Are you thinking about making a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier or lose weight? Our Registered Dietitian Lea Basch recommends breaking those broad resolutions down into manageable, actionable smaller goals like the ones below. Choose a few goals that seem realistic and achievable to you, make a plan and stick with it.
Sticking to your New Year’s resolution all year long is about making small, sustainable habit changes for a healthier you. By personalizing your goals to your lifestyle, you’ll be more successful with your resolutions. Remember to adopt only changes you can live with, surround yourself with supportive people, forgive yourself for slip-ups, and you’ll be flying through the year with success, health and confidence.
- Eat dark chocolate 3 times a week. Dark chocolate has healthful anti-oxidants and less sugar and is a better choice than many other sweets.
- Include more anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation plays a role in the development of heart disease, many cancers and Alzheimer’s disease as well as arthritis and joint pain. Print out and post this Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid by Dr. Andrew Weil in your kitchen.
- Include more fruits and vegetables—and try a new vegetable each week. The variety is endless!
- Drink green tea. The polyphenols in the green tea help decrease cholesterol and protect against some cancer and bacterial infections. Both green and black teas are healthy, but black tea goes through an oxidation process that decreases some of the beneficial compounds.
- Eat grass fed meat and animal products, which are higher in omega 3 fats vs. corn fed and likely have less added antibiotics or hormones.
- Cut portion sizes. If you are at a restaurant, ask for a doggie bag when you order. Restaurants always serve portions that are too large. Most Americans eat too many calories.
- Limit refined carbohydrates. This includes white flour, white rice, corn and pasta, as well as simple sugars like cane sugar and honey. To satisfy your sweet tooth, there are some sugars that are considered healthier than others (see our blog about the best sugars to have in small amounts), and for your carbohydrate intake (yes it is important to get enough carbs!) try to have as much whole grains as possible. Some people feel better going gluten-free – check out our blogpost about whether this may be helpful for you.
- Get smart about snacking. Highly processed foods can contain too many calories, carbs, salt, additives and the wrong kinds of fats. Choose snacks with fiber, healthy fats and free from unneeded chemicals.
- Slow down and eat mindfully. Use all 5 senses to experience and enjoy your food. Check out our post about mindful eating for ideas.
- Meditate. Meditation is a way to get in touch with your feelings, focus and motivation. Meditation helps reduce stress so if you are a “stress eater” can be helpful.
Lea Basch is a registered dietitian and has been in the nutrition industry for over 30 years, most of which she spent at Longmont United Hospital in Boulder, Colorado, where she was one of the founders of the facility’s nutrition program. Longmont’s Planetree philosophy of caring for the body, mind and spirit of patients is very much in line with Lea’s interest in both traditional and alternative therapies for treating chronic illnesses. Gluten-intolerant herself, Lea now focuses much of her time on the latest research and issues relating to gluten-free diets and other food intolerances. She is a diabetes educator and is a Registered Dietitian with the American Dietetic Association. Lea’s lifelong passion has been combining the science of nutrition with the heart that it takes to change lifelong habits.
Lea received her BS and MS in Nutrition and Dietetics at Florida International University and BA in Education at University of Florida. Ask Lea your nutrition questions at Lea@tastefulpantry.com