This week -- with your system cleansed and your mind and body re-energized -- it's time to dive in to the heart of the Action Plan. As you set out on a healthier approach to nutrition, use your journal or blog to jot down everything you eat: A food diary can help you identify challenges (whether it's managing portion sizes or coping with cravings).
You'll also intensify your exercise program during Week 2, and begin exploring simple stress-relief techniques.
This week, aim for at least seven daily servings of veggies and fruit. Choose fresh (or frozen) produce over canned goods packed with preservatives.
"The trick is to get a wide variety of color," notes Kathie Swift, R.D., lead nutritionist for the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. "If you shoot for one serving of purple cabbage, another serving of mango, and so on through the whole checklist of colors, you'll end up with a daily dose of different phytochemicals that have been shown to help protect against disease."
At the end of each day, take a few minutes to journal about your eating habits.
Before eating, tune in to your hunger sensations, and note if you tend to be stressed or depleted. Also track how you feel -- both physically and emotionally -- after a meal or snack.
Pay attention to how you eat: Do you usually work through your lunch or switch on the TV at dinnertime? Do you take time to chew thoroughly? Do you put your fork down between bites, or plow through a meal without stopping?
After you're done eating, record your observations. "Writing all this down raises awareness of your behaviors," says Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of "Eating Mindfully." "Simply watching yourself more closely can inspire you to improve the way you eat."
Start by sizing up your schedule and pinpointing pockets of time you'll be able to devote to working out. Aim for 30 minutes of walking each day this week, even if it means squeezing in three 10-minute workouts: In the morning, on your lunch break, and at the end of the workday.
"The main goal for now should be establishing a routine that you'll be able to stick with," says Harper. "Once you get going and start to feel better on a daily basis, you'll be motivated to make your workouts longer and more intense."
Amp up your workout. Choose from one of the cardio options in our Fitness Action Plan, then incorporate intervals of intense activity followed by periods of lighter movement.
Try alternating three-minute bursts of walking and jogging, for instance, or switching between three-minute intervals of tough pedaling and leisurely cycling on your bike. Interval training boosts cardiovascular fitness and burns more calories.
While it's impossible to control what stresses you, you can control how you react to it. Slowing your breathing is one of the simplest ways to stop anxiety from overpowering you brain and body, according to Frank Lipman, M.D., holistic physician and author of "Revive," who suggests trying this five-minute breathing break once or twice a day:
1. Find a quiet space, sit in a chair (preferably one with a straight back), and close your eyes.
2. Inhale through your nose, drawing your breath from deep in your belly.
3. As you exhale, try to relieve the tension in your muscles, one group at a time.
4. If your mind starts to wander to stressful thoughts, turn your attention back to your breath.