Welcome to the Whole Body Action Plan! We're making 2010 our healthiest year yet, and we're starting with one week at a time. If you missed us when we ran this program in January, you're in luck: We've reworked it into a new-and-improved plan that you can do, on your own or with our community, any time during the year.
Using the following slides as a guide, you'll learn new strategies for living a healthier lifestyle. You'll revamp your eating habits with a four-day detox program, clear your mind with stress-relief exercises, and energize your body with a workout that builds week after week to incorporate cardio, strength training, and flexibility.
Get Daily Emails
This program is designed to run for 28 days, starting on a Monday. To receive 28 days worth of emails to guide to along with tips and recipes, sign up in the box to the right. Your emails will begin on the following Monday morning.
Join the Community
Our Whole Living Community will play an important role in the program: It's where you'll be able to create a profile, correspond with experts and editors, reach out to other Action Plan followers, and track your progress by posting blogs, photos, and more. Check back often for updates, including posts from Action Plan bloggers across the country who are also following the plan.
Use the Online Tools
All the tools, recipes, and instructions you'll need to follow the plan week by week can be found here, at wholeliving.com/28days. Our wellness calculators can help you determine your fitness and nutritional needs, and the printable plans (listed below) can keep you on track when you're away from your computer.
Ready to get started? Feel free to explore -- and give us your feedback. We can't wait to hear from you!
The first week of the Action Plan is about creating a clean slate: You'll ease into a four-day detox to supercharge your health. The mostly liquid meal plan delivers nutrients "in a fuel-injected way" that's less taxing on the body than solid foods, says "Clean" author Alejandro Junger, M.D., creator of our detox program.
"When the digestive system is working less rigorously, your body can focus on detoxification," Junger explains. Driving out toxins, he adds, can help you start to feel revitalized from head to toe.
In the three days before your detox, focus on whole grains, vegetables, fruit, fish, and chicken; avoid sugar, dairy, fried foods, and other foods on the Detox Foods to Exclude list. Drink plenty of water, and ease up on the caffeine: Try green tea over black tea or coffee.
You can also head to the store with this handy detox shopping list, which includes all the ingredients you need for days 4 through 7 (Thursday through Sunday if you start on a Monday).
People with certain health conditions shouldn't detox; if you're not sure, check with your doctor.
During this pre-detox period, assess your fitness with four simple tests, developed by Kent Burden, mind-body program director of the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Record the results in a journal or on your free Action Plan Blog so you can track your progress.
"If you aren't happy with your fitness test results," says Bob Harper, trainer on "The Biggest Loser" and author of "Are You Ready!", "remember this is just a starting point on your way to becoming stronger and healthier."
During your four-day detox, stick to liquid meals (fresh juices, smoothies, and soups) for breakfast and dinner and a solid meal at lunch. If you don't have a juicer, grab a smoothie or visit an organic juice bar.
For snacks, try raw veggies, fresh berries, or raw almonds along with herbal tea. Keep drinking lots of water, flavoring it with lemon or mint if you want. And for optimal cleansing, leave at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
Devote half an hour daily to gentle exercise (stretching, leisurely walking, or yoga) to rev up your circulation. Your energy levels may fluctuate during the detox, so rest when you're tired instead of struggling through. And be sure to get eight hours of sleep each night.
Throughout the Action Plan, take time each day to keep a journal or an online Action Plan blog about the experience.
The journal is a way to set your goals for better health, to begin paying attention to what you're eating and why, and to figure out what's really causing you stress. And at the end of the Action Plan, it will be a record of your results.