Mount Kinabalu hiking tips, Borneo, Malaysia

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Hello All,
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Mount Kinabalu is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the East Malaysian state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu Park, a World Heritage Site.
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Highest point
Elevation 4,096 m (13,438 ft)
Prominence 4,096 m (13,438 ft) 
Kinabalu is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range and is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago as well as the highest mountain in Malaysia. Mount Kinabalu is also the 20th most prominent mountain in the world by topographic prominence.
Low’s Peak can be climbed quite easily by a person in good physical condition and there is no need for mountaineering equipment at any point on the main route. Other peaks along the massif, however, require rock climbing skills.

My husband loves hiking and he was looking forward top of the Mount Kinabalu at 4,095.2m. Before going for holidays I have spoken with my boss who hikes a lot, and he already tried the 2 days trip at Kota. He explained to me that this trip is not an easy one, and especially for someone like me & him who has problems with the knees not only going but especially going down is very challenging.
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Before volcano earthquake in Kota, there were organized 1 day trips to the top, but now all travel agents are making it in 2 days. I must say:
1. I am not big fun of hiking
2. I did it mainly in Poland and Norway, but I have never done before such difficult track as Mount Kinabalu, which we would name black one.
3. I am in a good physical condition, because I walk a lot, at least 2-3 times a week to/ from the office which is approx. 7 km
4. I do jogging on treadmill at least once a week, 1h
5. I swim once a week
6. In the past I trained professional horse riding -Eventing (jumping, cross, dressage)
However I have PCL knee injury The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is a ligament within the knee. Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect bones. The PCL -similar to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) – connects the thigh bone (femur) to your shin bone (tibia). Although it is larger and stronger than the ACL, the PCL can be torn. PCL often damage some of the other ligaments or cartilage in the knee, as well. In some cases, the ligament can also break loose a piece of underlying bone. Overall my orthopedic doctor had forbidden me to run, hike, ski, and perform any activity that may twist my knees like -tennis, badminton, squash. I still do some even not recommended by my orthopedic doctor which the best example is I decided to climb up to 4,096 m at Mount Kinabalu to accompany my family.
Today I can admit that I did not realize what challenge I am taking to climb up to 4,096 m. Before flying to Kota Kinabalu I tried to book the trip according to my boss suggestions, that there are usually limited number of places, especially when it comes to stay overnight in Laban Rata Resthouse at 3,272m. We arrived during Chinese New Year Eve and that was definitely not a very good period to book the trip as there was no available places to stay overnight. Finally our agent at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa after many attempts finally was able to find a place for 5 people but no guarantee we will stay in the same room and no heating. Since our friends had to leave (fly back to SH) on 13th we did not have choice and take what agency was offering.
The agents is providing the important notes for climbers on Mt. Kinabalu:
While climbing to Summit you need to make sure you carry the following:

Wear enough warm clothing
The temperature can be freezing at times so you need to bring extra change of clothing, warm clothing, wind breaker, long sleeves shirts, socks, gloves, headache tablets, sunblock, lip gloss, deep heat lotion /plasters/ insect repellent /mosquito oil/ binocular /waterproof bag for your camera and personal belongings, hat, mask, raincoat /toilet paper, good walking shoes with grips.

Here are what I think is necessary min., and I was lucky as the weather was nice, almost no rain and wind and low temperature only above 3,000m:
1. Good trekking shoes to me is must:
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As explained above there was almost no rain, so the rocks and track was mostly dry, I have tracking shoes water proof Gore-tex I bought in Norway, and they are above the ankle, I am not able to imagine trying to climb on the rocks without having good shoes, to me it is half of success. You can see what type of shoes I was wearing here:
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Here you can see what type of shoes we all had. This is actually photo takes of all our group just before we started.
I like the brand COLUMBIA but others are good too. Columbia makes very light and water resistant. Especially the weight of shoes is important at the end of this tour when every step requires from you to use the remaining energy, which you can believe me not left much.

2. Gloves:
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Actually if you plan to climb above 3Km, you definitely will need the gloves, and not only because of temperature, but I would say mainly because you will hold rope and to me the thicker gloves the better are. I used ski gloves. You can see what type of gloves I was using and why they actually not only protects against the cold but as well facilitate the tour:
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I do not have comparison but mionce are leather and thick so protect against cold as well scratch when pulling the rope.
My friends just had regular wool gloves and they were fine too. It may depend from every person, but I think on the top is really cold and better to use ski gloves.

3. Water and water bottle
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The best is to have a plastic bottle, at each stop you can replenish water with the mountain spring water, but not treated at every stop, where you take rest. The rest stops are on average 700 -1000 m.
My daughter had bottle that she could splash and drink, you can use even more fancy like on the picture above.
This probably obvious to everyone that you will not survive without water but it is worth to know that instead of carrying a lot of bottles which brings additional weight, is better to have a bottle when you replenish at every stop.
You just take 0.5 litter for start and to me should be enough to reach the closest stop.

4. Raincoat:
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It is necessary overall the best would be to have the type of rain & wind proof coat in one. I have such as well I bought in Norway but actually forgot to take, so I ended with 2 coats, one wind proof and the other raincoat, which I bought in Kota, since I forgot to take from home.
It cost me 170 RM, you can see here:
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Raincoat also slowdown the loss of body heat.
You will see on most of photos I am wearing T-shirt and sweating due to from climbing effort, but when you stop to take rest you feel cold and need to wear something warm, if on top of it rains (which is actually common in the mountain) you would need protection against the rain.

5. Torch light
Light
This is needed to light your way during the pre-dawn Climb to the top if you plan to go above 3,273m on the day two.
You can use regular torch light but I advise the head lamp like on the photo above, as you need often your both hands free to climb.
You start the tour from the rest house at 2:30am in the night and depends on speed you should reach the top before sunrise, to be able to make a photos and observe it. On top is completely dark so you are unable to see anything, even pictures are not clear without proper camera flash.
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The sunrise looks unbelievable and I had amazing view I hoped to be able to make a better photos:
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6. Energy Food
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Extra Chocolate, energy protein bars, glucose tablets, raisins, or other dried fruits, like mango, nuts.
I even took energy drink like red bull, but more important are energy protein bars, you do not eat whole but just take little bites when you feel weak, dizzy when basically you need to provide sugar quickly to your blood. I tested chocolate and I think the best snacks for such exhausting tour are:
– energy protein bar, like on photo
– dried fruits
– bananas & apples
It is better not to make your stomach full and force your body to loose energy to digest, this is why you take frequent bites but really small to replenish sugar, and dried fruits provides necessary vitamins and minerals.
My husband just survived the trip because of energy bars. Well I will wirte how much he suffered a bit later on. I was also eating chocolate and energy bars. I ate sandwich too, but I recommend with cheese due to amount of calcium there.
Do not eat at night big breakfast, I just had banana and the oatmeal plus tea.

7. Backpack
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I cannot imagine carrying all the stuff in plastic bag or even cross shoulder bag, the weight should be on your back as you climb. It helps to keep balance and you do not feel so much the weight while climbing. You do not need to take any blankets nor pillow as they rest house will have everything. We were afraid that if no heating will be cold in the night but the house kept warm well so no need to take any additional blankets, but you need warm clothes like additional jacket and good trousers I climbed with stretched jeans. But if rains I think water proof pants would be better. All this clothes you rather carry in your back pack as while climbing is very hot, you sweat like ion a gym.
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8. Painkillers
Panadol
My husband took Panadol, which is rather gentle for the stomach.
Panadol is used to treat mild to moderate pain (from headaches, menstrual periods, toothaches, backaches, osteoarthritis, or cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.
Why do you need Panadol, the biggest pain you will have muscle pain, the pain is so strong after 3 day of climbing that you may not be able to even stand, not even thinking about walk.

9. Pain relief cream
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The biggest pain you will feel on day two, each person is different, my muscles are more prepared for climb rather then walk down the hill.
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I did not feel pain after climb up only on the second day and especially on third one. We started to climb on 10th and finished 11th, today is 17/02 and I still feel little pain in my legs. To walk it out I decided to walk to the office today almost 7km.
After coming back to the hotel I bought the salt and took bath, I advice Jacuzzi or massage. Later apply pain relief cream like bengay or other I used eucalyptus and menthol creams. So you cool down and warm up later.
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I did not sleep much and rest only 1h after going back from the top to the Resthouse in Laban Rata, but my friend she took a bit longer nap and she had already sore muscles on the second day and had to still do down with such pain.
Before this trip I tried to run on treadmill at least 2days before, but to be honest did not help much.
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To be very honest I have never had before such sore muscles in my life. This trip it completely demolishes my muscles. I had impression I
But unlike professional athletes, we don’t have a slew of high-tech equipment like hot tubs, cryotherapy chambers, or electric stimulation at our disposal to help relieve our aches and pains. There are some simple, inexpensive solutions you can try in the comfort of your home the next time you get a little ambitious at the gym but before such trip to see if it works.

Rehydrate
A general rule of thumb is to replace the amount of fluid you loose after workout prior to next work out. My husband often drinks beer, I tried that on the first day in the rest house and maybe this is why I had not felt so much pain as my friend on day two. You can drink water with some micro elements. The beer has some acidity that should help as well. Isotonic’s drinks can help too.
Massage
Already mentioned in combination with sea salt or aroma therapy bath may give amazing results. After apply pain relief cream.
Compression
The super tight shirts, shorts, tights and other form-fitting gear push blood thru veins, thereby helping you slow fatigue. It may enhance recovery, however it must be significant graded compression to actually work. To tell you the truth after climbing whole day the only what you think about is to eat something and go sleep. So who has time for compression, but if you have time after whole 2 days climb you should definitely try it at home or hotel.
Sleep
Of course, rest is cure for everything. Your body produces growth hormone and the level increases during the sleep. You may notice that after sleep you actually not able to get up from bed, that is what I have experience, my legs were stiff. I felt like I have stick and cannot actually stand up, every move made a huge pain. You need to keep moving with every step is a bit better as soon you sit or lay down, after few minutes is almost impossible to stand up.
Snack
Try to eat proteins within 30 min post -work out. 20 grams of high quality protein, like whey, every couple of hours. It is more important to have these smaller feedings, called protein pulsing, rather than a single large dose.

DO NOT CLIMB
if you are suffering from or have a history of the following ailments:
1. Heart Disease
2. Hypertension
3. Chronic Asthma
4. Peptic Ulcer
5. Severe Anemia
6. Diabetes
7. Epileptic Fits
8. Arthritis
9. Palpitation
10. Hepatitis (Jaundice)
11. Muscular Cramps
12. Obesity (Over Weight)
13. Any other sickness that may be triggered by severe cold, exertion and high altitude.
This list I got from travel agent.
How you can know you suffer of high altitude? You cannot. Actually many people discover that while climbing and that also happened to my husband, who reached only 2,273 suffering a lot. I had impression seeing his face being white green like corpse and sweating a lot that could not focus and had to take rest every few steps.
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I must add he had fever and took antibiotic which now we are not sure eif medications and fever did not cause his bad state.
However he told me he thought he will die and will not be able to move anymore, he even fell sleep for 20 minutes, good that he was not alone but with the guide and our daughter was accompanying him.
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Well on the beginning I kept the same speed as both of them but later did not want to stop so frequently as it is good to keep steady same speed if you manage, everyone should walk with their own speed.
So let me start from the beginning of the trip.
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We all five togheter with 2 guides started and were walking with same speed up to the third stop.
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My friend Justi and her daughter had more power so they speed up and went faster. My & my family were pretty slow, so 2 guides separated, one followed one family and the other stayed with us.
After half way I probably acclimatized and speed up so was able to reach them. At very begging I thought I am not going to make it, as it was so hard, so many steps, and the trek was not easy at all. I am not frequent climber and must say only was walking on normal easy treks in Norway, this one was very hard, almost not flat paths, either stairs, rocks almost all the time to climb up.
If you do not have good condition and do not exercise or walk it may be hard to walk this trek. My husband told me it must be for tourist so cannot be hard, he was wrong. Especially above 3,000m it is more difficult.
However 10 years old girl -Justi’s daughter climbed to 4,010 m, which is a huge achievement for such young girl.
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I was under strong impression of her, she has never complained and reached the top over 4K m, which does not happen often to 10 yo.
Even for my daughter 3,273 m was huge achievement, especially that she hates stairs, like me. I can climb by using the rope or on the rocks but stairs are so hard for me, as they are boring and on top of it harsh to my knees.
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I reached the Resthouse at Laban Rata first at 3:30pm and we started to climb about 10am. Some peoaple train marathons and run to the Rest house. I admire them, you need to actually be ‘Iron Man’.
On the beginning it was very hard, but more I warmed up and acclimatized was better. I live in Shanghai and here we have terrible pollution, so walking in the mounting and being able to breathe with so fresh air was great. The view was amazing and walking in the jungle was also fantastic experience.
After short night in Laban rata you must wake up at 2:30am to climb to the top and see sun rise.
The route to the top starts with a lot of stairs and my daughter resigned after 2, my husband told that she was crying that she wants to try again but she could not manage to continue this time in the night to the top. Believe it is very hard for 10 yo. This is why I admire the daughter of my friend, she was really brave to reach over 4000m.
On the way you need to climb using ropes and then the gloves are necessary as not to hurt your hand from cold as well rope. The guide can help you but mainly you must rely on your own strength. The amateur who never hiked and weak in sports may not be able to make it. So please do not suggest yourself that if 10 year old girl could do it I can do too.
You have one check point and mainly you climb up either on steps, rocks or by using the rope. There is one little flat section, but really mainly you need to prepare for climbing up.
I saw people on the way sitting on the rocks, stones or just standing and taking the rest, many of them just decided to go back either on the begging, in the middle or even close to the top. Sometimes it is difficult to even stand 50 more meters and they decide to go back.
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Let me say I made it to the Top. We were going 5 of us. 2 families. My husband and my daughter stayed in the hotel on the 3,272.7 m and my friend with her daughter managed to reach almost to the top at 4,010 m.
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On the beginning I really doubt I will be able to make it. I told to myself, if I can do it, I will be able to do anything, nothing can stop me.
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Such achievments gives you so much power and conbfidence in yoursefl and what really you can do in your life. After this there is no much things that can scare you.
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When you reach the point you feel like you can control your life you have power to overcome any obstacles and you can do everything.
After all that it is nice to look at certificate and keep as a prove along with great memories and experience you could gain during this amazing tour.
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After making to the top you see alot of peaople trying to make photos that shows on the board we were able to climb up to 4,095.7m.
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On the peak there is not much space and a lot of people are waiting to make a photos. It is really difficult to find enough space, fortunately for me not all made to the top and I found space to be able to make some pictures.
The view is amazing and being able to see sun rise, awesome! Unforgettable. Worth all these efforts, sweat, pain, even for such amateur hiker like me who never liked that, I must admit I experienced something spectacular, which you can see on the photos here:

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What people usually afraid or suffer from is the altitude sickness. My husband experienced that. For a while I also had impression I feel dizzy but after eating some energy bar and continue climbing it has gone away. However my husband experienced it very heavily, he looked for a while like he would loose his consciousness. The altitude sickness can be very danger.
Altitude sickness is due to a rapid ascent to higher altitudes due to the decreasing amount of oxygen (low PO2) that occurs at high altitudes.
There are three main types of altitude sickness, acute (mild) altitude or mountain sickness (AMS), high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE), and high-altitude cerebral edema.
The cause of altitude sickness is the decreasing amount of oxygen available as altitude increases.
Early symptoms of altitude sickness include:
– headaches,
– fatigue,
– insomnia.
Later symptoms include:
– shortness of breath, I have experienced that when I reached 4000 m, when have shortness of breath I start to yawn. Same happened to my friends daughter this is why they decided to discontinue after they exceeded 4000 m.
– extreme fatigue,
– respiratory failure,
– cerebral edema,
– coma, and
– death.
If you experience any of these it may be already too late. This is why is so important to discontinue if you feel really bad or early symptoms. Most people with self-curing acute mountain sickness do not need a follow-up with a health-care professional. However, those that develop high-altitude pulmonary edema and/or high-altitude cerebral edema may require more extensive follow-up with their doctors. Although many people with mild acute mountain sickness require no medical care, as symptoms worsen, emergency medicine physicians, hyperbaric chamber experts, neurologists, and critical care specialists may need to be consulted.
Altitude sickness is usually diagnosed by the patient’s clinical condition. Occasionally other tests such as chest x-ray, head CT and/or MRI scans are utilized. I think because my husband was sick in not good condition he could experience such early symptoms even at lower altitude.
Some people can use self-care or home remedies, such as simply descending to a lower altitude, to help reduce symptoms or cure altitude sickness.
Medical treatment for altitude sickness may include oxygen, hyperbaric treatment, and medicines such as acetazolamide (Diamox) and/or dexamethasone (Ocu-Dex) as well as over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications and antinausea medications. However, definitive treatment is for the patient to go to a lower altitude.
Prevention of altitude sickness is by acclimatizing the body to increasing altitude. This is why we stayed at 3273m over night. In the past there was one day trip but not anymore, probably because most of the people need that acclimatization even thou altitude is not very high.
Another prevention of acute mountain sickness is sometimes with acetazolamide medication.
Acute Altitude Sickness Symptoms
The symptoms of altitude sickness include:
A throbbing headache that usually gets worse during the night and when you wake up.
– Lack of appetite
– Feeling sick to your stomach. You may vomit.
– Feeling weak and tired. In severe cases, you do not have the energy to eat, dress yourself, or do anything.
– Waking up during the night and not sleeping well.
– Feeling dizzy.
I felt dizzy and also sick in my stomach for a while but this symptom gone after a while, and when I started to climb down, but who know how would I feel over 5,000 m. This is why nobody climbs to Mount Everest without any acclimatization first.
The prognosis for a person that gets altitude sickness depends on the severity of the sickness. Acute mountain sickness can usually resolve with no problems, but patients that develop high-altitude pulmonary edema and/or high-altitude cerebral edema have a more guarded prognosis. About 50% of individuals that develop coma with high-altitude cerebral edema die.
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After all I can say that climbing Mount Kinabalu can be a daunting task especially that picking a reputable and reliable tour operator can be even harder.
Initially I thought is better to take the travel agent from hotel and to avoid any problems on our trip we decided to book with an established operator in ShangriLa hotel at the end we tried to find other agents, but did not work out as the guy could not promises anything and confirm for 100%.
The gent I hired was Inno Travel & Tour Services Sdn Bhd (Sabah Holidays) I paid for 2 adults and 1 child close to 5,000 RM which is according to today rate about 1,185 USD. I asked how much guide gets for such tour and was told directly by the guide 200 RM (even not 50 USD), of course agent must pay for buses and tickets as well night + food (dinner & breakfast at Resthouse). We supposed to get discount as we were 5 taking the trip, we got small discount. The price I gave is after discount and including taxes.
I assumed that by paying a premium price, in return I would get a premium experience. After doing some research, there are some good deals , but Iat the time of Chinese New Year we did not have choice as the only agent could offer free places. I noticed little or no difference in way of service, food or lodging. Everyone eats at the same mountain resort, lodging may vary from one to another. Your mountain guide is arbitrarily assigned to you at the park and is not guaranteed to speak fluent English. One of our guide almost did not speak English but let us put this way what can you expect for $50. You can now imagine what are the margins of travel agents. Well if they have to pay lease in the hotel like Shangri-La I am not surprised.
What I recommend to everyone doing this climb, is to pick the tour operator with the most reasonable price. Some prices may include an extra meal at the end of your hike on the last day along with a certificate of accomplishment (like mine but if some of your participants are slow walking down you may not be able to get lunch so no point to pay for it), I think there are agents that can do without them.
I was explained it is impossible to do this climb/hike independently without a tour operator, however I have red that some people just took a taxi up to the park entrance and paid only for their permit, lodging, meals, and guide and were able to get up.
My manager advised me to book a tour prior to arrival in Kota. I have not done it as I was too busy before holidays with my work. Sometimes is worth to spend some time and do research not at lats minute.
While going down on second day, we were joking how much someone would have to pay me to go up on day 2 one more time. I told to my friend there is no such money I would like to do it one more time the same day, even thou I could make it, as did not feel my legs and was afraid I will not enough energy to go down.
I was joking that maybe the next day I could climb one more time for $100k :), but even if I decided to go my leg would refuse.
Now I can understand why people are dying in the mountain -severe pain, altitude sickness, exhaustion of the body, if adding to that not enough warm clothes, oxygen, food or water, you are definitely sentenced to death in the mountains.
My husband was taking the nap, if he was alone, he told me he would just stay as he could not continue, this is why you need a guide.
At the end I am proud myself I did it and do not regret I took this challenge :)

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Good luck to Everyone who decides to reach this Summit!

Coming next: About Kota Kinabalu, my experince

True Stories about best healthy life styles

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Hello,
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Some may think why other people are blogging, they ask why do make your blog. To be very honest I started mainly not only to share my achievements, maybe at very first point, but why I continue this blog? Well not only, as maybe some people find it helpful or interesting, I do it for myself. It keeps me motivated and reminds how much time I have already invested to loose 15 kg and keep it up since November 2014. Making new posts keeps me alerted not to go back to bad rabbits and I hope it may motivate others.
This is why today I would like to share with you a true stories from 3 wonderful girls, they over the years completely changed their eating habits turning to the healthy life style.
I made 3 interviews. So let me go one by one here.
Alexandra
Alexandra is my cousin, actually I treat her like my younger sister, she is my closest family I have. Unfortunately we live so far away now. She still lives in Poland and I am in China, almost impossible to meet, also time zone does not help in a frequent phone or even internet communication. My last vacation I spent in Poland and we had a few days just for us together . Even thou we are much different I realized we have so much common. I know my aunt Elisabeth, as well as Alexandra for quite a long time were already focused on a healthy foods, that consist mainly from organic ingredients. I personally do not pay so much attention, but whenever I can I also try to select organic products. In China I realized that often it is still not so much GMO food sold on the streets. However in the big shopping malls there are 2 types, and if you compare the taste of organic tomato or just from supermarket you will feel the difference. My Ayi is buying a chicken from farmers, you can feel the taste of real chicken and the difference if you buy the one from supermarket. In Shanghai I use Kate and Kimi on-line shopping they have a big variety of organics’ products seasonal, as well as different dietary like gluten free or sugar free. It is more expensive but easy and you save your time but not going to the store as they deliver per your convenience to you house
Today in my post I have selected all ladies I know they pay attention how they feed their bodies, I will make an interview with them and share with you their healthy eating habits.
Some of them will also explain how much different they feel when they started a healthy diet.  I would like to start from my sister.

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Me: hello Alexandra, it my pleasure to have an interview with you. I would like to go back a bit and ask you what were in the past your eating habits? How you felt that time, eating let us, say not so healthy meals?

Alexandra: I admit that my eating habits from the past leave a lot to be desired and driven by temptations. I changed the way of eating approx. 10 years ago. From my point of view the worst habit was connected with eating too much sweets.
After political transformation in 1989 lots of polish manufacturers started disappearing.  Instead, imported low quality food appeared on the market shelves in large numbers. Foods under the well-known polish brand that are being produced on mass scale presently, rarely taste in the same way. The answer for the question why and what has happened is ingredients list: full of artificial substances, E-components, preservatives, coloring additives. Furthermore, in 1990s people were persuaded by advertisements that for example margarine is healthier than butter.  Corporations, using marketing tricks, have gained an influence on our daily choices as consumers. In communism different types of food were in short supply. The fall of communism among other things brought about  a shift  from central planning to free market economy. In result we have overproduction, over-consumption and over-eating. This is a negative consequence of the transition.  Within 25 years all went in opposite direction. On the other hand, the worldwide trend for slowfoods has spread in recent years in Poland too.
As a teenager I used to eat a lot of sweets and biscuits as well as popular and new at that time flavored yogurts. Additionally, sweetened drinks like cola became available everywhere. My diet remained continuously balanced thanks to handmade meals preparing by my mother at home based on traditional polish recipes containing natural and fresh ingredients. While attending to primary school, I was eating on a regular basis at school in lunch time. During my study was the worst period. As most people, I was feeling lost between long rows of shelves designed to buy more than needed. I changed the way of eating due to raising health problems. I quit eating processed foods and sweets. I personally think that human attachment to sugar is kind of addiction. It might be seen as a quite radical view, but it is inconvenient true about our society dominated by consumerism and industrial food production. I always loved honey, so I replaced “fake sweets” by different types of honey and handmade cakes based on brown sugar. My personal experience proves that change in eating habits is possible but you need to find within yourself reasons to change, you need to be profoundly motivated.                      

Me: I remember your mom, my aunt always cooked and still does fantastic meals, I love her cooking style, recently even more as it is closer to my heart, she also uses the healthy lean ingredients, no GMO, no preservations, mainly organic. Do you remember what caused the change in your eating habits? I think I remember you faced some healthy issues, can you share?

Alexandra: Indeed, my mother cooks fantastic meals but your father also created delicious dishes. He was able to make almost everything associated with traditional polish cuisine apart from baking a cake. I think it was common for our family. By the way, women and men participated almost equally in “cooking matters”. This pattern is rather rare in polish society. I remember clearly my first experience with cooking. We were accustomed to eat delicious cakes made by our grandmother – chocolate, doughnuts, cheese-cake and many more. Some days I desired to learn baking my favorite one – an apple-pie. After 15 years, which have passed since that moment, I feel a specialist for home-made cakes. Back to your question – for some time our cooking had been dominated by meals made of meat, too much fat for me. I was looking for my own preferences following my senses. Equally important part of that “revolution” was reading books, consulting with doctor and macrobiotic specialist, who offered me encouragement and advice for healthy diet. In the beginning everything seemed to be difficult and required extra efforts. 
Travelling around Europe, gave me also opportunity to get to know new smells and tastes. My mother had doubts about my ideas to try vegetarian diet but soon modified her own cooking. After one year of experiments I found my own way in eating and cooking as well.
If possible, I use organic foods. In return you will gain some valuable benefits of being on the organic diet. No one knows yet what is the effect of the genetically modified foods would have on your body.   Bio-labels, eco-certificates are good recommendations for your body, I think. Besides, this is a simple way allowing us to distinguish healthy and unhealthy products without spending too much time on analyzing the composition on the packaging. Yes, as you mentioned, the differences in prices are noticeable. I cannot afford to buy only bio products – as most people cannot. In the region there is one bio-bakery providing once a week whole meal bread. Additionally,   acquaintances involved in organic agriculture bring me from time to time directly most of vegetables and seasonal fruits like apples, pears, raspberries from their own garden. I grow herbs on my own in summertime: salvia, peppermint, parsley. The more I was conscious what sustainable development means, the more attention I pay to my choices as a consumer. We should take into consideration as often as possible such issues. Organic and sustainable meals are also tasty. We can express our resistance to industrial livestock production through buying organic food or reduce meat in our diet. Raising awareness about the food production provokes further questions, including such problems as a food waste. In the developed countries the third part of the food eatable is thrown away. I would like to recommend watching an inspiring Tristram Stuart TED talk devoted to this issue.

Me: after changing your eating habits, did you feel differently, did you notice also the difference in your skin, nails?
Alexandra: After one year of practice it brought an expected results. I have felt differently, better, less tired in general. I found the new way of eating in 2005. The diet was based on organic whole meal bread, all kinds of groats, traditional polish soups, vegetables & juices. The focus of my attention was plant protein. Comparing to 2005, presently it is easier to obtain all types of organic food in the grocery stores. In the city of 100,000 inhabitants we have only one shop dedicated to organic food but the polish brand markets started providing a broad range of bio-food. Non-governmental organizations that aim is taking actions for sustainable development advise not buying in supermarkets because the way of producing food on mass scale (organic or non-organic) has a disruptive impact on environment, employees receive inadequate remuneration for work etc. but sometimes with limited budget or time you have no choice.

Me: Could you share what mainly changed, what type of products you completely eliminated and what type you eat only randomly?
Alexandra: I eliminated processed food and sweets, refined oils, limited amount of white bread. I use cow milk exceptionally – adding it to coffee or preparing pancakes. I have not stopped eating meat, but I have reduced it significantly in everyday diet. I prefer eating goose, lamb, duck meat, venison or fish.

Me: What mandatory meals have you included in your diet? How would you describe your diet, balanced? Can you share approx. % of meat, fruits, veggies and grains?
Alexandra: If I knew, I would share, certainly. It is difficult to express it as a percentage. Fundamental ingredients of my diet are all kinds of beans, lentils, vegetables, home-made cakes, seasonal fruits, pickles (pickled cabbage, cucumbers, beetroots) as a part of traditional polish cuisine. In my case, warm meals occurred important and eating in less quantities but more often, e.g. 5 times a day (including such meals as a piece of cake with a cup of coffee to start a day). I would like recommend especially the gluten-free millet, famous for alkaline-inducing properties. I enjoy drinking coffee and one type of black tea: Darjeeling.

I try to min. gluten products, but I still eat diary like milk and eggs, butter. I personally do not feel bad. I think today the white bread is really not good. Other than that I try to min. overall flour based products. How about you?
I have mixed feelings only to milk and refined flour. I like especially sheep’s and goat’s cheese, occasionally I drink buttermilk. I have tried macrobiotic cooking but if you look back to polish traditional cuisine, you will find out that ingredients were added in the right order, you were obliged to preparing a meal according the rules.  In macrobiotic cuisine rooted partly in Chinese philosophy of cooking, something similar occurs. This way of preparing meals neutralizes the adverse properties of particular ingredients and makes food more nourishing.

Me: Did you notice the weight drop after applying healthy diet? 
Alexandra: Yes, after applying healthy diet I noticed the weight drop. In the beginning I established a rigid schedule but my approach was dogmatic fortunately for a short time. Generally if you eliminate junk food, you will be allowed to eat as much as you want. You will recognize your real needs. I am convinced that less means more in life so I practice restraint, celebrate small things and appreciate simplicity. This attitude manifests itself in buying less.

Me: I am sure like most of women, you also watch your weight, did you notice what type of products make additional kg in your case? What do you think about diet, that should build based on your blood type?
Alexandra: To be honest, I have not checked my weight since summer. I agree with your opinions, advices shared on your blog. Mentioned previously types of products make additional kg, especially containing sugar. My knowledge about connection between blood type and the diet is limited. As you described in your latest post, the meat-free diet, based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes and whole grains, seems to be proper for blood type A person. Furthermore the characteristics and tips for A-blood type seem to be very useful. I see dependencies indicated in your description. After exposure on the strong artificial smells, lack of sleep or extreme weather conditions, I feel exhausted. By the way, you have made very interesting points concerning the increase of cortisol level responsible for this state of body and mind for blood type A.

Me: Do you try to do any physical activity, like swimming, walking, maybe Yoga?
Alexandra: My favorite physical activity is walking and dancing an argentine tango. Both are accessible to people of all ages. There are no contradictions for this kind of activity. Walking might even become a kind of meditation. Other physical activities I enjoy are swimming and riding on bicycle. I prefer swimming in lakes or the see because of the sensitivity of the skin. 

Me: What are your healthy 2016 resolution reg. healthy life style? What would you recommend to other?
Alexandra: More physical activity is my healthy 2016 resolution. The common sense tells us not to exaggerate. I recommend a varied diet rich in the grains as well as vegetables and low in sugar and processed foods. Paying attention to what you eat but treat yourself nice - eating should be a pleasure too.  I am against of cutting out any food that gives you pleasure. Research shows that eating habits are responsible for our state of body, well-being max. in 40 %. The rest are genes, exposure on stressful situations and environmental factors.
Me: Thank you very much! That was a pleasure to get so much good input from you.
Agata
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Agata is my friend with whom I worked in Poland. She is living for a while already abroad in France and now in Norway.

Me: Hello Agata! When have you left Poland? Basically how many years are you living abroad?
Agata: I left Poland in December 2009 and lived in France, Belgium and now Norway since January 2014.

Me: I always remember you was very skinny? What is your current weight and what was when you left Poland? What was your highest weight & lowest after of course you grown up?
Agata: I always remember myself as being fluffy, haha . I now weigh 48 kilos, and the highest I ever reached was 65. It was when I was 22 and taking ill-adjusted contraceptives. When I left Poland in 2009, I was pregnant, so my weight was a bit higher than normal.

Me: How many children do you have? Was it difficult to keep fit after pregnancy? What was the biggest gain weight during your pregnancy and the lowest? Any special diet that you could recommend to any pregnant women’s?
Agata: I have three kids, aged 9, 6 and 4. It was difficult to keep fit during and after all these pregnancies, because I had to rest a lot and had three c-sections, so there are many limitation as to how soon and how much you can exercise after the delivery. Luckily, I did not gain much weight then, only the necessary kilos for the baby to grow. I was quite careful about what and how I ate, though. Mostly veggies and greens, a bit of fruit, making an effort of not eating at evenings and sleepless nights. I think limiting breads and other floury products (pasta, traditional pizza, crackers) had the biggest positive impact on my pregnancy weight. Important supplements (Omega 3 fatty acids, folic acid and cranberry extract) helped stay on track with diet during pregnancies, I believe.

Me: How fast you was able to lose the gained weight during pregnancy? Did you e4xcerise or mainly diet?
Agata: Mainly breastfeeding. As long as I was breastfeeding (for almost a year in each case) I could eat quite a lot, and still was losing weight. I could not exercise for at least 3 months due to c-sections, so I believe it was mostly calories I lost with breast milk that helped me heal and lose weight.

Me: Tell me your secret about how you manage to keep below 50kg?
Agata: It is not only diet. It is overall focus on health, exercise and mental well being. But what I eat is definitely a bit part of the whole picture. Generally, I eat about 80% of “good” food and the rest is, well… sinning  I will explain what I found to be good food for me later in this interview.

Me: I lived in Norway and I know it is not easy to get good stuff, I had to order veggies on-line otherwise in super markets was completely not tasty. Where do you make shopping? Could you give an example of your daily diet? How long does it take to prepare such food?
Agata: The situation in Norway, or in Oslo, as I know it best, is getting better. Just last year when we moved here, we could not buy beetroots or chia seeds. They are now available in at least half of the stores. We do order stuff on-line, though, from UK for example, or do some shopping in Poland or France while travelling. Sweden offers good choice of fresh fruit and veggies, too. So it does take a bit of extra effort and money to eat the way we do but it is well worth it. We also learn, mostly from our local friends, how to find and make the best of the local specialties, discovering farmers markets or local suppliers of delicious apples or berries, honey and meat, etc.
Our daily diet includes mostly veggies and greens, in all possible forms to make them attractive to our kids, used to hot dogs, crisp bread and sandwiches, largely eaten in Norway. We also test and keep many good recipes to make our own breads, tortillas, chips, ice-cream and so on. It takes a bit of time at the beginning to introduce a new healthy equivalent, but then it becomes easy and simple. For example, we do not buy or eat commercial ice cream anymore, in my opinion one of the worst food on earth. We use our wonderful juicer to make fruit sorbet (any frozen fruit works, for example a mix of berries and bananas with a drop of maple syrup), which makes healthy 80% of the dessert, and put it in the commercially made ice cornet (20% sinning). Kids still think it is real ice cream since it is served in the cornet, and even topped with dark melted chocolate sometimes!, and they do not ask for “real” ice cream. Well, except on National Holiday. But these exceptions are a part of the success, as long as they are not more than 20% of what we eat in total. For more examples it suffices to google “healthy alternative for … “(your favorite sin), and through trial and error you can build a base of your own good food bank.

Me: Do you cook by your own? It must be very time consuming to select a proper products and prepare food, especially that you are working. Do you cook for your family the same type of food?
We cook ourselves 80% of what we eat. It takes more time than buying a frozen pizza, of course. More money and more effort, too. But it gets easier and easier as we learn, practice and organize.

Me: How Claude is doing with such diet, or he eats differently? How about your kids?
Agata: We all eat mostly the same food, but adjust the quantities (Claude will always take more meat on his plate than me, and I will steal all the veggies, while the girls will like the fries most, by the way home made fries with sweet potatoes or yams are our healthy alternative). But it is me that usually tries the new ideas first and tries to incorporate them into our routines, if they work well for me, for example limiting gluten recently.

Me: Which products would you recommend to avoid in order to be healthy and skinny? While being on gluten free and protein free diet?
Agata: I will list them at the end of the interview. But in general, always look for best quality products, organic and fresh and local, balance the quantity, eat slowly and in a relaxed atmosphere and you can eat everything you like!!! I read somewhere that the healthiest food is the one you do NOT eat.  It is worth remembering, when you have doubts about the quality or amount or type of food you are about to eat.

Me: Do you eat a lot of fruits or mainly vegetables? Which kind of fruits you recommend if any?
Agata: Mainly veggies and greens (80%!!!). Starchy veggies, such as potatoes, are not considered veggies. These should be a part of the 20% free-style food. From my experience, the best fruit to eat are local, seasonal, organic fruit available where you live, as they grow. Raspberries or avocados from Chile available in Norway are of questionable health benefits for many reasons easily found online. I was told about a study conducted in Oslo University that showed there was NO TRACE OF VITAMIN C in imported oranges, fruit said to be one of the best sources of this vitamin. In winter, here in Norway, I choose frozen local berries over the “freshly” imported.

Me: what do you think about Dukan or Oxy Diet or other types of protein diets? What do you think about cleaning diet and starvation? What is your opinion about Gerson therapy?
Agata: I think protein based diets overload the liver too much and are not healthy in the long run, but they can help in the first stage of losing weight for example. I think Gerson therapy is great, but also difficult to maintain long term here in Norway. But it makes a great summer cleanse!
I think cleansing and starvation is a great concept, practiced by many traditions and religions since as long as we can trace it back. Huge ancient wisdom. Having tried a couple of times, I am still looking for the way to do a cleanse the way it will work well for me. I think fasting and cleansing need to be well planned, consistent, adjusted to your body and life style and best, assisted by a professional that you trust. I have just finished a series of Colon Hydrotherapy, and the results are just amazing. All the praise you can read from the people who do it regularly is just really true! And those who criticize it are usually the ones who have never tried. It just makes you think twice about what you put in your mouth as you see all the old stuff getting out of your system, after intoxicating your body for months or even years. Just try it, and then decide whether you like it or not. But do try! Take time to find a good clinic and make sure you feel safe, though.

Me: You told me you feel like 20, what gives you so much energy? When you have noticed significant change in your diet after resignation from what type of products?
Agata: Last December, I gave up gluten. Totally, one day, after reading quite a deal about it. For the next two weeks I experienced severe headaches, joint pains, depression, sleepiness mixes with sleeplessness, mood swings, etc. I was totally out of order. Then it stopped. And I began to feel better than ever before, both in body and mind. The cleansing symptoms were so strong, I felt like a junkie on a detox. So is gluten a drug…? I am tempted to think so. Since then I still would eat gluten now and then but I feel foggy and moody right after a couple of hours from eating it. It motivates me to avoid it as much as possible. I eliminated dairy also, as it seems to have bad influence on my skin and urinary tract. Sugar also ruins my skin and slows down digestion, it also gets me agitated. But all these symptoms can only be spotted when you eliminate these foods completely and then suddenly ingest them again, paying attention to how you feel. I am not overly focused on my skin, but its condition gives me an idea of what might be going inside my body. If my skin is clean and calm, then probably everything is well inside, too  Another piece of evidence is my hormonal balance. I was never as regular as now. I had to undergo hormonal therapy to have my first child, having been diagnosed with PCOS. PCOS means your hormone levels are way too low or high, no ovulation for a year for example, terrible menstruation pains and losing way too much blood. Moodiness and depression, overweight and diabetes are some of the side effects. My third child was conceived with no medical help! It was after I started to eliminate many foods from our diet due to my oldest daughter problems with asthma and the help of blood type diet and professional dietitian. We all cut on gluten, dairy, processed foods, sugar, etc. It is all gone now, her asthma and my PCOS. And many other ailments our family struggled with. It is not perfect, but so much better. We continue to learn and try new things, recently fermented foods and probiotics.

Me: You told me you resigned from alcohol. I agree this is killer to any diet. However I spoke with Aska and she applied for a while red wine diet. You even do not drink red wine, a good red wine seems to be healthy from time to time? How about your favorite Baileys, I remember you liked coffee with baileys? I wonder how do you fight with your temptations?
Agata: I think red wine, a glass per day, is healthy for some people. Not for me. I do not like the taste, and it gives me headaches and skin rashes, it dehydrates my system. But I remember you drink it and like it. I also remember you always looking great and glowing! I have a friend who takes two glasses every evening. She looks amazing, her skin is radiant and eyes shining. She is also exceptionally smart. It must be good for her, too!
I still love baileys. I always have a bottle at home and take a drink from time to time. But I do not have the temptation so often, and a small sip is usually enough. The same with other temptations, I still have them and give up, but do not dwell on them and move on with the good way the very next day. If I “sin” for two days, then I pay extra attention to what and how I eat for the next two days. And so on. Discipline is very important, there are no good result without it. “No pressure, no diamonds”  Fanaticism is not the way to go, though.

Me: Do you eat soups, any type of sweets? Or sugar only in form or fruits? How about dark chocolate?
Agata: I eat a lot of clean soups, almost every day, sometimes a couple of times per day. A clean soup for me does not include gluten, starch, cream, grains, flour, noodles, rice, etc. Just veggies and greens, sometimes pieces of good quality meat. Recipes are easy to find on line. I focus on low sugar fruit, mostly berries. Bananas are a dessert, within 20% free-style food. I love dark chocolate. I buy good quality dark chocolate and we eat it at least once a week. Couple of bars, haha. Claude makes fantastic dark chocolate with raw cacao, cocoa butter and I dunno what else he puts in it that it is sooo damn good. Love, I guess 😉 . We usually eat the whole batch in two, three days!

Me: So finally what are your 5 tips, or let me say Do & Do Not?
Agata:
1. Do consider diet as a part of an overall healthy plan for your body and mind, your lifestyle.
2. Do avoid or completely eliminate gluten, dairy, sugar, and all processed foods. All this stuff is scientifically proven to be bad for you in unlimited amounts.
3. Do make 80% of your daily intake veggies and greens, enriched with carefully chosen superfoods and supplements and probiotics .
4. Do put people first and eat whatever they serve for you with love. Make up for it as soon as you can to put your body and mind back to balance.
5. Pay attention to what you eat and how it makes you feel. Avoid what makes you feel bad. Focus. If you are overweight, you will lose weight. If you are too skinny, you will pick up some kilos soon. Your digestion will find a good pace. I talked about what works well for me. Discover what works well for you!

I hope that you will find some ideas in here worth exploring and testing for yourself!
Joanna, thank you for the opportunity to talk about my great passion and what I believe to be of huge importance to all of us. Among many others, you are one of those who inspired me when I saw you picking mushrooms back in Bergen, just outside your home, showing them to your daughter and explaining patiently how to sort and clean them. They were delicious and what you did was filled with wisdom and love for life, food and your child. That’s what I count into my GOOD 80%, my best friend food!

Me: Thank you very much for your great tips and advises and sharing them here on my blog.

Isabella:
Before introducing the healthy life style, photo from her visit in China back in July 2015:
Central Park Szanghaj
After weight loss December 2015:
grudzień 2015
Iza is the sister of my husband and when I was this summer in Poland, Iza was not happy with of her weight. I have offered to her to share my observations and explain how to lose the weight while keeping it for longer. Today Iza weighs about 55kg less than before the holidays in China. Of course not everything she lost in China, because she was here less than a month. In contrast, today I would like to share how she achieved that and what she did.

Me: Hi Iza. Do you recall when and at what time have you started to gain the kilograms? Did you change anything? What mainly has contributed to the fact that your weight started to grow?
Iza: I did not notice that my life has changed somehow. I do not notice that I became tighter in the clothes I were coming slowly with more kilograms. During the year, I gained 12 kg. Surely the important thing here is age – crossed the 40-tuple. I think my metabolism began to slow.

Me: When did you decide you would want to come back to the previous weight. What was the motivating factor?
Iza: Clothing, haha. And the pictures of Christmas. It was pretty scary. All my clothes became too tight, the size of which – always the same I used for years. And this was the moment.

Me: You have two children, did gain a lot during pregnancy? How quickly did you manage to lose weight after giving the birth?
Iza: This is surprising that, when being at ninth month, giving delivery, I weighed less than very recently before I came to China. Loosing additional kg after pregnancy wasn’t any problem that time, breast feeding helped a lot.

Me: Did you notice which products make you gain weight? What are you trying to avoid? What are you doing to keep fit?
Iza: I am a meat lover, all my life I liked meat very much. Always I was eating greasy and on top of it a lot. The roux, the flour, frying almost all dishes and the minimum amount of vegetables. Instead of fruit definitely I preferred to chocolate.

Me: Did you apply any diets, and if so what would you recommend, what is your advice to avoid in your diet?
Iza: Unfortunately I love food too much, to make restrictions. I tried to eat more often, but less and at least 2 times a week going for Zumba. I lost 4kg but after a while my weight stopped dropping and after a while I gained again. Only after going to China to visit you everything changed. Here I realized that it is possible not to eat meat, without losing a pleasure of eating. All vegetables appropriately prepared are delicious and also can make you full. I feel much better and lighter, after vegetable dish rather than meat meal. I also started to believe there is a life without sandwiches –in Poland almost impossible to imagine. Additionally we spend together hours talking about food and I learned a lot about healthy nutrition, absorption of the ingredients, combining dishes, etc.

Me: If it comes to physical activity, what are you doing during the week?
Iza: I’ve never been a lover of movement, and at the school I was even cheating to skip PE. Today, for my colleagues I appear as an Alien. Twice a week I go to Zumba and practice yoga and weekly swim at the pool. In addition, I gave up the car and go everywhere on foot, giving a day approx. 5 km.

Me: Do you cook at home separately for yourself and your family? Normally it is pretty difficult to avoid some of the products, sweets, which our kids or husband eat without any concern or fear to gain weight?
Iza: We all eat the same, but kids and husband eat lunch at school or out. I managed to convince my family for change of the eating habits, I mean: skip the fatty sauces, heavy, creamy soups, or always meat for dinner. On top of eating more veggies, we eat more fishes, grouts and fruits.

Me: What type of fruits do you eat? What type rather not to eat when being on diet? Are you currently on any diet to keep your weight?
Iza: My diet is mainly vegetables and fruits at every meal. I try to avoid sweets and I said good bye to coffee forever. Every Saturday together with my daughter I eat only vegetables and fruits, we decided to make this one day a cleaning day.

Me: What do you think about diet and the Dukan Diet or new Oxy Diet? What do you think about the body cleansing? What is your opinion about the Gerson’s therapy?
Iza: I am not interested in any slimming diets. I agree with the assumptions of the Gerson’s therapy and sometimes using them: vegetables, fruits, juices and enemas.

Me: Do you eat soup, sweets? Do you Avoid gluten and high protein dishes? When last did you eat so called Junk Food?
Iza: Unfortunately during the Christmas Holidays I sinned. Being the guests we did not have much impact on the meals I had to adapt to the team. I hope to catch up in a healthy diet as soon as possible. I came back to daily activity as well as the vegetables and fruits.

Me: And finally, your advice how to take care of graceful silhouette. What to do and what do not?
Iza: Water with lemon and ginger in the morning. In addition sourdough with beets on an empty stomach and a lot of water alkaline (ionized) and vegetable cocktails throughout the day. In the evening, herbal teas (like cleansing, St. John’s wort / Hypericum perforatum/, mint, green tea, rooibos, pu-erh). During the day, eat three meals consisting of vegetables, fish and meat once a week with turkey. Between meals, fruits’ snacks.
I think that you cannot effectively lose weight without physical activity and the car is our enemy in the fight against shapely silhouette. Walk as much as you can and avoid the elevator and try to get some form of movement at least once a week.

Me: Thank you very much, I hope your true story will motivate others to drop with unwanted kg.

I guess all 3 interview have some common points, and if you read there are elements that no matter what type of diet you have you should implement in to your life style, I could make here a short summary in a few points, which I also agree and apply, especially when I see my weight is going above 130 lbs. I try not to exceed to much of 130 pounds (or 60kg). If I see I reach 133 pounds I start to exercise more and min. carbohydrates, apply cleansing day.
So let me summarize what are the common points when taking care about the healthy life style and stay fit:
1. Watch what you eat, I believe in the statement: YOU BECOME WHAT YOU EAT.
2. If you can choose organic, natural products
3. Less processed the better it is for your health
4. Replace sweets with fruits or dry fruits
5. Implement veggies if possible with every meal
6. Replace any unhealthy drinks with water or freshly squeezed juices
7. Do from time to time cleanse diet or at least one cleaning day, you need to clean your body and even starve a bit from time toi time. Preferably in a natural;; way, read my article about Gerson Therapy
8. Minimize carbohydrates intake or if possible replace with healthy ones: rice, oats, groats
9. Select healthy, lean meat: most fish, sea food, veal, lamb, beef tenderloin, turkey, duck, non GMO natural chicken, choose venison
avoid pork, if you cannot choose pork tenderloin. Do not eat processed with preservatives. If you need meat on your sandwich better to grill or bake healthy fresh meet. Do not buy packed in the store as is full of preservation and salt
10. By the way min. salt intake if so use sea salt,
11. If you need carbohydrates, choose gluten free, or without white flour
12. Skip Fast Food and Junk Food
13. Drink early morning on the empty stomach glass of lemon with water or other alkalized your body drinks
14. Watch your weight and observe what makes you feeling good, each body is different, listen to your body
15. Learn what food is good for your blood type and test if it works for you

I think it is the best time to motivate ourselves for the new year resolutions, and influence the changes in our life style bad habit. I am sure everyone has some so now is the time to make it happen as we are already in February, for China today is Chinese New Year so it is also great time to start!
Happy New Year to all my Chinese Friends and good luck to everyone in new years resolution.
Thank you all Ladies for their great input & their true stories they were willing to share on my blog!