You may have seen this message appear in your email or as a popup ad on a blog or website. I’ll even go you one better and offer some great advice for getting fit this summer! Today may be the first day of spring, but here in New York it’s a world of ice and snow!

(1) I’ll save you the trouble of downloading the “free report” which is in reality a big fat advert wrapped in a PDF file. It lists 23 foods which you apparently should make a “meal” out of one – you just select one from the list and that’s your “meal.”

(2) Here they are: Almonds, Apples, Avocado, Beef, Black Beans, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cashews, Cauliflower, Coconut Oil… Really? Coconut Oil? I don’t need to go on, I think you get the idea. That “23” could easily be “13” or become a “33” – there’s nothing I see that approaches “scientific” in compiling such a list.

(3) Summer Fitness! Here’s where the blubber hits the road!

Make a garden. If you can’t make one outside in the yard, there are all sorts of ways you do it on your deck or porch or balcony, or even indoors if you have to! A seed catalog I ran across even offers “container corn” – actual corn plants that allow you to grow ears in urns or large pots. There are also those hanging tomato kits. If you really lack time, energy and space, at the very least find a farmer’s market in walking distance (drive if you must) and stock up on fresh foods. By all means, if you have a sunny window, especially a sunny kitchen window, make a little herb planter and have chives, oregano, basil and parsley fresh and on hand for your cooking needs!

Foods I recommend include the “23” but I use Olive Oil* instead of Coconut. I like to eat boiled plantains (let the skins blacken for a “sweet” culinary experience!) Chocolate (esp. dark) is good for you, as is Red Wine (I like Port), Pomegranates and nuts of all kinds. If you have a “forbidden” meal or treat once a week, it won’t kill you. Supplements? I recommend, Niacin, Saw Palmetto, Red Rice Yeast pills* and Psyllium*, but check with your doctor before adding any of these to your daily diet. Ditto for the popular Omega-3’s.

It never hurts to do a day of juice or water fasting once or twice a week. If you choose juice, get one that is PURE with no added sugar or corn syrup. Some people I know have such busy days at work that all they drink is black coffee. Nutritionists say coffee is good for your heart and may help lower the risk of skin cancer. It gives you a blast of alertness and can be as effective as a water fast. (Just resist the temptation to add a donut or cookie!)

Make a little fitness program. You don’t have to pay for a gym membership. Go out and jog or run. If you happen to live on a hilly street, as I do, all the better! Uphill running gives you a more intense workout in shorter time!  Try yoga if you’re not into running. I read where as little as 30 minutes a day of working out can relax you and help you if are depressed or sad.

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* researchers say they reduce LDL cholesterol naturally

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