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How to Get Started with your New Year's Health & Fitness Goals

The new year is upon us it's time to attempt our annual “do-over”. 

We promise ourselves, this will be the year that will come with great changes and we will achieve big goals!  Most often these changes and goals have to do with our health. And  everyone is looking for simple and easy changes in order to get profound results.

I have both good news and bad news:

  • The good news is that your desire and intentions to keep things simple is the smartest path you can take.
  • The bad news is that we are bombarded with tons of advertising and misleading information creating endless marketplace confusion, causing most people to have no idea what program is helpful, and could even be harmful.

In fact, most people will never be consistent, and this will most assuredly set one up to fail.

The reason most programs have a high rate of failure is our enthusiasm during this time of year often pushes us to bite off more than we can chew.

I love everyone’s drive, enthusiasm and intense desire to achieve goals, but, if you want to make this year different from others, you need to keep your eye on the ball.

I want to kindly remind you of a simple fact: Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you look back at what you did over the last 4-5 years, I think you will see it is nothing more then the same gift, wrapped in a different package.  

Q: As a Master Herbalist, what would you say are 3 changes someone can make in their lifestyle to get the best end results to support and improve overall well being?

A: In the spirit of keeping this simple so you can achieve your goals, I would focus on the following: First, try to master one stress management technique that you can implement on a consistent basis. This can be anything from physical exercise, meditation, positive thinking to reading a book. The objective is to put you in a positive state of mind and get some perspective on your daily grind. Next, is the all too important “nutrition in”. Nourishing your body is the fuel that lights the fire and keeps it burning. The objective is not to worry about your “macros”, but, to keep it wholesome and nourishing. If your eating plan is made up of real whole foods I assure you that everything in regards to you macros and micros will fall into place. Instead, maybe you should think about your phyto’s. That’s right, I am referring to the most important class of compounds, your phytonutrients.

Finally, taking the garbage out. This does not mean you need to begin some “extreme” detoxification protocol or do something that seems unreasonable to you. You may need to leave your comfort zone because you won’t grow as an individual if you don’t. Here is the good news, if you are eating truly wholesome and nourishing foods, then you have already begun to support the elimination channels. The key to achieving your goal is keeping it simple and making it fun. Otherwise, you are doomed for failure.     

Q: What exactly do you mean by “Nutrition in”?

A: When I refer to “nutrition in”, I am speaking of the food choices that you are making in order to support your body’s ability to function optimally. This begins with real whole foods that are packed with nutrition. To be clear, food does not only refer to common everyday foods, but  superfoods and herbs as well. 

Q: What are the “elimination channels”?

A: There are 7 main elimination channels in the human body. They are the following: Bowel, Liver/gallbladder, lymph, blood, lungs, skin and kidneys. All of these systems (when clear and working efficiently) are how the body eliminates unwanted waste by-products. If your goal is to achieve optimal health, these channels must be supported.  

Q: I have read many articles that the terms nourishment and functional food were used. What do those terms mean and what is the difference?

A: These are perhaps the most important terms you will ever need to know if you want to learn how to support long-term wellbeing.  The word nourish refers to the foods you put into your body to support optimal function. These foods are very nutrient-dense and perfectly balanced as nature intended. A functional food is a step up from the traditional foods you eat on a daily basis. Functional foods go above and beyond what normal traditional foods supply. Often, you will have much higher levels of nutrients, a wide variety of phytochemicals and unique phytochemicals that you won’t find in other foods. Functional foods have real nutritionally medicinal qualities. 

Q: What items from Z Natural Foods can I use to achieve both goals of nutrition in and waste out?

A: For nourishment and support, our line of Fusion products (powder, bars and bites) and other items in our functional food line such as: raspberry quinoa clusters, moringa, chaga mushroom, spirulina and turmeric are simple and delicious ways to flood your body with the vital phyto-nutrition and polyphenols that are necessary to support optimal wellbeing.

For supporting our elimination channels, our detox tea is the way to go. Using this as a daily tea, one week out of every month is a simple way to nourish your elimination channels and assure that your body’s healing responses are on point. Other great detox options include chlorella powder, triphala powder, milk thistle, and artichoke powder.

Please take note that none of the information you have read is pushing or forcing you to stay within a program or confines you to one specific way. These are fun simple changes that put you one step closer to your goal of being healthy.

Failure is often the end result when your approach to achieving a goal is too complex. The complexity is what takes you off track.

My suggestion is to look in the mirror and give yourself a big KISS and Keep It Simple Soldier. One final note, once you have established your goals, find like-minded people to work with who will push you and keep you on track. The last thing you need is a support team that only wants to tell you how great you are -- but instead are also willing to tell you the facts and how you can make progress.

Remember, if you want to soar like an eagle, you can’t hang around a bunch of pigeons.        

About Michael Stuchiner

Michael Stuchiner is an experienced Master Herbalist, the Head of Education for Z Natural Foods, a teacher and an accomplished author. With a 16-year specialization in medicinal herbs, Mike also has a vast knowledge in tonic and adaptogenic herbalism. Mike has enjoyed a 25-year career as an elite-level competitive powerlifter where he learned to heal his ‘mind and body’ as an avid user of herbal remedies.

     As an “in-the-trenches” herbalist, Mike has done more than 85 speaking engagements, consulted with clients ranging from young to elderly, worked with athletes in virtually all sports and with clients who have “dis-ease” states of a wide variety. Mike also mentors student Master Herbalists and will continue to teach the next generation to grow a deeper wisdom of the human body through appropriate herbal remedies.

ZNF Mind and Body Restorative Program (Instant Download)
If you are new to the world of herbal remedies, or want to sharpen your skills, Mike is the author of the ZNF Mind and Body Restorative Program. This 78-page, easy-to-read eBook is $9.99 (Immediate download). For more information visit the Z Natural Foods store, or click here to see a list of the important topics.

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