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  1. Follow the meal plan. “Meal plan, schmeal plan,” you may be thinking. But you won’t have to do it forever and for these 28 days we need to get off of salt, sugar and unhealthy fats so we can really experience how our bodies and biochemistry feel without them.
  2. Get enough rest. Seven hours Sunday – Thursday and eight if you can swing it on Friday and Saturday nights. Sleep makes all things better and staggering through life in a sleep-deprived stated only makes it harder to tune in to our bodies.
  3. Get outside at least 4 days a week. Nothing fancy here, but a 30 minute walk, four days a week will give you more energy and a little dose of vitamin D. It never ceases to amaze me how the combination of fresh air and exercise clear my mind and bring clarity.
  4. Don’t drink calories. The goal is for nearly all our liquids to come from water or unsweetened tea, but black coffee is fine. If you must have a splash of milk in your coffee or want a foam-only cappuccino as a weekend treat that’s fine. This isn’t a weight loss program, but many of the same foods / beverages that have lots of calories also have lots of salt, sugar and fat.
  5. Hydrate with water. Banning all soda (even zero calorie) seems like a no-brainer, but fruit juice, sweetened teas, vitamin waters, sports drinks and energy drinks are devoid of nutrition and only serve to keep our palates trained to desire hyper-sweet ingredients. Drink water with every meal and snack and at least one 8 oz. glass between each meal and snack. Zero calorie fruit flavored water or sparkling water is fine.
  6. Ramp up your self-care. Seriously, get a weekly massage if you can, have a pedicure (even if you’re a guy), take a Sunday afternoon nap or a long bubble bath. In short, be gentle with yourself. I’m guessing you’ve had more your share of self-flagellation and deprivation in your lifetime. It’s time to play catch up. Take care of yourself and let others do so too.
  7. Clean the crap out of your house (and your car… and your desk drawer … and your purse…). You wouldn’t expect an alcoholic to detox with a full liquor cabinet at home, would you? Of course not. Nor can you be expected to resist the temptations that are most easily within your grasp. Anything and everything that can be abused must go. I’m not inclined to give you a list of specific items (if you’re anything like me, it would fill a book) because honestly, who knows you better than you? Give it away, throw it away, bury it in the backyard, but get it out of your house!
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