By: Danielle Prevost BA, CNP (Hons.), NNCP
It’s been just about one month since we rang in the New Year. With our best intentions in mind (and a glass of bubbles in hand), we made lofty resolutions for a bangin’ 2019. Now that the bubbles have popped, how are we doing? Chances are, we’ve already come up against obstacles and challenges, and maybe some of us even gave up on our goals before they started! You’re not alone. But, there’s always next year, right? Wrong. New Year’s Resolutions, especially those around healthy eating, don’t have to be restrictive and daunting. Even the smallest adjustments can have the most profound effects. It’s not too late to revisit our resolutions and make 2019 our BEST year yet! There’s no better time like the present to start making those small, yet meaningful changes that can last you a lifetime.
Here’s your Holistic Nutritionist’s Guide to making and keeping your Healthy Eating Resolutions in 2019:
1. Shift into the POSITIVE. New Year, SAME you!
Set your goals using positive phrasing. For example, instead of saying, “I will not eat junk food,” try “I will eat more nutrient dense vegetables.” A positive mindset means approaching your diet with a ‘YES’ attitude. Open your mind to new, unusual foods and try a recipe you’ve never considered before. Realize that your diet is changing, not stagnant. Get creative and let yourself be excited about food again! Shifting to a positive mindset also means to SAY GOODBYE TO BODY SHAMING. Negative attitudes and beliefs that no longer serve you can be left behind in the yesteryear! Head into 2019 with love and compassion for the beautiful and magnificent body you are currently in. Your body, in all of its wonderment, is here for YOU. One way I like to feel good in my body is to put on my favourite song and cut a rug! Talk about an instant mood booster (plus a bonus work out, too)!
2. Start with small, measurable and attainable goals.
You’re far more likely to stick with your goals if you set them within reach. Give yourself achievable goals and celebrate your successes, no matter how seemingly ‘small.’ It feels good to set goals and achieve them, so let’s make that our ‘resolutionary’ foundation in 2019. From there, let’s get specific. For example, my favourite wellness resolution of all time is to DRINK MORE WATER. If you wish to make this revolutionary vow, quantify it with; ‘I will drink 2.5 liters of water, every day.’ Sure, we’ve all said it, but that doesn’t make proper hydration any less important. Dr. F. Batmanghelidj outlines just how vital it is in his book, ‘Your Body’s Many Cries for Water.’ Our bodies need water like nobody’s business and if there is one thing we can start doing today, its drink more of it. Biohack or upgrade your intake by adding lemon to your aqua every morning; a great way to help alkalize the body and support good digestion. Cheers to that!
3. Clean out your cupboards. Out with the old, in with the new!
This is a crucial first step in shifting to healthier eating. Change starts in your kitchen, so set yourself up for success by getting rid of all the junk. You’re far less likely to reach for junk food, if it’s not there to reach for. Toss anything that’s expired or overly processed, especially foods with MSG, or high in any of the ‘ose’ (refined sugars). Donate canned or packaged foods to make room for more nutritious, whole foods. Re-stock your fridge and cupboards with functional, ‘go-to’ snacks like raw nuts and seeds, apples with nut butter, veggies and dips, etc. Plan your meals using quality sources of protein like organic, pastured eggs, meat and poultry. Replace rancid, hydrogenated oils and trans-fats with healthy fats from small fish, avocado, seeds, grass-fed ghee, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. Bring in more gut friendly bacteria with fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. This step can take a bit of time, so be patient as you transform your fridge and cupboards to better serve you going into the New Year.
4. Reach out for Support. Had a little help, from my friends.
You’re not alone! Surround yourself with people who have similar goals, especially if cutting back on alcohol is one of your New Year aspirations. Keep yourself accountable by writing your resolutions down and sharing them with as many people as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially with the abundance of information surrounding nutrition and what to eat. Guidance and support comes in many different forms; seek out what best suits your needs.
5. Be patient with Yourself.
Realize that this is your journey and that your diet is continually evolving. It took this long for some of your symptoms to bubble to the surface, so grant yourself appropriate time to heal. Celebrate your successes and let go of your setbacks. Some days will be easier than others; just remember to trust the process. Know that you are taking care of yourself, simply by showing up!
Top 10 Healthy Eating Resolutions to make a REAL difference in 2019:
- I will get cookin’! Taking your health into your own hands starts in your own kitchen. Make food preparation a joyful part of your daily life.
- I will eat more mindfully. Chew your food thoroughly and move away from distracted eating. Take the time to tune with the hunger and satiety signals coming from your body.
- I will replace processed, packed foods with more whole foods. Choose organic, whole produce, whenever possible. Start giving your body the fuel it needs to thrive.
- I will support my local farmers and shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where most of the fresh produce and less packaged foods are found.
- I will replace bad fats with healthy fats. Less fried foods and vegetable oils, more good fats with balanced omega 3, 6, 9 ratios.
- I will limit sugar intake, especially refined sugar and flour. Sugar is an anti-nutrient. Try reducing your intake for just two weeks and you’ll begin to notice BIG changes.
- I will use more spices; cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, fennel, cumin – the list goes on! Not only do these kitchen staples enhance the flavor of your favourite dish, many of them come with extensive health benefits as well. Spice up your life!
- I will reduce caffeine intake. If removing your daily cup of Joe is too daunting a task, start by replacing that second and third cup with a green tea, or an herbal tea.
- I will drink more water. I know I already mentioned this one above, but are you starting to see just how important this one is? Glug Glug!
- I will check my lifestyle. Are you stressed? Getting enough sleep? Exercising? Practicing healthy hygiene? Is meditation on your ‘to-do’ list, or perhaps taking up a new hobby? Whatever it may be, give your lifestyle some attention and go for it!