Last week I got into several discussions about my new "diet," so I thought I'd elaborate on it some here:

(Before going further, let me underscore that I'm *not* a dietitian or nutritionist -- claiming to be an expert on this matter or telling you what to do with regard to your diet would be negligent on my part. I'm a trainer, a coach -- fitness is where my expertise lies. I'm simply telling you what I'm doing, how it's working for me, and why I'll continue to pursue my strategy.)

The diet:
Monday - Friday, from the moment I wake up until 5pm, I stick to a liquid, vegetable, and fruit diet. After 5pm, I eat as I always have. Saturday and Sunday, I eat as normal -- as I always have. Weekday example:

Breakfast: Cookies and Cream protein shake, with banana, spinach, skim milk, and ice.

Lunch: Vanilla protein shake, with strawberries, banana, spinach, skim milk, and ice.

Afternoon snack: One of the above shakes -- depending on what sounds best.

In between the shakes I typically have an apple or two, maybe some baby carrots.

After the 5pm hour: No rules. Whatever sounds good, I eat. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not shoving whole pizzas and a bucket of fried chicken down my throat...)

This diet has limited my fat and poor-food-choice intake (not to mention limiting my sodium, cholesterol, and processed-foods intake, and increasing my fiber consumption); it has helped me to consume meals in moderation; my digestion has improved; and, in only a week's time, I can see bodily improvements. Another benefit: I've saved a little money -- buying protein, fruits, vegetables, and milk in bulk has been good on my wallet! Oh! My workouts... They've been great! I really haven't skipped a beat. I'm full of energy (that is relative, might I add, as my newborn son likes to keep me up at odd hours during the night)!

To wrap up this post, what I'm getting at is this: we all can make healthy changes, and those changes don't have to be incredibly drastic or completely disrupt our lives. Small steps equal progress. Whether it's a new diet tweak or it's adding (more) exercise to your daily routine, it can be done. It just takes some willpower; but, believe it or not, after some time that willpower turns into habit, and it really does't take that much effort. In time, you may begin to enjoy it! The best part: it's good for you! It's adds to your life; it can make you a stronger all-around person.

Jason Harle