July 15, 2024

Planning for Optimal Health by Dr. Lori Shemek

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were to just snap our fingers and all we wanted in life appeared instantly? We all know this isn’t a reality so we have to create our life, not with the snap of the fingers, but with a plan. We have control. 

Creating healthy change is almost as easy as snapping your fingers if you have that blueprint to take you to health success. Making, pardon the pun, ‘snap’ decisions regarding your health is a plan for failure. Why? Because you don’t have the necessary steps laid-out in front of you. You have to live your life on purpose!

For example, if you know you’ll be going to visit Grandma and she always cooks high calorie foods and sweets, your plan then is to eat a small healthy meal before you go that includes a lean protein and a smaller amount of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, beans, fruits or veggies) to help minimize the urge to overdo it at Grandma’s table.

Other health habits to include in your plan for success:

Get enough sleep.  Keeping your phone, computer or television by your side will prevent you from getting the 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Also, if you are a night owl, consider hitting the sack 1 hour earlier to acclimate your body to a longer sleep cycle. Sleep is vital to optimal health, emotional health and weight loss. 

Plan and prepare your food. The key to a healthy diet is to plan what you are going to purchase at the store and what you are going to make for your meals. Have your grocery list full of healthy foods in hand when you go shopping. Prepare most of your meals in advance. Step out of the ‘Convenience Culture’ mentality that is slowly damaging your health.  Stopping at the drive-thru is convenient yes…but it is also your first class ticket to weight gain and poor health. Pre-chop those veggies, boil a carton of eggs for meals and snacks, make those lunches the night before. By planning and preparing your meals, you are setting yourself-up for healthy success.

Schedule Your Exercise. Select a day and a time to exercise that you absolutely know you will stick to! Put it in your appointment book or calendar and honor it as you would a doctor appointment. This action is ‘accountability’ and accountability is vital for any successful endeavor including fitness. If you are consistent with this, exercising will become something that you do automatically, much like brushing your teeth.

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, lose weight, reduce stress, age younger, or just create optimal health, you’ll find a plan is your key to achieving optimal health.

Dr. Lori Shemek is a Health Expert for the #1 ABC Show “Good Morning Texas!”  She is the author of “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn:  Super-Easy Quick Tips, Strategies and Goals”  http://dlsHealthWorks.com/


  1. Ziz says:

    Planning my food is my #1 one endeavor for the year as it relates to healthy living. I exercise routinely, however, six pack abs are made in the kitchen so planning will be essential for me this year.
    I tend to skip meals at lunch time because I am not enamored with the choices. I will be brown bagging it and saving $$ as well. Having an agreement with accountability partner can also be a big help to those who need it.

    • hywo says:

      Thanks for your comments Ziz! A little planning goes a long way towards living healthy. Congratulations to you for being proactive about your health!

  2. Lori Shemek says:

    Hi Ziz!

    Congratulations! You are taking excellents steps toward optimal success. Every step, no matter how small, will take you to your ultimate goal if consistent. Just a small amount of time spent is key and the payoff is HUGE!

    • hywo says:

      Thanks for your expertise Lori! It’s a great reminder that every step, no matter how insignificant it may seem, moves us in the direction of our goal. We just need to keep taking steps! Thanks for the motivation!

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