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Getting Healthy with PFMT

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From late November through January holidays abound. That means the opportunity for lots of rich food, drink, parties – and less time than ever to exercise.  Overindulging in foods that are high in fat, sodium or sugar and drinking too much are paths to becoming overweight, out of shape and feeling badly about ourselves. We got to where we are one bite at a time and we can move to another place in the exact some way. You already know what to do – eat healthier and move more!  Let’s talk about how to do that easily and effectively with the PFMT Plan.


A few minutes of planning each week will make your efforts effective. Plan your menu for the week, plan your grocery list (and stick to it) and plan when and how you will exercise. Planning your food, planning your exercise, planning your thinking – all combine to make you successful.


Eat whole foods and lots of veggies and fruits. Have containers of raw veggies ready for those times when you get the munchies. Keep them at home, work, your car or wherever you are tempted to snack.  Make simple and fast dishes and consider cooking on your days off and freezing healthy soups, stews and casseroles for days when time is limited.  Freeze meals in individual servings. Think beans, greens, and veggies of all colors, fruits and whole grains.

When cooking, sauté in water or in a no sodium veggie broth rather than oil. Eat on a dessert/salad plate rather than on a large plate. Does it really make a difference? Yes!  Drink water and lots of it! Instead of choosing the high calorie and high fat coffee drink every morning and/or afternoon, drink water and add fresh lemon or lime juice if desired.

You say you don’t cook? How about a low fat vegan smoothie for breakfast, a big salad for lunch or dinner that includes lots of greens (you can buy them already washed and torn), beans (from a can, rinse them first), lots of colorful veggies (you can buy them already cut up) and a fat free vegan salad dressing? Make a wrap or sandwich with low-fat hummus and lots of veggies.

Keep a food diary. If you have time to eat it, you have time to write it down! The simple act of recording what goes into your mouth will cause you to become more aware and gives you that split second to ask “Do I really want this? Is this a good choice for me?”

Begin to notice when you feel hungry and are most likely to binge eat or grab an unhealthy snack. Is it when the stress builds at work? Is it when a certain family member calls or writes?  Become aware of these triggers and give yourself the gift of taking a deep, slow breath or two and drinking a glass of water.  Then get up and move even if it’s just a walk down the hall to the bathroom. Being aware will often make the hunger go away as you realize you’re not really hungry for food, but perhaps peace of mind, calmness, serenity.


Make time to move!  Walk at lunch. Too cold this time of year? Find a mall or building where you can walk the lobby or stairs.  Park at the far end of the parking lot.  Instead of meeting a friend for coffee or a meal, meet for movement. Sign up for classes, ask friends, family members or neighbors if they’d like to join you in walking, biking or whatever you like to do that keeps you moving. Check out  for groups that do activities you enjoy.

Standing and waiting for the bus, train or in another type of line? Do leg lifts and stretches.  Sitting at work or watching TV? Move legs, arms or get on the floor if possible and exercise. Actively look for places in your life where you can add movement.


Be an impassioned observer in your life.  Make a list of what you do well in maintaining your health. Add everything! Ask friends to help you with items for your list.  We often don’t see what we are doing well but our friends do.  Enjoy this list and congratulate yourself!

Make a second list of things that sabotage you in your effort to be healthy and in shape. No “beating yourself up” allowed here. This simply observing what works and what doesn’t. For some, it helps to have this list as a reminder. For others, it’s more effective to make a decision to let go of these things, and then either tear up the list, burn it, bury it – anything that symbolically says to you “This is out of my life!”

Make a third list of who you choose to be! Unveil the healthy in shape and appropriate weight that is hiding inside of you. This list will likely include items from your first list and more. Again, ask friends to help if you feel stuck when you make this list.

Are any of these ideas new and revolutionary? Of course not!  But they are time proven methods that work for dropping excess pounds and becoming healthier and stronger, inside and out.

Some cookbooks and websites for support:

Chef Del’s Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds by Del Sroufe;

The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn;

21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart: Boost Metabolism, Lower Cholesterol, and Dramatically Improve Your Health by Neal Barnard, MD;

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! by John McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall;

How Not To Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, M.d with Gene Stone;

The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

The Great Vegan Bean Book by Kathy Hester (Includes gluten free and no added oils options for most recipes, and recipes for all meals of the day);

Forks Over Knives  Cookbook by Del Sroufe and the Forks Over Knives DVD;   (loads of fat free vegan recipes)   (social groups for activities and anything else you can imagine)   (ideas for substitutes for flesh, dairy and eggs)

To a new and inspired YOU.

Justina Walls 12/27/16

Justina Walls received her law degree in 1985 from the University of Denver.  Vegetarian since 1981, Justina adopted a vegan diet in 1990 as a result of a lecture she attended at a conference held at Regis University in Denver.  The speaker at the lecture was Dr. Michael Klapper, M.D.  Justina currently lives in Lakewood, Colorado with her vegan husband.  Both she and her husband love vegan cookbooks and are addicted to delicious vegan cooking.  Justina devotes her time to numerous charitable causes including educating people on the many benefits of plant-based diets.


Author: Justina Walls