Simple Health: 66 Days to a New You! Exorcizing Your Lifestyle Demons!

Why is our health our greatest challenge? Learn simple ways to make changes that will stick!

Why is our health our greatest challenge?  As a society we have built monuments, overcome adversity, learned to create fire and the wheel - yet our health remains this puzzle we are trying to put together upside down.  Wouldn't it be great if doing things to improve our well being we did on a daily basis, without thinking about it?  Just like brushing our teeth.  How many wake up in the morning and think "I need to shower, get dressed and brush my teeth".  I'm horrible with numbers, but my guess is that few of us actually run through that process in our heads.  It is unconscious activity.

So let's dumb this down for lack of better words.  Let's make it simple and start with healthy additions that we can do daily without stressing over them!   The UK Health Behavioral Research Centre came out with a study in 2009 that found it takes on average 66 days for people to perform a new behavior, automatically.  No wonder potty training is so hard!  If you decide today to add one healthy behavior to your routines - you will have to be conscious of this behavior for two more months before you just do it without thinking!  With that, I challenge you to do this.  Add one extra fruit and vegetable, add two more cups of water a day, add something simple!  If you make a conscious effort to add something easily achievable to your routines for 66 days, it will be habit.  You will be on your way to a healthier life!

Seem too good to be true?  The catch is a lot of us have multiple lifestyle demons. We need to drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, get more activity, regulate our stress, take more time for ourselves, etc.  If we add too many things at once, we get overwhelmed and quit. 


As a child I spent more time avoiding healthy food than taking the time to try it. My mother can vouch for this.  As a small child peas were my demon.  Although we may only have “faced” peas once a week, I felt like the dreaded pea was chasing me each time I was called for dinner. I loathed them and fled from their consumption.   I used to spit my peas in my napkin (I thought no one saw me), and I attempted to get the dog to eat them! He wasn’t buying it either.   They still aren’t my favorite veggie but I have learned how to add them into a healthy recipe and actually enjoy them.


I have learned and recognize the importance of getting your children to eat their vegetables.  Tastes will change over the years, and I have learned to love a variety of vegetables.  What's my trick?  TRY THEM!  Find ways to grill or sauté in healthy fashions.  I started with zucchini, moved into spinach, and have a new love for mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and more!  Retraining your brain and body to crave something other than sugars and complex carbohydrates works if you take the 66 day approach and work to make it a habit.


We can thank Andrew Carnegie for putting it in perspective.  “Anything in life worth having, is worth working for”.  Health is a process that happens over time.  You won’t wake up one morning and be healthy, but you can wake up tomorrow and make healthier choices.  You have the choice to improve your life by making small changes, and letting those changes become habits.  It’s never too late to turn your health around, and remember; even the smallest positive change, is a change in the right direction.


Lifestyle Tip: Add small things into your routine several at a time and don’t add more until the first items become a habit.  I tape a paper on my bathroom mirror that might say something like this:

1.)  AM; Drink 16 ounces of water    ________________

2.)  Protein Shake                                    ________________

3.)  30 Minutes of Cardio                      ________________

4.)  Supplements (vitamins)               ________________

5.)  Add fresh veggie for lunch           ________________


I “dumb down” the changes I want to make by making a list that stares me in the face every morning while I brush my teeth.  I only have myself to be accountable to but I know that following through with simple additions will build a lifetime of healthy habits. 


Do you have healthy lifestyle tricks that you use?  Please share below or  visit us on the web @ www.drleasure.com or on facebook.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Danielle Eriksen July 20, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Wow, this article is so true. It is amazing how we can forget to do such simple things to improve our health when they are not part of a daily routine. Having a small list of new things to add to your day is a great idea that I am going to start doing. Thanks for the info docs!
Emma Diaz July 20, 2011 at 10:57 PM
This is an awesome article. I will begin my 66 days to a new me first thing tomorrow! Thanks for sharing all this interesting facts!!
Veronica Ryan July 21, 2011 at 02:25 PM
From past experiences and failures to changing my diet and exercise routine, I had all but given up on leading a healthy lifestyle. Learning that it takes only 66 days to make a behavior permanent really gives me new hope! Thanks for all the great information Drs. Leasure, I'm eager to get started on creating a newer, healthier, HAPPIER me :)
Dr. Jade Leasure July 21, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Thanks for the comment Danielle! Make sure your list is small enough you can stick to it! Once those on the list become habits - start a new list! You are already on your way to a healthier you!
Dr. Jade Leasure July 21, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Best of luck on your journey Emma! Little changes can make a big impact!
Dr. Jade Leasure July 21, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Always remember that if we have many "demons" to take care of, start with one or two at a time. Make goals and new habits obtainable so you don't get discouraged and quit! Keeping it simple, makes the change gradual and not overwhelming.
WomensAlly July 21, 2011 at 04:08 PM
Great article Dr. Jordan / Jade! I love the simplicity and the staring list approach. I have to keep reminding myself when I stumble, fall or "cheat" that I'm not done -- that doesn't mean the rest of the day/week is a free-for-all. I can turn it around by making the next choice healthy, immediately.
Dr. Jade Leasure July 21, 2011 at 04:41 PM
That is such a great point! Many times we cheat once and think "well I've already cheated, might as well make the most of it!". In reality, a healthy choice is never canceled out by an unhealthy one (an apple still helps your body like an apple even if you ate that snickers!). So like you said, make the next choice healthy and don't let a bad decision or a bad day derail you!
Jan Leasure July 24, 2011 at 11:26 PM
I really like the idea of listing what you need to do for the day. i m starting to do that tomorrow which is Monday. New week, new beginning. I sometimes forget to take my supplements and this will be an excellent reminder.
Casey Karl July 26, 2011 at 05:45 AM
Docs, Outstanding! Simple and effective steps to keep you mindful and change your life! Thanks, Casey
Dr. Jade Leasure July 26, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Casey, Thanks so much for the feedback! Keep up the great 60048 work!
Dr. Jade Leasure July 26, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Jan, Pre-pack your supplements. Those pill boxes are good for more then just medications! You can separate your supplements and have them at the office or in your purse. It's a great way to never forget!


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