2019: Your year to refresh, refocus, and reset

 A month-by-month guide to resolutions you can keep

In the health and wellness field, January is referred to as the “new year, new you” month.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Is it original? No. But by the time that ball drops, the drive to start over is practically universal. So if the term’s overused, that’s only because it’s true.

Well… in theory, at least.

The beginning of January is when New Year’s resolutions are at their peak. Gyms are full and people everywhere are gung-ho about making changes in their lives. Real changes that will stick…

But sadly, we all know most New Year’s resolutions will fail—miserably. In fact, in the UK, researchers call January 12th “Quitting Day.” Why? Because that’s the day when, statistically, all those big plans begin to falter. And by the beginning of February, 80 percent of all New Year’s resolutions are history.

That’s unfortunate—but it’s not surprising. Because despite being the key to lasting success, consistency in health is the one area where most people fall short. It’s also the one area that I hope to change for you today.    

But before we go any further, I want to clear one thing up…

Consistency isn’t perfection

Of course, you can’t just decide to be healthy one day and not the next, and still expect to get anywhere.

But you also don’t have to be flawlessly healthy every single day to be consistent. You just have to net more wins than losses in your year, your month, or your week. As long as the overall trajectory is positive, a slip up here or there isn’t going to completely derail your success.

In fact, it’s precisely this black and white thinking that will get you in trouble. Typically, people take on much more than they ought to at the beginning of January—making too many resolutions at once and then giving up when, inevitably, they fail to achieve them all.

So I propose a change to the New Year’s Resolution game—one that sets you up for success by taking things one step at a time. So for 2019, I challenge you to commit to one key resolution each month. To make it easier, put this article on your refrigerator or somewhere you can easily see it.

Stick with my plan to refresh, refocus, and reset—and by the end of next December, the “new” you will finally be the permanent you…

January: Clean your slate

Let’s call January “Detox month.” Think of it like an internal reset to help you shed any bad habits (not to mention extra pounds) you may have picked up during the holiday “eating season.” It also sets the stage for all the changes you’ll make over the rest of the year.

The good news is, my detox plan (which I created for my A-List Diet) isn’t complicated. It’s not a “juice cleanse” and it includes food. Even better, it only takes a week to notice a significant difference in how you feel. In fact, so many of my patients have told me detoxing ended up being much easier than they initially thought!

I recommend this cleanse twice per year to help you eliminate accumulated toxins on a regular basis. I usually detox in the beginning of January (post-holiday season) and at the end of June (to prepare for summer vacation).

Refer to the sidebar on page 8 for a complete how-to guide.

February: Kick the habit

This month, I want you to turn your detox up a notch and try eliminating sugar from your diet completely. Yes, I know this is Valentine’s Day—and that chocolates and dinners out are commonplace. But I really can’t think of a better way to show someone you love them than to support their journey to better health. (And surely there are healthier displays of affection than sugar!)

That said, if you do indulge for that one (yes, one) day, it’s crucial that you get right back on the wagon. Like I said earlier, the occasional misstep won’t do too much damage—IF you’re consistent the rest of the time.

And when it comes to being consistent with sugar elimination, don’t forget that sugar is sneaky. All white foods—white breads, pastas, rice, etc.—are hidden sources of sugar. So they all have to go.

I won’t lie: This resolution will be hard for the first three days. But after that, your body will no longer be physiologically addicted to sugar. And that’s a big deal. Because the biochemical siren song of sugar is one of the main reasons why it’s so hard to shed it from our diet. (In fact, research has shown that it can be as addictive as cocaine or heroin!)

Unfortunately, you won’t find any rehab centers for sugar addiction. But there’s always Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and I have a lot of patients who have received tremendous support from their meetings.

March: Fatten up

March signals the arrival of spring—and of course, St. Patrick’s Day. But this year, I want you to forget that pot of cabbage and potatoes—and instead eat more fat. Yes—I said more fat!

Now, I know that may sound crazy to people accustomed to the outdated low-fat mantra that still dominates mainstream dietary advice.

But the science-backed fact is that full-fat foods are healthier for you than their chemically manipulated counterparts. Your body—especially your brain and your metabolism—needs fat in order function optimally. Not only that, but eating healthy fats also helps you feel more full and satiated.

Of course, omega-3 fatty acids from fresh, wild-caught fish are great sources. But they’re not the end-all, be-all of healthy fats…

Oils are your friends, too. Use them liberally. My favorites are MUFA-rich macadamia nut oil, extra virgin estate-bottled olive oil, and avocado oil. MCT-rich coconut oil gets the green light, too.

And yes, that’s despite its saturated fat content. Because the truth is, saturated fat isn’t the villain it’s been made out to be. And that includes animal fats, too.

Just make sure that any animal product you buy has been raised the way it’s supposed to. (Namely, beef that’s grass-fed and -finished, and pork and chicken that’s pasture-raised.) This will optimize the nutritional profile of your meat and dairy, ensuring that only the highest quality fats make it to your dinner plate.

April: Get moving

By April, the snow and ice have subsided for the most part, and being outdoors is bearable once again. So this is the month to end your hibernation period.

That’s why your April resolution is to get out and walk. Put that Fitbit or Apple watch you got for Christmas to good use! Enjoy the increase in daylight by going for a stroll with your dog, your family, or your friends after dinner.

Make it a priority every single day. After all, swimsuit season is just eight weeks away. That’s motivation enough for most people. But don’t forget about all the major health benefits you’ll also be getting.

In fact, research shows that just one 30-minute walk a day can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, extend your life, and even slam the brakes on cognitive decline.

The bottom line? Gym memberships are great—but they’re hardly necessary. All you really need is a comfortable pair of sneakers.

May: Boost your protein

As warmer weather starts to set in, your get-togethers begin to move outdoors, too. And that means more opportunities for BBQ—and lots of it! So the resolution for this month is to amp up the amount of protein you eat. Because there’s a good chance you need more than you’re currently getting.

First, let’s talk numbers: Based on the current RDA, a 150-pound person should consume just 54 grams of protein per day. But nearly all of the recent research on protein indicates this amount is far too low…

Taking this latest research into account, I recommend eating your body weight (in grams) of protein on the days you’re not exercising. And eating 1.5 times your body weight on the days that you do hit the gym.

That might sound like a lot if you’re not used to a high-protein lifestyle. But meeting this quota isn’t all that difficult… and certainly not boring. Especially in the summertime, when the pursuit for more protein can be downright delicious!

My mouth waters thinking about the smoky aroma of a steak, chicken, pork tenderloin, or just about anything on the grill. And if you know what you’re doing, you won’t even miss those sugar-laden marinades or BBQ sauces.

Just do what I do and use dry rubs for meats—you’ll find my favorite recipes in any of my books. (Simply visit the “Books” section on my website,
www.DrPescatore.com for more.) And even small changes like adding different wood chips or using planks on your grill can inject your meat and fish with extra flavor, too.

June: Zero in on amino acids

With grilling season in full swing, this is a good time to experience the powers of amino acids. Take time to really hone in on your protein choices so that you’re getting the right combination of amino acids to support your individual metabolism.

As I’ve said here before, it’s simply not enough to eat more protein and fewer carbs. The science of the past decade has confirmed that a specified combination of amino acids—either through the right foods or through nutritional supplements—can turbo charge your metabolism.

Get that balance right, and you’ll shed those stubborn pounds and say goodbye to weight loss plateaus—forever.

The major key here is getting the exact balance needed for your particular dieter type. (And I have found that there are six specific categories.)

You can learn all about your personal dieter type in Chapter 2 of my latest book, The A-List Diet. This is the simplest, yet most important resolution on your list. How you eat, supplement, and exercise all depend on your dieter type.

Speaking of which, it’s also time to do your one-week detox again. So make sure to block that time out on your calendar this month, too. Feel free to use the same exact detox protocol from January, continued on page 8.

July: Eat your veggies

This resolution is a no-brainer: Eat more vegetables.

There’s nothing more delicious this time of the year than local and seasonal produce! And there’s no better lunch on a hot summer day than a freshly prepared salad. (Then you can break out the grill for a heartier dish once dinner rolls around…)

I don’t want you to stop there, though. Because this resolution should also include eating less fruit.

Yes, I know how many people love their summer fruit. And I’m not saying that you need to avoid it entirely. In fact, the berries that you’ll see popping up on produce stands this month are exactly the kind of low-sugar, high-antioxidant fruits you should reach for.

But reserve them as treats. And double your servings of low-starch veggies. Think leafy greens, peppers, and summer squash instead.

August: Ditch the plastics

This is the time of year when many people go on vacation. And that means packing a lot of portable meals that you can eat on the go, in the car, or at the beach.

This is all well and good, of course—except that it also means a lot of your food and beverages are stored in plastic, whether that packaging came from the supermarket or your own kitchen.

Here’s why that’s a problem: The chemicals in plastics are known toxins, obesogens, sperm killers, and cancer agents. And guess what? Heat facilitates the leaching of these toxins into your food and water.

So you can see the problem with stashing these containers in hot cars or on sunny beaches…

The solution is simple: Don’t store your food in plastic containers or plastic wrap. And don’t ever drink anything from a plastic bottle—especially if it’s gotten warm.

Make it your resolution to replace your plastic containers with stainless steel, paper, or glass containers instead. And enjoy your beach picnic without a side of toxic chemicals.

September: Sleep in

After vacation, it’s time for the pace of life to pick up again. So I want you to make the resolution to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each and every night.

That may seem like a rather rigid prescription. But when you look at all the research, this is the sweet spot for health benefits—any less (or more) and you’re playing with fire.

Recent research shows that people who sleep less than an average of seven hours a night have a substantially increased likelihood of metabolic syndrome. In fact, if you’re sleeping less than five hours a night, your risk could be as high as 51 percent. And believe it or not, folks sleeping more than eight hours don’t fare any better.

When you sleep matters, too. Sleeping at times that aren’t in normal alignment with your circadian rhythm (your 24-hour internal body clock) can really do a number on your blood sugar—especially glucose tolerance.

Of course, insomnia and interrupted slumber can make getting a good night’s sleep feel like and impossible task.

So, for drug-free solutions to enjoy consistent, quality sleep, I encourage you to check out my Perfect Sleep Protocol. To learn more about this online learning tool, or to enroll today, call 1-866-747-9421 and mention order code EOV3V101. Or, simply click here.

October: Double up on vitamin D

This is the time of the year when, for most of us, the sun isn’t high enough in the sky for us to absorb enough vitamin D from it. This nutrient isn’t present in significant amounts in food. So October’s resolution is to make vitamin D3 supplementation a consistent part of your daily regimen.

As for me, I take D3 all year long. Because unless you have 20 minutes per day to sit in the full sun, nearly naked, without any sunscreen, there’s no way you’re getting what you need anyway. (I’m no prude, but who has that kind of time?)

That’s why I suggest a bare minimum of 2,000 to 5,000 IU of D3 daily. But you can bump that up as high as 10,000 IU to build and maintain your levels (which should be around 80 ng/ml). To see where your levels stand, ask your doctor for a simple 25(OH)D blood test.

November: Adjust your pH

As we inch toward winter and enter another busy, food-filled holiday season, your best resolution is going to be keeping inflammation at bay. Of course, managing stress and getting plenty of sleep are key strategies in the fight, but you can also eat your way past this particular problem.

And by that, I don’t just mean eliminating sugar (which, hopefully, you’ve already banished from your diet anyway)…

Alkalizing your body will help to quench runaway inflammation, too. And the easiest way to do this is by replacing the acid-promoting foods you currently eat with more alkaline alternatives. Just like most of the other recommendations I’ve made thus far, it’s all about balance.

You’ll find a complete “alkaline cheat sheet” on page 103 of The A-List Diet book. But for now, I want to add that supplements can help bring your body back into balance, too. Most notably, green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and wheat grass. You can often find these ingredients together in a powder drink mix. (My favorite brand is Barlean’s Greens.)

December: Drink responsibly

By December, the holidays are in full swing—and so are the season’s cocktail parties. So I’d like to focus this month’s resolution on drinking.

No, I’m not suggesting you abstain completely. But being mindful of your alcohol intake is always a good idea—not just to protect your health, but to protect your judgment, too. (It’s a lot harder to turn down diet-busting hors d’oeuvres when you’ve had “one too many.”)

In general, men should limit themselves to 210 milliliters of alcohol per week (no more than 40 mL at once). And women should stick to 140 mL per week (no more than 30 mL at once). Aim to get at least two alcohol-free days per week.

Of course, in this case, responsible drinking also means sticking with clear liquors and steering clear of sugary mixers. (Think vodka and club soda instead of Jack and Coke.)

And there you have it. Twelve months’ of small resolutions that will lead you to big changes this year. I know you can do this—and I want to hear all about it! So keep me up to date with your success stories throughout the year by either dropping me a line on the Logical Health Alternatives’ Facebook Page or sending me an email at feedback@drpescatore.com.

If you commit to following this simple plan, rest assured that 2019 will be your happiest, healthiest year yet.

My A-List Diet Detox

All you need are seven days for a complete cravings elimination, energy boost, and slimmer tummy!

DAYS 1-2: Drink only water and plain herbal teas, consistently throughout the day.

DAY 3: Drink water, herbal teas, and nutritious bone broth. (Note: For my personal recipe, see 186 of my book, The A-List Diet.)

DAY 4: Water, herbal teas, broths, and organic, free-range eggs.

DAY 5: Water, herbal teas, broths, eggs, and organic avocados.

DAY 6: Water, herbal teas, broths, eggs, avocados, and nuts. (Note: Skip the peanuts and load up on more nutritious options like pistachios, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts. You can have raw or lightly salted—whichever you prefer.)

DAY 7: Water, herbal teas, broths, eggs, avocado, nuts, and light, flaky, wild-caught fish (like cod or halibut).

I also recommend that you supplement with a comprehensive detox support formula, like DetoxLogic, during this time.

I designed this formula myself to address all the critical phases of toxin elimination, from liver support to antioxidant defense. For more information, simply call NuLogic Nutritionals at 1-877-899-9219.

This is an all-in-one product that will do the job with minimal fuss. So keeping your resolution really couldn’t get simpler.