I need help getting started to make a healthy lifestyle change


Dear Laurie,

I have a lot of knowledge about what I “should” be eating, but I need help getting started. I love cookies, cake, cupcakes and all things that have processed sugar in it. What advice can you give me to get started to make this healthy life change?

Thank you so much Laurie!

— Marisa

Dear Marisa,

I’m smiling as I read this because just like you, I love desserts. But I do stay away from anything with white processed sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and all chemical sugar substitutes. It’s not easy but I have learned to change the way I identify with sugar, just as I did two decades ago when I quit smoking.

In my process, I had to change the way my brain identified with sugar, changing it from pleasure to pain. I changed my feelings toward sugar. It was no longer pleasurable. Once I changed my belief that white processed sugar is harmful and can cause disharmony in my body and brain, it was easier for me to choose foods that added more vitality and that added value to me instead of doing the opposite. Therefore, sugar was internalized as painful to me.

For me, it took my brain a couple of weeks to detoxify from the sugar, and then the cravings went away. I chose to move toward a healthy way of living because that was very important to me. Ask yourself, “How important is this to me?” “What do I believe about the consumption of white processed sugar and how it can affect me?” Once your desire to live healthier is stronger than your desire for sugar, it becomes easier to move in a new direction.

It’s important to set yourself up for success. If it’s possible, remove all products in your home with sugar in it and the sugar. Ask your friends and family to support you in your new quest for living healthy. Then, ask someone to be your support person. This way, if you have a weak moment and you are at a party and you’re about to reach for a piece of cake, you can text or call your buddy and say, “Help, I’m about to grab this amazing chocolate cake!” Give them permission ahead of time to say, “If that’s what you want but is that the highest vibrational food choice you want to make right now? Think of all of the negative chemical reactions that occur in your brain because of the sugar.”

Read the labels on everything you purchase. When you are dining out, ask the wait staff if there is sugar in the sauces or condiments.

Purchase healthy snacks that you enjoy and make sure they are readily available to you in your home such as fruit smoothies, almond butter and banana or dates. You can have fun making your own desserts like pumpkin muffins made with almond flour and stevia or dark cacao brownies with gluten free flour and stevia. There are many amazing recipes out there for your family and you to enjoy that are not made with white processed sugar or chemicals. You deserve to enjoy what you eat at the same time!

If you do fall off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up, enjoy it in the moment and then get right back on. One day at a time.

Making healthier choices is self-love and self-care. Your example of moving in this direction is a great role model for others too. I wish you much success! Namaste! ♥♥♥

Laurie Martin

Laurie Martin is a leading teacher of self-love and personal empowerment. Laurie is a certified life coach, speaker, yoga teacher, writer, advice columnist in the Naples Daily Newspaper and author of “Smile Across Your Heart: The Process of Building Self-Love” and her new e-book, “The Conscious Breakup Guide.” To contact Laurie, please email her at LaurieM@SmileAcrossYourHeart.com.