By Deirdre Imus
If you are like most Americans, living through the terror, economic, and political turmoil of the last decade was like having a 10-year root canal and you are probably glad to see it come to an end.
Even if you are still feeling stressed, the New Year has long been regarded as an opportunity to reorganize our priorities and set new goals...A fresh start.
With nearly two-thirds of all U.S. adults battling obesity, losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle tops the list of New Year's resolutions. Even if you are not officially overweight, most of us would like to shed a few pounds and there is no shortage of fad diets and exercise devices promising quick fixes aimed at giving us six-pack abs and a tiny, tight butt.
Many of these so-called "weight loss" programs are just ridiculous. For example, some people will do absurd things to lose weight not really considering that they are compromising their overall health. I'm sure if you limited yourself to eating only 7 M&Ms three times a day and drinking lots of water you could certainly lose some weight. But you would not be giving your body the nutrients needed to stay healthy and you would likely gain all that weight back.
Quick gimmicky diets are not the way to lose those unwanted pounds. Neither are starvation diets. The key ingredient to any successful weight loss plan is discipline combined with some simple common sense.
I recommend focusing on the basic fundamentals that are essential to maintaining a healthy, vigorous, fit body.
The body, mind, and spirit all need nourishment. Why not feed them at the same time? Once you are on the path to a healthier lifestyle, include enriching activities that help others and will make you feel better about yourself.
Here are seven tips to help you start the New Year out right and make your good health and emotional well being a priority.
2. Eat your veggies and go organic for one meal a day - small portions of organic vegetables and fruits, raw seeds and nuts will not only help you shed pounds, it can also help prevent heart disease, stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, and boost the body's immune system.
4.Follow your passions - do something you really enjoy that you normally don't do. Whether it is music, painting or gardening find a way to recharge your zest for life by making time for yourself.
5. Have a sense of purpose by giving some of your time to those in your community that need a helping hand and friendly smile. Offer a few hours to your local hospital, soup kitchen, cancer or senior citizen center. Volunteerism is not only personally rewarding, it can make a real difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
6. Learn to let go of anger and resentment - don't dwell on negative feelings or personal regrets. It is counterproductive. We all make mistakes - especially when we are stressed and overburdened - and need to forgive one another.
Have fun, smile, be patient and positive
Deirdre Imus is the founder and president of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (r) at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-founder and Co-director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Deirdre is the author of four books, including three national bestsellers. She is a frequent speaker on green living and children's health issues, and is a contributor to