Trying to accomplish major life goals without feeling your best is tough. Health is essential to our feelings of well-being and confidence. In this podcast episode Nutrition and Wellness Coach Danielle Daem shares her ideas for simplifying the way you approach health goals.

We are constantly being bombarded by advertisements and social queues and different things in our daily lives that tell us to be confused. And then they offer us the solution like, ‘I’ll fix it by taking this pill or doing this diet’, or, ‘You’ll be healed, I can help you’. But, when it really comes down to health and getting to a point where you understand this is actually healthy for you specifically, it is extremely simple. Every day, eat food that doesn’t come in a package, make connections with people that make your brain stimulated and happy. It’s not much more than that.”—Danielle Daem, New Growth Wellness

Danielle touched on some really important topics; in particular, how important it is to be conscious about your food choices. It’s a simple as creating meal plans or buying most of your food package-free to avoid processed food, which is the really addicting stuff.

A couple of years ago, I attended a talk by Michael Moss, author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” and I was blown away by the evidence showing how our taste buds are manipulated for profit. During the talk, Moss suggested the best way forward was to start advertising whole foods the same way kids cereals are. Make broccoli sexy or fun. Brilliant idea.

One of the worst crimes the food industry commits, in my humble opinion, is false or misleading advertising—the kind they can get away with. Have you ever seen FAT FREE highlighted on a package containing something that typically wouldn’t have fat in it anyways? It’s ridiculous, but it works because nearly 60% of Americans’ daily calories come from “ultraprocessed” foods, which the study authors define as food containing ingredients such as flavours, colours, sweeteners and hydrogenated oils, emulsifiers and other additives that you wouldn’t cook with at home.

And food’s the same as exercise. As Danielle points out, pills, diets, and gym passes won’t make you healthier. Most of the exercise she does costs nothing. Walking and running is free!

Instead of focusing on a diet to help you reach your health goals, go a little deeper. What health goals do you want to achieve? If it’s losing weight, there are a number of simple ways to do that that don’t require ultra-restrictive diets. You just have to commit and create new habits.

It’s not easy. Despite Dani’s recommendation, I can’t kick coffee first thing in the morning, but it’s a habit I’m willing to live with right now as I make adjustments in other areas. For example, my new habit is daily exercise—and I CRAVE it. I’ll run in the rain, bike in the dark, and do yoga when it’s too gross outside to do either of the former activities. This costs me nothing but the initial price of equipment. Simple!

Learn more about Danielle’s amazing work at New Growth Wellness, and here’s a link to her homemade Sunshine Crunch Granola. Also, check out her free weekly health tip videos on Facebook and see pictures of her ultra-delicious looking food on Instagram.