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How to Upgrade Your Body in 2013

Christmas is over, and the new year is upon us. Next December we’ll get to here the “12 Days of Christmas” song again, but have you heard the First 12 Days of the Year song?

You can sing it to the same tune, but it makes different gift recommendations!

Or better yet, use the recommendations for every month of the year, and you’ll transform your health in 2013.

1- On the first day of the new year my true love gave to me: 9 minutes of meditation. Brain scans have proven how much meditation can do wonders to remove stress and create a peaceful state that can last. I will start this year incorporating 9 minutes of meditation a day. How about you?

2- On the second day of the new year my true love gave to me: a green juice — I used to drink a daily green juice, but like most people life got in the way and I stopped the habit. In 2013 I vowed to get back on track with a green juice 4-5 days a week. The main benefit of green juices is to get those powerful vegetables and greens in your diet in a super absorbable way. It’s a great way to keep your body alkaline. And the two keys to green juices are: 1) No need to go overboard. 8-12 ounces is plenty. 2) Clean the juicer right after you’re done juicing!

3- On the third day of the new year my true love gave to me: 1-2 ounces of almonds — Almonds are the best nuts to stay thin, according to a new study! Apparently it’s because they keep you full, but are not fully digested and therefore help you stay thin. Eating 1-2 ounces of almonds a day can do wonders.

4- On the fourth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 8 or 9 hours of sleep — Sleep is my new priority, after having battled with insomnia in the past. Getting a good 8 hours of sleep a night is essential to well-being and probably as important for your health than a good diet. Some people need less than 8 hours, some need more.

5- On the fifth day of the new year my true love gave to me: a standing or dreadmill desk — If you work from home and sit a lot, incorporating 2-3 hours a day on a standing desk can do wonders for your health. A new study showed that sitting more than 4 hours a day can be as dangerous for your health than smoking, and than exercising separately does not “undo” the damages from sitting. Consider a standing desk, or a treadmill desk (which Is what I now use). Or at the very list an exercise ball instead of a chair and frequent standing breaks!

6- On the sixth day of the new year my true love gave to me: a dry brush. Dry brushing every day, before you take a shower or bath, will do wonders for your skin. It activates circulations, removes dead skin, and will give you younger looking skin.

7 On the seventh day of the new year my true love gave to me: A blender to make a daily green smoothie. Last year I discover the OmniPowerBlender (, a heavy-duty blender as good as many competitors, but half the price. Use it or any other blender to make yourself a green smoothie for breakfast every morning.

8 On the eighth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 15 minutes of yoga. Most people who hang out at yoga classes don’t really need to be there. They’re already so flexible that doing hours and hours of more yoga won’t really make a big difference. But everyone that’s NOT going to yoga classes probably need to do some to stay flexible. I can’t commit to a full yoga class, but I’ll start doing 15 minutes of yoga every day in 2013. What about you?

9- On the ninth day of the new year my true love gave to me: A roller. I started using a firm foam roller to massage my sore muscles last year, but I wasn’t very disciplined. Soft tissue work is very important, and a simple 5 minute roller routine before going to bed can your muscles and soft tissues stay healthy. I’ll commit to 5 minutes of “rolling” every day in 2013!

10- On the tenth day of the new year my true love gave to me: A piece of fruit before every meal. Studies have shown that eating an entire piece of fruit (not juice) before each meal makes people eat less of the meal. This is a simple way to make a positive change in your diet almost effortlessly. Eat a big apple or orange before every meal (unless of course, your meal is just fruit…)

11- On the eleventh day of the new year my true love gave to me: a travel goal. Last year is the year that I discovered how to travel the world on pennies. I created a course on the topic (, on sale this month. A travel goal can keep you motivated, as a reward for all the good things you’ll be working on this year.

12- On the twelfth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 12 weeks of strength training — This is by far the best physical activity most people can do as they get older, and to prevent many of the problems that come with aging. Lower back pain, lack of strength, slow metabolism and belly fat can be a thing of the past if you start doing some weight training. I got back on track a few months ago and gained 10 pounds of muscle! Pictures will follow as soon as I muster the guts to take my shirt off… And women, don’t worry you won’t start looking like Hulk anytime soon. So no excuse not to do it.

You can make this year your healthiest year ever.

Upgrade your body to a new level in 2013…

Looking forward to helping you along the way.


PS: This article was inspired by one written by Shelli Stein, from

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.