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Roseville nurse offers simple tips for better health

StaciJoy Ellis writes book about making big leaps with tiny steps
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Holistic nurse StaciJoy Ellis thinks this country is in a "real pickle."

The Roseville resident has spent the past 20-plus years trying to help people lift themselves out of that pickle - namely, a public health crisis and obesity epidemic. Now, she's upping her efforts with the promotion of her book, "One Little Thing: How to Make Big Leaps with Tiny Steps."

The book came out in March, and since then, Ellis has been giving speeches and getting the word out about the importance of making those small changes that have big impacts on improving overall health.

"I feel like I need to do my part to move public health in a better direction. Collectively, we need to do this together," she said.

Ellis's book provides a road map for not what to change, but how to change. She presents the reader with a system, in the form of a GPS analogy. The idea was planted in her brain by a friend who works in business. One day, Ellis heard her friend say the GPS doesn't care where you've been, only where you're going.

"I thought, 'Wow, that's profound,'" Ellis said.

Three months of diligence and 10,000 words later, she published her book. The main concept - that small actions over time create big results - was inspired by Darren Hardy's book, "The Compound Effect."

In her book, Ellis provides tools for readers to employ one step at a time. She discourages people from being over-achievers and tackling all their problems at once, expecting immediate results.

"That's setting themselves up for disaster," she said.

Granite Bay resident Barbara Adam describes the simplicity and practicality of the book as precisely what she finds appealing. Adam has been Ellis's client since 2004.

"Staci gets it," Adam said. "She's very grounded and (sees) life in a common sense way. It's a great book - very simple, very common sense, very easy to read. You can read the whole thing in a couple hours and actually get something out of it."

The book begins with what is theoretically a simple test: put your fork down on the opposite side of the plate. The next test: Sleep on the other side of the bed. Ellis said that's the hardest change for her clients.

Ellis has readers start the process of changing their lives by metaphorically setting the GPS to where they want to go. If a person veers off course, stop and re-calculate. Ellis had to do some recalculating in her own life, having grown up as a junk food junkie. After college, she started a family and began researching nutrition and health.

"I cleaned it up pretty well," she said.               

But the experience gave her empathy and compassion for other people who feel it's not easy to improve their habits and health. Today's trend, Ellis said, is for people to overhaul their whole lifestyle all at once.

"There's a small segment of the population that responds to that overhaul," Ellis said.

The rest get disheartened and give up.

"The way she writes the book is a way common sense can be put into action," Adam said. "You can actually do something with this book. You choose one thing to do and you can act on it right then and there."

For Adam, her first simple change has involved increasing her water intake.

Ellis urges people to pay attention to every choice they make - like will you eat the foods with healthy fats or trans fats? Will you walk up the stairs or take the elevator? Healthy living, she said, is about adopting positive choices consistently so they eventually become habit.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.

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For more information about StaciJoy Ellis, aka StaciJoy, or to purchase her book, "One Little Thing: How to Make Big Leaps with Tiny Steps," visit http://stacijoy.com/.