HAPPY NEW YEAR…Or happy *almost* New Year!
As 2018 ends, one thing is for certain, 2019 is going to be all about setting ourselves up for emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical success. So why not try the following ways to make 2019 your year!
1. Create an action plan:
Create your goals based on steps you can take to meet them. For example: Set a goal of exercising three times a week and eat fruit for dessert instead of a piece of cookie. Schedule your workouts in your calendar. Even if you are motivated, people often don’t feel comfortable taking time out of their hectic lives to nurture their sense of well-being. Instead of trying to hold yourself to a mental promise to work out, put it in your calendar to stay accountable. It is an appointment—with yourself.
Decide ahead of time of what success looks like to you. If not, how will you know when you have achieved. Pinpoint the reasons for your New Year's resolutions. Is your goal to feel better so you can be more available for your children? If that is the case, the number on the scale is not that important but rather how you feel after making lifestyle changes. The more mindful your approach, the more likely you are to stick with healthy lifestyle goals. Give yourself time to create a regular schedule so you can slowly incorporate healthy lifestyle changes as you go along. Not by the first week of January 2019. These lifestyle changes take time, not overnight.
2. Meal prep every Sunday…or a day that works best for your schedule:
Batch cooking at home is the perfect way to eliminate takeout during a hectic week and make sure you’re getting your fill of the macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, fats).
A. For example:
Prep a grain
Having a cooked whole grain (such as brown rice, whole wheat orzo, bulgar wheat) on hand makes it easy to throw together a meal in a pinch. Cook a big batch, store it in the fridge, and your complex carbohydrate for the week is all ready to go. You could add kale and a hard-boiled egg or lentils in a burrito with roasted corn, peppers, and salsa. Or try Shrimp With Brown Rice.
Roast your veggies
Roasting is the easiest method for cooking vegetables, because it minimizes the time you actually have to spend in the kitchen, and turns out tasty and amazing without requiring much attention. You can roast any vegetable. Seriously!
Cook a pot of lentils
Lentils are kind of a wonder pantry staple. They're high in fiber and protein, they don't perish easily, and their mild flavor makes them a great ingredient addition to a lot of recipes. Choose a variety of lentils (green, yellow, red), be sure to read the instructions on the back of the bag.
Make hard-boiled eggs
They're an always-delicious protein that you can easily make in bulk and keep in your fridge for a week. And, you can eat them any time of the day. Seriously. Munch on one for a midday snack, slice one up and throw it on toast, chop it in half and add it to your salad—the possibilities are endless.
2. Eat every three-four hours…don’t wait till you are hangry!
Skipping meals is not a good idea, whether it’s on purpose to save calories for a big dinner or because you had some last-minute meeting that made lunch seems impossible. Skipping meals won’t make you lose weight, what this will do is make you hungrier. Instead, consume healthy meals and snacks throughout your day at appropriate intervals. In return you will get long-lasting energy and fullness, plus no hanger in sight. (For example, healthy snacks ideas to keep on hand: 2% or 4% Greek yogurt with fruit, hard-boiled egg, edamame, raw nuts, nut butter or avocado on toast, 2% string cheese, roasted chickpeas, Kind bars, dates or banana with nut butter)
3. Exercise…in ways that feel good to you
Once you give yourself permission to stop punishing yourself and seek enjoyment in your workouts, you’re more likely to stick with it! Been a while since you've been in the exercise groove? Here's how to ease back into working out:
A. Begin with what works for you
Do you only feel comfortable committing one day a week to start with? Great! Put that in your calendar and stick with it. Don't feel like you must start with six workouts per week. Over time, try to work your way up to four days a week. You will see results faster if you commit to a regular exercise routine.
B. Spend a few minutes stretching
Stretching is essential when you're getting back into a fitness routine. A good warm-up includes stretches. And when you are done working out, finish with some more stretches.
C. Don't forget to listen to your body
Chances are, your body is going to let you know that it's working hard but learn the difference between hurts-so-good and hurts-not-so-good. If something gives you pain, stop doing whatever that is. There's a not-so-fine line between muscle discomfort from a good workout, and pain lets you know something’s not right.
D. Set goals to keep you focused
I recommend setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal–specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. "What is your goal...to run a marathon? To feel stronger? Start there, then create a plan.
4. Pace yourself
Slow and steady when it comes to improving your health. Start with one small change and build from there for example, start with something as simple as eating an extra serving of fruit or veggies a day. Focus on creating a lifestyle change instead of resolving a short term, quick-fix diet. Fad diets are not maintainable and may result with unhealthy relationships with food. Instead, focus on healthful foods you can add to your diet instead of foods you want to remove.
5. Stay positive
Do what makes you happy. There is no sense in adding kale to your plate in the name of good health if you don’t enjoy this superfood. Eat nutritious foods you like and choose physical activities you love. You'll have more success maintaining a healthier lifestyle if you are enjoying yourself. Don't give up. Remember every new day is a new occasion to focus on your goals and appreciate your achievements.
Let’s Hear It
What do you think about these healthy relates 2019 resolutions? Anything you would add to the list? We are excited to kick off the new year with a jam-packed editorial calendar full of ideas. Let us know in the comments about your New Year’s resolutions. Let us know what you’re interested in learning more about in 2019.
By: Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN