My Favorite Green Juice Recipe and Why You Should Drink It

“If man made it, don’t eat it!”
~Jack LaLanne, fitness guru and avid juicer

It’s Earth Day and I’m feeling green, so I thought I’d share my favorite recipe for green juice.

Why green juice?

  1. It provides more veggie goodness than you could possibly eat
  2. It fills your body with living enzymes, vitamins, oxygen and phytonutrients
  3. It boosts your immune system
  4. It increases your body’s ability to fight infection and heal chronic disease
  5. It helps your body to detoxify
  6. It helps your body repair damage
  7. It aids in establishing a healthy level of alkalinity in your body which may help prevent cancer, fatigue, obesity, allergies and weak bones
  8. It tastes great!

My favorite green juice recipe:


  • One green apple
  • Half a cucumber
  • ¼ inch thick slice of ginger
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 4 large leafs of kale
  • 1 cup of spinach

When available, include wheatgrass in your green juice for added nutritional value.

Wash and cut all ingredients, then run them through your juicer.  Voila!  You’re done.  Drink and enjoy.

You can also freeze the leftover veggie pulp and use it at a later date to make a great tasting soup stock.

My wife and I use an Omega Juicer at home and are very pleased with it.  If you don’t have a juicer, visit your local juice bar.  They will most likely have a green juice on the menu.  If not, ask for one.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

15 Unique Ways To Think Green This Earth Day

The earth does not belong to man – man belongs to the earth.   ~ Chief Seattle

This Friday, April 22nd, is Earth Day.  For over 40 years, Earth Day has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability.  This year, the Earth Day Network has challenged citizens of the world to pledge A Billion Acts of Green.

I urge you to visit A Billion Acts of Green and pledge as many acts as you can.  I also have another challenge for you.  Instead of pledging a green act that you currently do on a regular basis, such as recycling or using a reusable water bottle, pledge a new act.  Think of new and innovative ways you can have a positive impact on our planet.

Here are 15 unique ways to think green:

1. Don’t use straws.
The amount of petroleum and energy used in the manufacturing and distribution of straws, plus the waste they create, makes them a significant environmental threat.  The next time you visit a restaurant, skip the straw and drink from your glass.  If you insist on using a straw, consider purchasing a reusable glass straw from a company such as Glass Dharma. 

2. Buy reusable chopsticks.
If you enjoy sushi or other Asian foods on a regular basis, consider purchasing reusable chopsticks.  You’ll help to save the environment, you’ll have a better dining experience and you’ll be sure to start a conversation with your dinner companions.  Reusable chopsticks also make a unique and inexpensive gift.

3. Use matches, not lighters.
Most lighters are made of plastic and filled with butane fuel, both of which are petroleum products.  Over 1.5 billion disposable lighters end up in landfills every year.  Matches are a much more environmentally friendly alternative.

4. Don’t stir your coffee.
Each year, Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stir sticks.  The next time you enjoy a cup-a-joe, put the sugar and cream in your cup first, then add the coffee and they’ll mix themselves.

5. Recycle toilet paper rolls.
Toilet paper rolls are rarely recycled.  The next time you get to the end of a roll, don’t toss it into the nearby garbage.  Take a moment and walk it to your recycling bin.

6. Go veggie one day a week.
Eating a vegetarian diet once a week will help your diet and the planet.  Did you know that it takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef?

7. Invest in green companies.
There are many high performing companies that operate with a green philosophy.  Talk to your financial advisor and consider investing in green companies.

8. Unplug things that glow.
Even when you’re not using electronics, they often use electricity.  For example, that glowing light on your stereo or computer is drawing energy.  Unplug anything that glows and you’ll save energy.  As an added bonus, unplug the glowing electronics in your bedroom and you’ll have a more restful sleep.

9. Read an e-newspaper.
There are 63 million newspapers printed in the U.S. every day, most of which are thrown away without being recycled.  Consider subscribing to an online or e-reader version of your newspaper.

10. Watch The Story of Stuff.
If you haven’t already done so, watch The Story of Stuff and learn more about the impact that the manufacturing, use and disposal of “stuff” has on our environment.  Once you’ve watched it, share it with your friends, family and colleagues.

11. Go car-free (or car-lite) one day a week.
Our vehicles are one of the most costly luxuries we own, both financially and environmentally.  Going car-free isn’t as difficult as you may expect, and it will benefit you as well as the planet.  Not sure you can do it?  Check out this guide to going car-free (or car-lite).

12. Cruise.
Use cruise control and your car will get up to 15% better mileage.  That’s a benefit for your bank account and the environment.

13. Let your fingers do the walking… online.
An incredible amount of waste is created by phone books.  Consider whether or not you really need a paper copy of your phonebook and if not, cancel delivery.  Searching for phone numbers online is much faster and benefits the planet.

14. Download your software.
More than 30 billion compact discs are sold annually and they will all end up as waste at some point.  Choose to download your software online.  Not only will you save on the resources and waste of manufacturing a compact disc, you’ll also save the time and pollution of driving to the store to purchase your software.

15. Give it away.
Before you throw something away, ask yourself if someone else can use it.  If yes, donate it to a charitable organization or post it online at a website such as  Better yet, don’t wait until you’re throwing something away.  Start de-cluttering now and reap the rewards of a minimalist home.

Please visit A Billion Acts of Green and pledge to make a difference, not just this Earth Day, but every day throughout the year.

What unique ways do you know of to be green?

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A Practical Guide to a Car-Free (or Car-Lite) Lifestyle.

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Three years ago I began a new chapter in my life and embraced a simpler approach to living.  Part of that change included living car-free.  I have been reaping the benefits ever since.

After I moved from my big suburban home to my much more practical downtown apartment, I began looking for other ways to simplify my life.  The lease on my car was about to expire and I decided to experiment with a car-free life.  I had lived with the use of a vehicle for most of my adulthood, so the thought of living car-free was scary, but I committed and gave it a try.

My plan was simple.  Since I had moved downtown to where I worked and played, most of my needs were within walking distance.  I would plan to walk everywhere.  When walking wasn’t convenient, I’d take my bike.  If biking wasn’t an option, I’d take public transit.  If I absolutely needed a car, I’d borrow or rent.  And if I needed a car regularly, I’d consider joining a car-sharing co-op.  That gave me five alternatives to owning a car, and if it didn’t work out I could still buy a car at any time.  But I didn’t.  The benefits of car-free living have far outweighed any inconveniences.

What is true cost of owning a vehicle?

Financial cost.
In 2010, TIME reported that the average U.S. household spends over $8600 annually on their automobiles.  That includes the cost of financing, fuel, oil, maintenance, and repairs, but doesn’t factor the cost of things such as insurance, parking and depreciation.  That means that for many Americans, 20% or more of their take home income goes straight to car payments of one kind or another.  Owning a car is expensive.

Environmental cost.
In addition to the financial cost, there is a much greater environmental cost.  Remember the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year?  Where do you think that oil was headed?  Your car.

Jason Henderson, a Geography Professor at San Francisco State University warned us that, “Today there is an ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that stems from the insatiable demand for oil and for using that oil for driving. Almost half of the oil used in the US is used for personal driving, and upwards of 68 percent of the oil we use is for all transportation.”

The BP oil spill was an ecological disaster, but so too is the oil that goes into your vehicle week after week.  Your car spews carbon emissions and puts smog into our air.  Gas and oil is spilled on to the roadways and washes into our water systems.  The energy and resources used to make and maintain your car pollutes the environment, and when your car is old and run down (usually because of planned obsolescence as explained by The Story of Stuff), we throw it into scrap yards and landfills, which further pollute the environment.

Health cost.
And have you ever considered the toll your car takes on your health?  Car owners sit for long periods of time in positions that create back and hip problems rather than walking and getting exercise.  They experience life through the rolled-up windows of their vehicle and isolate themselves from the community around them.  They breathe stale air from air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter, rather than enjoying the fresh outdoors.  And when it’s rush hour, you can see the stress building in a driver’s body as they impatiently wait to crawl forward in their vehicle.

There’s no doubt about it.  Our car culture is slowly making us poor, destroying our environment and harming our health.

But isn’t car-free or car-lite living difficult?

Not necessarily, but there are times that living car-free or car-lite can be challenging.  That said, it can also be very rewarding and beneficial.  Some benefits of living car-free or car-lite include:

  1. Saving money
  2. Saving the environment
  3. Better health
  4. Less stress
  5. More time to enjoy the outdoors
  6. More connection with your community

Here is a practical guide to help you embrace a car-free (or car-lite) lifestyle:

1. Live closer to your work.  By doing so you’ll shorten your commute, eliminate or reduce your need for a car, and have more time to spend with your family and friends.  Yes, living closer to work may result in more costly housing, but don’t forget that you’ll save a considerable amount of money on car expenses every year.

2. Embrace public transit.  Notice I didn’t say that you should simply take the bus.  Most people don’t like to take the bus, and I get that.  That’s because they just sit and ride.  But what if you had more time every day to read, meditate, listen to your favorite music, or achieve more with your limited time?  You can do all of that if you spend your time on a bus or subway wisely.  Still not ready to travel alongside strangers every day?  Arrange a carpool and become an environmental champion for your office.

3. Play closer to home.  Planning a date night with your partner?  Do you really need to travel across town to the new cinema or can you have just as good of a time closer to home?  We often overlook the great opportunities in our local communities in favor of the biggest and brightest across town.  Play closer to home and not only will you save money and the environment, you’ll also discover more about the people and places in your community.

4. Get moving. Walk, ride your bike or rollerblade.  There are many ways you can get around without the need for a vehicle.  You’ll avoid the hassles of parking, you’ll save money and you’ll become healthier in the process. 

5. Support others who are living car-free.  If you must drive, treat pedestrians and cyclists with respect.  Give them room to safely use the roads and encourage their lifestyle.  After all, their car-free choices benefit you.

6. Buy used.  If you must own a vehicle, consider purchasing used.  By doing so you save the environmental impact of manufacturing a new vehicle while also saving money. Did you know that in the first year of ownership, a new car can lose up to 20 percent of its value, and by the fifth year, your car will depreciate by over 65 percent?  Read more…

7. Borrow or rent.  Just because you choose to live car-free doesn’t mean you can never use one.  Borrow or rent a vehicle for those odd occasions when it’s absolutely necessary.  Friends and family are usually happy to help out from time to time and the money you spend on a small thank-you gift or renting will be substantially less than owning your own vehicle.

8. Share your vehicle.  Car co-ops are becoming more and more popular.  They offer an excellent and convenient alternative to owning a vehicle.  Join one of these co-ops and you’ll have access to a number of different vehicles for a fraction of the cost of owning.  Vrtucar is an example of one such co-op in my hometown, but there are many others in cities around the world.

9. Avoid non-essential driving.  Do you really need to pick up that item now, or can it wait until you’re going for groceries later in the week?  Try to run multiple errands when you’re out in your car and avoid non-essential driving.

10. Encourage government funding of public transit.  As long as driving remains more convenient that riding public transit, people will continue to favor their cars.  Encourage your government to support public transit.  Insist that they make it a priority.

Car-free or car-lite living can be challenging at times, but the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.  Just remember that successfully living car-free or car-lite requires a change in your approach to living, not simply getting rid of your car.  Begin by implementing some of the ideas presented in the guide above and you’ll realize just how easy it is to live car-lite, or maybe even car-free.

My wife and I now live with a used car that she owned prior to us meeting.  We’re no longer car-free, but even with a newborn son we prefer living car-lite and use our vehicle as little as possible.

How have you embraced a car-free or car-lite lifestyle?

Posted in Minimalism | 3 Comments

20 Tips And Tricks To Fast Track Healthy Weight Loss

I recently posted My Simple Six-Step Strategy For Healthy Weight Loss.  That strategy helped me loose 80lbs and build a strong healthy body to complete multiple Ironman races.  While this strategy formed the foundation for my weight loss success, there were many other tips and tricks I used to achieve my goals.

Here are 20 tips and tricks to help fast track your healthy weight loss:

1. Listen to your body. This was the first step in my six-step strategy, but it’s so important I think it’s worth mentioning again.  Read more…

2. Track your weight loss. Weigh yourself and take stomach measurements daily.  Knowing that you’ll be tracking your progress on a daily basis helps to keep you on track.  But don’t forget that daily changes are not as important as long-term results.  Small fluctuations up or down can be caused by a number of variables.  Looks for trends over multiple days or weeks and adjust your weight loss strategy as needed.

3. Take a picture. Throw on a bathing suit, set up your camera and take a picture.  You may not be happy with what you see, but that’s the point.  Use the picture as motivation.  Keep it on hand and look at it when you’re tempted to make poor food choices.  At the end of your weight loss challenge, take another picture wearing the same bathing suit and compare your photos.

4. Make yourself accountable. Tell everyone you know about your weight loss goals and strategies.  If you’re accountable to others you’re less likely to deviate from your plan.  Uncomfortable sharing your goals with the people in your life?  Share them with online friends and participate in the comments on this blog.

5. Get a buddy. Even more helpful than telling others about your goals is to have someone join you.  Encourage a friend or family member to make similar lifestyle changes and do it together.

6. Eat slowly. Don’t rush your meals.  Eat slowly and you’ll be better able to listen to your body and know when it’s time to stop. An old Japanese saying—Hara hachi bunme—instructs people to stop eating when you are 80 percent full.  This is an excellent reminder to listen to your body and avoid overeating.

7. Savor your food. Don’t just eat, taste your food.  Most foods are packed with flavor, but we often smother them in high calorie sauces, breading or cheese.  Forego these unhealthy toppings and appreciate the great natural flavors of your food.

8. Cook with fresh herbs and spices. Trying to savor your food, but finding some of it too bland?  Fresh herbs and spices will add an extra punch of flavor?

9. Avoid white foods. This is one of the best tips I have found for loosing weight.  Most white foods (bread, rice, potatoes, sugar, dairy) are packed with calories and have very little nutritional value.  Replace them with lots of colorful vegetables, fruits and proteins.

10. Avoid deep fried foods. Deep fried foods come with high calorie counts, unhealthy fats and are usually layered in breading.  They’re a sure way to sabotage your weight loss goals.

11. Prepare your meals at home. Restaurant foods can be packed with all kinds of hidden ingredients that work against your goals.  Prepare your meals at home and you’ll know what goes into your food.  Not only is it healthier, it will also give you the opportunity to enjoy meals with family and friends.  Check out these Healthy Home Cooking Strategies.

12. Keep your fridge and cupboards well stocked. Before beginning any weight loss challenge, empty all of the unhealthy and tempting foods from your fridge and cupboards and replace them with healthy food options.  If unhealthy foods aren’t convenient, you’ll be less likely to eat them.

13. Keep healthy desserts on hand. If you have a sweet tooth like me, it can be difficult to cut out all sweets.  Instead of sneaking sugary desserts, keep some healthier treats on hand.  One of my favorite sweet treats is frozen grapes.  They’re like little candies that melt in your mouth.

14. Cheat once a week… maybe. Having a cheat meal once a week is a strategy that works for some people.  It can motivate you to stay on track and it gives you a reward to look forward to every week.  But cheat meals can also trigger binges.  You’ll need to decide if cheat meals will work for you.

15. Stock up. When you have the opportunity to cook a healthy meal, make double and freeze the extra portion.  The next time you you’re in a rush, reheat the meal and skip the fast food drive-thru.

16. Use supplements in moderation. Nothing beats the nutritional benefits of whole foods, but sometimes our schedules make it difficult to prepare balanced meals.  Supplements can help.  A multivitamin is always a good idea.  Rushed in the morning?  A protein shake and piece of fruit makes a quick and convenient breakfast.  No time to make salad?  Try a greens supplement.

17. Eat within an hour of waking. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast that includes protein will help you stay satiated and on track throughout the rest of the day.

18. Don’t eat within two hours of bedtime. Try to avoid going to bed with a belly full of food.  Since you’re not active when you sleep, much of your food will be stored as fat.  Going to bed with an empty stomach also gives your digestive system the break it was intended to have and as an added bonus, you’ll experience a more restful sleep.  This is part of the principle behind intermittent fasting, which is another helpful weight loss strategy.

19. Eat fat. Fat is necessary in a healthy diet.  It is an excellent energy source and plays an essential role in the body.  Avoid trans fats, but all other fats should be encouraged in moderation.  And yes, even saturated fats can be good for you.  Robb Wolf explains in his FAQ.

20. Plan a restaurant strategy. It’s fine to dine out from time to time, but you’ll have a much better experience if you plan ahead.  Don’t wait until you’re sitting at the table, staring at a menu that tempts you with all kinds of weight loss landmines.  Instead, check out the restaurant menu online in advance and decide what you’ll eat.  Most restaurants will have healthy options, and if they don’t, ask.  Restaurants are usually quite happy to make substitutions.

What tips and tricks do you have to help fast track healthy weight loss?

Posted in Diet, Goals, Health & Fitness | 2 Comments

It’s a boy!

I have a son!  Caelan Ellwood Billows, was born at 1:01 AM on Friday, April 8th.  My wife, Tracy, and Caelan, are both doing incredibly well.

I expected that after Caelan’s birth I would be inspired to write epic posts here at Stop & Breathe.  And I am inspired.  I could write endlessly about the magic of childbirth, the instant love I felt for Caelan the moment he was born, how I’m in awe of the courage, strength and grace that Tracy showed in labor or the miracle of the human body creating life.  But I’m not going to take the time to write any of those posts – at least not today.  Right now, the most important thing to me is spending time with the two people I love most in this world.

So today, I will simply urge you to consider who the most important people are in your life and to connect with them.  Kiss them, hug them, spend time with them or if they’re far away, call and let them know what they mean to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments


At the moment of death I hope to be surprised.  -Ivan Illich

I’m waiting for the biggest surprise of my life – boy or girl?  My wife’s due date was two days ago and the baby has decided to keep us in suspense a little longer.  I’ve never been more excited.

Unlike me, many people don’t get excited about surprises.  In fact, many people cringe at the thought.  Perhaps that’s because surprise inherently comes with a lack of control and that can be unsettling, especially when it brings bad news or events to your life.

But what about good surprises?  You know, those surprises that bring excitement, happiness and a sense of adventure to our lives.  Those unexpected acts that make us feel appreciated and loved.  Those are surprises that should be welcomed, not discouraged.

Life is full of opportunities to surprise us.  We don’t have to wait for the birth of a child.  Even little surprises can put a smile on our face and brighten our day.

Here are 6 ways to give up a little control and welcome surprise into your life:

1. Let the chef decide
Next time you’re out for dinner, ask the chef or waiter to choose a meal for you.  Have them serve their favorite dish or surprise you with something special.  I have done this regularly for years and have rarely been disappointed.  Most chefs and waiters will appreciate your faith in their expertise will make an extra effort to serve you a memorable meal.

2. Skip the reviews and trailers
When was the last time you went to a movie that you knew nothing about?  We go to the movies to be entertained, so it makes sense that we’d want to check reviews and watch trailers in advance.  Unfortunately those reviews and trailers often tell us so much that the plot becomes predictable and any surprises or twists are ruined.  Next time you go to a movie, chose one with a director or actors you like and skip the trailers and reviews.

3. Let someone else do the planning
Heading out with for a night on the town with some friends?  Ask them to make the plans.  Let them decide where you’ll go, what you’ll do and whom you’ll see.  Do you and your partner have a regular date night?  Take turns planning your night out and be surprised by each other’s fun and creative ideas of how to spend time together.

4. Shuffle
Sometimes we’re in the mood for a certain type of music, but on those days when nothing in particular is calling you, hit shuffle on your ipod or stereo.  I’m always surprised to hear songs from my collection that I had forgotten about.  And often the memories those songs conjure up bring surprises of their own.

5. Get out of your comfort zone
Never been to the ballet or opera and always wondered what all the fuss is about?  Buy a ticket.  Always thought indoor rock climbing looked difficult?  Find out.  Do things that are outside of your comfort zone and expand your knowledge and experiences.  You may be surprised with what you like and what you’re capable of.

6. Surprise someone else
Do something special for someone, clean the house before your spouse asks or pay someone an unexpected compliment.  Surprising someone else and sharing in their excitement, happiness and appreciation can be just as fulfilling as being surprised yourself.

Surprise comes with a lack of control and that can be hard to accept.  Then again, we’re probably not in control as often as we’d like to think.  Welcome surprise and enjoy the happiness, excitement and adventure it can bring to your life.

How do you let go of control and let yourself be surprised?



Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

My Simple Six-Step Strategy For Healthy Weight Loss

Like many people, I have struggled to maintain a healthy body weight throughout much of my life.  For years I was on a weight loss roller coaster, experimenting with one diet after another.  Then, four years ago, I discovered a strategy that helped me loose over 80lbs and maintain a healthy body weight with relative ease.

My strategy is a result of trial and error, using tips and tools taken from a variety of diets that I have tried over the years.  It is influenced considerably by a paleolithic diet approach to eating and has similarities to Tim Ferris’ popular Slow Carb Diet.

This strategy is more than a way to shed excess body fat.  It also helps rebuild your body with the nutrients it needs to become stronger and healthier.  It’s the same strategy I followed to prepare for two Ironman triathlons.

It’s a simple approach and it works.

My simple six-step strategy for healthy weight loss:

Step 1: Listen, don’t measure
I believe that listening to your body is the most important factor for healthy weight loss.  That’s why I don’t recommend measuring.  8oz of protein per meal may be too much for one person but too little for another.  Cookie cutter approaches may work for some people, but they don’t work for most of us because we all have different needs.

Listen to your body.  If you’re hungry, eat.  If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.  Our bodies require varying amounts of food at varying times of the day depending on our activity levels.

When you do eat, don’t gorge.  Use a small plate or bowl and eat small portions.  If you’re still hungry after you’ve eaten, have seconds. An old Japanese saying—Hara hachi bunme—instructs people to stop eating when you are 80 percent full.  This is an excellent reminder to listen to your body and avoid overeating.

Step 2: Eliminate gluten
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye oats and barley.  Despite being one of the most common foods in a modern western diet, it is also one of the worst for our health.  Gluten creates inflammation in our bodies, unbalances our hormone levels, contributes to unhealthy body weight and can result in significant health issues.  While people with Celiac disease are most sensitive to gluten, it affects everyone’s health in a negative way.

An explanation of how gluten affects your health would require more space than I have in this post, but I encourage your to read further.  Robb Wolf’s book, The Paleo Solution, provides the most comprehensive and scientifically backed explanation on the subject that I have found.  You can also find an excellent excerpt from Robb’s book here at Tim Ferris’ blog.

Yes, I know that gluten is found in bread, cakes, cookies and a long list of other items that taste great, but it’s also destroying your health slowly.  Don’t believe me?  Try it out.  For the next 30 days eliminate gluten from your diet, then refer to step 1 of this post and listen to your body.  When I first eliminated gluten from my diet it took only three days before I saw significant changes in my energy levels, complexion and quality of sleep, to name but a few of the benefits.

I should note that dairy and other grains such as corn and rice have similar, but less problematic effects than gluten.  Listen to your body and decide if they should be a part of your healthy diet.

Step 3: Eat protein at every meal
Protein is essential to life.  Without it, we will die.  Carbohydrates on the other hand are not essential to life.  I make this point to underscore the importance of protein in your diet.

Whether it comes from animal or plant sources, it is important to have protein with every meal or snack.  Not only is protein an essential building block for our bodies, it discourages overeating and helps us to feel satiated for longer periods of time.

When choosing animal proteins I encourage you to consider grass fed and organic sources.  Not only are they healthier for you, they are also a more humane and environmentally friendly alternative.

Step 4: Eat vegetables at every meal
Vegetables provide an incredible number of vitamins and minerals to help build a healthy body. Choose a variety of bright and colorful veggies to eat at your meals throughout the week.  It’s virtually impossible to gain unhealthy weight by eating too many veggies, so load them on to your plate.

One word of caution… Potatoes can be packed with goodness, but they also rank very high on the glycemic index and contain a high number of calories.  Because of this combination, you should eat potatoes in moderation.

Step 5: Eat fruit in moderation
Fruits contain a number of vitamins and minerals that benefit our health, but similar to potatoes they are also high GI foods and can be high in calories.  Try to eat fruits early in the day and in moderation.

Step 6: Don’t drink your calories
Soda, energy drinks and fruit juice all contain a high number of calories with little to no nutritional benefit.  Avoid them if you want to maximize weight loss.

Of course it should come as no surprise that the best thing you can drink is water.  If you want more flavorful beverages, try unsweetened tea or coffee.  Vegetable juice can also be a good option, but remember that while it may be convenient, it is still not as nutritious as eating whole vegetables.

That’s it, my simple six-step strategy to healthy weight loss.

You’ll notice that I haven’t recommended any exercise as part of this strategy.  I highly recommend that you make exercise a regular part of your life, but it isn’t necessary for weight loss.  As I said in my recent post on strategies to get your exercise program back on track, it’s best to focus on one life change at a time.  If exercise is currently part of your life, keep it up.  If not, focus first on this strategy for healthy weight loss and then add exercise into your life at a later date.

An opportunity
This past winter I gained 20lbs.  I could give you a long list of excuses why, but the truth is that I made poor food choices and stopped following my plan.  Instead of becoming discouraged by this setback, I have chosen to view it as an opportunity to regain a healthier approach to eating.

Over the next 30 days I will journal about my weight loss here at Stop & Breathe.  I will follow my strategy outlined below and will hold myself accountable to those of you who are interested in following along in the comments section.

This is also an opportunity for you.  If you’re unhappy with your weight, I challenge you to join me for the next 30 days and regain control of your diet.  Skeptical about whether or not this can work for you?  Just try it.  It’s only 30 days.  What do you have to loose… other than weight?

What’s that?  You say it’s not a good time?  It’s never a good time.  I have used that excuse over and over again.  I have told myself that I’ll start eating well tomorrow, or that I’ll eat poorly just this one last time because I’m celebrating a special occasion.  Well, tomorrow came and went and there was always something to celebrate.

My wife is due to give birth to our first child tomorrow.  I can’t think of a more inconvenient time in my life to start a challenge of this kind, but I am. If you want to make a change, now’s the time.


Posted in Diet, Goals, Health & Fitness | 50 Comments