Simple Steps to Get MORE out of 2016
Thank you to ChooseCherries.com for inviting me to contribute this article—and with pleasure. My professional opinions, suggestions, and taste buds are my own.
As the New Year gets underway, it’s easy to see those lofty resolutions start to fade as we re-enter our (sometimes stressful) daily routine. And in reality, we often bite off more than we can chew. So I thought I’d share what I’ve seen work the most with my clients: starting with small changes and then practicing at making them stick to get MORE for your health this year!
There are a bazilian changes you could make, but starting with just a few and committing to them makes them take hold for good!
Here are my top simple steps to give a bump to your health in 2016.
- Go meatless once a week. Try a Meatless Monday, Tofu Tuesday or Veggie Wednesday once a week. Research has shown that people who consume a plant-amped, veg-and-fruit-friendly style diet tend to be leaner, and have lower heart disease risk, lower diabetes risk and lower risk of high blood pressure than heavy meat eaters. Plus, well-planned plant-based diets tend to be high in nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, as well as smart plant proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Here’s a delicious recipe featuring whole grain farro, watercress and Montmorency cherries to help get you started!
- Eat more soups. Soup is nourishing, flavorful, filling and versatile. Soup is also hydrating and helps boost your veggie intake. Soup may even help you lose weight. That’s SOUP-er! Soup is one of those great meals that’s so easy to enjoy at home, at the office or the lunchroom – whether you’re cooking up a big pot on the weekend or just heating up your favorite pre-made variety.
- Strongly commit to fruits and veggies. I have a question I’d like you to ask yourself at every Ask yourself: “Where are the fruits AND/OR veggies at this meal?” And then make it happen! Not only are they rich in nutrients and low in calories, necessary for a healthy metabolism and many functions throughout the body, but fruits and veggies add water, volume and color to your plate. We eat first with our eyes, even before aroma and taste and a beautiful plate makes for a nourishing meal. Fruits and veggies help keep our heart, brain and every organ functioning at its best, and our skin looking its best. And don’t forget that all forms count! Fresh, dried, frozen, canned (in water or 100% juice) and juice all contribute toward your delicious daily needs. Here’s a quick, easy and tasty salad recipe featuring fruits and veggies that’s a complete meal with shrimp, too!
- Make snacks count. So often we get stuck out and about when those snack cravings come knocking. But what if you made a resolution to pack a week (or even a month!) of trail mix featuring nuts and dried fruit like Montmorency cherries to have on the ready to grab and bring in your purse, briefcase or backpack? Or when you’re prepping dinner one evening, try these homemade Tart Cherry, Dark Chocolate and Cashew Granola Bars and you’ll have snacks you feel good about for the whole week. Problem (deliciously and nutritiously) solved!
- Move daily. Any way, every day. Walk for 15 minutes first thing when you get up in the morning. At home, the gym, outside, or inside – you decide. Or try a 10 minute walk after each meal. And if you already have a fitness routine, make an incremental goal: add strength training or a new activity to the mix, more time, more intensity or a faster pace.
- Get rest. Easier said than done, but try to wind down for bed 15 minutes earlier or experiment with a 20-minute power nap after work. Here are 7 Sleep Tips to help you get quality zzz’s!
- Have fun! …with your health goals and separate from them, too. Recreation and fun are important parts of a healthy, balanced life. Be sure to plan something fun at least once a week if not more frequently.
Wishing you a 2016 filled with MORE health and MORE happiness – one successful step at a time!