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  • Writer's pictureHeather Buda

YOU are a Change Agent

Change (verb): "to give a different position, course, or direction to." In no part of the various Merriam-Webster definitions of the word "change" does it use the word cannot, impossible, unlikely, etc... So why do we apply those associations when we think of our own lives? It's time to cut the bull.

Let’s talk about change. Specifically, habit change. You’ve seen him before. Dressed in all black, with a mysterious mask and cape, here one minute, gone the next. So often in our lives, we experience astronomical changes but when asked what the catalyst was, we can’t pinpoint the action that enacted the change.

Every day, social media presents us with smiling, successful people who seem to have it all. While we understand these posts are just a snippet of their day (some which may not even be true), we may still wonder - what do they have that I don't? How did they get to where they are? What am I missing?

With people making positive changes all around us - changes we are inspired by - how do we find the path that works for us, as individuals?

What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try Again. Change the world - Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek’s approach to this topic has resonated with me ever since I first listened to his famous TED Talk (click here to listen); the 3rd most popular TED Talk of all time (!!). What has stuck with me the most is his belief that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

You need to ask yourself - what is my motivation, my driver? At the beginning of every class I teach, I ask participants to set an intention. Why are you here? What brought you to this space? This is your opportunity to make the most of this time you've carved out for yourself. The outside world can wait, it will wait. This is your time, now go out there and take it (thanks for those inspiring words Herb Brooks - sends chills through my body each and every time).

First Ask, then Act

We give change such a mystique that it presents itself as unattainable or unlikely. I say - BS. Take a step back. Ask, What is my why? and be completely and utterly honest with yourself. Hell - write it down and pin it to your fridge!

Do you want to reduce your blood pressure? Run around with your kids and not feel winded after 5 minutes? Hit a PR in your next race? No matter the driver , the driver is yours, and yours alone. Nobody can take that from you.

While there are several areas we may want to enact change, nutrition tends to be a popular focus - and given my background as a Nutrition Coach, this is the one I am going to focus on below.

By following a few nutritional adjustments, I believe anybody can make positive and sustainable changes in their life. Take it one step at a time, find an honest and caring support group, and I promise you will be smiling brighter , walking lighter , in no time.

Step 1: Reduce the amount of processed foods

- When was your oven/stove last turned on?

- How many breakfast pastries (or bagels) did you eat last week?

- What have you recently made from a box?

- What have you unwrapped on the go?

Step 2: Introduce new produce/cooking strategies

- Try new fruits and veggies. Swap out white potatoes for sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds for strawberries.

- Fill your plate with colorful vegetables (aka Eat the Rainbow - no, not with skittles)

- Vary your cooking methods: Bake, Roast, Sauté, Broil, Grill...

Step 3: Make healthy swaps

- Plain Greek yogurt for mayo/sour cream

- Applesauce for butter or vegetable oil (in sweets)

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Avocado Oil for butter or any vegetable oils

- Frozen fruit for dessert (frozen grapes are natures gelato)

- White alcohol for brown (vodka instead of dark rum)

- Homemade protein bars/balls in place of packaged breakfast/protein bars

Step 4: Slow Down

- Remove distractions. Step away from the computer/phone/tv when eating

- Chew slowly -– tasting every bite

- Put utensils down during your meal

- Stop when you feel about 80% full (this one takes time so don’t be discouraged as you start this)

Above everything else, remember that you have the power to enact change.

In good health,

Heather xoxo

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