For many people, the beginning of a New Year typically signifies change and a chance to make a fresh start. That is why some people make resolutions for themselves and figure, “New Year, New You” and new goals. Having goals gives us the opportunity to strive forward and accomplish things we deem important. For many of us, better health and diet often top the list.
The New Year is a great time to take charge of your health and make changes to your diet. It is also a good opportunity to change up your routine and allow yourself the time to exercise more. Many people today are frustrated with their weight or have health problems related to their diets and are looking for help. In my book, “Wholey Cow A Simple Guide To Eating And Living,” I talk about how society today consumes more processed food containing artificial ingredients than real, wholesome foods. Many people don’t know the difference and think “food is just food” and that is a big problem. Many of us are eating the wrong foods, which can cause weight gain and make you sick.
Why not start out the year with a life-style change incorporating healthy eating habits? Remember—eating healthy is a choice, which requires a commitment. Following are some things you can do daily to commit to your health.
Ways To Commit To Your Health
- Eat Breakfast—
According to many nutrition experts, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, many people, including children and adults, skip breakfast and jump right in to their day, which is not good for you. After a long night’s sleep, your body requires nutrients to get you going. Eating breakfast helps gives you energy for the day ahead and will help you perform and feel better. While you may feel rushed, there are plenty of foods you can grab quickly to take with you out the door, or make in a minimal amount of time. Breakfast doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. If you are in a hurry, grab a banana or some other piece of fruit. You can also grab a yogurt, nuts or perhaps a protein bar. If you have some time to spare, why not mix some healthful ingredients together to make a smoothie? You can add protein powder, a handful of spinach or kale, fruit, coconut oil and more. You can also make yourself some eggs, a breakfast sandwich or a breakfast burrito. There are many options to make a healthy breakfast.
- Eat More Fruit And Vegetables—
Eating a healthy diet is the best way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. Some of the best sources of these nutrients come from fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, many people do not include enough of them in their diet, especially vegetables. Do yourself a favor and try to include them at every meal. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips to go along with your sandwich, why not grab an apple or banana. If you bring your lunch to work, why not include some healthy vegetables such as carrots, peppers or broccoli to go with your meal? You can also choose to have a side of vegetables with your dinner, instead of fries or bread. Try including fruit and vegetables in your morning meals, as well. Oh—and don’t forget to incorporate fruit and vegetables for a morning, afternoon or evening snack. Try having some carrots, cauliflower and celery with hummus or your favorite dip, or snack on them alone. Apricots, raisins, cherries and grapes also make great healthy snacks. Find your favorites and enjoy their sweet flavor.
- Stay Active—
The morning is a great time to exercise. If you have the time, why not go for a walk, get on your treadmill (if you have one), do some stretches or yoga? You can also jump rope for 10 minutes. There are many possibilities. If you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, make sure you schedule some time in your day for it. Your body was meant to move. Make sure you find ways to stay active. You can go to a gym, lift weights or do kick boxing. You can also get on a stationary bike or get outside to run or go a long walk. If those things don’t interest you, find some other activity that does. There are many options.
- Plan Meals—
Many people these days opt for processed foods, go out to eat and eat unhealthy foods on the run. To help avoid these tendencies, try and make more home-cooked meals. The best way to do this is to pre-plan your meals. You can start by making a list of several meals you would like to make for the week. You can write down some of your favorites, or look for some new recipes to try. Why not pull out your favorite cookbook, or search Pinterest or some other food site. Next you can make a grocery list of any ingredients you don’t already have on hand and then plan a trip to the grocery store. Once you have your groceries, you can prepare some items ahead to make things easier. For example, you can chop vegetables in advance for salads, stir-fries, or snacking. If you are making several recipes with chicken, why not cook them together? You can also cook a few extra chicken breasts to have on hand for salads, a quick stir-fry or some other dish. By planning ahead, you can save yourself time, eat healthier and avoid that usual visit to that local restaurant when you don’t necessarily have items on hand.
- Add More Good Fats To Your Diet—
Fat plays a big part in how a food tastes. Unfortunately, many people are still hooked on low-fat foods, which aren’t all that healthy. Low fat foods tend to have added sugar, chemicals and preservative added to them to make them taste better. It is better to choose foods that contain monounsaturated fats (MUFAS), which are good fats. You can find them in a variety of whole foods including: avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and certain varieties of fish. Make sure you start adding more good fats to your diet to reap their health benefits.
- Take Time For Yourself—
Make sure you take some time daily to practice a little self care. We all lead busy lives and can get stressed out from work, running our children around or attending meetings all day. It is easy to get caught up in our daily lives and the needs of others. That is why it is important to take a little time out of your day, just for you. There is nothing wrong with tending to some needs of your own. Make sure you allow yourself time to do a little reading, go shopping, work out, have a pedicure or something else you enjoy.
Thanks for reading!