By Jenni Wolf,
The start of the New Year is when many people set goals and resolutions for the year ahead.
Common resolution subjects are food and nutrition. However, what is often less common is people actually succeeding in following through on their New Year’s resolutions. And often for good reason, their goals and intentions are not realistic or sustainable.
If you’re interested in being more intentional with food and nutrition, here are a few suggestions — ones that are more likely to be sustainable — along with tips to get you moving in the right direction:
Try one new recipe a month. That might not seem like much but by the end of the year you just might have 12 new recipes to add to your repertoire!
I often hear of people wanting to cook more and try new things at home. However, in our busy lives there is often a limited capacity to do that.
However, it is important to change things up. So, shoot to put one newbie on the calendar each month — you can always add more. This can help build your confidence in the kitchen, increase your variety and also leave room for those classic family favorites, a takeout pizza or grabbing a meal out.
Buy in season produce. This not only helps your budget (in+season = cheaper!) but it also helps to promote natural variety and that can help you keep a balanced diet.
You get different nutrients from oranges and apples or kale and carrots so buying what’s in season (and ever changing) will make it easier to get what you need, and not too much or too little of anything.
When we get so bored with a food, we often opt to just leave it out. That might mean not getting in enough fruits or veggies!
Be active. That’s it. Not go to the gym “x times per week” or run “x number of miles.” Those can be fine goals too, but simply striving to live an active life can be an easier place for most people to start.
We all know our bodies need movement, just like they need food, water and rest. So, think about ways in which you can incorporate activity into your daily life. I like to go for a walk outside in between work meetings, chase the dog around the house or blast tunes and dance around the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner.
I have nothing against gyms. But I find it easier to stay active when I can include the activity right alongside my other daily tasks and commitments without having to make an extra stop, pay an extra fee or use a big chunk of my time.
Tune in to hunger and fullness. This just might be my favorite! Pause before, during or after a meal or snack to notice how your body feels.
Look for signs of hunger and fullness to help you gauge what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat.
You might feel a rumble in your stomach or some irritability for hunger. You might feel pressure in your stomach or notice that food no longer tastes as good for fullness. You might be surprised to find that you really are not in tune at all!
That can be quite common, but the good news is that checking in with yourself regularly is often enough to bring back some awareness and the ability to notice and listen to those cues that will support you in eating what your body needs to maintain a healthy diet.
Jenni Wolf, a registered dietitian, writes about food and nutrition for the Bugle. She is passionate about helping others nourish a positive and balanced relationship with food.