Obesity trends are bad news for everybody

Bad news about obesity

The CDC released a study showing that more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese and that currently not even one state has met the nation’s Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15% (no state is even below 20%).  (Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health,; the standard measure is when Body mass index (BMI) is greater than 30 kg/m).

As a New York Times article pointed out: “The billions that we are spending to treat diabetes is money that we don’t have for education reform or retirement benefits …, it’s estimated that the total cost of America’s obesity epidemic could reach almost $1 trillion by 2030 ….”

It’s certain that even if you’re fit and of a healthy weight you either know or have family members that are a part of this trend.

For everyone’s good – What can you do about this?

  1. Encourage people to make healthy eating choices.  Many people don’t think about the effect of what they eat on their body and their health.   A former coworker lamented to me about his inability to lose weight, but always had a mid-morning snack of a can of Coke and a pack of frosted pop-tarts.   We worked through healthy alternatives that could be just as filling, last longer and not have all the bad effects of Coke and pop-tarts.
  2. Educate your family members about why you make the food choices you do.  Don’t be annoying or a know it all, but I believe that as people learn about healthy delicious alternatives and taste how good they are, they are more likely to make a healthy choice rather than dismiss healthy food as  “leaves and twigs”.
  3. Share your healthy foods and habits with others.  Whether it’s break time at work or a get-together with friends, provide good foods for friends to share with you.   Once people try ripe cherries, juicy mango, fresh ripe peaches, fresh cruchy apple slices, and other healthy choices some of the unhealthy choices don’t that much better than the healthy ones.

Questions about anything in this post?  Leave me a comment – I’d love to hear from you.

“should you jump start a weight loss program with a cleanse or a juice fast?”

Today’s post answers a question that was submitted about a strategy for weight loss

“Should you jump start into a weight loss program with a cleanse such as a colon liver cleanse or a juice fast?”   This is an excellent question with a three part answer:

  1.  Jump start into a weight loss program – not a terrible idea.
    If you’ve decided to make a change to get healthier and lose weight – you can do a couple things to jump start the process.  It’s important to understand that it is just that – jump starting the process.Even more important is to begin to make sustainable lifestyle changes that will lead to a healthier you.   If you make temporary changes and just go back to the lifestyle habits (diet, exercise, sleep, etc.) that got you there in the first place, you’re likely to “rebound” and end up heavier and in worse shape than when you started.
  2. Colon or liver cleanse
    Great idea – if you’ve not focused on a healthy diet then you probably do have some junk in there to clean out.  There are a number of quick cleanse routines available that can help you get “junk” out and perhaps help you process fats and lose weight more efficiently.
  3. Juice fast
    Another good idea – but best if you incorporate some whole juices as a part of a new healthy lifestyle.
    There are several different ways to do this.  I recommend that you focus on fruit and vegetable juice combinations or various vegetable juice combinations.   You need to be careful with fruit and fructose in particular.   You body will store extra fructose as fat – the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to lose weight.

Finally, remember that you need to focus on changes as a part of a new healthy lifestyle.   Changes that you can’t sustain long term as a part of your lifestyle probably wont result in long term changes in your health and weight.

Focus on a healthy lifestyle, take small steps to improve your diet and make sure you incorporate exercise and physical activity and the weight loss will happen.

Questions about anything in this post?  Leave a comment below!

how to get started on a healthy life style

how to get started on a healthy life style

This is one of the most frequent questions I get from people.

Here are three suggestions on how to start your way to a healthier lifestyle.


Begin to make a small change today. 

Don’t wait until tomorrow, don’t put it off – make a change today.
Many people go to the grave full of regret over things they wanted to do and changes they wish they had made.

I suggest that you start by making one small change you can sustain so that it becomes part of you lifestyle.  Too often people want to change everything at once and it’s unsustainable.   Two examples:  all the people who gets a gym membership as a New Year’s resolution but have stopped going by the end of January (or earlier!), and people who jump into a restrictive diet, fall out (because the can’t sustain it), binge, and end up worse than they started  (no carbs anyone??).   🙂
Realize that you are a whole person.

At some point, you have to address all aspects of your being:  physical, mental, and spiritual.  To have a truly healthy lifestyle and be healthy and balanced in any area you will have to balance in all areas.  This means looking at the things you eat, the activity you get, staying healthy from a mental standpoint, and working on the spiritual part of your being.  Again, I suggest that you start one small (sustainable) step at a time so that these changes become a part of your lifestyle.


This really is the most important thing.

If you can’t or don’t or won’t sustain changes you make in your life, it won’t matter.

Quitting smoking for a week doesn’t matter if you go right back to your three pack a day habit.  Being on a diet for a week or a month or a year doesn’t matter if you go right back to the same lifestyle you had before the “diet”  (see diets don’t work).

Incorporate small changes, one step at a time, into your daily life so that they become a part of your lifestyle.  Make small changes, enjoy and experience the benefits, and layer on another change.   Every person is different, you might be able to make changes faster than others – or not.  What matters is that you make lasting changes to the way you live.


Questions about anything in this post – leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

how to stay healthy


how to stay healthy


According to the  Wikipedia definition of health, health is defined as “… the general condition of a person’s mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”).     Based on this, there are three main points to consider:


  1. Healthy Mind
    • pursue creative endeavors such as painting, poetry, sculpting, reading, staying current on new events and opposing ideas (such as in politics).
    • learn new and challenging things such as new technology or new languages, the idea is to stretch yourself and learn new things
    • conversation with others including good-spirited debate
    • pursuits that require imagination
  2. Healthy Body
    • A healthy balanced diet – go light on the meats, some fruit, plenty of veggies, and lots of greens.   Remember to drink plenty of water.
    • Watch out for refined/processed foods, fried foods, and sweets.
    • There are more detailed posts here and on other sites regarding aspects of a healthy diet – feel free to ask questions as well.
  3. Healthy Spirit
    • Quite simply this is health beyond the physical or mental aspect.
    • This pertains to your spiritual side – your connection with God.
    • Are you at peace with yourself, with others, with God?
    • Consider time spent in meditation, prayer, and in devotion to your relationship with God.   There are many sites with great information on this subject – feel free to ask questions as well.

Questions about anything in this post?   Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you.


motivating people to live a healthy lifestyle

The secret that will motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.

Before we get right to it – a few things that are not the secret:

Understanding the research on what makes or keeps us healthy
We live in an enlightened time; a lot is know about physiology, biology, food science.
IF education and understanding were the key – we would all have healthy, fit bodies.
There is some confusing info out there and I hope to help cut through that confusion and clear up some of the misinformation so that you can move toward a healthier lifestyle, but clearly education alone is not the key.

Seeing someone make the changes and choices that lead to a healthy lifestyle
Most of us have seen or know that person in our life that made changes and now “looks great” and can run, bike, hike, etc. for seemingly endless periods.   We’ve seen the transformation before our eyes and seem someone get fit, change their diet, gain energy, etc.  Seeing it happen to someone you know is not the magic motivation that works for most people.

Having someone point out all the wrong things you are doing or eating
A lot of people have that well-meaning person that raises their eyebrows or gives you a hard time for what you eat, or “eating the whole thing” or not exercising.  Negative motivation is not the key for most people.  A person generally knows when they are doing something that’s not healthy, or when they choose to avoid a healthy diet or lifestyle.

Here’s the key:

It is only when you reach the point where you decide healthy living is what you want more than any thing else that you will make the changes needed to get there.   You have to reach the point where you look in the mirror or look at the report from your annual physical or think about being around for the people you love and for one of those reasons decide to make it a priority; no one else can do that for you or make you want that – you have to want it for yourself.
That is when you will begin seeking out info about a healthier diet – things to avoid, things to include.  That is what will motivate you to begin to do things like review your diet, take the stairs, not worry about getting the closest parking space, find ways to incorporate more physical activity into your daily life, and build time into your schedule to include some regular fitness or exercise activity, etc.

The goal of mrhlth.com is to help you do this:  to provide a place where you can discover changes that you can integrate into your life to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.  I want to help you make small changes that become a part of your lifestyle – a part of who you are and the way you do life.


Questions or something to say about this post?   Leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you.



negativity sucks

Negativity sucks!



It sucks your energy

It sucks your enthusiasm

It sucks your vitality

It sucks your health

It sucks your motivation to do good and healthy things for yourself

It sucks the life and energy and passion out of those around you
(or from anyone around someone who’s being negative)


Take every means to eliminate negativity from your own life today for your own well-being

You will be glad you did – and everyone around you will be too

You don’t have the luxury of a negative thought

Too much is at stake


Questions, comments, or your own observations?

I look forward to hearing from you – leave a comment below.

take one step to become the new healthier you – today!

I want to encourage you to take one step to become the new healthier you – today!

Some people get very discouraged about the shape they are in; their weight, fitness, relationships – or just overall health.  Some people “feel bad” almost every day – what might be called malaise or a lack of well-being.
You can begin to make changes today – even by taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Wikipedia defines health as: the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain (as in “good health” or “healthy”).   For some people, it’s been so long since they’ve felt like they were in “good health” that they’ve given up.  They decide that since they don’t feel good every day that food and activity choices they make don’t really matter.

Don’t fall into this trap!

Every day of life and breath that you are given is an opportunity to feel, live, love, think, move and be all that you were created to be.  Every day presents new opportunities to make healthy choices; choices that can lead you toward good health.

Make a conscious choice today to choose good health.  This site has ideas on how you can take small steps to begin to move in the right directions; small changes that you can sustain that will become part of your lifestyle.

You are uniquely you and no one has the same body as you; today you have an opportunity to choose at least one thing, one change that can lead you to better health.  For many, it’s as simple as eat a little less and move a little more.  


Here are a few simple suggestions to help you start today to the new healthier you:

-skip that candy bar                        -have a piece of fresh fruit

-skip soda today                             -drink an extra glass of water

-skip the dessert                             -have a little more salad, fruit or veggies

-skip the butter for today                 -skip the salt too

-skip that angry thought                 -tell someone  thank you

-skip 15 minutes of TV                   -spend an extra 15 minutes walking

-skip another 15 minutes of TV      -spend 15 minutes praying or meditating


Today is a new day – the choices you made yesterday are history.

You can begin today to move toward a new healthier lifestyle.

You’ll find several ideas here on how to review your diet and begin to move toward healthier choices.


Tomorrow we’ll continue with suggestions on how to move away from 10 unhealthy foods with some suggestions for substitutes and healthier choices.


Questions, comments, or your own observations?

I look forward to hearing from you – leave a comment below.

Stop eating these now

A recent blog post here highlighted the importance of creating a food diary.

The best place to start with a review of your diet is with a food diary; simply record everything you eat and drink for a week.  If you’ve already done this – good!  If not, start your food diary today and I will show you how to do a simple review of the things you consume in order to identify things to skip or minimize, and reinforce some the good things in your diet.

This post focuses on things that you need to stop or limit to an occasional treat (circle these things in your food diary in red).  While this is not a comprehensive list, this list of 10 items is a start – not necessarily the “top ten” or ten worst, but a starting place for your review of the things you consume. This review is not a substitute for an in-depth nutritional analysis, it is intended to help you move toward a healthier diet.


Sodas – both diet and sugary. Empty sugar calories at best.
May also contain unhealthy artificial sweeteners.
Juice drinks Most of these are sweetened beverages with some added fruit juices – you have to read the labels!
White stuff: White bread, white rice, white potatoes, white pasta  – these are simple starches/sugar without much fiber – they can lead to blood sugar/insulin spikes and increased body fat
Fried food Too many bad things to list here! Let’s leave it at the high fat content for now (how about grilled instead?)  Fried food will get its own post in the future.
Cakes, cookies, pies, etc. High sugar, often high fat with little or no fiber, and lots of calories.
Packaged/processed foods Read the labels – usually high sodium, low in fiber, added sugar, and lots of things you can’t pronounce that you probably shouldn’t be putting in your body
Alcoholic beverages High in empty calories (almost as much as pure fat)
Can both dehydrate you and displace other nutrients
Effects on heart, liver, brain and other organs
Bacon, sausage, cured meats Recent studies have shown that regular consumption of even a small amount of these results in a measurably increased risk of cancer and other issues
Sauces, dressings, and toppings Often high calorie with lots of added sugar, salt, and fat.   These can make a healthy dish unhealthy, or turn something  already unhealthy into something very bad for you.
Candy Added sugar that nobody needs.
Kudos if you have dark chocolate – just don’t have too much.

Coming next – suggestions on how to move away from these with substitutes and healthier choices.


Want to know more about anything mentioned in this post?  Let me know – leave a comment.


five tips to help you make that next trip a healthier one

Over the last week I traveled several hundred miles on the road and thousands of miles in the air on a trip from North America to South America and made a few observations about health traps that you can avoid when traveling with a little forethought.  Here are five tips to help you make that next trip a healthier one – even if it’s just an over-night in another town.

  1. Carry some healthy snacks with you.  This is probably one of the biggest problems for people.  They forget or decide not to carry something with them and end up buying candy or a “snack pack” or just eating cookies or peanuts or pretzels or whatever snack is provided.  A few suggestions:  raw almonds, an apple, dried fruit (a small amount – it’s concentrated), carrots and or celery.   Avoid candy bars, packs of cookies and most packaged trail mix; these are all high in sugar; you can be creative about finding healthy things to bring with you.
  2. Try to eat regularly.  Many people forget to snack on something healthy (see above), and skip meals because of flight schedules, etc.   Plan to grab a small healthy meal or have something healthy to munch on so that you won’t gorge yourself.  Waiting too long between meals also slows down your metabolism, signals your body that you might be starving, and actually causes you to retain and store more body fat.  The compounded effects of waiting too long to eat can include weight (fat) gain, unhealthy swings in insulin levels, and gorging.
  3. Make some deliberate exercise part of your plan.  Throw a pair of running shoes in your bag and spend a few minutes at hitting the treadmill, doing flights of stairs, walking around town or around the hotel.  It’s important that you plan to spend time doing some physical exercise otherwise you will find yourself going to bed at the end of a day that largely consisted of sitting and eating.  Even if you’re waiting in the airport, spend some time walking around before your flight – you’ll have more than enough seat time once you’re on that flight.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet.  Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean that you should get that rich meal or that large dessert.  One big meal or large dessert does matter.   You wouldn’t want someone to put a spoonful of water or sugar in your car’s gas tank every once in a while and you shouldn’t do the nutritional equivalent of that to your body either.  You’ll feel better when you return home if you maintain a healthy diet and don’t feel like you have to undo or make up for poor dietary choices on your trip.  Remember – it’s more important to develop a healthy lifestyle than to find a “diet” for after your trip.
  5. Drink plenty of water.  Depending upon where you’re traveling, you may want to skip the ice and stick to bottled water, but it’s important to make sure you take in enough fluids when traveling.  Avoid the “free” in-flight soda (and its sugar or high fructose corn syrup) and stick to water or seltzer water.
    Staying properly hydrated can help protect your throat and sinuses on that trip and also help you avoid eating when your body is actually craving water, not food.


Want to know more about anything mentioned in this post?  Let me know – leave a comment.


diets don’t work

I often find myself in conversations with people who are telling me about their “new diet” or new plan to lose weight and get in shape.   The pattern is usually the same – they tell me about what changes they’re making and how much weight they plan to lose or what they hope to accomplish.   The one question I always ask them after they explain their diet is “then what?”   Those two simple words sum up why most diets don’t work for most people over the long term.   Lifestyle changes work.

Most people can find or figure out a way to change their diet or quit eating some food or food group that will result in short term weight loss.  Most of the time though, these don’t usually result in a change of lifestyle.   After the weight loss or goal is met, almost all people go back to what they were doing before  – and end up right back where they started – or worse.

The path to healthier living is not a diet … it’s a change in lifestyle.    That’s why the focus here is on changes that can be made to lead you to a healthier lifestyle.  My goal is to help you make little changes in the foods you eat and the things you dochanges that you can sustain and keep on doing so that they become a part of the way you live.

Want to know more about diets or anything else in this post?  Let me know with a comment!