chocolate resolution first, or I might not have read on. All great resolutions and not impossible by any means. Will try to work on all of them, especially the first one. HaHa. Happy New Year to you and your wonderful team.

  2. Ann Raven says:

    Great advice!

  3. Eda Warren says:

    This is an exceptional list of things to keep as goals and carry out. What I really like is that they are all pretty doable. Setting goals are more effective when the goals are concrete and small. Thank you—and I am happy to say that I am already doing a number of these things but of course, there is always plenty of room for improvement.

  4. Jim Anderson says:

    Thank you for all of your articles and advice. It is very much appreciated.

  5. Edith Binkley says:

    The dark chocolate resolution is a winner. I don’t eat sugary snacks but all through 2011 I had my one piece of dark chocolate a day. I look forward to it each day and feel like royalty while I am enjoying my special antioxidents. Thanks for all your information and article topics. When are you opening your clinic in Cleveland?

  6. Jeanine Bakker says:

    This is a reasonable and well balanced list that I can live with without feeling guilty if I don’t follow each one to the letter. Thanks Dr. E. I would add one more thing. Let go of anger and resentment. If you don’t, your body will find a way to let you know it shouldn’t be there. Try meditation, prayer, therepy, or anything that helps you see that learning to forgive opens pathways for healing. Happy New Year!

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