So, its mid-way into the month of January and some have already given up on their good intentions. Others are struggling while others are just now kicking into gear of a new year and thinking about their hopes and dreams for the year. Wherever you are on this spectrum, I think you'll enjoy some of these fresh, welcoming aspirations to make this year a year of enjoyment, and personal growth.
RELAXATION - If there's ever something we can benefit from it's learning how to relax more. Study after study shows that stress is often behind much of the chronic illnesses we have. It's now understood that hypertension can be reversed in many cases with deep breathing techniques. There is available now an Air-Ease Deep Breathing Exerciser to assist people in learning how to breathe deeply. Deep breathing for a 15-minute slot every day is one way to bring in total relaxation to your body and mind. I've been playing with this on and off for a year and just recently learned the benefit of Left Nostril Breathing (LNB). This clinical study is very enlightening about how it helps with hypertension and cardiac issues.  Not only has it helped in lowering my blood pressure, but it is an excellent hip opener as you sit in a cross-legged position for 15 minutes while doing it.
RELINQUISH - This is a big one. Learning how to simply retire from, abandon, surrender, to let go. What is it that you are holding tightly onto, that in essence has you a prisoner? Is it an unforgiving spirit, is it a grudge, a vendetta, "rights" you feel you have, maybe an expectation that has not been met? The one that lets go is the one that is truly free. I want 2016 to be a year I learn to let my fingers be very soft, to not "hold onto" things that do not serve me and are not necessary for me to embrace. For me personally, a goal I have is to see a calorie reduction. Food has always been very important to me. I simply love food! Have you ever heard of "super tasters"? Yes, there really is such a group of people on the earth! It seems they maybe have more taste buds than others and have a heightened sense of taste.  I recently did a test and found that that is me. I've come to know for some time now the great benefits for longevity and wisdom in calories reduction. The famous Okinawan diet that some of the world's oldest centenarians eat is fewer in calories than the rest of Japan, and much fewer in calories than the SAD diet - Standard American Diet.  Learning to embrace what we need, and let go of that which is superfluous.
RHYTHM - This correlates with relaxation. To be able to move with the cadence of life. The opposite is reticence. To sense the symphony of life and move with it, accepting and making a melody with the ebb and flow. This is a joy!
REFLECTION - I enjoy the art of reflection very much. Some of the definitions are, "concentration of the mind, careful consideration". To muse on something, to look into something for a long time and have it reflect back at you. But we need to get quiet to do this. This is not possible in the presence of noise.
REMEMBRANCE - Remembrance is a very good practice to have in 2016. We learn from history. History is very important for us. Our family history, our personal history, to remember moments, events, landmarks. To remember the blessings, the good things, and what we learned and how we were shaped by the not-so-good-things. In remembrance, we can foster a spirit of appreciation, of thankfulness, of gratitude.
ACTIVE NEW BEGINNINGS
RADICAL - 2016 is the year to get radical! The word denotes something that is sweeping in nature, extreme; revolutionary change. I have a husband/wife team that are my clients. They are in there 60's and 70's respectively. And they are doing just that. They are making sweeping, radical changes in their lives. Uprooting old eating/lifestyle habits and enlisting new ones. It's breathtaking to see! They're uncompromising, serious and committed. And they're loving and embracing this new way of eating and a new way of living with great gusto. For some being radical may mean going gluten-free. For others, breaking the sugar addiction. Maybe for some, it's learning how to get off processed foods and incorporating more living foods into their diet. It's time ditch some of our old habits and do something radical - your health will thank you for it!
RECONNAISSANCE - It's time to survey the land of our physiology - through blood tests and lab work determining the disposition of our inner "military forces". Are we conditioned and healthy enough to do battle against pathogens, microbes, bacteria and renegade cells? The seat of our immune system is in our gut. It behooves us to do all we can to repopulate our gut flora with healthy bacteria, which in turn fuels a healthy immune system ready to do battle. Eat fermented foods, drink fermented drinks, take oral probiotics and re-condition your inner military forces to be elite!
Some of the tests you may want to ask your doctor for are:
VITAMIN D3 LEVELS - this is very important. Vitamin D3 is in every cellular transaction in your body and in over 300 metabolic pathways. If you are low, your health is compromised.
FASTING INSULIN - this reflects how healthy your blood glucose levels are. One of the primary causes of elevated glucose is consumption of too many grains and sugars.
CHOLESTEROL/HDL RATIO - this and your triglyceride/HDL ratio are the two ratios that are far better indicators of heart disease than total cholesterol alone.
PERCENT BODY FAT - Body composition; your relative amounts of lean body mass to body fat is a powerful way to measure your overall health.
SERUM FERRITIN - I cannot stress enough how proper levels of iron in your body is essential to your health. Too much, and you're oxidizing your body, too little, and you're suffocating your cells. Iron serves many functions in your body, but by far the most important is carrying oxygen throughout your body by binding to hemoglobin molecules in your bloodstream. Iron deficiency is more prevalent in women because of their loss of blood during their menses, and generally, women do not eat enough foods that are good sources of heme iron (the more readily bioavailable form) - red meat in particular.
URIC ACID LEVEL - Elevated levels of uric acid can cause gout, but it's also a marker for fructose toxicity. This is as a result of eating too much sugar - in particular, concentrated fructose. The safest range for UA is between 3 and 5.5 mg per dl. There is a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. Two-thirds of the US population is overweight, and most of these people have uric acid levels in excess of 5.5.
RE-GENED - You won't find this word in the dictionary, not yet. This is a subject that excites me, fascinates me and is gaining notoriety with unprecedented speed. Nutritional genomics is the science studying the relationship between the human genome, nutrition and health.This refers to the prospective analysis of the differences among nutrients in the regulation of gene expression . In simple terms it's the study of how nutrition influences metabolic pathways and homeostatic control. The early stages of a diet-related disease are when this balance is disturbed. However when there is the intervention of highly effective nutrient compounds found primarily in vegetables and healthy lipids, such as vitamin E there can be a literal "genetic nutritioneering" or re-gening that takes place. Foods can alter gene expression folks! This is revolutionary and something to keep a keen eye on in the coming years. It holds the promise of great advances in disease prevention and reversal.
REDISTRIBUTION - This is an interesting concept when it comes to quality of life and our health. It holds the notion of distributing something, but in a different way than before. To reallocate. To set apart for a particular purpose. This could be our time, our money, or energy. When it comes to getting healthy, staying fit, it's all about time, money and energy management. What do we prioritize? What are our resources distributed to, and does there need to be a redistribution?
REDEMPTION - What a powerful word this is! To redeem something; a recovery of something pawned or mortgaged, a buying back. For some, 2016 will be a year to redeem your health. It's been compromised, taken from you, and this is the year to get it back. And I'm here to say it's possible. It's very, very possible. It's within your reach. You are never too old, never too sick. It starts with your mind, with your will. With a determination and a desire to reclaim your health. That's half the battle. It's a documented fact that many, many who have fought cancer and won are those that wanted it with all their might. They wanted it, they imagined it, they got it. Most of the healing took place in the psyche long before it took place in the cells. 
Some of my goals for 2016 are:
- Make more of my own cultured foods and drinks such as kefir, fermented vegetables and kombucha.
- Grow more of my own food this year than I did last year.
- Be very sensitive to my own energies and do all I can to accomplish my One Thing.
- Practice Left Nostril Breathing 15 minutes a day as a daily habit.
- Be more consistent with the Peak 8 Fitness program that consists of 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training as taught by Phil Campbell. This is Dr. Mercola and Dr. Kendra Pearsall demonstrating how its done.
What is your vision for 2016? What are you reaching for? Please share with us. And let us know how you plan to attain to them.