Rachael Recommends December 2022

Posted by Rachael McDonald on December 30, 2022

Happy (almost) 2023! 

Raise your hand if you're ready for a reset! While we can cleanse, reset, and obtain that fresh-start feeling via various methods at any time during the year, a new year does provide a natural time for these things. 

The theme of this month's recommendations pertains to the idea of a reset. While some of the suggestions I provide may be a bit robust or over-the-top feeling for some, I hope that you can take away something helpful for your New Year's reset and use it to start 2023 strong. 

Reset your nutrition with The Whole Journey's juice cleanse. There are a few occasions when I am a fan of juice cleanses. After the holiday feasts are typically one of those times. The Whole Journey is a digital health company that specializes in using food as medicine to heal nagging health problems and as fuel for living a vibrant life. I have used their website as a resource many times and have recommended this cleanse several times. Here is the pdf for the 7-day juice cleanse, and below, you will find ten steps to do one week in advance in preparation for the cleanse. If you do this, you won't be sorry! It is a fantastic way to reset your gut, relationship with food, and body for this new year. Even if you do the "prep," you would likely notice marked results.

There are ten things you can do to prepare the week before you start the cleanse:

  • Reschedule your happy hours or be ready to drink water with lime or lemon
  • Cut current alcohol consumption in half
  • Avoid gluten and refined flours as much as possible
  • Drink 16 oz. warm lemon water first thing upon waking
  • Reduce current caffeine intake in half
  • Add one extra serving of green leafy veggies to your diet daily
  • Eliminate fried foods
  • Decrease sugar intake
  • Eat breakfast that contains protein and fat within an hour of waking
  • Tell your friends and family so they can support you and maybe cleanse with you


Reset your focus by setting SMART goals

Don't make New Year's resolutions - set goals. Take one hour this weekend to set your focus for the year. I guarantee it will pay dividends in your accomplishments, commitment, and life satisfaction. 

Most of us have probably been exposed to SMART goal setting before. Don't skip this section, though! I want to draw special attention to the "time-bound" aspect of this method of goal setting (Here’s a great article for more details on SMART goals). One word of advice here: keep your time "bounds" short. Consider perhaps dividing your year's goals into smaller goals for 12-week periods. 

Let's look at a weight loss goal as an example. Say you want to lose 30 pounds this year. Losing 30 pounds all at once may seem daunting. Discouragement may come easily when you feel that progress is slow. My suggestion for tackling this goal (discussing, specifically, the time-bound aspect of the SMART goals) would be as follows:

  • Shoot (which means setting a goal) to lose 10 pounds in the first 12 weeks. 
  • During the second "12-week period," give yourself a break. Make the goal during this time to maintain your weight. That way, you don't have to push as hard constantly. You will likely find that you're motivated for a big push again in the third "12-week period." 
  • Then, in that third quarter of the year, make a goal to lose 10-15 pounds. 
  • In the last 12-week period, finish off the remaining pounds.

This is just an example. Don't get distracted by the numbers. The principle here is that you set goals associated with shorter time frames and give yourself seasons where you don't have such ambitious goals. Think about giving this a try when you set your SMART goals. See the graphic below for details on the SMART goal method. I recommend selecting 1 or 2 goals in the following "life" categories: health/fitness, finances, relationships, and professional and personal development. 

** Don't forget that a goal needs a plan. You'll have to consider what you're willing to change in your daily routine to make that goal a reality. Ask yourself, "What has to be true in my daily life to achieve this goal in 12 weeks' time?"



Reset your body with fundamental principles for feeling, moving, and sleeping better

With everyone's bodies being so different, it's challenging to find a lot of nutritional and lifestyle principles that apply to all. There are a few things, though, that when most of us do them consistently, we can see a dramatic improvement in our overall health. Here are some of those:

  1. Drink water. Half your body weight in ounces per day.
  2. Eat more vegetables. Most carbohydrates should come from greens, non-starchy veggies, and resistant starches. 
  3. Eat lots of good protein. Your goal is to consume .75-1 gram/pound of body weight per day. 
  4. One note: If your goal is to lose weight, consume 1 gram/pound of goal weight.
  5. Drink less alcohol and eat less sugar. 

If you do these things, I promise you will feel better within days. Even applying just one to your consistent habits will be highly beneficial. 

So, you're ready for a reset? - What are you going to do about it? Take 2023 head-on with these strategies and ideas. You won't be sorry.

Thanks for reading. Cheers to 2023!