Food and nutrition resolutions for 2016

ResolutionsAre your nutrition resolutions for 2016 all about losing pounds or avoiding “bad” foods or never eating after a certain hour.  Those types of inflexible black-and-white resolutions are a set-up for failure.  I prefer to focus on resolutions that encourage good food choices.  But first, how did I do with the resolutions I made a year ago?  Here’s my list:

1. Keep up protein intake. I’d say I was pretty successful with this. I probably increased my protein intake a bit, mostly by consuming more dairy foods, such as yogurt, cheese and kefir.

2. Be active every single day in some way.  I was more successful with this as the weather got warmer, for a variety of reasons.  And I definitely changed up my routines to be active in different ways.

3. Eat significant amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.  Mmm, maybe wasn’t so successful with this.

4. Cook more meatless meals.  Technically, yes I probably ate less meat, but I didn’t eat that much meat anyway.  I relied on dairy and eggs more.

5. Limit sweets and treats.  I was pretty successful with this, but for weird logistical reasons (ex: no kitchen for several months).

My goals for 2016:

  1. Cook more meals that focus on plant proteins.
  2. Stay active even in cold weather.
  3. Cook more vegetables in interesting ways.
  4. Prepare more dishes using whole grains like brown rice, barley and wheat berries.
  5. Experiment more with Asian and Indian seasonings and recipes.

I’m trying to stick to positive goals that involve whole foods, rather than unrealistic goals that are a set up for failure, like “lose 10 pounds in January” or ” never touch sugar.”

I asked this year’s group of dietetic interns what their resolutions were:

Sarah Edstrom:

“This year I will increase my family’s vegetable consumption by focusing on breakfast. With a little planning this shouldn’t be too difficult. By keeping cut up veggies in the fridge, we can quickly add spinach, peppers and mushrooms to our eggs. My kids love ants on a log made with celery, peanut butter and raisins. This is a quick way to provide a vegetable, dried fruit and protein first thing in the morning. I also like the idea of eating a non-traditional breakfast meal such as left-over veggie lasagna from two nights ago.”

 

Brooke Piraino:

“My resolution this year would be to be more aware of eating after dinner. I often find myself at the fridge after dinner for snacks, regardless of my actual hunger. Reduce the mindless eating!”

“One of my nutrition resolutions for the coming year is to waste less food. I plan to start blanching and freezing my fresh veggies as they wilt, and to start buying smaller bread and tortilla packs. I also want to plan my weekly meals to cross-use some of the fresh foods I don’t always use up in one meal—for example, I can use the leafy greens I buy for omelets in some of my salads and pastas too, eliminating the need for separate lettuce.”

The other interns contributed different ideas:

  • After some thought I think my New Year’s resolution will be to be more mindful of my portion sizes. Overeating is something easily done and something I would like to be more cognizant of.
  • My resolution this year is to pack more lunches from home for myself and my family. Packed lunches are healthier, cheaper and a time saver! By bringing lunch from home, you avoid the fats and sodium often found in fast/processed foods. Leftovers make great next-day lunches, too!
  • I hope this year to improve my meal planning. I hope to use more of my Sundays to prepare several meals for the week so I can avoid multiple trips to the grocery store during the week and also save time on cooking. By meal planning I also hope to reduce food waste by planning my meals around certain ingredients.
 Again, as nutrition professionals, we’re focused on do-able resolutions that involve food choices and meal planning.  The one common theme: more vegetables.  I hope youre considering similar resolutions for 2016.  Following through on New Year’s resolutions should be a rewarding experience.  Resolutions about food and diet should end up making you healthier.  Happy 2016!

 

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