We are now officially 16 days into 2016, well 20 I started writing this four days ago. A new year brings opportunity to bring about positive changes to your life and let go of everything that does not serve you. While we could do this anytime for some reason this particular time of year serves as a cultural marker for metamorphosis. We resolve to modify our habits and become better people. On the top of the list are things like improve finances, drink less, and eat healthier. (Because during the holiday season we spent all our money, ate everything in sight, and don’t remember what happened at the office Christmas party.)
Unfortunately chances are by now (or very soon) you have failed (or will fail) with at least one of your resolutions because 1 in 3 Americans falters by the end of January.
Now I can’t fix your money troubles nor can I convince you that sober life is amazing.However, if one of your goals is to eat healthier you have come to the right place. It’s a nice idea to think you will just wake up one day and suddenly crave carrots over cronuts or that magically this year you will find time to meal prep like all those perfect people on Instagram. For most people that aren’t OCD crazy the cold turkey method of just stopping a bad habit and replacing it with a good one doesn’t really work. So for those of us who live in the real world I have compiled a list of five sensible tips to focus on in your attempt to nourish your body in 2016.
Be realistic in your food goals.
If you aren’t a good cook do not think this New Year will make you Thomas Keller. Learning how to cook takes time, effort, and dedication. So unless you are devoting a few hours a week to food prep do not make it a goal to cook all your meals from home. Small steps reach your goal, huge strides make you tired and want to give up.
Make healthier choices when eating out
It’s actually a pretty simple concept. So you are eating a 1,200 calorie burger? (Y.O.L.O) Maybe you don’t need that shake as well. Practice saying no to yourself every now and then.
Spice up your life!
Spices are a great way to add extreme flavor with no fat. Unfortunately they are also on the pricier side. Try buying a new spice once a month this year, throughout the month find a few recipes to use the new spice. You will have an adult pantry by the end of the year! Another great service is Hatchery, then send you sample sizes of interesting food items.
Make your favorite color green.
Every time you eat make sure something green is on your plate. Leafy green vegetables have more nutrition per calorie than any other food on the planet. They contain loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Do it little by little until it feels strange that you are eating a meal than contains no green.
Focus on snacks!
Who actually eats real meals anymore? Realize what you are putting in your mouth on the go, in the office, or at a bar. Buy dried fruit and nuts in bulk and make your own snack bags. Air pop popcorn instead of microwave buttery goodness. Instead of processed foods try prepping simple crudité ever week. It costs about ten dollars and takes only about 15 minutes to prep. Take a look below for a quick tutorial.
Finally learn to forgive yourself. When you make a mistake or mess up a resolution the quicker you forgive the quicker you can move on. This goes for food goals but extends to life itself. Working for myself I struggle with this concept often. This year I told myself I would be more disciplined. I’d work harder than I play, I’d sit down to write more often, I’d stick to a rigid schedule to accomplish my personal goals. As you saw from my opening line I’m four days away from the deadline I set myself, oops. Instead of being upset and falling into a dark hole of despair and self loathing I’ll just keep telling myself to be more disciplined in a subtle non aggressive way, like a mantra constantly repeating in the back of my mind. Let’s face it life happens, luckily for us there is so much more of the year (and of life) to keep trying. Instead of thinking of your resolve to be a new you solidified when the clock struck midnight try thinking of yourself as a chameleon searching for food. The goal is to feed yourself but you may have to change colors many times before you find your meal. What you think is what you are, good luck on your endeavors in this New Year!