Revealed: Secrets to New Year New You

Steps to a whole new you . . .

lifestyle medicine steps new year new you

  • Discover 8 lifestyle medicine steps to a new year, new you!
  • Learn to choose the food that’s right for you—and the planet!
  • What’s the plan? Delicious and healthy FREE recipes!
  • How to replace those irresistible naughties with scrumptious and satisfying alternatives!

Lifestyle Medicine: 8 Steps to a Whole New You

We all dream of maximising our potential by living a long, healthy and satisfying life. Lets being with good health habits.

Tami Bivens, R. D., would love to show you how to make this dream a reality! Her book From Plant to Plate reveals an 8-step lifestyle medicine program that you can start right now!

living as long, healthy and satisfying a life

Step 1 Food That Makes You Feel Good

In our fast-paced society, it can be difficult to find the time to cook nutritious food. In many families, both partners work and time-consuming meal prep is practically a thing of the past. How do busy people find the time to practice lifestyle medicine? It can be overwhelming to think about changing your diet – but learning to prepare food that is both delicious and healthy IS possible!

Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  • Remember to keep it simple. Veggie sticks with guacamole, or a piece of fresh fruit, can not only cut down on preparation time but can also provide more nutrients than cooked food.
  • When you do have time to cook, prepare large portions. For example, you can double the recipe and store the leftovers in the freezer as an easy meal on a busy day.
  • Use versatile food. You can cook up a large pot of brown rice or quinoa early in the week and store it in the fridge, using this as a base for lots of different toppings and variations over the following days.
  • Be smart with your time. Have you ever thought about how much time you spend each day watching TV? What about the time you spend on social media? Could you make the decision to use 30-45 minutes of that time to prepare a healthy dinner instead?

Step 2 Made to Move

Did you know that doing as little as 75 minutes (in other words, just over one hour) of exercise each week can increase your longevity by nearly two years? [Reference]

There are many benefits to regular physical activity. Here are just a few of them:
• Regular physical activity will strengthen your heart and lungs.
• Your risk of some cancers and chronic diseases will be reduced through regular exercise.
• Being physically active on a regular basis will also improve your mood and energy levels [Reference].

Including exercise as part of your lifestyle medicine program will help you to not only live longer, but better!

Step 3 A Drink to Your Health

When scientists look for life on other planets, they always look for the presence of water. Why? Because they know that life can’t exist without it. Did you know your body is 60-70% water? The body uses water for digestion, carrying nutrients and waste removal. (Bivens, 2013, p. 13)

You may be surprised to find out that if you are not drinking enough water it can also lead to excess body fat, poor muscle tone, joint and muscle soreness, and even water retention (Huh?!).
(Flaks, cited in Bivens, 2013, p. 13)

Make water a top priority in your lifestyle medicine plan by beginning to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day – do it now!

Step 4 Sunshine

So now that you’ve been for a short walk and you’ve improved your nutrient absorption by drinking a nice big glass of water (you did, right?), the next step is to think about where you can fit sunshine into your day. We hear so much these days about the dangers of sun exposure, but short amounts of time in the sun—taking care to avoid sunburn—can be very good for you.

Check out these four benefits of moderate exposure to sunlight that you might not be aware of:

• Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D
• Sunlight kills germs
• Sunlight helps to synchronise your circadian rhythms
• Sunlight is great for boosting your mood! [Reference]

Don’t sit indoors for your morning or afternoon tea break. Why not take a dose of lifestyle medicine and sit outside for a few minutes instead? You could even multitask by enjoying a 10-minute walk, and get your sunlight and exercise at the same time!

healthy morning tea life style medicine

Step 5 Say YES to the BEST!

Ancient Greece is famous worldwide for its invention of the Olympic games. Athletes who competed in those games knew that unless they controlled every habit—in other words, unless they were self-controlled in every thing—they stood no chance of winning the coveted first prize.

They endured rigorous training to compete for not only a leafy crown (that was probably wilting by the time they actually wore it) but for the honour that they knew went with it.

Self-control is really really tough! As part of your lifestyle medicine plan it can be even tougher, but focusing on your end goal can help you through those difficult patches. Think about the sustainability of the way we live so we can live a longer and fuller life. Think of it as saying “no” to what sometimes seems good so you can say “YES” to the BEST!!

healthy drinking life style medicine

Here are some great suggestions . . . 

Substitute some lemon or mineral water for that alcoholic drink, and you will have clearer thoughts, protect those you love by driving more safely, and do your wallet and your kilojoule count a favour.

When you want to eat that tempting dessert, try to picture yourself with the slimmer waistline you’ve always dreamed of!

The warm covers might seem inviting in the early morning, but why not say “yes” to sunshine and fresh air by going outside for a short walk or jog to start your day?

Rather than spending every moment glued to the TV or using technology, why not make the most of that time by spending it making eye contact with real people you love?

Say “YES” to a life of health, love and laughter! Make this part of your lifestyle medicine plan.

Step 6 Air

Breath is life. You can live for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air before irreparable damage is done to your brain. In today’s world, the quality of air is increasingly contaminated by pollution from motor transport, industrial pollution, and the concentrated chemicals that are present in almost every manufactured product. At the same time, the natural habitats where oxygen-producing vegetation grow are being destroyed at catastrophic rates.

Here are a few ideas for contributing to clean fresh air for you, your loved ones, and the rest of the planet.

“Grow” your own fresh air by placing a plant in your kitchen or on your office desk.

Rather than spending time on technology, get out in the garden and grow something. Why not start a vegetable garden and add some homegrown nutrients to your meals?

Whenever you can, take the time to walk outdoors in the oxygen-rich air. You are guaranteed to feel the refreshing and invigorating effects of lifestyle medicine at its best!

out door exercise fresh air

Step 7 Rest

Have you noticed how getting a good nights sleep often means you start your day in a good mood? Here are four important reasons why it’s important to get enough sleep:
• Speed and accuracy in performance
• Language
• Visual Discrimination
• Motor Skills

So how much sleep do we need? Everyone is different, but as a guide:
• Newborns: 16-18 hours
• Young children: 10-12 hours
• Older children/teens: 9 hours
• Adults, including seniors: 7-8 hours

increase in chronic disease

It might have been some time since you’ve felt great in the morning, but waking up with a clear mind and zest to start the day is entirely doable. Why not contribute to sustainability, live more in harmony with the natural rhythms of day and night, and switch off the TV and the lights an hour earlier than usual? Try this lifestyle medicine for a week—then for the rest of your life!

Step 8 Trust

Research has shown that spiritual processes are actually important for health. In fact, prayer has some interesting benefits. Here are four reasons to pray: [Reference]
• Reduce anxiety
• Reduce depression
• Assist with frontal lobe functioning
• Help recovery from illness

New brain research has shown that spiritual processes can actually improve memory and may even slow down the again process. Meditation and prayer play significant roles in strengthening important circuits in our brains, which make us more socially aware and alert. At the same time, they can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and neurological stress – states that age us.

Ultimately, while we might eat the best food, drink the cleanest water, breathe the purest air and adopt the perfect exercise program, there are emotional, social and even spiritual aspects to health that need to complement these things for us to have a full and satisfying life. We need to have the assurance that things are not just made up of mechanical atoms and molecules, that life has purpose and that love, hope and joy can be realities. Last on this list, but certainly not least, trust is a vital part of lifestyle medicine, helping you to realise not only sustainable health, but inner peace.

Lifestyle Medicine: Make a NEW START Today!

Making the Plan Workable

It’s one thing to know your destination and be aware of a few landmarks along the way—but actually getting there is quite another. Without a map, directions, or a GPS, your path is likely to be inefficient (if you actually arrive at all!) You need a workable plan.

You have a general direction, but now let’s look at the details. Take Step 1 for instance. What kind of food should you be eating? If it’s not what you’re used to eating, how do you go about changing that? Planning a menu that’s not boring and tasteless, stocking your cupboard, needed utensils—where do you start?

Let’s look at the basics again:
What sort of food should I be eating?
Many studies show that a plant-based, whole foods diet has many advantages—not only for you, but for the entire planet. Here are a few reasons to consider a plant-based diet right now!


“Think locally, act globally.”
One of the most local ways you can contribute to sustainability is by moving towards a plant-based, whole food diet.

Some interesting facts you might not know:
• Meat and dairy products contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
• Meat and dairy products account for approximately half of food-generated GHGs.
• Meat and dairy products account for 18% of global GHG emissions.
• Grain-fed beef consume 35 calories of energy for every calorie that’s produced. (Reference)

You don’t have to be Einstein to realise that the math just doesn’t add up.

Meat diet

Grain-fed beef consume 35 calories of energy for every calorie that’s produced


“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” (Hippocrates)

Today we are hearing more and more about the importance of “lifestyle medicine” in combating some of the biggest killer diseases in western society. While the marvels of modern medicine continue to amaze us with ever more sophisticated equipment to diagnose and treat disease, we cannot escape the fact that many people now suffer from chronic disease. Medicine today is often focused on survival: living with diseases, rather than curing them. But more and more studies are showing that a plant-based, whole food diet—rich in fruit, vegetables and grains—can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, stroke and some forms of cancer (Whitney et al., 2014, pp. 110-111). Ancient wisdom that is true today; if you want to be as strong as an ox, don’t eat the ox – eat what the ox eats! Thats what will turn your new year into a new you.


Over the last few decades chronic disease conditions have risen dramatically while acute disease has decreased.


Animal rights

Warning: the content below may be disturbing to some readers

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” (Ghandi)

These words are especially relevant today in light of machine-like factory farms where animals are given unnatural feed and are injected with drugs to prevent disease and stimulate growth. This has an effect on the milk and/or meat they produce. Dairy cows are often impregnated yearly in order to produce a high milk yield, leading to the inhumane disposal of unwanted calves. In one abattoir in Northern Victoria, young calves were shocked with electric prods, hit and dragged up a metal ramp to be slaughtered. Those too weak to stand were thrown into the slaughter chute. (Animals Australia, 2015)

Join the many people who are making the switch to a plant-based, whole food diet—for animals, yourself, and the planet.

What do these nine people have in common?


• Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace
• Leonardo da Vinci, artist
• Percy Blysse Shelley, poet, author of Vindication of a Natural Diet
• John Harvey Kellogg, surgeon, inventor of cornflakes
• Mike Tyson, boxer
• Carl Lewis, track and field athlete; 9-time Olympic gold medallist
• Ellen DeGeneres, entertainer
• Ben Carson, neurosurgeon

• Bill Clinton, former president of the United States

You guessed it: they are vegetarians!


Becoming a Vegetarian

A plant-based, whole food diet doesn’t have to mean tasteless and boring. Check out a delicious, healthy recipe for a lemon “cheesecake” that contains no dairy, gluten, or eggs by going back to the top of this page to request the recipe. The crust is made from ground almonds, coconut flakes and fresh lemon juice—giving it that satisfying crunch. The “cheese” is made from blended lemon juice, cashews, coconut oil, and agave nectar (generally available from your local supermarket or health food store).

It’s the perfect dessert for those special occasions or just for a gloomy day when you’re in need of something bright.

What About Protein?

There are plenty of sources of protein for vegetarians. Here are a few examples:
• Lentils (1 cup cooked) 18g
• Chickpeas (1 cup cooked) 15g
• Chia seeds: (4 T) 12g
• Tofu (4 oz) 10g
• Quinoa (1 cup cooked) 8g
• Peanut butter (2 T) 8g
• Almonds (¼ cup) 7g

Try this healthy recipe, it’s a traditional Italian one lovingly known as pasta e lenticchie in Campania (or in English: Sicilian Tomato-Lentil Pasta). Each 1-cup serving contains 19g of protein.

Watch demonstration of Sicilian Tomato-Lentil Pasta

Sicilian Tomato-Lentil Pasta

Serves 4

What you need:
225 g whole wheat pasta uncooked (for a gluten-free option, try brown rice pasta)
5 cups water
¾ cup uncooked brown lentils
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup canned tomatoes, diced and some liquid reserved
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed capsicum flakes
2 tablespoons parsley, minced

What you do:
In a medium saucepan, bring 5 cups water to the boil, then add lentils. Cook the lentils, covered, over medium-high heat until they’re nearly but not entirely tender, about twenty minutes. Meanwhile, bring a separate pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente.

When the lentils are nearly cooked and have absorbed all the water, add the garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, salt and capsicum flakes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and continue to simmer briskly for another 10 minutes or until lentils are fully tender. Add the cooked pasta and parsley to the lentils and stir everything to combine.

Decorate with additional capsicum flakes and a sprig of parsley, serve and enjoy!

Where’s my Meat?

Finding meat replacements when switching to a plant-based diet can make the transition easier. One meat replacement is the veggie burger. Veggie burgers are extremely versatile. Besides enjoying them traditionally—smothered with tomato sauce on a whole grain bun—you can also serve them on a giant salad. Stuff them into a pita with lettuce and tomato, or wrap them into romaine or butter lettuce leaves for a lighter spin on a wrap. Turn them into a sandwich if you don’t have bread rolls in the pantry, or chop them into a leftover rice dish. You could even take the grain mixture, place it in a casserole dish and bake it into a tasty vegan loaf. Your imagination is the limit!

Watch demonstration of Veggie Oat Burger

Veggie Oat Burger

What you need:

3 cups water
¼ cup Bragg
1 teaspoon (or to taste) Massel beef stock (available from Coles, Woolworths or Harris Farm Markets)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ tablespoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (available from Coles, Woolworths)
¼ cup dry onion flakes ( or 1 finely diced onion)
3 cups quick oats
½ cup walnuts or pecans, ground

What you do:
Preheat oven to 190O C. Place all ingredients except oats and nuts in a high-speed blender. Cover and turn blender on for 2-3 seconds, just enough for the ingredients to run through the blades and get chopped finely but not pureed.
Place mixture in a saucepan and simmer everything together for 3 minutes, then remove from heat and stir in quick oats and nuts. Allow to cool.
Using an ice-cream scoop or your hands, shape the mixture into 6-8 balls, placing on a non-stick baking tray. Press down with the palm of your hand to make each patty 1.5 cm thick. Place tray in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning over after
15 minutes so that both sides are golden brown.

Bon appetit!

Variation 1: Try adding a tablespoon of molasses and a tablespoon of tomato puree for a richer flavour.
Variation 2: Make a chilli-oat burger by replacing Italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon cumin, and the beef seasoning with 1 tablespoon chilli powder.

Did you find this information helpful?

From Plant to Plate, by registered dietitian Tami Bivens, contains all this and more:
• More details on your NEWSTART lifestyle medicine program
• More reasons to move to a plant-based, whole foods diet
• More sources of protein for vegetarians
• More meat substitutes for your switch to a plant-based, whole foods diet
• Over 100 vegan recipes to start you on your plant-based, whole foods diet
• Supporting cooking demonstration videos so you know exactly how the food preparation is done
• A 21-day meal plant to start you on your plant-based, whole foods journey

YES, I’d like to order a copy of From Plant to Plate now! (Provide link to online store)

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Delicious Treats

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