Healthy for Life - First-step Therapy - Dr. Ray D. Strand
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Grading Your Lifestyle Journal

Grading your lifestyle journal is very simple and yet it gives you tremendous feedback for the self-directed program. One of the great things about the Healthy for Life Program is the fact that you do not need to be perfect --just honest with yourself. When you are dealing with lifestyle changes, it does take a certain amount of commitment and desire on your part. Education, motivation, and accountability are all important aspects of the Healthy for Life Program. However, it all boils down to your own personal commitment when it comes to establishing these new, healthier lifestyles.

It is exciting when you begin to realize that this program does not depend on will power. If you are hungry, you just need to eat another low-glycemic meal or snack. Your cravings, emotional eating, and overeating just settle down as you begin to reverse this glycemic stress and carbohydrate addiction. You feel great, actually have more energy, and are able to concentrate on the task at hand much better. Your lifestyle journal simply gives you the opportunity to take these unconscious lifestyle habits and make them conscious, so you can deal with them. I have learned over the years that it takes at least 15 months to firmly establish these lifestyle habits so that they simply become a part of your life. Then these new, healthier lifestyle habits will become unconscious, and you really don't even think about them. The automatic grading of your lifestyle journal just enhances the coaching program and gives instant feedback for the self-directed program.

The self-grading lifestyle journal is divided into three parts:
  1. Supplements as noted by "S"
  2. Diet as noted by "D"
  3. Activity as noted by "A"

Each area is given a green light if you are doing them 80% of the time or greater, a yellow light if it is between 60 to 80%, and a red light if it is below 60% of the time. A green light means that you are doing a good job and you are giving yourself the absolute best chance of seeing results. A yellow light means that you need to improve and that results will be marginal. A red light means that you are essentially not doing the program and that you will only see minimal results. On your home page, you can see how you have done the past week, the past month, and the program to date. You will see a ratio for each category, telling you how frequently you have filled out your journal. It will appear like 25/31 for the month. This means that you filled out your journal 25 days for the entire month. Now there is no way we can automatically grade your journal or your coach can help you if it is not filled out. The lifestyle journal has been designed to take the least amount of time possible and most of you can fill this out within just a couple of minutes.  We all get busy and you simply need to be as consistent as possible in order to receive the best advantage of the program. Obviously, the better you stay with the program and the better you journal the better your results will be.

Grading Your Journal

Supplements "S" - You are given the option of taking your supplements three times a day with each meal or twice daily, usually AM and PM with food. All you need to do is to fill in the boxes that are appropriate to what you are trying to do. Just ignore the other boxes, and the program will automatically figure out the consistency of how you are taking your supplements.

Diet "D" - You will fill out your meals in the appropriate areas. If you had a nutritional drink or a nutritional bar for that particular meal or snack, simply click on the drop down box to the right of the area where you are recording this particular meal or snack. The words nutritional bar or nutritional drink will automatically be recorded in the appropriate area. If you have had a regular low-glycemic meal or snack, just record what you have eaten for that meal or snack in the appropriate area.

You will be asked to grade your meal or snack, and you need to determine if that meal or snack has spiked your blood sugar or not. However, if you have spiked your blood sugar, you will have to click on the small circle stating "yes" you did spike your blood sugar. All of the meal and snack replacements are very low-glycemic and will not spike your blood sugar.  So when you have had either a nutritional bar or nutritional snack, click on the box that says "NO" you did not spike your blood sugar.

Knowing if you spiked your blood sugar when you have eaten a regular meal or snack is really not difficult to determine, and you will become better at this as you learn more and more about the glycemic index, glycemic load, and about mixed meals. However, I would simply have you refer to the recommended food list. If you have eaten something from the desirable or moderately desirable list, you have not spiked your blood sugar. If you have eaten something from the least desirable list, you need to check "yes" you did spike your blood sugar. I would encourage everyone to review this list and actually print this list off for easy reference.

Activity "A" - In this area you simply need to record whether or not you exercised that day. Now when you are starting, it is not critical to determine how hard you exercised. It is more important that you actually did exercise, even if it was for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also record the number of steps you took that day if you are wearing a pedometer. Therefore, if you did exercise that day simply record what you did and check "yes" below the activity area of your lifestyle journal to get credit for exercising that particular day. If you did not exercise that day, you need to just click "no" in the area just below the activity area of your lifestyle journal.

You also have the option to look at what is referred to as a calendar view of your lifestyle journal by going to the link that states "Lifestyle Journal." This is either listed or found in the drop down list found under "My Home Page."

Hopefully, this will allow you to get started filling out your lifestyle journal and reaping the health benefits of the Healthy for Life Program.

Health Concepts International, PO Box 9226, Rapid City, SD 57709
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2020 Ray D Strand, M.D.