The New Year is well underway, and by mid-month, many have found their good intentions slipping away! Before you let go of your healthy New Year’s resolutions, remember it is possible to make positive lifestyle change this year. It’s all about planning and determination and keeping the focus not on drastic, sweeping changes, but small, gradual changes over time.
Make this year the year to stick to it. Here are ways to keep your pledge for leading a healthier lifestyle. Try these small steps that lead to huge results. Make a commitment to incorporate these habits into your day till they become routine; and you will find a lifetime of healthy rewards await you.
1. Go for color – 3 to 5 every time you eat
- The more colorful your meals, the more antioxidants and nutrients you consume.
- Choose a fruit or vegetable each time you eat. We need 2-3 cups of each daily.
- Enjoy as snacks, appetizers, desserts, in sandwiches, salads and add-ons to every recipe.
- Keep fresh produce cleaned, sliced and ready-to-grab on an eye-level shelf in the refrigerator.
2. Keep the balance
- Divide your plate into fourths – lean protein, wholegrain/starch, veggies and a second veggie or fruit.
- Strive to have half of your plate full of veggies each dinner.
3. Serve portion-appropriate servings
- Look for fist-sized servings of fruit, veggies and starches.
- Opt for twice the amount of produce as starch and grains at each meal.
4. Shop once a week
- Save time shopping by planning ahead and shopping once a week.
- Remember, the “good stuff” goes bad first. Fresher foods that offer the highest nutrition don’t typically last as long as alternatives high in preservatives, sodium and fat. Eat the fresher foods earlier in the week, and frozen or canned ingredients later in the week.
5. Plan ahead
- Don’t play the guessing game on what you’ll need for a healthy week. Take time to plan out what you’ll be preparing and cooking all week long.
- Use healthy dinners to create nutrient-rich leftovers for the next day’s meals.
Next month, I will share more ideas to help you stick with your healthy commitments in 2013!
For more ideas on heart-healthy eating, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating fun and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.
This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.
# # #