For a Healthy New Year…

December, 2015

How about taking a break? A break from something that may be bringing you down. It could be a food, electronics, shopping, or too much sitting. Eliminating something unhealthy from your life, even for a brief time can help you feel better, strengthen you will-power and help you start off on the right foot for a healthier year.


For me, I’m doing an extreme break from sugar, which includes alcohol for 6 months. I invite you to find your own guilty-pleasure and determine the amount of time that is doable for you and join me.

There is a reason behind my “madness”. On January 11th I am beginning a 6 month intensive program to become a Certified Pain Specialist. This program is being offered through the International Spine and Pain institute which is the organization I have studied with since my first Explain Pain course in 2008. I am thrilled and a tad nervous to enter into a program where I will actually be tested and have to prove my learning ability and knowledge in the field. Part of my commitment to this program is making sure I’m at the top of my game and not in the fog of my chocolate consumption.

I’ve also noticed some effects of aging on my body. I’m having a few more aches and pains. Even though my right hip surgery has been a huge success, I’m noticing some joint pain in my left hip. Since sugar seems to be the current trend of evil foods that contribute to inflammation (amongst a host of other things), it seems like now would be a good time to clean my system of it and see how it feels.

Since I was in my 20’s I have experimented with various “cleansings” usually due to concerns related to low energy levels, sleep, weight, etc. I’ve done several 3-week cleanses where I ate nothing but lean meat, veggies and rice. In my 30’s when I realized that my body was too sensitive to alcohol in various forms, I completely stopped drinking for many years while I grew my business and raised my children (with the help of my wonderful husband). I drastically reduced my carbohydrates, eliminating high glycemic carbs, when I discovered the then-fad Zone diet in the late 90’s and I continue on a modified version of this. For the past several years I typically stop my greatest addiction, Chocolate, for the month of January.

My mentor in mindfulness, Russell Delman ( chooses something every year on his birthday to eliminate. One year it was coffee, another year it was chocolate, or sugar or alcohol or wheat, etc. I believe he’s been doing this for many years. I recall one year when, as a vegetarian, rather than eliminate something he decided to accept whatever was offered to him. He told me about an occasion where he was invited to one of his student’s home for dinner, and they served up pork chops. With all the grace that I know Russell has, he gratefully ate what was given him.

Although dealing with cravings is a huge subject, there are a few things you might try to incorporate into your adventure in temporary withdrawal. When you first notice that moment of craving try any of these tools:
• Take a full breath — inhalation and exhalation
• Have a short quote or prayer prepared to say to yourself
• Remind yourself “not now”
• Have something healthy to distract you or replace your craving with
• Remind yourself that you are a privileged American, and you can certainly go a short amount of time without your treat.
• Be grateful for any moment of without indulging, and for all of the other wonderful moments in your life.
• Remember to love yourself. With or without your treat, you are a wonderful and lovable human being.
• SHARE on the Healing Bridge FACEBOOK what is working for you or any great strategies you come up with.


Spend the next few days thinking of something you can eliminate from or add to your life. It might be for a day, a week, a month or more. It’s a commitment to yourself, your life and your health. It can be a wonderful opportunity for growth if you want to use your insights to discover more about yourself. You can also make it as serious or silly as you want.

And if you’re inspired, share parts of your journey on our Healing Bridge Facebook page. Let’s have some fun together growing and sharing.

And, let’s all have an amazing 2016!
In peace and health,

AKS Signature

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