Herbs have magnificent healing powers and can be used to treat many serious yet common ailments and to boost your health.

Eating Habits

Eating out will be a process of change–getting away from old unhealthy food choices. Old habits are hard to break, especially when it comes to the way we eat. Change requires a step into the unfamiliar. It requires discipline, dedication, determination, confidence, sacrifice and commitment. However, the good news is that we have put together a lesson that will help eliminate those fears of change by teaching you how you can still enjoy all those terrific foods that you used to enjoy without feeling deprived. Read over the do's and don'ts in the ethnic part of the lesson. Here are a few that you will find helpful:

• Eat early and eat often. GBP: 5 small meals/day. AGB: 3 small meals/day. Try to eat most of your meals before nighttime. This will give you time to include any physical activity you may need to burn off the calories. As a general rule, you should try to eat something or take your protein every three or four hours and drink your water in between. This will keep your blood sugar stable while keeping your energy levels high.

• Begin each day with a healthy breakfast. Start with a good protein drink. Or if you can, have whole grains and lean protein. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast generally eat less fat and fewer calories throughout the day.

• Enjoy protein drinks throughout the day. You will get all of your nutrition and not be as hungry.

• When you eat, just eat. Try not to watch TV or have other distractions that can lead to mindless eating.

• Get some social support. Surround yourself with positive people who are genuinely happy for you in that you have devoted yourself to a healthy lifestyle. Your self-confidence and self-esteem will begin to grow as you slowly unwind a lifetime worth of unhealthy habits while integrating your new, healthier eating style for the rest of your life.

• Avoid buffet-style restaurants. Eating "just a little" of 12 different foods turns into a lot of food. The practice of measuring food and exercising control over your environment will lead to success.

• Cut down on fat by removing the outer coating or any skin before eating fried chicken. GBP patients will usually get diarrhea or have a upset stomach due to fat, and AGB patients must watch the fat because of weight gain.

You need to know that setbacks are a part of the process of change. You will make mistakes. Guess what? It's okay. We all do. You are going to have days when you want to give up or just binge on food all day long. This is a learning process. It's another opportunity for you to advance closer to your goal. When you have setbacks, you MUST realize that this is normal and that you have not failed. But, how you respond to a setback is very important. Just dust yourself off and realize that you have many more days to correct this setback. Remember, if you follow our guidelines, YOU KNOW YOU WILL SUCCEED.

Every time you make a healthy choice, you have progressed. It doesn't matter if you're at your goal weight or not, always reward yourself along the way. Without this positive reinforcement, it is very easy to give up, especially if you have just started and have a significant amount of weight to lose. Feel good about your accomplishment as you progress toward your goals. Think positively about yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back by buying that special item that you have been looking at for the last few months instead of "waiting" until you reach goal weight. Stay motivated and you'll see progress. Stand, walk and smile like a person at goal weight who is feeling terrific about himself or herself. Getting fit and healthy is a journey, and it is important to stay positive always.