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Healthy ABCs
By Carolyn Allen


Happy autumn!  This week we celebrate Labor Day in the United States to recognize the contributions of the American workforce. The arrival of September also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. With the return to school and the delightful, cooler temperatures just around the corner, autumn is always a fresh start for almost everything.  In many ways it’s almost better than New Year’s!

How exciting the beginning of a new school year is, even if you’re not in school.  This fall we have a grandson starting kindergarten, and two sons starting as college freshman (one is a recently returned missionary).  I myself felt like a freshman in college this morning as I exercised to a BYU Devotional Speech by 2006 BYU President Cecil Samuelson. 

His talk, “Wisdom and Understanding” (BYU Devotional, January 10, 2006), adapts itself to every stage of life and learning.  He states:  “While it is relatively easy for most of us to learn facts or a given body of information, it seems much more difficult to know how to use wisely that which has been learned.”

Were truer words ever spoken with regard to health choices?  How easy is to know what foods and amounts are healthy, yet, how difficult it is to apply that knowledge – for even the strongest of us!  He continues:  “Knowledge is essential and it is basic, but by itself it is not very useful.”  In other words, a bell’s not a bell til you ring it, and a song’s not a song til you sing it, and healthy choices (and the blessings they consequently bring) are just facts until we apply them. 

Although I could provide more facts and education, I strongly feel that Dr. Gardner’s extremely educational article last week on “Unhealthy Habits” is the most important education on your health that you may acquire this right now.  So instead of more knowledge, go back and review that, and here’s some back to school health ABCs and 1-2-3s that may be just the nudge for your own September fresh start to apply that knowledge. 

I have a firm belief that our Heavenly Father loves fresh starts.  In my mind that’s why there’s a new sunrise every 24 hours and an opportunity to take the sacrament, repent and renew our lives and covenants every seven days.  With a prayer in your heart, I hope you’ll read through these and choose a few to make your companions this next couple of weeks. Each of them is a worthy principle unto itself, but you’ll know which two or three are right for you to adopt and nurture in your heart and actions.

apples istock 
Autumn apples remind us of freshness, and that includes the fresh starts that come with the fall season. Kwan

(You can print out a mini-poster to put in your journal or on your fridge: Click HERE or

Healthy ABCs for Strength and Energy

1) Time + 2) A Smart Eating and Exercise Plan = 3) Success!
A = Positive ATTITUDE, Eat APPLES instead of candy, ACT don’t react, Be ACCOUNTABLE
B = BELIEVE in yourself. Our Heavenly Father does!  What could be a BETTER standard of your       your abilities?
C = CONSISTENCY – not perfection
E = EXERCISE for ENERGY; EAT hard-boiled EGGS for quick protein
F = Read “FIT FOR LIFE” By Harvey and Marilyn Diamond recommends FRUIT for Breakfast
G = GREENS – Lots of dark, leafy ones, set small GOALS, and just GO FOR IT!
H = HONESTY is the best policy because your HEALTH and HAPPY future depend on it!
I = Say “I CAN DO IT,” and “I AM WORTH IT!” to yourself;
     “The difference between fat and | fit is I
J = JOURNAL, JOURNAL, JOURNAL to find JOY and success
K = KNOWLEDGE is power; KNOW the foods that derail you and KEEP them far away
L = Losing weight wisely is LOVING yourself wisely
M = Avoid MONOTONY with new fruits, veggies, recipes and activities
N = NEVER look back.  NO Guilt and just move on!  “Today is a NEW Day!”  “Now is a NEW time!”
O = OBTAINING health is an OPPORTUNITY, not a punishment
P = PRAY for PERSEVERANCE, PATIENCE and your PANTS will soon fit better!
Q = We’re of divine heritage: QUEENS and Kings, so QUALITY is better than QUANTITY
R = RESPONSIBILITY is a RIGHT.  REWARD yourself REGULARLY in non-food ways.
S = SHUT Down “SYE (so you eat) SYNDROME to manage boredom, frustration, sadness, etc.
T = TAKE TIME TO TRY new things. THINK and feel with your heart and hand,
       not mouth and food
U =  UNLOAD frustration on exercise, a journal, a friend or a walk.  All work better than food.
V =  VARIETY and moderation in all things makes healthy living a joy!
W = WATER (eight glasses a day) and WALKS are WONDERFUL for spirit and body
X = EXAMINE your motives!  There are many and they all count!
Y = YOU know what to do, so, as President Kimball says, “Just do it!”
Z = Every ZIPPER is going to slide like silk, so ZIPPITY-DO-DAH!

Once again, here is the link to print out the mini-poster.
Click HERE or

Welcome, Fall!  Welcome healthy choices for energy and peace!


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