Every new year is an opportunity to review the year gone and set our intentions for what’s to come. We’re not so much into new year resolutions: we feel the expression is highly commercialized and misused.
It is however undeniable that the start of a new year carries with it a special energy and momentum that would be a shame not to ride, especially when it comes to setting your wellness goals after the holiday indulgence.
The one thing we can probably all agree on is that eating badly doesn’t feel good: we will never be more present to this than now. It is of fundamental importance however to avoid the temptation of jumping on a “quick fix” bandwagon when it comes to nutrition in particular.
I’m sure we’ve all made the mistake of believing the latest 21days detox craze and think that “if I can just loose these few pounds, I’ll then feel better and can look at a more permanent solution”; unfortunately this approach simply doesn’t work, I assure you! I’ve tried it myself (several times over!).
Instead, here are 5 effective tips to make gradual, incremental and sustainable improvements that will set you up for success in the long run and bring forth REAL results that will be yours forever.
Here we go:
1. Every week for four weeks cut down or eliminate one item from the following categories of foods that do not support your health and wellbeing:
– Processed meat (ham, turkey/chicken ham, sausages, bacon);
– Processed foods (anything with over 5 ingredients or any ingredient that you don’t know what it is or how it’s made);
2. Every day for a week note and write down (or record on your phone recorder) how you feel physically and emotionally after every meal or snack you eat. If this feels daunting, do it for at least one meal a day.
3. Identify your “Why”: write down one reason why you want to improve your health and wellbeing and ask yourself why 5 times to find out the deeper motivation behind your quest. Write down what you discover on a card that you can easily fit in your wallet and look at whenever you feel down or are tempted to eat something you know is not good for you.
4. Stock up your pantry and fridge with easy and healthy options to snack on or eat when you’re in a rush. These include but are not limited to: cut up veggies, fruit, wholemeal crackers like Ryvita, raw nuts, nut butters, canned beans, ready made healthy soups, microwave rice and whole-grains (look for those with no more than 5 ingredients and nothing you don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce).
5. Try Meat-Free Monday for a month: choose one day of the week (Monday is the popular one) when you commit to not eating animal products for the whole day. If this feels daunting, start with one meal only. Think about dishes you already make that don’t contain animal products or that are easy to adapt or try a new plant based recipe each week to build a selection of you favorites (look on forksoverknives.com for great inspiration). Here are some examples:
– Pasta with tomato sauce and oven baked vegetables
– Vegetables stir-fry with noodles or rice (if you’re feeling adventures, why not add some tofu)
– Chilly bean soup (or any other vegetable soup of choice) with wholegrain bread roll
– Baked potato topped with beans and salad
– Burrito with rice, beans/tofu, salsa and avocado
– Pizza topped with tomato sauce and all your favorite veggies
Remember that we are NOT designed to go through life and succeed on our own so the final bonus tip is: find one or more people to support you along the way! Nothing will keep you motivated like a friend, accountability group or coach. Think about it: even professional athletes have teams that support their effort so what makes you think you can do it all alone? Plus, is more fun when you have someone that can help you see the positives when you can’t and can share into your success and wins (small or large).
P.S.: if you feel you could benefit from a complimentary strategy session with us, feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org: it may just be all you need to set some clear goals, identify the current roadblock and create an effective strategy that will lead to your success. So what are you waiting for? #maketheshift