It’s my favorite time of year! Not just because the weather is finally warming up but because it is time for the Environmental Working Group’s annual release of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 fruits and vegetables. As we turn the corner, (finally!) toward Spring, it’s a perfect time to talk about choosing the fruits and vegetables and the tradeoffs between your health and your finances.

As a result of the diminished nutrient profiles in foods due to modern farming practices, we need to eat more fruits and vegetables than ever. You may remember a prior article in which I shared research that to get the same level of nutrients from two peaches eaten back in the 1950’s, today you’d have to eat 53!

We are all trying to make our money in this tough economy stretch as far as it can, so it’s good to know that there is some produce that you can buy conventionally grown; being able to purchase it at your regular store or when it’s on sale means you can really save some money.  Other fruits and vegetables, however, absolutely should be bought organic, as it’s worth every penny of the investment in your health to avoid the toxic pesticides they contain.

Every year, the Environmental Working Group, or EWG, releases a list of the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables known as The Dirty Dozen. They also provide a list of the Clean 15 that you can feel safe about buying conventionally grown. The list changes every year as some dirty produce does get cleaned up and some clean produce begins to show signs of pesticides.

Everything not on one of these two lists is a use-your-best-judgment call: buy organic if and when you can, especially if it’s something you don’t peel. The more important avoiding pesticides is to you, the more items on the “in- between list” (meaning anything not found on either of the two lists that follows below), you’ll probably want to look for organic.

If it’s not a big priority for you at the moment vs. other health considerations, if you don’t have growing children, if you cannot afford it or it’s not a regular purchase, it’s ok to consume the conventional produce on the “in-between list” periodically as long as you wash it well or don’t eat the skin.

To the extent that you can, buy local and support your small farms whenever possible especially if buying conventional; the further food travels, the more it will be sprayed to ensure it makes the journey without spoiling and the less time it’s allowed to ripen and reach nutritional maturity.

The Clean 15 (These can be bought conventionally grown if you’re watching your expenses.)

Sweet Corn
Sweet Peas –Frozen
Sweet Potatoes

It’s important to note that most genetically modified produce such as corn and soy is used to make packaged goods and doesn’t end up in the produce aisle. Some produce will be labeled with a sticker that begins with the number 8, which indicates it’s genetically modified and should always be avoided, but it’s not a requirement and so most produce will not have such clear markings.

According to the EWG, small amounts of GMO Produce such as zucchini, papaya and sweet corn do make their way onto the shelves.  If avoiding genetically modified foods is a priority to you, these should also be bought organic, even though papaya and corn make the “clean” list as far as pesticides go. (While we love an occasional sweet corn on the cob, because corn is so pervasive in foods these days, we limit it to a couple times a season, really enjoy it when we do, and always buy it organic even though it’s on the clean list.)

The Dirty Dozen (ALWAYS buy organic)

Sweet Bell Peppers
Nectarines – Imported
Cherry Tomatoes
Snap Peas – Imported

Kale and Collard Greens
Hot peppers

The first thing you’ll notice about The Dirty Dozen is that many of these are the fruits and vegetables your kids or grandkids eat most. The impact of the pesticides will be even greater upon their developing bodies and because they eat from this group regularly, it’s even more important to invest in organic options if there are kids involved. (And keep in mind, this means products made from these fruits as well such as apple or grape juice, and apple sauce, etc. These should be purchased organic as well.)

More and more stores are adding organic produce; these are the fruits and veggies to look for wherever you shop and make it a rule to invest in organic versions. Trader Joes is pretty good at stocking these if you have access to one nearby, but even there, it’s hit or miss. There are many times of the year I cannot get organic apples for my kids’ lunches and so we have to switch to something else until they come in because I will not buy conventional.

If you cannot find fresh organic versions of the Dirty Dozen, look for frozen organic strawberries, spinach or peppers. If you can’t get organic peaches or nectarines, try plums or another fruit on the clean or in-between list and wash it really well with fruit and veggie wash if you’ll be eating the peel. (Conventional or organic, clean, dirty or in-between, always wash your produce with a fruit and veggie wash and never eat any fruits or vegetables until you have!)

Also try visiting local farms or farmers markets and talking to the farmers. Many smaller farms follow organic farming practices but cannot afford the time and expense of applying for organic certification. Again, even if not certified organic, local produce will have more nutrients and is a better choice than heavily sprayed conventional produce that travels from far away.

Finally, last year, the Dirty Dozen list had some additions that didn’t meet the full criteria but were commonly found to have toxic pesticide contamination. This year, two vegetables made their “plus” list: hot peppers and leafy greens such as kale and collards.

These vegetables show pesticide residues of organochloride pesticides that are toxic to the nervous system and as a result have been phased out of agriculture. They make the list because residues still linger in farm fields and have been found on conventional produce sold in stores, so these should also be purchased as organic.

Last year, domestically grown summer squash such as yellow crookneck squash and zucchini made the plus list too. But this year they have removed it from the highest level of danger list, finding pesticide levels to have improved.

As produce season gets under way, enjoy the 9-13 servings per days of fruits and vegetables your body requires for optimal health, but invest in the best form you can of the dirty dozen and you can save some pennies on the rest!

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!



Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal and a free copy of Inger’s bestselling ebook at

Photo Source: courtesy of SOMMAI / Free Digital Photos


We have all read and heard about the many benefits of exercise.  Exercise has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, improve cognitive function, fitness, improve your mood and reduce depression, and reduce the risk of cancer. It’s also been shown to change the T cells in cancer patients from unhealthy to healthy and create a low sugar environment that discouraged the growth and spread of cancer cells in patients who are already diagnosed.

So if you’re looking for an excuse to re-start your exercise plan, there are many! But did you know that if you are sedentary throughout most of your day, your risk of health concerns is much higher, even if you are a rigorous and religious exerciser?

Research shows that long periods of sitting have negative effects on our health that are not fully erased even if we demonstrate healthy habits after work. Movement, it turns out, is even more important for good health than exercise. Especially since I just read a statistic that more than 50% of men and women don’t engage in vigorous physical activity for more than 10 minutes a week which is not enough to attain any real health benefit. If you’re in that group, moving is even more important!

But even if you work out, it’s moving throughout the day that seems to make the biggest difference. USA Today recently reported the results of a study that revealed that the risk of heart failure was more than double for men who sat for five hours a day outside of work and didn’t exercise as compared to men who sat for less than two hours a day and were physically active. Men with the lowest risk were those who exercised the most and sat for less than two hours a day.

But while this may seem to highlight that men who exercise more are healthier, the study also confirmed that a regular fitness routine did NOT erase the effects of sitting for long durations. The study followed 82,000 men for 10 years and found that the increased risk correlations to sitting were true no matter how long they exercised. It wasn’t the exercise that made the difference: it was the amount of time spent sitting that played the biggest role in the men’s health risks.

Whether you are exercising regularly or not, if you want to improve your health, you should create time for movement breaks throughout the day. According to James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, “If you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting too long.”  Dr. Joseph Mercola thinks even an hour is too long. He recommends that you take a movement break every 15 minutes and suggests setting a timer at work or using a phone app to remind you to get up and walk or stretch.

If you think about it, it makes total sense. As we evolved away from chasing our food (and being chased by it!) and settled down, we still lived in a state of constant movement. Cooking, weaving, gathering, building, everything we did in our day was movement. Even if we sat to mend something we would then get up to stir the pot or get more material. Even in more recent years as we built businesses that were more stationary, the business owner would check out his fleet or land or livestock, on foot or on horseback. Ladies would take long walks in the garden, as would couples after dinner, and for a special occasion, the entertainment after dinner would involve dance.

Taking frequent breaks throughout the day to get up and stretch your body will  release tightness from your muscles and keep energy (and blood and oxygen) flowing smoothly throughout your body. A stretch, some simple calisthenics or yoga poses will go a long way. If you can, take a little time to go for a walk.

While a nice long walk during lunch or after work is a great health option that can also provide a forum for social interaction or emotional reconnection with a friend or loved one, little intermittent walking breaks throughout the day can improve your health… and your creativity.

A new study from Stanford University revealed that our ability to solve problems creatively, or our divergent thinking creativity, increases during and after walking. Researchers put 176 college students into groups and asked them to generate as many possible solutions in a set time by coming up for different possible uses for an object. The scores were evaluated on their originality, whether other participants also identified that same solution, and their appropriateness, or whether the ideas were actually realistic.

The participants took the test while sitting, being pushed in a wheelchair, or walking inside or outside for a period of 5-16 minutes. They found that participants scored 60% higher when they were walking than sitting, whether it was indoors or outdoors and that their creative thinking levels remained elevated for a period of time after their walk.

So the next time you are sitting at your desk working hard to solve a problem, rushing to finish a report, or struggling to find an answer, take a few minutes to get up and go for a walk. The answer just might come to you more quickly and your health will be improved as well.

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!



Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal and a free copy of Inger’s bestselling ebook at

Photo Source: courtesy of photostock / Free Digital Photos


Humans are the only species that consume milk past infancy. And we don’t just consume it: We inhale it! We drink milk and we eat butter, cream, cheese and ice cream more now than ever before. In 2001, Americans consumed 30 pounds of cheese per person. That is eight times more than we consumed in 1909 and more than double consumption in 1975!

While much of the cheese eaten in the early 1900s was made locally on a farm, today we are eating processed shredded cheeses out of plastic bags and we’re eating on the run: About 55% to 65% of the cheese we eat comes from commercially manufactured and prepared foods like packaged snack foods and fast food sandwiches.

Being Dutch, I consider cheese to be one of my four primary foods; I don’t think I could live without it. And because of my background and my blood type, I can handle dairy products without any digestive concerns. But over the past few years, I have reduced my dairy intake significantly and made several changes to the dairy products I do consume. Most of us are simply consuming too much dairy; making some changes can go a long way toward improving our health.

Not Your Parents’ Milk
Whenever I talk about reducing dairy consumption, I always run into someone who grew up on a farm who argues that their parents lived long healthy lives drinking milk every day. And I don’t doubt that, because when I ask about it further, they always say their diet included one glass of milk with a meal and some butter and cheese, all made locally on their farm—which means they consumed raw, unpasteurized milk and milk products made freshly and untreated. In fact in 1909, 56% of all milk consumed was ingested on the farm where it was produced. By 2001, that number had dropped to 0.3%.

While pasteurization is hailed as a great invention because it kills bacteria and prevents milk from souring, the heat process also kills off many beneficial nutrients. Named after Louis Pasteur, pasteurization was developed as a means of preserving beer and wine. Pasteur never applied it to milk; that came later, in the late 1800s, when dirty urban dairies were trying to find a way to produce cleaner milk. They discovered that pasteurization allowed them to still use the dirty milk, which was easier and cheaper than finding ways to make the milk cleaner.

The idea quickly spread as profits grew. In order to market the new form of milk, producers had to convince consumers that unpasteurized milk was harmful. A smear campaign to link raw milk to diseases was undertaken and today, most people believe that raw milk is dangerous to consume. But the truth is that pasteurized milk poses far more health risks than raw milk.

Raw milk contains healthy bacteria that actually inhibit the growth of harmful organisms; once removed, the pasteurized milk is actually more prone to contamination. In addition, the pasteurization process destroys many vital nutrients in the milk. Studies show up to a 66% loss of vitamins A, E and D and a 50% loss of vitamin C. Vitamins B6 and B12 are totally destroyed by the pasteurization process, as are many beneficial hormones, antibodies and enzymes. One enzyme destroyed in the process is lipase, which impairs fat metabolism and the ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D.

Pasteurization also makes calcium and other minerals less available. One way they test to see if the milk is appropriately pasteurized is to look for the destruction of phosphatase. If it’s absent, the milk is considered fully pasteurized. But phosphatase is essential for the absorption of calcium. So pasteurization makes calcium insoluble. It also destroys iodine, the lack of which can cause constipation.

Pasteurization also turns the sugar of milk, lactose, into beta-lactose, which is more rapidly absorbed in the system and has been shown to make children hungrier sooner. But the dairy industry has formed a strong lobby to prevent the distribution and sale of raw milk in order to protect their profits.  They’d rather have you believe it is harmful because if you found out the truth, you probably wouldn’t want to drink pasteurized milk.

Hormones, Pesticides and Antibiotics
In addition to not being pasteurized, raw milk is produced on farms that also avoid some of the real dangers of milk and milk products today: hormones, pesticides and antibiotics.

In the article on healthier meat choices, I discuss how hormones are used to help the animals to grow bigger. In addition to that injection process, some farms use an additional hormone called rBGH, which is a synthetic growth hormone. Back in the 1930s, a typical cow produced 12 pounds (or about a gallon and a half) of milk a day. By 1988, the average was 39 pounds a day. This was done primarily through selective breeding and using rBGH. Today a cow can now generate 50 pounds of milk a day.

Cows injected with rBGH are 79% more likely to contract mastitis (an infection of the udder). Those cows also suffer from reproductive difficulties, digestive problems, an increased need for antibiotics and other abnormalities. Consumer’s Union reports that milk from rBGH treated cows is more likely to be of lower quality and contain more pus and bacteria than milk from untreated cows.

But even if you find milk from farms that don’t use rBGH, other harmful hormones present in the cow remain. In addition to the ear pellet they receive as a calf containing synthetic hormones to help them grow, cows’ milk contains high amounts of estrogen because 75% to 90% of milk comes from pregnant cows. Milk from a late-stage pregnant cow can have up to 33 times as much estrone sulfate (a form of estrogen) and 10 times more progesterone. Much research ties excess estrogen to reproductive cancers such as prostate, testes, ovarian and breast cancer. Male breast enlargement has also been tied to high dairy and hormone-laden meat consumption.

Test analysis has revealed traces of 80 different types of antibiotics in milk. Animal products like milk can also contain up to 14 times more pesticides than plants If you worry about pesticides in produce, you should be even more concerned about pesticides in meat and milk.

Anyone who has been pregnant, or been around a pregnant woman, understands the effect high hormone levels can have on the body. They have likely also seen that what the mother eats is transferred to the child through the milk and has an immediate and noticeable effect on the child if there is an allergy or sensitivity issue. Consuming the milk of a perennially pregnant cow makes consuming estrogen unavoidable. As one physician/scientist from the Harvard School of Pubic Health put it, “The milk we drink today is quite unlike the milk our ancestors were drinking without apparent harm.”

A new process has been developed called ultra-pasteurization, which involves longer treatment times at higher temperatures, resulting in milk that is totally sterile. It’s not being advertised, but you can look for the word in small print on almost every national brand and even some organic brands (Horizon, the largest organic producer, now ultra-pasteurizes.)

Given all the challenges with modern milk production, it’s no surprise that many Americans are allergic or sensitive to it and that it can cause headaches, sinus and chest congestion, stomach pain, cramping, diarrhea, gas and sore, scratchy throats. Milk has also been linked to asthma, atherosclerosis, upper respiratory and ear infections, obesity and cancer. (Many doctors now think children with recurring ear infections have dairy sensitivities.)

Many people have difficulties digesting milk even if they are not lactose intolerant. According to Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard University, “The majority of humans naturally stop producing significant amounts of lactase — the enzyme needed to properly metabolize lactose, the sugar in milk — sometime between the ages of two and five. In fact, for most mammals, the normal condition is to stop producing the enzymes needed to properly digest and metabolize milk after they have been weaned. Our bodies just weren’t made to digest milk on a regular basis. Instead, most scientists agree that it’s better for us to get calcium, potassium, protein, and fats from other food sources, like whole plant foods –vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and seaweed.”

The Many Varieties of Milk
For my family and myself, traditional milk, even organic, is simply not a good health choice. Raw milk not only avoids the hormone, antibiotic and pesticide challenges of modern milk production, it also offers the nutrients and enzymes that the pasteurization process destroys. Raw milk is a complete source of protein full of beneficial bacteria and vitamins, minerals and enzymes. If you are going to consume cow’s milk, I suggest you do so sparingly and that you explore raw milk options.

In some states, you can buy raw milk in stores such as Whole Foods. In most states, however, you’ll have to buy directly from the farm. And that may not be a viable option for some. When I moved from Maine to Massachusetts, I lost my easy access to raw milk. So I had to look for other options and another option to consider is goat’s milk. Much of the world consumes goat not cow’s milk, because it’s more widely available and also because most people can digest goat’s milk readily, even if they cannot tolerate cow’s milk.

Goat’s milk is a great source of calcium and protein, phosphorus, riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium and the amino acid tryptophan. It’s also been shown to enhance the metabolism of copper and iron. For those with milk allergy symptoms such as asthma, eczema, ear infections and rheumatoid arthritis, switching to goat milk may help alleviate symptoms.

The major problem with goat milk is the expense. For many people who consume moderate or large amounts of milk, it will not be financially viable. I personally consume very little milk. I put a small amount in my chai tea in the morning and I use a little when I make a risotto or a sauce that I want to have some depth or richness. I find that a small amount of goat’s milk does the trick and makes for a delicious and rich sauce. Because I use so little and a half gallon can last me more than two weeks, (and yes, it lasts that long without spoiling), I justify the expense. (I definitely noticed a reduction in bloating after switching from cow’s to goat’s milk.)

For those who can’t access or afford raw milk or goat milk, or who want a non-animal option, I recommend almond milk. Almond milk can be made inexpensively at home so it’s a great option if you want a fresh milk alternative that doesn’t cost a lot.

I do not recommend soy milk, though it does contain some nutrients and protein, because it contains a natural chemical that mimics estrogen. These “fake” estrogens take up the hormone receptor sites intended for real estrogen, which leaves the excess estrogen unable to connect to a receptor site and left to wander around the body.

Studies show excess estrogen can alter sexual development and can lead to reproductive concerns and cancers. Early puberty and male breast development are common side effects of excess estrogen. One study showed that two glasses of soy milk a day contained enough pseudo-estrogen to alter the timing of a woman’s reproductive cycle. As a result, I suggest everyone avoid soymilk.

Choose Better Cheese
While I have focused predominantly on milk since it is the source for all dairy, cheese is a far bigger component of most people’s diets than milk. In general, we eat way too much cheese and cutting back on processed foods with cheese or hidden cheese in fast foods is a great step toward better health. When you do choose cheese, the same principles that we discussed above apply: Look for raw milk cheese (most markets carry some, especially raw milk bleu cheeses and they are delicious) and goat’s milk cheese, which are also prevalent and tasty. Experiment with these kinds of cheese and if you are a cheese lover like me, you’ll find some delicious new options in raw milk and goat’s milk cheeses.

Occasionally, I do eat traditional cheese, but I buy it from Europe because the European Union has banned all hormones. When you buy a cheese from the mountainous Alps region of France or Switzerland, you are typically getting cheese made the traditional old-fashioned way from cows or goats who have roamed free in the sunshine, eating grass and living without pesticides, chemicals or drugs.

How Much is Too Much?
So now that we have looked at milk and cheese options, how much, if any, dairy should you consume? Less is definitely more when it comes to dairy: For me, a little bit of raw milk or goat cheese makes my day and I try to eliminate eating cheese that is an afterthought rather than a primary focus in my meal. I believe in bioindividuality, which means I think that every body is different and your tolerance will depend on your own lifestyle factors and diet, as well as that of your ancestors. Some people can handle dairy without incident while others should cut it out completely. This may be due in part to the enzymes present in our blood.

Dr. Peter D’Adamo argues in his blood type diet book, Eat Right for Your Type that blood type Bs (as I am) can handle dairy. Because ABs have some B in them, they can handle a little dairy as well. But type A should significantly reduce if not eliminate dairy and blood type O should completely avoid all dairy. This may or may not ring true for you, but if you are at all curious, I suggest eliminating dairy completely for two weeks, especially if you have any symptoms like headaches, IBS, sinuses, asthma or bloating/gas, and see how you feel during that time. (That includes all milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and ice cream.) Then reintroduce each slowly and see how you feel as you begin to eat them again: you’ll know right away if you can handle dairy and what types affect you more than others.


To your wellness and health: your true wealth!


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal. Learn more about Inger and receive her free bestselling ebook What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You.

Article Photo: courtesy of Naypong |


In my book, What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You, I write about making better carbohydrate choices and which breads and pastas are best. (One tip: Whole wheat isn’t much better than white bread as it acts the same way in your body. Look for whole grains and sprouted grains instead.) It’s important to try to limit refined white sugar and flour in your diet, but as I share in those chapters, there are less unhealthy, and in fact even some very healthy options for you to enjoy. These options are easy, traditional (and delicious) variations that you can find in any store and they offer a great way to enjoy your guilty pleasure — in a much less guilty form.

But if you are used to a certain brand or product, sometimes you have to transition away from it slowly. When I suggested Ezekial sprouted grain bread, someone wrote and told me that they thought it was disgusting and tasted like cardboard! I personally think it’s delicious and my kids like it as well. They were never white wonder bread eaters though! And it did take a little time for them to get used to the texture and density of sprouted grains after eating whole wheat bread. But now, it is the only bread in our house.

So if you have something you love that you know isn’t good for you and you’d like to swap it for a better choice, rather than give it up completely and try to learn to like something that is just feeling too different for you, you may want to try taking baby steps toward making the change. For example, if you’re hooked on potatoes, you can start adding in sweet potatoes and reducing the amount of white potatoes you use in a dish. If you are looking to cut back on coffee, start mixing in decaf and each week increase the percentage of decaf you use. It won’t be long until you are at 100% decaf and you’ll realize that you no longer need that caffeine boost at all. Then if coffee is your guilty pleasure, you can savor a delicious cup instead of a pot.

Or use a little less sugar each week until you are able to wean yourself away and soon you will find that the amount you used to use doesn’t even taste good to you anymore: it’s just too sweet. You don’t need to go cold turkey: in fact, you’re more likely to stick with it (and not substitute something else equally bad in its place) if you take small steps and make incremental changes than if you go cold turkey.

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!

Inger Pols

Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal at

Photo Source: Microsoft Clip Art


As I watched people struggle to try to lose weight or change their diet in order to regain their health, I have observed the 98% rule over and over again: 98% of people who diet will gain back the weight and more. Usually in 6-12 months. I became curious about what it takes to be among the 2% who actually do succeed.

So I started talking to people who had succeeded and those who had failed, experts and regular folks, and I started researching how to make lasting change: I read every book and research study I could find! I discovered that there are several key elements necessary in order for change to occur and to stick; I call them “The Five Secrets of Change.”

While all five are required for most people to make lasting change, you can really begin to move the needle immediately with Change Secret #1. In this first of five parts series on making lasting change, we’re going to focus on making your changes small. You may have heard people talk about small steps before but there is a powerful scientific reason why small is the way to go: successful change has to be small because our brains are actually hard-wired to resist big changes.

Even though we may eally want to make a big change, we feel ready for it and our desire is strong, our brains perceive large changes as stress. The definition of stress is a perceived threat, real or imaginary. It doesn’t matter to the brain if it’s true or if it’s a real threat: the brain sees it the same way in either instance. Our brains will try to protect us and make us feel safe and comfortable again by bringing us back to where we were before, where it felt safe.

It’s actually been seen on MRI scans. Studies have shown that a part of the brain known as the amygdala, which controls our stress response, becomes activated if a patient is asked to make a big change. When scientists suggest something that represents a significant change in behavior or routine, such as losing 10+ pounds or changing jobs, the amygdala fires up and engages. It begins to try to bring you back to homeostasis, or the place where you feel more comfortable, by eliminating the stressor.

When patients were asked to make a smaller change, such as drinking more water or eating out less, the amygdala remained dormant and did not resist. The amygdala did not perceive the smaller goal to be a threat so there was no need to try to interfere and change the behavior.

So when you try a new exercise program and all of a sudden you think maybe I’ll skip the gym today, it’s not about willpower or being weak: your brain may actually be trying to alter your behavior to keep you in the safe comfortable place you were before where it is not stressful.

A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine concluded that participants who made one small, potentially permanent change in either their physical activity or their food choices, lost more than twice as much belly fat, 2 1/2 more inches off their waistlines, and about 4 times more weight than those who tried traditional calorie restriction plans or physical activity guidelines. The successful changes were very small such walking 5 more minutes a day or drinking one less soda per day.

In my audio course launching in January called Finally Make It Happen, we look at how to break down your change goals into small action steps that fit easily into your life. We follow a unique prioritization process to get at where you should start and then we map out how to move forward step by step.

But you don’t have to take my course or wait another day to start making lasting change! You can begin today by choosing a small steps toward your goal and beginning with just one step at a time until it has become a new habit.

Study after study has shown that small changes are the most effective way to achieve long-term success, but we continue to want to take on too much too soon or make big, hard changes to get results faster. We’re setting ourselves up to fail because we cannot outsmart our own brains; they are only trying to keep us safe and comfortable by doing what they think we want.

It may be common sense and you may have heard it before, but as you know, common sense is not always common practice! Making small changes is the first secret to successful lasting change. Choose one small step that you can take today and you’ll be on your way to Finally Make It Happen. You can read about the other 4 secrets to making lasting change at

To your wellness and health: your true wealth!


Author: Inger Pols is the Editor of the New England Health Advisory and Author/Creator, Finally Make It Happen, the proven process to get what you want. Get a free special report on The Truth About Sugar: It’s Not All Equal. Learn more about Inger and receive her free bestselling ebook What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You at

Article Photo: courtesy of samuiblue |

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