Nutrition, sleep, goal-setting advice for good health

headshot image of Gordon Fimreite.Gordon Fimreite, ’86, wrote the book, “15 Steps to Healthy Living.”

Alum shares five tips from his new book

UW-La Crosse alumnus Gordon Fimreite’s new book “15 Steps to Healthy Living” combines current trends in health with age-old wisdom Fimreite learned from his grandmother. Olinda Fimreite lived to age 105.

Fimreite hopes the book encourages readers to adopt the mindset that healthy living is a journey — not a destination. He adds that UWL helped develop his own healthy lifestyle through sports and recreational activities. He played football for four years and ran track for one.

“I surrounded myself with other athletes and other like-minded students striving to be their best, which included advanced workout routines and nutritional knowledge,” says Fimreite. “UWL was the foundation of starting healthy living habits and subsequently goal setting and self discipline that came with it.”

Here are a few tips from the book:

Tip No. 1: Write out your goals

Years ago Fimreite heard a speech by Mark Victor Hanson, co-author of the popular “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, who challenged the audience write “101 Lifetime Goals.” Fimreite did it and found them stashed away years later. “I was in shock with disbelief,” he writes. “I had accomplished many of those goals!”

Writing out both personal and professional goals gives people an inner guide and map to set the course, says Fimreite. “It’s like programming a computer. If you write the software, the computer will perform the task. If you write down your goals (writing the software), your creative right brain and analytic left brain (the computer) will find a way to make your goal a reality.”

Task

  • Write a list of goals for the upcoming year
  • Write another list of lifetime goals
  • Write out your biggest successes or accomplishments from the previous year
  • Write what you learned and how you grew

Tip No. 2: Be intentional about getting better sleep

Adults should get seven or more hours of sleep per night, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But getting good sleep isn’t just about the moment you close your eyes. Fimreite’s book points to various things one can do throughout the day and, in particular, right before bed to improve sleep. Here are a few.

  • Go to sleep and get up consistently at the same time
  • Avoid bright light two hours before bedtime
  • Watch caffeine intake
  • Eat lightly and minimize liquids in the evening
  • Create a quiet, cool, comfortable and completely dark sleeping environment

Tip No. 3: Eat to increase metabolism

Metabolism slows as we age, which can mean weight gain. But gaining pounds as we age is not inevitable if one is proactive. In addition to being physically active, metabolism boosting can come from the foods people eat and when, Fimreite writes. Here are a few of his ideas about metabolism and eating.

  • Use smaller plates to encourage smaller portions
  • Only eat to the point of not feeling hungry
  • Eat four to five smaller meals throughout the day and two healthy snacks
  • Eat metabolism boosting foods like almonds, beans, berries, cinnamon, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, chia seeds, and spinach.
  • Eat high fiber foods to help you burn fat.

Tip No. 4: Let fiber be your guide

The secret for a carb being good or bad is fiber, writes Fimreite. Fiber helps lower blood sugar, slow absorption of sugar into the blood, cut cholesterol, feel full to promote weight control and more.

Whole plant foods, fruits and vegetables, and legumes (beans and peas) are good sources of fiber. Food made with white flour or white sugar is highly processed and stripped of beneficial fiber.

The recommended amount of daily fiber for the average man or woman is 25 grams — the amount in about three servings each of fruits and vegetables.

Tip No. 5: Use natural sweeteners and drinks

For those satisfying their taste buds with cookies, cakes, candy and sodas, one of the toughest challenges is to break this sugar addiction. But it can be done. Fimreite offers up healthier alternatives to processed sugar:

  • Naturally-sweetened herbal teas
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juice
  • Coconut water
  • Honey
  • Unrefined maple syrup
  • Brown rice syrup

About Gordon Fimreite: Gordon Fimreite, ’86, earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. He went on to earn a doctor of chiropractic degree at Palmer Chiropractic College in 1996. Today he is a chiropractor, author and speaker based in Chicago. Learn more. His book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.