Many of us make New Years Resolutions and, with determination, decide that we will eat more healthily, exercise more, and lose weight. While these are all positive things to aim towards and some of you may be fantastic at keeping your resolutions all year, for most people New Years resolutions rarely stick. Perhaps we try too hard and set unrealistic goals? This can often lead to a downward spiral of frustration, self-condemnation and our old bad habits returning. We give up on the well-intentioned resolutions and embrace our old life-style, feeling guilty and frustrated.
What if we re-frame this desire to change some habits with some bigger goals for the year and some life-style changes we would like to work on. Habits take time to form and we will mess up along the way but we can keep exercising the muscle of making good choices, without giving up when we stumble and have a bad day.
Instead of dieting and restricting ourselves, what if we aim this year to eat more food – more food that is raw, fresh, colourful, organic and health-enhancing. Make good choices and don’t restrict - instead replace. If you are going to binge, binge on a bag of delicious organic carrots and eat them all. No need to restrict – just ADD mountains of greens and lovely fruit and veg in to your diet.
Sugar is addictive. Replacing refined sugar with other natural sweeteners (e.g. honey, maple syrup, coconut blossom sugar, dried fruit) will reduce your cravings for sweet things so you won’t want to eat the left-over Christmas chocolate or the tin of biscuits. A healthy energy ball could fulfil that desire for something sweet without leaving you wanting more and more and ultimately feeling lethargic and low. When you eliminate refined sugar, sugary foods will make you feel sick and head-achy so you will lose the desire to eat them.
Replace unhealthy oils, fats and sugars with colourful, raw foods and your body will love you! The benefits will not just be in your waistline or weight, but in your moods, energy, sleep, sense of well-being and ability to fight off disease.
What if your New Year’s Resolution was to be kind to yourself and to love your body?
Two food tips I have for this month:
1. Replace sugary desserts with desserts like Greek yogurt with honey and toasted almonds, Greek yogurt with stewed un-sulphured apricots, a date and almond energy ball, or fruit and nuts.
2. Get in to salads – you can eat as much salad as you like. The best way to make a salad really tasty and filling is to include:- lots of grated vegetables (eg. grated carrots, beetroot, courgette and broccoli), plenty of avocado, generous handfuls of toasted nuts or seeds and a great salad dressing.
Try this amazing vinaigrette dressing:
· 250 ml extra virgin olive oil
· 100 ml balsamic vinegar
· 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
· 1 tsp honey (or more if you prefer)
· 2 whole cloves of garlic (leave to soak in the bottom or crush up)
· ¼ tsp salt
· A pinch of ground pepper
Make sure to shake and mix the dressing thoroughly, before serving.
Perhaps you didn’t make any resolutions this year. For you this year might just be about about surviving and staying positive under really tough circumstances. We need to go easy on ourselves with the extra stress we are all facing. Be kind to yourself and love your mind, soul and body by consuming LOTS of healthy life-enhancing food.