No, this post isn’t about Christmas.
For me, the most wonderful time of the year starts on December 31st and lasts for about 2 weeks. Like most people, I feel refreshed, re-energized and like I can conquer the world. And again, like most, it is an excellent time to focus on how to get healthy (and stay that way!)
Many people attempt resolutions (or intentions, goals, etc.) and I’m no different. One difference this year, though, is that I already started a few resolutions a couple weeks ago! I’ve hopped on the wellness train and I’ve been chugging along, learning and adapting as needed, so I wanted to share a few things I’ve discovered. Hopefully some of these tidbits are things you can relate to in some way, whether its your eating habits, lifestyle habits or what have you.
Things I Learned When I Boarded The Healthy Train:
- Salads for lunch don’t work for me. No matter how much other fun stuff I throw on my salad, it just never keeps me full all day. I work in an office, I (now) have some type of breakfast each day so by the time lunch rolls around, I need it to get me through the afternoon slump, an inevitable pit-stop somewhere on my way home from work and at least a small walk around the block with my dog. Man, I do love a good salad, though, so I have my salad while I’m making dinner and treat it like an appetizer. It helps me add veggies to my daily intake and it helps curb overeating when I finally sit down to dinner.
- I really, really love coffee. And I’m not willing to give up a good cup of coffee in the morning. It’s like a hug that makes me feel like today is going to be okay. I’m fortunate that I don’t have any strong reactions to dairy, so I’ve continued to use my whole milk as creamer. I do stick to (roughly) 2 tbsp. of whole milk, though. Oh! I don’t pretend a “cup” is only one of my travel mugs… that’s actually 2.25 cups of coffee each day, so I need to remember that when I track my caffeine intake. Some days I like it sweet, and some days I don’t, so I just go with the flow on the sugar/stevia/maple syrup part. (Seriously, though, go put some maple syrup in your coffee and thank me later!)
- My downfall is savory foods, not sweets. I love salty foods. I mean, my grandmother carries a salt shaker in her purse. I’ll take a plate of greasy, salty french fries over the best piece of chocolate any day. I’ve always loved salty foods, which is great when you want to freely snack on cheese plates for the rest of your life, but not realistic for long-term health. I do modify my worst-for-me savory foods to help curb cravings. I also noticed I was getting a bit obsessive about things, like being unable to turn down a slice of pizza, no matter who made it. Apparently, this also happens to people who love sweets. I try to find the savory foods that work for me instead and embrace how delicious they are, like guacamole, a few olives, braised mushrooms and a dash of soy sauce here and there.
- What works for most people doesn’t work for me… and that’s okay! I think the most important part of instilling any lifestyle changes is to find what work the best for you and that goes for both your resolutions and your end game. Use others as a source of inspiration, but don’t blindly follow. There are plenty of people who can easily replace pasta with spaghetti squash. Not me. I hate spaghetti squash, but when I come across a recipe that sounds great and uses an ingredient that I just can’t deal with, I modify. The best part of this whole process has been learning what works, what doesn’t, where I can improve and where I’m already doing great.
What works for you when you’re trying to reach your goals? Do you track your progress a specific way or do things like avoid meal planning altogether? Let me know in the comments below!