Healthy Living in the North

Foodie Friday: New Year’s resolution challenge

Just a couple more days until we ring in the New Year (how is it 2018 already?!) and some of us might already be thinking about our New Year’s resolutions. Setting goals, whether big or small, is key to achieving desired changes in our lives. Without SMART goals, we tend to get sidetracked, distracted, and lose motivation along the way.

Many of us choose health-oriented goals for the New Year. Maybe the over-indulgence in baked goods, appies, and/or alcoholic beverages in the buildup to Christmas, topped off with one (or more) large Christmas meals, has something to do with it. It’s no wonder we feel an overhaul in our eating ways is needed by this time each year.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with more traditional goals like wanting to eat healthier or lose weight. But I think it’s safe to say that after a few months, most of us lose our motivation to eat better and revert back to our usual ways (which may not be all that bad to begin with!). Instead of choosing really broad goals like “eat better”, break your goals down into smaller, achievable steps that work towards your overarching goal. Here’s some examples:

  • I will eat at least three types of vegetables and one piece of fruit every day this week.
  • I will pack (rather than buy) my lunch four out of five days of the work week for this month.
  • I will only eat out once per month for the next six months.

Healthy eating goals don’t need to only focus on what types of food we choose. What can be equally as important is improving our eating behaviours and feelings, such as eating without distractions, taking time to prepare nutritious food, eating when we feel hungry, not overeating, feeling guilt-free when we eat, and so on. For this upcoming year, I’d like to challenge you to think beyond goals focused solely on particular food choices, and consider adding behaviour-oriented goals that work towards mindful eating. Some examples might be:

  • I will eat one meal per day without distractions (no tv/cell phone/music) while focusing on the pleasure and taste of my food.
  • For the next two weeks, I will eat only when I sense physical symptoms of hunger such as my stomach is growling or low on energy.
  • I will take time today to chew my food carefully and consider when I feel full. I will stop eating when I feel full and satisfied.

For more tips on practicing mindful eating, visit the centre for mindful eating.

Now here’s a recipe to enjoy mindfully!

Turmeric, Ginger, and Mango Smoothie

Adapted from: desireerd.com

mango tumeric ginger smoothie on counter

Ingredients:

  • ½ of a fresh mango (or generous ½ cup frozen mango)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 dash black pepper
  • 1 cup milk or fortified milk alternative
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together.

Tip: I found the cashews didn’t quite blend up in my Magic Bullet. Unless you have a high quality blender like a Vitamix, I would suggest soaking the cashews first in warm water, then draining off the water before blending.

Tamara Grafton

About Tamara Grafton

Tamara is a registered dietitian currently working with the clinical nutrition team at UHNBC and in long term care facilities in Prince George. Originally from a small city in Saskatchewan, she now lives the rural life on a ranch with her husband and young son. She has a passion for nutrition education, healthy eating and cooking. In her downtime, she enjoys reading food blogs, keeping active, and trying out new recipes on her family and friends

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