2017 has officially arrived! Now that many of us have gained that dreaded “holiday weight” thanks to holiday parties, family meals, and the endless stream of sweets that just seem to appear in December, it’s time to start thinking about our goals for the New Year. New Year, New You, right?
The most popular New Year’s resolutions involve living a healthier life. One of the main factors that can determine how “healthy” you are, is your nutrition. Now don’t get us wrong, we are not promoting some specific fad diet, or drastically changing things over night. Large scale changes are only made possible by starting with smaller, more attainable goals.
If your large scale goal is to eat better, or lose weight, or be a healthier you, you can kick off 2017 by following these 7 important nutrition tips and using them as stepping stones to a better overall diet:
Clean Out Your Fridge and Pantry
Purge those expired foods, get rid of the unhealthy items from your fridge and pantry and make room for the new. Rule of thumb, if you haven’t used in the past two months, pitch it or donate it.
If you fill your fridge and pantry with healthy food, you will have no choice other than to grab healthy food when you are hungry. Don’t feel guilty for spending money on healthy groceries, especially if your tendency is to eat out. You will actually end up saving money by eating home cooked meals.
Work Smarter Not Harder
With services like Woodman’s pick-up/delivery or Hy-Vee’s pick-up/delivery options, you can do all of your grocery shopping online ahead of time and either pick it up from the store on your way home, or you can have it delivered right to your door. When you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home in order to have a fully stocked fridge, there’s no excuse for ordering takeout 4 nights a week.
Meal planning is the best way to ensure that you are prepared to stick to your healthy eating habits. Plan out your week (or even just a few days) and grocery shop according to what you need. If you’re feeling extra motivated, prep your food for the week ahead of time. For example, if you work Monday – Friday, prep your meals for the week on Sunday. Cook as many of the items ahead of time as possible to save you time during the week. That way, when an unexpected meeting comes up, or you sleep through your alarm, you have grab and go meals ready and waiting.
Limit Eating Out
Avoid eating out or ordering takeout as a go-to. Set a goal of only eating out 2 times a week and stick to it. Push yourself to cook at home more. When you know you are going out to eat with friends, look at the menu ahead of time and commit to a healthier choice. If you have any say over the restaurant, choose one that uses natural, fresh ingredients over a burger and fries joint. If you find yourself desperate for a quick healthy lunch in downtown Madison, we recommend Salads UP because they have wholesome ingredients that you won’t find yourself feeling guilty about eating.
Drink More Water
Drinking more water will make you feel better, will boost your metabolism, and can even help curb those cravings. Sometimes dehydration or thirst can be confused for hunger. When you feel that craving for a chocolate bar at 3pm, drink a big glass of water and wait for ten minutes. If your hunger subsides, you were probably just thirsty!
Use Your Support Network
It is so easy for someone around you to talk you in to making bad choices or decisions when it comes to eating. Make those around you, whether it be at home or at work, aware that you are trying to eat more healthfully and that you would appreciate their help and support in doing so.
Along with healthy eating, exercise plays a very important role in keeping you healthy. We will talk all about exercising in next week’s blog post.
This week’s blog sponsor is Salad’s UP, our new go-to when we need a quick, healthy meal. Located just off State Street in Madison, they have salads, soups, cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and even wraps. Salads Up sources real food, prepared by real people. Check their menu out here.
Their special for the month of January is their “New Year’s Revolution Salad”. This salad will be available for the month of January and consists of romaine and spinach, carrots, cauliflower, and edamame.Upgrade your salad with hummus, quinoa and/or avocado.
From now until January 20th, if you stop into Salad’s UP and mention MPM at the register, you will get 20% off your order!
Need some Pinspiration??? Check out MPM’s Pinterest page all about New Year’s Resolutions!