Live, love, leap: 12 steps to better health

By Ryan Howes | Feb 07, 2018

The Institute of Integrative Nutrition is the largest nutrition school in the world. With the motto “food changes everything,” IIN graduates support lifestyle and diet change so their clients can live healthier and happier lives.

Did you know that nearly 30 percent of the world’s population is obese or overweight? Fewer than one eighth of physical visits include nutrition counseling. Seventy percent of deaths are caused by preventable chronic illness each year. One in three American adults have high blood pressure. Only 3 percent of our health care dollars is spent on preventing diseases.

I have a practical solution to prevent disease and chronic illness, lower high blood pressure and help you find a weight that feels good. I can say this with confidence and my clients will gladly testify.

The 12 Steps to Better Health is an IIN tool that puts you in the driver’s seat towards a healthier and happier life. The idea is to pick one step and then go on to another when ready. You could tackle one new step a day, a week, or a month. The 12 steps are not a short-term diet, rather a long-term lifestyle. The steps need not be followed in order, so trust your instincts and know that each change you make has a positive impact on your present and your future.

1. Drink more water

2. Practice cooking

3. Experiment with whole grains

4. Increase sweet vegetables

5. Increase leafy green vegetables

6. Experiment with protein

7. Eat fewer processed foods

8. Make a habit of nurturing your body

9. Have healthy relationships

10. Enjoy regular physical activity

11. Find work you love

12. Develop a spiritual practice

Let’s take a small leap by picking one step to work on today. Ask yourself, “Which step would help my body feel better”? If you’re feeling dehydrated, then create one or two actionable steps to implement step one: Drink more water. When you are ready to implement another step, simply ask yourself the aforementioned question and continue to trust your instincts.

Steps one through seven are what health coaches call "secondary food": what we eat and drink. If you consider the IIN motto that “food changes everything” as your bite-sized step toward healthier living, what you experience is a human vessel that operates more efficiently. The SF you consume directly affects how you feel. How you feel directly affects what you think, what you say, what you do and how you act. Imagine a healthier and happier life. Now go ahead and tackle one of the steps and get that vital nourishment.

Steps eight through 12 are what health coaches call "primary food": things that nourish us that don’t go on a plate. These forms of nourishment override SF. Why? They tend to cause immense stress, or conversely, create more joy and happiness in the present. The job you’ve always wanted, the lover who is undeniably perfect for you, the best friend who surprises you with a visit, these are PF. When PF is out of balance, we humans tend to make unhealthy choices, for instance, not taking time to nurture our bodies and eating more processed foods more often. When work is stressful, go get some exercise to release the tension. When your significant other is on your case, work on positive communication and expressing your feelings. When you’re feeling disconnected, go do the one thing you are most passionate about.

Now is the time to integrate healthier secondary food and primary food choices. Utilize the 12 Steps to Better Health and join millions of other people in the health revolution. Let’s live healthily, love happily and courageously leap towards global prosperity.

If you have questions about the 12 Steps, Secondary and Primary Foods, comment below or contact me at ryanhoweshealth.com.

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