FOUR WAYS TO JUMPSTART HEALTHY EATING IN THE NEW YEAR

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of the year when many of us think about New Year’s resolutions. What personal goals do we want to achieve? What good practices do we want to continue? What changes do we want to make in our daily habits to improve our lives?

I took advantage of the fresh start January provides. I created my list — and half way through January — I’m still on track. Wohoo…so far so good!

Have you set any New Year’s resolutions for yourself? If not — hey — it’s still January. It’s not too late. Actually, it’s never too late to take those first steps to pursuing your goals and dreams.

Steps for Success

When it comes to follow-through and success, these steps may help you:

1) Set your intention — consider what it is you are resolving to do- what you dream about accomplishing

2) Take note of your goals — grab a piece of paper, or journal, or calendar or computer and write down your intentions — get artistic and scribble away if that’s your thing.

3) Make a vow to yourself: “I will take small steps towards achieving my goals each day”

4) Find a source of inspiration — look to someone whose motivation and perseverance will fuel your own. Someone whose grit and determination inspires you and reminds you that we can do difficult things. These days, I’m blown away by this amazing athlete, Chris Nikic.

He set the intention of getting 1% better daily and achieved his goal of competing in and finishing an Iron Man competition. He was the first athlete with Down’s Syndrome to do so. This is no easy task for any athlete — especially one with special needs. I write about my husband’s grueling and inspiring (for me) experience competing in an Iron Man here.

List Topper: Healthy Eating

Thinking about resolutions, healthy eating makes it onto many of our lists. Do you aspire to eat a healthier diet? If so, it can be both confusing and overwhelming to navigate this goal. Where to begin? What makes for healthier eating?

Experts Agree

While doctors and nutritionists debate the nuances of what makes for a healthy diet, these leading diet/nutrition experts (Walter Willet, phD, T. Colin Campbell, phD, Dr Neal Barnard, Dr Dean Ornish, Dr David Katz, Dr Mehmet Oz, Julienna Hever, RD, Dr Michael Greger, and Dr Andrew Weil) unanimously agree on at least one thing we should do. Eat more plants. They agree that it is beneficial for us to eat an abundance of minimally processed, nutrient dense, plant-based foods.

Minimally Processed Plant Foods

Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds for healthy eating. While Oreos and potato chips. are made from just plant foods, they are highly processed, thus, not health promoting.

A well balanced diet of minimally processed plant foods is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, protein, dietary fiber, calcium and iron. It’s also relatively low in saturated fat and doesn’t contain any cholesterol. All of these factors are consistent with minimizing risk for many diet related diseases

Tips for Eating More Plants

If “eat more plants” makes it onto your list of resolutions — I’ve got some great ideas to help you. As we move towards eating an increasingly plant-centric diet, it helps to make small improvements each day.

Here are four simple ways, to fuel your start. They will help you add nutritious, health promoting dishes to your diet. They will set you on your way to taking small steps to healthier eating.

Four ways to Kick-start Healthy Eating and Plant- Power your Diet

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Spicy Asian Salad with Best Crispy Tofu[/caption]

1. Replace a processed snack food with these healthier, dietary-fiber rich, nutrient-dense yummy options

simple oil-free hummus with carrots, celery and/or cucumbers

no bake gluten free brownies

Peanut Butter Date Bites

2. Choose satisfying and heart healthy, and Omega-3 rich Oatmeal and Flax Seed for breakfast

Two-minute Oatmeal Bowl

Creamy Banana Oatmeal Bowl

3. Opt for these protein and antioxidant rich delicious tofu, tempeh or bean dishes

Spicy Asian Salad with the Best Crispy Tofu

Ginger Miso Soup with Bok Choy and Tofu

Red Lentil and Spinach Dahl

Sweet Potato and Tempeh Wraps

4. Swap the dairy cheese on your salad for these crunchy and delicious mineral-rich nuts and seeds options

Crunchy Spicy Nuts and Seeds

Cashew Parmesan

I’m wishing you a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. For more tips and recipe ideas that will help support your healthy eating goals, follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter on my website Beantown Kitchen.

Diana Goldman is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Plant-based Nutrition Educator who received a B.S. from Cornell University in Nutritional Science and an Ed.M. from Harvard University. She loves teaching healthy cooking classes, sharing recipe videos on her Beantown Kitchen YouTube Channel and sharing information about the joy, peace of mind, palate pleasure, and health benefits that come from a plant-based lifestyle. Sign up to receive a free Healthy Vegan Made Easy ebook on her website Beantown Kitchen.

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Diana Goldman

Diana Goldman

Diana Goldman is a plant-based chef and lifestyle coach who received a B.S. from Cornell University in Nutritional Science and an Ed.M. from Harvard.