Is it truly the most wonderful time of the year? People are scrambling to eat all the “cheat foods” they can before the New Year hits and looking for the inexpensive gyms to sign up at in time for the ball drop.
But the New Year does not have to be correlated with high stress and thus, short-lived goals. Having measurable, obtainable goals yields a higher chance of success than an unrealistic goal. Read on for some resolutions to set for a successful and healthy 2017.
- Drink more water: Whether this is by adding fruit to your water or even eating your water through high-water content food (such as watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes), staying hydrated is a key to a healthy body.
- Don’t skip breakfast: As tempting as it is to hit snooze, breakfast is the most important meal of the day (your mother was right!). Waking up 15 minutes early to whip yourself a quick breakfast or preparing your breakfast the night before can boost your work productivity and have you feeling fuller for longer than if you skipped breakfast. Try out my breakfast recipe here!
- Use herbs/spices to season at least one meal a day instead of salt: Whether or not you have hypertension, sodium is a nutrient that almost all Americans consume in excess. The USDA guidelines recommend 2,300 milligrams per day, not very much on a standard American diet. Swapping out salt for herbs/spices will help you season your food without the extra sodium. Essential Spices For All Kitchens & Cooks is an excellent guide to herbs and spices written by Blake from GrillSimply.com.
- Make one healthy swap when dining out: It could be anything from swapping out your side for a salad orsteamed vegetables to packing half of your order to-go so your meal is closer to the accurate portion size. Check out some of my tips here!
Exchange a turf for a surf: The push for consumption of seafood products is only going to continue in 2017. Swapping out your steak, chicken, pork, or other land animal meats for fish, such as salmon, tilapia, or cod, will decrease your saturated fat and increase your heart-healthy omega-3 consumption.
- Cook with olive and canola oil instead of butter: Consuming solid fats (such as butter, margarine, or coconut oil) that are full of saturated fats can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Liquid unsaturated fats (olive, canola, peanut or vegetable oil) have heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats that provide you with good taste and are better for you. Check out my simple guidelines of cooking oils here.
- Set an alarm for your bedtime: Giving yourself a reminder to go to bed for a full night’s sleep plays an important role in your health. Set your alarm at a time that allows you to go through your nightly routine and into bed at an appropriate hour, rather than accidently staying up late (again) watching TV or doing last-minute work. Being well-rested is just as essential as working itself.
So I would love to know:
- What are your New Year’s resolutions?
- What is your favorite herb/spice to cook with?
With assistance from Christina Chu, nutrition student at Boston University and future RDN