Get a Clean Slate: 10 Ways to Start 2015 Right

January 6, 2015
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

2015 has just begun…

If you’ve ever set resolutions before, you know how easily they can fall by the wayside.  So, this year I’ve put together a fail-proof list of “habits”—not resolutions—that will make you feel so good, you’ll never want to turn back.

1. Combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression with Probiotics

Brand new research has made another compelling argument for the importance of the normal flora in our bodies.  A study published in Psychopharmacology showed that pre-biotics (fiber that feeds good bacteria) make a significant difference in our emotional state.  Volunteers taking a pre-biotic had lower cortisol levels, reduced anxiety and depression, and less of a stress response to negative stimuli than the volunteers who received a placebo.

I’ve taken Flora-Key for years now. I pop it into my morning smoothie, use it as a sweetener and add it to no-heat recipes. I’m thankful it provides complete microbiome support offering prebiotic FOS and probiotics acidophilus, B. longum, B. bifidum, L. reuteri, and L. plantarum.

2. Practice Oil Pulling

This ancient Ayurvedic technique is the swishing of oil (coconut, sesame or macadamia nut) to remove harmful bacteria from your gums and between your teeth.  Benefits include fresh breath, whiter teeth, fewer sick days, less sensitivity and reduction of gum pockets.

First thing upon waking up, take ten to twenty minutes to swish about 2 teaspoons of oil as you go about your morning routine, checking email doing yoga stretches and reading the news.  When you’re finished, spit the oil into a plastic baggie and discard. Follow by rinsing and brushing your teeth.

3. Drink Hot Lemon Water

Let the first beverage of your day be one that packs a punch of healthy advantages.  Squeezing half a lemon into a cup of hot water creates an elixir that alkalizes your body, improves digestion and fat burning, stabilizes blood sugar, detoxifies your liver and strengthens immunity.

Lemon rind contains limonene, a compound that PubMed explains, “Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

4. Quit Comparing Yourself to Everyone Else

Social media often serves as a platform to present a “highlight” reel of our lives. Engaging in too much online activity prevents you from being present in your real life.

We often compare our seemingly mundane every day life to the more exciting experiences our friends are sharing non-stop.  The truth is, we all are presented with amazing opportunities throughout our lives, and wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out because we’re too busy living vicariously through others?

5. Get Back to Your Roots

Your ancestors really knew a thing or two about sustaining themselves by selecting nourishing foods that were available in their immediate geographical area.  You can do the same!

Learn which particular foods best suit your unique blood type and genetic heritage in my book Your Body Knows Best.  Apply those principles as much as you can to foods that are locally grown and sold.  Not only will you thrive nutritionally, but so will your local economy and our global environment.

6. Bone Up On Broth

Create nourishing homemade soups for yourself and your family by simmering this simple soup that offers the ultimate in nutrition.  Beef, poultry or fish bones can be boiled with vegetables to create a stock rich in minerals, collagen (for beautiful skin, hair and fingernails), glucosamine and chondroitin (for healthy joints) and gelatin (to fortify the digestive tract to protect against and heal leaky gut).

7. Start a Food Journal

Food sensitivity awareness is on the rise.  Gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs and nuts are gaining recognition as common dietary culprits. But, how do you know if they aren’t for you?  Right off the bat I’ll tell you that corn and soy have got to go!  They are both major GMO crops.  Corn is frequently a source of toxic mold. Unfermented soy is a hormone disrupter.

The best way to narrow down your food sensitivity risk is by keeping a detailed food diary noting your body’s experiences and reactions to each food in question.  Reactions like gas, bloating, sleepiness, headaches or cramps can occur anywhere from 10 minutes to 12 hours after you’ve eaten.  By honestly tracking these types of responses, you’ll be able to clearly identify which foods are hidden sources of inflammation.

8. De-Clutter Your Life

Feng Shui principles help direct the flow of energy in a positive way through our homes and business environments.  Clutter traps and blocks that flow of energy, so take some time to clear out your personal spaces.

Each time you clean or organize a room, use the rule of 5. Find 5 things (garbage, old magazines, broken items, stained clothing, etc.) that you can throw out or donate.  Let these things go and you’ll be surprised as you open yourself up to receiving better things in the future.

9. Meditate Daily

I’m reluctant to even put a label on this one, as meditation can be something different for everyone.  You might enjoy a minute of deep breathing before entering the office in the morning.  Your best friend may daydream while looking at photos of tropical locales and imagine feeling the sun on her skin and sand between her toes.  Maybe your mother winds down by knitting or crocheting in the evening.

Whatever promotes a sense of peace and allows your mind to relax—do that.  Every day.  Even if only for a moment!

10. Turn Your Cellphone Off at Night

Sleeping with a smart phone inches away from our heads is increasingly common in our digital society.  Not only does this cause distraction as we are trying to fall asleep, but these devices actually emit electromagnetic frequencies that disrupt our very basic biological processes.  The non-ionizing radiation from cell phones triggers the production of over 20 stress proteins that negatively impact your adrenals and thyroid.

For ideal rest and rejuvenation, power down your mobile devices about two hours before bedtime.  At the very least, set your phone to “airplane mode” or remove it from your bedroom.


Weigh in below with your game plan for 2015 and share any helpful tips that you would like to pass along.  I’d be thrilled to hear from you!

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Pauline Schmitt

    Thank you for this list. I agree with everything on it. Unfortunately, oil pulling totally effects my gag reflex. Is there a trick to it?

    • Team ALG

      Hi Pauline, thank you for your comment! You might try starting off with just a single teaspoon of oil. Also, experiment with different oils to find one that you might consider more pleasant.

  2. Kim MacV

    Thank you so much for this list! Gives me concrete direction instead of say “eat less, exercise more” babble usually floating around at New Years. Question: on last one about cell phones, is it ok to put in closed nightstand drawer? I do not have a landline phone so I am hesitant to really turn off in case of an emergency and I need access to say 911 immediately. Thank you again.

    • Team ALG

      Hi Kim, In your case a Pong case for your phone would be the ideal way to go!

  3. Daniel Damiani

    Thank You for the sound suggestions. Beyond their common sense I feel they are a source of direction for living in complete harmony with ourselves easily disrupted by so many needless distractions in all the learned complexities bombarding us from every angle, especially the media influences.

    • Team ALG

      Thank you, Daniel. Wishing you a harmonious 2015!

  4. Charlotte

    Great motivational tips as usual – great to kick start a new healthier happier year – thanks Anne – Louise. I especially found the bit about social media interesting – i spend way too much time on it and it at times does effect me and stops me being present in my own life. Also i will be starting a food journal. Here comes 2015 a better year please.

    • Team ALG

      Thank you, Charlotte. You may find the Fat ‘Flush Journal and Shopping Guide’ to be a great help. Blessings for the New Year!

  5. Margo Parker

    Thank you Ann Louise Gittleman – Great and useful tips for a healthy New Year!

  6. Victoria Lyda

    Sorry to keep re-voicing the previous comments, but I would like to say thank you for these wonderful suggestions! Even when we have information that will help us we need to keep seeing it because it’s so easy to get into a rut and forget what we need to be doing. Here’s to a grand 2015 for all of us!

  7. Judy

    I noticed the one about taking lemon water as soon as you get up. I thought the cranwater elixir was the first thing to take.

    • Team ALG

      Hi Judy, ideally you will enjoy the hot lemon water before your long life cocktail. Thank you for your question!

  8. Betty

    Always wonderful advice, Ann. Sharing the cell phone comments to grandson who struggles with sleep. At 14 he takes Melatonin. Says he needs it.
    Question: would the oils applied to gums work as well when applied the last thing at night. I’ve also read that applying liquid CoQ10 from capsules works well to eliminate bacteria. Your thoughts.

    • Team ALG

      Hi Betty, there are healing benefits to applying the oil to your gums at night, but that would not be a substitute for oil pulling first thing in the morning. The CoQ10 could possibly be beneficial as well, but the research mostly focuses on other oils. Best wishes to you and your grandson!

  9. Joonar

    Glad to know that probiotics can combat Stress, Anxiety and Depression. I drinks probiotics everyday to avoid constipation.

  10. Total Flora

    Probiotics are generally used as a supplement to MDD treatment. The studies I’ve read suggested that probiotics taken alone, without any other medication, do not possess depression-fighting powers. However, they are thought to boost the efficacy of depression treatment. Think of how the blue lanterns charge up green rings in the Green Lantern animated series.


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