While most of us are busy setting goals this time of year, many are tempted to give up by the end of January. Why? Because the goals aren’t action-oriented; in other words, they often focus on an end result such as “I’ll lose weight”, or they state something vague such as “I’ll drink more water”. What’s important to remember is the HOW – how to get to the results you want and how you can make changes realistically. This calls for a plan of action.
Example 1: If you are hoping to eat better, set a goal for that, not for weight loss. Try “I will eat fruit with my sandwich at lunch instead of chips” and “I will pack my fruit and sandwich the night before” to make it doable.
Example 2: If you are planning to drink more water, set a goal for how and when. Try “I will take a bottle of water with me and drink it all by lunch, then another by dinner.”
Just One Thing to do: Set one goal at a time with a detailed plan for how to achieve it.
P.S. Get more good advice for goal setting! Click on these links:
Realistic Resolutions and Continue Healthy Eating Goals
Mindful Eating is an old concept that never goes out of style: eating with attention and intention. It improves both physical and emotional health because you not only eat less but enjoy it more! Put aside multitasking and distractions, sit in a pleasant space, give thanks, think about what you are doing, and consider the food – its look, smell, texture. Take a small mouthful, put your utensils down between bites and chew slowly. Ah, doesn’t that taste better?
Just One Thing to do: Slow down to savor each bite and sip you take!
P.S. Jump over to my longer article HERE for more details and helpful nutrition hints.
Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or other December holidays, chances are you’re surrounded by extra treats and festivities this time of year. The typical American gains at least a pound between now and January 1, and unfortunately, it tends to accrue year after year, causing increased risk for chronic issues like diabetes and heart disease.
One way to avoid weight gain is to watch what you drink. Alcoholic beverages provide lots of empty calories and they often stimulate the appetite, so it makes sense to limit. Drink slowly, space out your drinks, and choose options like red wine, light beer, or liquor with sparkling water or diet soda instead of juice, soda or other mixers (for example, try rum and diet coke or vodka with club soda and lime).
P.S. Red wine gets a shout-out for its antioxidants here.
Just One Thing to do: Trade sweet mixers for sparkling water or sip smaller glasses of wine.
I love eggnog for its sweet taste and warm memories of family holidays. But eggnog is anything but healthful. While it contributes a bit of calcium and protein, it is high is sugar and fat! Just ½ cup has between 120 and 180 calories (with optional alcohol adding another 100 at least), but a serving is often more than ½ cup. Since your brain does not register beverages like it does food, eggnog won’t fill you up or replace your dessert, so the empty calories just add up.
An occasional glass isn’t a problem, but what if you find yourself sipping it every day? I still choose to enjoy eggnog by making my own (use nonfat milk or a dairy alternative with this recipe) or mixing a light store-bought version with one of those milks to expand my ½ cup serving to a full cup.
Just One Thing to do: If you enjoy eggnog, try brewing your own using skim milk or a light nondairy beverage, or buy a light version and keep your portion to ½ cup.
December is National Root Vegetables Month and it’s no wonder – they are at their peak this time of year, having nestled snuggly underground for a late fall harvest. They include onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, beets and carrots, just to name a few. Full of fiber and complex carbohydrates, they are also good sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals, those powerful substances that fight cancer and aging. Use them to add flavor to stir fry, substance to soup, and variety to your favorite protein. Feeling extra adventurous? Rutabagas are sweet, inexpensive, and high in vitamin C; I like these recipes from Cooking Light.
Just One Thing to do: Include a variety of root vegetables in your diet, starting today!