New Year’s Resolutions for 2014: Eating Healthy
I have never been all that good at making New Year’s resolutions and sticking with them. In my younger years I always seemed to fail at them, then again when I look back at the resolutions I made when I was in my teens and 20’s, most of them were weight loss based and very unrealistic. If I didn’t see results after two weeks, I’d be done. Now that I’m in my mid 30’s my outlook on what resolutions to make and how to keep them is much different. To this day I don’t know many people who have ever really stuck or actually completed their New Year’s resolutions. If you have then I sincerely applaud you! What I find works best for me is creating smaller goals throughout the year. Goals that are realistic for me, and writing them down is key (did you know that people who write down there goals are 90% more likely to stick to them? It’s true). So get your pen and paper out and start a small list of attainable goals.
New Year’s goals and resolutions for eating healthy this year!
1. Give Your Pantry a Makeover
Go through your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator and throw out anything with the following words (these are additives, chemicals and preservatives to stay away from):
- Partially hydrogenated (usually will be some sort of oil, all are bad trans fats)
- Artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame K, and neotame, among others, found in diet sodas, and sugar free snacks
- Food dyes, Red 3 has caused cancer in lab rats, and Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 may contain cancer-causing contaminants, I would stay away from all to be safe.
- Watch out the word ‘enrichment’. That means niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, and iron are added after these and other key nutrients are stripped out in the first place during the refining process.
- Monosodium Glutamate is an additive. It is not a nutrient, vitamin or a mineral and has no health benefits.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) causes insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, weight gain and not to mention it is manufactured from genetically modified corn
- Soy although it’s often lauded as a healthy, cholesterol-free, cheap, low-fat protein alternative to meat, soy is not a health food. Any foods that list soy in any form as an ingredient should be avoided. Like the above, most of the U.S. soy is genetically modified.
2. Drink More Water
Did you know that on average we need to be drinking half of our body weight in water each day? That means if a person weighs 150 lbs they should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day. Don’t let that overwhelm you, start small: drink a glass or two more water then work up to it. This allows for proper hydration your body needs and helps with eliminating toxins.
3. Get that sugar out
Sugar has no nutritional value and it feeds every fungus, parasite, yeast, virus etc. in our body; it helps them grow and in turn weakens our immunity. A good swap for sugar is Stevia. Start small, try a little in your tea or coffee in the morning.
4. Start a Food Journal
To some this may seem like a daunting task. Try it. It works. It really helps you see what you are eating on a daily basis. Also it helps track and narrows down issues you may have with food (food sensitivities, allergies, mood swings etc). When you notice patterns you can eliminate the food you think might be the culprit and see if those symptoms disappear.
5. Buy more Organic food
The more organic and local you eat, the less pesticides, toxins you will ingest. Also eating organic is a good way to keep you away from GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).
6. Be adventurous
On your plate I mean. Yes, this year try new foods! Eat the rainbow. If all you eat is Iceberg lettuce in your salads try a new green. Arugula is a wonderful green that has a slightly peppery taste. You like raisins? Try a handful of Goji berries, they might surprise you and they are packed full of nutrients. Eating a variety of foods ensures we meet all of our nutritional requirements, and aren’t missing any essential vitamins and minerals by eating the same things every day. So have some fun, try a new fruit or vegetable every week.
7. Slow Down
Take your time to eat. So many of us eat on the go these days. What you need to commit to doing, at least once a day, just ONE meal, is to slow down. Take your time to eat and for heaven’s sake SIT DOWN, none of this standing up to eat business. Also make sure to chew your food, this is so important in order to digest our food properly and it will help with many digestive disorders.
8. Eat more sustainably
I’m not saying become a farmer and live off the land (though I think I would love that!) just make a few easy changes to your usual food-shopping and eating routines. Aim for local and seasonal foods, and start shopping at your local farmers’ market. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, the food is fresher because it doesn’t have to travel as far and you’re also supporting your community’s economy.
9. Plant a Garden
The garden you plant doesn’t have to be a big one. Start small, even an herb garden in your kitchen would be wonderful. Get your kids involved. Nothing could be better than teaching your child about sustainable food.
10. Meal Plan
Meal planning is important especially when health challenges are involved. Start planning out your meals a week or a month in advanced, this will help you to only buy and use what you need and help you to save money.
11. Move that Body
Thought I’d forget this one huh?! It’s true a healthy lifestyle includes moving your body. There are too many benefits of exercise to list. Just remember exercise normalizes many functions in our body, a few being: hormone and thyroid levels, helps plaque from building in our arteries, and helps stimulate the liver (which performs more than 3000 functions). Those are only some of the benefits of adding exercise to your lifestyle. One of the greatest advantages of moving your body is how much better it makes you feel in every way! If exercise is new to you, start with a 15 minute walk 3 times a week then work up to 30 minutes!!
If you’re having trouble coming up with your own New Year’s goals or resolutions then please feel free to choose from the ones I’ve listed. Pick the ones the work for you and DO YOUR BEST to reach them. You will find that putting these healthy eating habits into practice will not only benefit your health, it will help you get to your desired weight naturally (if weight loss is a resolution or goal for you). Remember true weight loss is something you cannot achieve with a magic pill. True weight loss is slow, but you are more likely to stick with it and keep it off.