If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or even just plain feeling crummy as a result of the Standard American Diet (SAD), you’ll want to seriously consider detoxifying.
Unfortunately, feeling lousy has become the “new normal” for many people. We dismiss things like carrying around extra weight, feeling achy, constantly being tired, having no sex drive and increased risk for disease as natural consequences of getting older.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
I’m here to say they are not, and that a well-designed detoxification plan can help you reclaim control of your appetite, end cravings, speed up your metabolism, lose belly fat, and even reverse disease.
Best of all, you begin getting these results within the first few days.
Although the idea of a detox sounds extreme, I strongly believe that it is the only way to restore balance to your blood sugar, reduce insulin spikes, balance hormones, cool off inflammation, improve digestion, and boost your metabolism. Think of a detox as your “reset” button.
That’s why I designed The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet as a fast-track plan that will enable you to shed upwards of 10 pounds and radically reboot your entire system in just 10 short days.
You can effortlessly put that plan into action with The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook, my latest cookbook that provides easy-to-create, family-friendly, delicious recipes that support you in all three phases of this plan.
Think of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet as a fun, delicious, energy-boosting scientific method for detoxing from sugar. It will quickly arrest the hormones and brain chemicals that make you hungry and crave sugar and carbs. Instead of being in a state of storing fat and being burdened with a slow metabolism, you will speed up your metabolism and turn on fat burning.
Who Should Detox?
If you are addicted in any way to food, or your relationship to food is interfering with your quality of life or food is doing anything other than helping you to thrive and feel amazing, then you need this detox.
If you have diabesity—the continuum of metabolic damage ranging from a little belly fat to pre-diabetes to type 2 diabetes—or if you have Feel Like Crap (FLC) Syndrome and are toxic, then detoxification can profoundly improve your health and the quality of your life.
The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the most effective way to gain control of your life and your health, no matter what your current situation. And because I encourage you to keep track of your progress during the detox, you will see the results right away.
Yes, you will lose weight on this plan, but you will also create numerous other immediate but lasting benefits. Here I want to discuss 10 “highlights” of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet.
1. You break free from the mammoth, health hostage-holding food industry.
Detoxing will help you reverse the food addiction that’s brought on by the trillion-dollar industrial food system—the forces that turn sugar, salt and fat into drug-like foods that hook you with every bite. This steady stream of hyper-processed, highly palatable, intensely addictive foods sabotages your brain chemistry, your waistline and your health.
As if food addiction isn’t destructive enough on its own, the industrial foods that have this drug-like effect can also lead to diabesity.
The way to reclaim your health and your life starts with what I call food rehab. It incorporates dramatic change for sure, but on the flip side—it will provide you with the fundamental skills to help you lose weight, change your biochemistry and kick your addiction forever.
The food industry has hijacked our taste buds, metabolism, waistlines and brain chemistry. The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet helps us reclaim our health and break free from the food industry that has money, not health, as its bottom line.
2. You will feel full and satisfied.
You probably know what it feels like to eat sugary, processed foods and feel stuffed, yet a couple hours later you’re hungry again and, oddly enough, wanting more of the same food that left you stuffed and miserable in the first place.
Day One of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet will end that “never satisfied” feeling. The plan includes high-quality protein, fats and non-starchy vegetables that don’t spike blood sugar or insulin. These foods detoxify your body, reignite your metabolism, calm body-wide inflammation and fill you up. You don’t need to count calories or anything else here because you naturally eat less.
Remember, it is very hard to control how much you eat, but easy to control what you eat. It is the quality of the food and the composition of your meal that matters most in reversing weight gain and creating health.
When you eat this combination of foods, you can eat until you’re gently satisfied without focusing on calories or portion sizes. You will feel satisfied without ever being hungry.
Unlike sugary, processed foods that spike and crash your blood sugar, the non-starchy vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds and good fats in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet lead to a slow, sustained rise in blood sugar levels, keeping you full and focused for hours.
3. You become a shining example to others and future generations.
When you reverse diabesity and chronic disease doing The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you become an instant example to inspire others. A ripple effect ensues, where your friends, family, coworkers and others around you become inspired to make their own health changes.
Not only that; you will also be the best example for your children and adolescents.
Today, one in two Americans has either pre-diabetes or diabetes. In less than a decade, the rate of pre-diabetes or diabetes in teenagers has risen from nine percent to 23 percent. That means almost one in four kids have pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Sadly, obese children will earn less, suffer more and die younger.
Your example will help reverse these dismal statistics. It only takes one person to start a revolution, and The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet helps you become the change that motivates and empowers others.
4. You save money.
Unfortunately, we’ve been misled to think eating healthy is expensive, when in reality overpriced processed food keeps us fat and sick while draining our bank account but also our big-picture health. We are more likely to be at the doctor’s office, take more sick days and otherwise spend more money when we don’t take care of our health.
The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet helps you save money in more immediate ways, too. Are you ordering take out on Friday nights? You may be surprised to find that cooking your own food with the recipes in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook can save you money. By reorganizing your budget and taking a look at other non-essential discretionary spending, you might create more funding for good food.
5. You discover renewed vigor.
Most of us just don’t connect the dots. We have FLC Syndrome. If we eat crap, then we feel like crap. When you do The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you wake up feeling vital, vibrant, alive, joyful and full of energy.
Almost immediately, you will find that your energy, sleep and mood improve, that chronic problems including joint pain, digestive problems, autoimmune disease, headaches, memory problems and brain fog, sinus and allergy issues, even acne, eczema and psoriasis will get better or disappear entirely.
Even if you are thin but have symptoms of being toxic like fatigue, brain fog, achiness, digestive issues, allergies and headaches, this plan can help heal you quickly.
Most of us don’t connect what we are eating to how we feel. With The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, feeling good is only a few days away.
6. You lose weight.
This is the one everyone has been waiting for, right? The scientific establishment has convinced us that losing weight is just a matter of calories in/calories out, energy balance and eating less while exercising more.
How’s that working out for you? Probably not so well. Problem is, the scientific establishment is different from the established science.
The science says sugar and flour calories are way different. First, they trigger addiction and overeating. Second, they spike insulin and inflammation, which makes you store belly fat and blocks your ability to feel full.
The verdict is in: Sugar calories are worse than whole food calories. Sugar spikes insulin and triggers inflammation, a double whammy guaranteed to mess up any attempt at long-term weight loss.
When you do The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you eliminate nasty toxins (including sugar) that hold your weight hostage. You replace the sugary, processed foods with whole, fresh, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods. It becomes a win-win as you reach your ideal weight almost effortlessly.
7. You eliminate cravings.
The foods in The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet help you steady blood sugar levels to reduce overeating and cravings.
Sugar and flour are biologically addictive. The science behind it is clear and conclusive. Yet we blame the fat person for being a lazy glutton, which leads to shame and guilt. I am here to tell you it’s not your fault.
Your biology has been hijacked by the food industry. They have done a hostile takeover of your taste buds, brain chemistry, hormones and metabolism.
More than 300 food industry insiders spilled the beans to Michael Moss in his book, Salt, Sugar and Fat, explaining they hire “craving experts” to create the “bliss point” of junk food to create “heavy users” and increase their “stomach share.”
Sugar is the new nicotine. In fact, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. If you are trying to use willpower to lose weight you will fail. A detox allows you to unhook yourself from the addictive power of sugar, flour, and hyper-processed, hyper-palatable food-like.
With The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you will finally get off the cravings roller coaster and reclaim your freedom from sugary, processed foods that hold you hostage.
8. You have more fulfilling sex.
I bet you weren’t expecting this one, were you? Yet sex hormones, toxicity and healthy insulin balance are more intimately linked than you might think. We’ve somehow thought low sex drive and other symptoms become normal as we age.
They don’t. Libido-crashing mood disorders in women and men reaching for a “little blue pill” do not need to be a part of the aging process. Bad habits such as drinking and smoking, exposure to environmental toxins and being chronically stressed all diminish sex hormone balance.
When you do The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you eliminate toxins (and yes, sugar is a toxin) that create hormonal imbalances and wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Once you understand how insulin can impact other hormones (including your sex hormones), you begin to connect the dots about how toxic food and a toxic environment can wreck your sex life.
9. You discover a deeper connection with yourself.
While you detoxify on The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, you get to examine your thoughts and beliefs, and the ways in which you live that don’t support the greatest expression of who you are.
On this plan, you will record your measurements and stats in your Detox Journal to track your progress. Each evening, you’ll record what you ate, how much exercise you did, the number of hours you slept and how many minutes that day you dedicated to the prescribed relaxation techniques. Research shows people who write down what they do lose twice as much weight as those who don’t. This alone can become a life-changing experience.
A detox will quickly help you feel better and show you how health, energy, weight loss, and, yes, even happiness are available to you when you use food as medicine and make a few simple changes in your day.
Once you experience what it feels like to feel good, to get rid of brain fog, cravings, joint pain, fatigue, excess weight and a myriad of other chronic health problems, then you know there is a path forward.
10. You simplify your food choices.
The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet lays out everything you can and cannot eat, so you’re never stuck deciding whether a particular food fits into the plan. The plan simplifies food to three basics—quality proteins, healthy fats and non-starchy veggies. No guesswork, counting, or “points,” so you can focus on other things.
On this plan, you’ll eliminate sugar in all its many forms. You’ll also skip out on grains, gluten-containing foods, legumes and dairy. Trust me, you’ll still have plenty of foods to eat.
The beauty of this is that these three basics can be mixed and matched in any number of ways, so you’ll never tire of eating this way. Have a fillet of miso-glazed salmon with bok choy sautéed in your favorite oil. Enjoy a spicy chicken breast over a chopped salad with a drizzle of fine olive oil. Dig into a juicy filet of beef served with broccoli and cauliflower sautéed in coconut oil.
At every meal, you can enjoy a different variety of foods, flavors and textures so you’ll never be bored. Who says detoxing needs to be bland or lackluster? Not on this plan!
I hope you see that while The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet becomes a powerfully effective 10-day detox, you can ultimately sustain and thrive on this plan for life.
The Transition Phase (Phase Three) gives you a road map for what to do after your 10-Day Detox, and how to transition to a long-term health and weight loss strategy based on my book The Blood Sugar Solution. I know you’ll want to continue feeling as great as you do immediately after the 10 days.
The antidote to food addiction, FLC syndrome and diabesity doesn’t lie in the pharmacy—it lies, as I have always said, in the “farmacy”. The foods in your farmer’s market and supermarket hold the cure, and The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet is the way to break the cycle and reset, reboot and restore your body to good health.
I do this plan four times a year—not to lose weight, but to reboot my life. It’s like a vacation without going anywhere. For me, it’s a form of self-created paradise. I hope it is for you, too.
If you’ve ever believed detox means drudgery, starvation or otherwise suffering, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet will shift your perspective and provide the pathway to weight loss and optimal health.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Jessica Corbett
A new study is shedding light on just how much ice could be lost around Antarctica if the international community fails to urgently rein in planet-heating emissions, bolstering arguments for bolder climate policies.
The study, published Thursday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, found that over a third of the area of all Antarctic ice shelves — including 67% of area on the Antarctic Peninsula — could be at risk of collapsing if global temperatures soar to 4°C above pre-industrial levels.
- Antarctica's 'Doomsday Glacier' Is Starting to Crack - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Make Unexpected Find Beneath Antarctic Ice - EcoWatch ›
By Sharon Buccino
This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.
By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello
The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.
The Bell Curve is Warping Dangerously<img class="rm-lazyloadable-image rm-shortcode" lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNjAzODUwNi9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3NzE1OTU4N30.qQL3P1IvA7Cwj_UbsrAL6MVZvafXGZc7hlAFieLPvso/img.png?width=980" id="9bbfd" width="1580" height="872" data-rm-shortcode-id="16ca57badee20ad55037706875f813f4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
If you look at each line in this chart, you can see a slight dip in total species richness between 1955 and 1974. This deepens substantially in the following decades. Anthony Richardson, Author provided<p>This global pattern — where the number of species starts lower at the poles and peaks at the equator — results in a bell-shaped gradient of species richness. We looked at distribution records for nearly 50,000 marine species collected since 1955 and found a growing dip over time in this bell shape.</p>
This Has Happened Before<p>We shouldn't be surprised global biodiversity has responded so rapidly to global warming. This has happened before, and with dramatic consequences.</p><p><strong>252 million years ago…</strong></p><p>At the end of the Permian geological period about 252 million years ago, global temperatures warmed by 10℃ over 30,000-60,000 years as a result of greenhouse gas emissions from volcano eruptions in Siberia.</p><p><a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/30/17578" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2020 study</a> of the fossils from that time shows the pronounced peak in biodiversity at the equator flattened and spread. During this mammoth rearranging of global biodiversity, 90% of all marine species were killed.</p><p><strong>125,000 years ago…</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/109/52/21378" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2012 study showed</a> that more recently, during the rapid warming around 125,000 years ago, there was a similar swift movement of reef corals away from the tropics, as documented in the fossil record. The result was a pattern similar to the one we describe, although there was no associated mass extinction.</p><p>Authors of the study suggested their results might foreshadow the effects of our current global warming, ominously warning there could be mass extinctions in the near future as species move into the subtropics, where they might struggle to compete and adapt.</p><p><strong>Today…</strong></p><p><a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/23/12891" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">During the last ice age</a>, which ended around 15,000 years ago, the richness of forams (a type of hard-shelled, single-celled plankton) peaked at the equator and has been dropping there ever since. This is significant as plankton is a keystone species in the foodweb.</p><p>Our study shows that decline has accelerated in recent decades due to human-driven climate change.</p>
The Profound Implications<p>Losing species in tropical ecosystems means ecological resilience to environmental changes is reduced, potentially compromising ecosystem persistence.</p><p>In subtropical ecosystems, species richness is increasing. This means there'll be species invaders, novel predator-prey interactions, and new competitive relationships. For example, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-13/sydney-growing-own-coral-reef-with-help-from-tropical-fish/11466192" target="_blank">tropical fish</a> moving into Sydney Harbour compete with temperate species for food and habitat.</p><p>This could result in ecosystem collapse — as was seen at the boundary between the Permian and Triassic periods — in which species go extinct and ecosystem services (such as food supplies) are permanently altered.</p><p>The changes we describe will also have profound implications for human livelihoods. For example, many tropical island nations depend on the revenue from tuna fishing fleets through the selling of licenses in their territorial waters. Highly mobile tuna species are likely to move rapidly toward the subtropics, potentially beyond sovereign waters of island nations.</p><p><span></span>Similarly, many reef species important for artisanal fishers — and highly mobile megafauna such as whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles that support tourism — are also likely to move toward the subtropics.</p><p>The movement of commercial and artisanal fish and marine megafauna could compromise the ability of tropical nations to meet the <a href="https://sdgs.un.org/goals" target="_blank">Sustainable Development Goals</a> concerning zero hunger and marine life.</p>
Is There Anything We Can Do?<p>One pathway is laid out in the Paris Climate Accords and involves aggressively reducing our emissions. Other opportunities are also emerging that could help safeguard biodiversity and hopefully minimise the worst impacts of it shifting away from the equator.</p><p>Currently 2.7% of the ocean is conserved in <a href="https://mpatlas.org/" target="_blank">fully or highly protected reserves</a>. This is well short of the 10% target by 2020 under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.</p><p>But <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/global-ocean-alliance-30by30-initiative/about#global-ocean-alliance-members" target="_blank">a group of 41 nations</a> is pushing to set a new target of protecting 30% of the ocean by 2030.</p><p>This "30 by 30" target could ban seafloor mining and remove fishing in reserves that can destroy habitats and release as much carbon dioxide as <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03371-z" target="_blank">global aviation</a>. These measures would remove pressures on biodiversity and promote ecological resilience.</p><p>Designing climate-smart reserves could further protect biodiversity from future changes. For example, reserves for marine life could be placed in refugia where the climate will be stable over the foreseeable future.</p><p>We now have evidence that climate change is impacting the best-known and strongest global pattern in ecology. We should not delay actions to try to mitigate this.</p><p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anthony-richardson-100303" target="_blank">Anthony Richardson</a>: Professor, The University of Queensland. <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chhaya-chaudhary-1223419" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Chhaya Chaudhary</a>: University of Auckland, <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-schoeman-111544" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">David Schoeman</a>: Professor of Global-Change Ecology, University of the Sunshine Coast, <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-john-costello-1223418" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mark John Costello</a>: Professor, University of Auckland</em></p><p><em>Disclosure statement: Anthony Richardson receives funding from the Australian Research Council.</em></p><p><em>Chhaya Chaudhary works for Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. During her PhD studies (2014- 2019), she received part- funding from the European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet) Biology project funded by the European Commission's Directorate—General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), and received U21 Doctoral Mobility Scholarship from the University of Auckland in 2016.</em></p><p><em>David Schoeman receives funding from the Australian Research Council.</em></p><p><em>Mark John Costello does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.</em></p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/marine-life-is-fleeing-the-equator-to-cooler-waters-history-tells-us-this-could-trigger-a-mass-extinction-event-158424" target="_blank" style="">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>
- Netflix's 'Seaspiracy': Viewers React to Fishing Documentary ... ›
- Mysterious Circling Behavior Observed in Large Marine Animals ... ›
In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b102b19b2719f50272ab718c44703dd0"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xOySOlB78dM?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Herring are a primary food source for Norway's orcas. Luis Lamar / National Geographic for Disney+
Belugas are extremely social creatures with a varied vocal range. Peter Kragh / National Geographic for Disney+
A Southern Right whales is pictured in the accompanying book, "Secrets of the Whales." Brian Skerry / National Geographic
The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.
A Coeligena helianthea hummingbird is photographed during a birdwatching trail at the Monserrate hill in Bogota on November 11, 2020. Colombia is the country with the largest bird diversity in the world, home to about 1,934 different bird species, a fifth of the total known. JUAN BARRETO / AFP / Getty Images
1. Choosing the Right Binoculars<p>Binoculars are a relatively indispensable tool for most birders – but, for those just starting out, it might not yet be worth the several-hundred-dollar investment. If you aren't able to scour the attics of friends or borrow a pair from a fellow bird watcher, some local birding and naturalist groups have <a href="https://vashonaudubon.org/all-about-vashon-birds/binoculars-check-out/" target="_blank">binocular loaning programs</a> for members, allowing you to plan ahead for a day (or week) of birding.</p><p>When you're ready to take the plunge, choosing a pair or binoculars should take some careful deliberation based on your needs and preferences; some <a href="https://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/bwdsite/explore/optics/top-10-tips-buying-binoculars-bird-watching.php" target="_blank">major considerations</a> might include size, ease of use, <a href="https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/binoculars.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">magnification</a>, and price. While professional binoculars can easily run north of $1,000, there are plenty of perfectly suitable entry-level binoculars under $200. You might not get the perfect precision and clarity of more elite models, but a less expensive pair will allow you to strengthen your birding skills while deciding if you're interested in investing in a premium pair.</p><p>For a budget-friendly option, check out resale options on eBay, Facebook marketplace, or neighborhood yard sales: you might find a nicer pair whose retail price isn't within your budget.</p>
2. Know What Birds Are in Your Area<p>When I began to pay more attention to the birds just outside my apartment building, I started to learn what species have always been around me: European starlings, house sparrows, blue jays, black capped chickadees, and the occasional red-bellied woodpecker. They had always been there, but I hadn't ever taken the time to identify them. Once you learn to <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/get-know-these-20-common-birds_" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recognize common birds</a> in your area, you'll be able to identify the typical species right outside your window and in your community. Of course, permanent residential birds in your neighborhood will <a href="https://nestwatch.org/learn/focal-species/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vary by region</a>, as will those migrating through it.</p>
3. Get Out and Explore<p>Venturing elsewhere might allow you to spot some different species beyond those frequenting your backyard. Anywhere with water or greenery offers a place for birding; as an urbanite myself, I've found that even small- and mid-sized parks in New York City allow me to find more elusive birds (although Central Park takes the crown for an afternoon of urban birding).</p><p>If you are able to travel a bit further from home, <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuges/" target="_blank">national wildlife refuges</a> and <a href="https://www.americasstateparks.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">state/national parks</a> are excellent places to explore bird habitats and perhaps log some less-common sightings. The American Birding Association also lists <a href="https://www.aba.org/aba-area-birding-trails/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">birding trails by state</a>, and Audubon and BirdLife International identify <a href="https://www.audubon.org/important-bird-areas" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Important Bird Areas (IBAs)</a> across the country – important bird habitats and iconic places that activists are fighting to protect – where birders can spot birds of significance.</p>
4. Finding a Bird: Stop, Look, Listen, Repeat<p>The National Audubon Society recommends the "<a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/how-find-bird" target="_blank">stop, look, listen, repeat</a>" mantra when seeking and identifying birds.</p><p>First and foremost, spotting birds requires attention. Stopping – getting out of the car, pausing on the sidewalk, trail, or in the backyard to look up – is the most important step.</p><p>When looking for birds, try to avoid gazing wildly around; rather, scan your surroundings, focusing on any odd shapes or shadows, trying to think about where a bird might perch (power lines, fence posts, branches), or keep an eye on the sky for flying eagles and hawks. In open areas like fields and beaches, you might have a more panoramic view, and can take in different sections of the landscape at a time. Look around with the naked eye before reaching for the binoculars to hone in.</p><p>While it can be hard to sift through the noise, listening for birds is perhaps an even more important element of bird watching than looking. Once you spend more time in the field, you'll be able to parse apart the racket and identify specific species, especially aided by Audubon's Bird Guide app or by learning from their <a href="https://www.audubon.org/section/birding-ear" target="_blank">Birding by Ear series</a>.</p><p>Repeat this pattern as you continue on your way, stopping to look and listen for birds as you go, rather than waiting for them to come to you. </p>
5. Identification<p>When you head out for a day of bird watching – especially when you're hoping to spot some new species – you'll want to be armed with the tools to identify what you see. <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/how-identify-birds" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Major considerations when identifying birds</a> are their group (such as owls, hawks, or sparrow-like birds), size and shape, behavior, voice, field marks, season, and habitat.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.sibleyguides.com/about/the-sibley-guide-to-birds/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sibley Guide to Birds</a> and the <a href="https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/peterson-field-guide-to-birds-of-north-america-second-edition/9781328771445" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Peterson Field Guide</a> are widely considered the best books for identifying birds in North America, although many <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/what-bird-guide-best-you" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">specialized guides</a> focus on specific species or regions as well.</p><p>Plenty of <a href="https://blog.nature.org/science/2013/05/27/boucher-bird-blog-apps-smart-birder/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">bird identification apps</a> have popped up in recent years – including National Geographic Birds, Sibley eGuide to Birds, iNaturalist, Merlin Bird ID, and Birdsnap – which are basically a <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/the-best-birding-apps-and-field-guides" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">field guide in your pocket</a>. I'm partial to the Audubon Bird Guide, which allows users to filter by common identifiers, including a bird's habitat, color, activity, tail shape, and general type, adding them all to a personal map to view your sightings.</p>
6. Recording Your Sightings<p><span>As you deepen your commitment to birding, you might join the community of birders that track and quantify their sightings, building their </span><a href="https://www.thespruce.com/what-birds-count-on-a-life-list-386704#:~:text=A%20life%20list%20is%20a,which%20birds%20you%20have%20seen." target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">life list</a><span>.</span></p><p>While a standard notebook noting the date, species name, habitat, vocalizations, or any other data you wish to include will suffice, some birders opt for a more <a href="https://www.riteintherain.com/no-195-birders-journal" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">structured birder's journal</a> with pre-determined fields to record your encounters, take notes, draw sketches, etc.</p><p>Many birders also choose to record their sightings online and in shared databases (which include many of the field guide apps), often pinpointing them on a map for others to view. Launched by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, <a href="https://ebird.org/home" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eBird is one of the largest databases and citizen science projects around birding</a>, where hundreds of thousands of birders enter their sightings, and users can explore birds in regions and hotspots around the world. Users can also record their sightings on the <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ebird/id988799279" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">eBird app</a>.</p>
7. Attracting Birds to Your Own Yard<p>Feeding birds is a common phenomenon: more than 40% of Americans maintain a birdfeeder to attract birds and watch them feast.</p><p>Not all birdfeed is created equal, however. Many commercial varieties are mostly made with "fillers" (oats, red millet, etc.) that birds will largely leave untouched. After researching what birds to expect in your area – and which ones you want to attract – you can create your own birdfeed with <a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/types-of-bird-seed-a-quick-guide/?pid=1142" target="_blank">seeds that will appeal to them</a>.</p><p>Beyond filling a birdfeeder, <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/eco-friendly-lawn-2651194858.html" target="_self">transforming your yard into an eco-friendly oasis</a> is by far the best way to attract birds. Choosing to forgo mowing your lawn, planting native flowers and grasses, and ditching the pesticides will bring back the bugs that birds feed on, and provide a safe haven in which birds can happily live and eat.</p><p>While it's widely considered acceptable – and even beneficial – to feed birds with appropriate seeds, communal birdfeeders often <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/to-feed-or-not-feed" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">foster unlikely interactions between different species</a>, who can then transmit harmful diseases and parasites to one another. Maintaining several bird feeders with different types of seeds might keep different species from coming into contact, and feeders can be <a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/news/how-to-clean-your-bird-feeder/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cleaned to prevent the spread of infection</a>.</p>
8. Inclusivity and Anti-Racism in the Birding Community<p>Like all outdoor activities and areas of scientific study, birding communities are subject to racist and discriminatory ideologies. Black birders have long experienced discrimination and underrepresentation in outdoor spaces. The work of organizations like the <a href="https://www.instagram.com/birdersfund/" target="_blank">Black & Latinx Birders Fund</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/birdability/" target="_blank">Birdability</a>, and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/feministbirdclub/" target="_blank">Feminist Bird Club</a> highlight the contributions and importance of birders of color, birders with disabilities, and women and LGBTQ+ birders to the birding community, as do activists and naturalists like <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hood__naturalist/" target="_blank">Corina Newsome</a> and <a href="https://www.instagram.com/tykeejames/" target="_blank">Tykee James</a>. The work of <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/its-bird-new-comic-written-central-park-birder-christian-cooper" target="_blank">Christian Cooper</a>, <a href="https://camilledungy.com/publications/" target="_blank">Camille Dungy</a> (read her poem <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/58363/frequently-asked-questions-10" target="_blank">Frequently Asked Questions: 10</a>), and <a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/9-rules-for-the-black-birdwatcher/" target="_blank">J. Drew Lanham</a> – including his essay "<a href="https://lithub.com/birding-while-black/" target="_blank">Birding While Black</a>" – are a great place to start.</p><p>Getting involved in birding means educating ourselves on these issues and taking meaningful action; the work of <a href="https://www.audubon.org/news/its-bird-new-comic-written-central-park-birder-christian-cooper" target="_blank">Christian Cooper</a> and <a href="https://orionmagazine.org/article/9-rules-for-the-black-birdwatcher/" target="_blank">J. Drew Lanham</a> – including his essay "<a href="https://lithub.com/birding-while-black/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Birding While Black</a>" – are a great place to start. Just as birders are activists for protecting habitats and natural areas, we must also be active and aware of inclusivity in these spaces.</p>
9. Get Involved<p>To learn from and enjoy the company of other birders, check out local birding groups in your area to join. Many Audubon chapters host trips, meetings, and bird walks for members. The American Birding Association even maintains a <a href="https://www.aba.org/festivals-events/" target="_blank">directory of birding festivals</a> across the country.</p><p>Volunteering for birds is also a great way to meet other birders and take action for birds in your community; local organizations might have opportunities for assisting with habitat restoration or helping at birding centers.</p><p>Like all wildlife, climate change and habitat destruction threaten the livelihood of birds, eliminating their breeding grounds and food sources. A <a href="https://www.audubon.org/climate/survivalbydegrees" target="_blank">2019 report released by the National Audubon Society</a> found that two-thirds of North American birds may face extinction if global temperatures rise 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Staying informed about and taking action for legislation designed to protect birds and our climate – such as the recent <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/5552/text" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Migratory Bird Protection Act</a> – is important for ensuring a livable future for wildlife and humans alike.</p><p><em>Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor's degree in English and Environmental Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, Linnea worked at Hunger Free America, and has interned with WHYY in Philadelphia, Saratoga Living Magazine, and the Sierra Club in Washington, DC. </em><em>Linnea enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, reading, practicing her German, and volunteering on farms and gardens and for environmental justice efforts in her community. Along with journalism, she is also an essayist and writer of creative nonfiction.</em></p>
- Study: Birds Are Linked to Happiness Levels - EcoWatch ›
- Snowy Owl Flocks to Southern States in Search of Food - EcoWatch ›