Every year by mid January or February, New Year’s resolutions to improve eating habits are often relegated to the compost pile. The question is why? The reasons are usually logistical in nature. First, it is necessary to create a doable plan how to implement the changes. For example, if you want to stop skipping breakfasts or consuming “breakfast” junk on the run, make sure that when you go food shopping you stock up on wholesome ingredients, including quick-and-easy-to-prepare breakfast foods. Going to bed at night 30 minutes earlier than in the past, makes it possible to get up earlier in the morning and have time for the first and all-important meal of the day.
The second major reason for a deceased New Year’s resolution is that folks undertake too many changes all at once. Attempting an overnight Bolshevik Revolution is doomed to failure.
Your goal to eat healthier is achievable: Make a list of what you want to change and then tackle one item at a time for two or three weeks. After establishing the first new and improved eating habit, add just one more item and work on it in addition to maintaining your first habit, and so forth.
Here are some examples which can be included in your list, (notice the words “gradually” and “progressively”). 1) Gradually cut down to completely eliminate sugary beverages. Shift to drinking mostly water (filtered is best). You can add a squeeze of lemon or other fruit juice, if desired. Unsweetened homemade herbal teas can also lend variety. 2) Add fresh vegetable salads to your diet. Begin by consuming a salad two or three times per week and progressively work toward daily consumption. 3) Eat more fresh fruit, and briefly cooked vegetables. 4) Reduce the frequency of eating out, and takeouts. 5) Eat a dessert only once or twice a week, not daily. 6) Consult online nutrition websites to learn what constitutes a reasonable portion, particularly of meat, dairy, and various types of fat and eat accordingly.
These and other changes will add up to major health and quality of life improvements. Positive results, however, such as shedding pounds, and feeling better will not happen overnight. So be patient and determined.
You can see that in order to successfully implement your to-do list you must use some mental floss! Nothing worthwhile can be accomplished without some thought, planning, and a measure of self discipline.
Always plan ahead how and when you make that new habit happen. Prepare a shopping list of nutritious ingredients you will need for the type of meals you’ll be making during the week. Ingredients such as fresh salad and cooking veggies, seasonal fruits, whole grain pasta, brown rice, reduced fat quality dairy products, olive oil, skinless chicken or turkey meat, fresh or frozen fish, etc. Smart food shopping saves a great deal of money and time and will do wonders for your health. While shopping, resist being influenced by sales that entice you to buy unhealthy foods. Ask yourself: “Who controls my health, I or the supermarket manager who is focused on the bottom-line and not on my pants size and hospital bills?”
TV cooking shows may be fun to watch, but most do not present healthy cuisine or practical recipes for the average home cook. TV chefs also enjoy an advantage of having invisible elves who measure ingredients for them before the show and clean up afterward. Part of the joys of preparing nutritious home cooked meals is collecting and trying simple, delicious, and affordable new recipes.
No one is forced to participate in a culture which fills every minute of the day with commitments, multitasking, and addiction to electronic devices. Tired, overscheduled people do not have the time or energy to nurture their health. Shedding unnecessary activities and faithfully adhering to a slimmed down schedule allows for more time at home and preparing nutritious meals. You have already figured out that fad diets do not work for health or weight control – healthy eating does.
“Mission Nutrition” Tips and Recipe from Judy E. Buss, Health Columnist, Nutritional Cooking Instructor.
Excerpted from Judy E. Buss’ article, first published in the “Feeling Fit” Magazine, Sun Coast Media Group newspapers, Florida.
Stay tuned for more Judy E. Buss’ “Mission Nutrition” words of wisdom and recipes.