As tradition would have it, another New Year’s celebration ushered in another season of New Year’s resolutions.
Among the top New Year’s resolutions we set out to accomplish, our diet has to be one of the most popular things we all want to improve on.
“Diet” is often thought of as a four-letter word, but don’t confuse “diet” with diet.
Dieting doesn’t mean eating less, it just means the type of food you choose to eat.
For this New Year’s resolution, ditch the new fad diets and hunger cleanses and focus on the small changes you can make to your daily diet to improve your health and lifestyle.
With dedication and a little effort, making small changes to your daily diet instead of drastic lifestyle changes is more likely to stick with you and can prove to make big changes to your overall health.
One of the simplest changes you can make to your diet is to add leafy greens to two of your meals a day.
Whether it’s spinach, arugula, watercress or romaine, leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. They’re also incredibly easy to sneak into your favorite meals.
Adding a few leaves of romaine or arugula to your favorite sandwich or burger, or adding chopped spinach to your favorite pasta dishes, soup recipes, or even an omelet can quickly boost the nutritional value of these everyday fare.
Using fresh herbs instead of dried herbs can also add many of the nutritional benefits of consuming leafy greens, plus it will make all your favorite recipes even tastier.
One reason many diets fail is that people often feel they have to stop eating their favorite foods and replace them with “diet” foods like salad.
Unfortunately, some people just don’t like salad, so don’t force yourself to eat something you don’t like, because you won’t be able to keep it long-term.
Instead of adding more salad greens to add greens to your diet, try replacing the foods you enjoy with plant-based alternatives.
Try alternatives like cauliflower pizza or chickpea pasta one or two nights a week. You might just find a plant-based alternative food that you like even more than your traditional favorite.
In recent years, fruit has gotten a bad rap due to unsubstantiated rumors. Some have chosen to forgo fruit in their diet to avoid the natural sugar found in most fruits.
But skipping fruit is also an easy and delicious addition of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber to your diet.
Fruit makes a good afternoon snack on the go, but it can also be a breakfast staple with little to no effort.
A few berries or sliced bananas atop cereal or pancakes add extra flavor, fiber, and nutrition to an otherwise lackluster meal.
If you’re more of a coffee-and-toast-for-breakfast eater, try getting into a new habit of adding grapefruit or a banana on the side.
If you haven’t been using the “seed” food group, the new year is a good excuse to try the seed group.
Seeds like chia, flaxseed, and pumpkin are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, and they’re easy to add to foods you already enjoy.
Sprinkle the seeds on salads, soups, stir-fries, pastas, yogurts, or even ice cream, or roast them and they make a great snack on their own.
Staying properly hydrated is essential to good health, but drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. There are many foods high in water that are naturally low in calories, making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, berries, and watermelon are all water-rich, nutritionally healthy foods that can help keep you hydrated as you eat.
When we go to the supermarket, we all tend to buy the same foods week after week, getting into a diet routine.
For 2023, why not challenge yourself with the simple task of trying just one new vegetable a week. It’s a great way to broaden your flavor palate, and you might surprise yourself and find a product you thought you hated, but actually love.
Add a fun twist to this endeavor by looking for a specific recipe for your new veggie of the week, so you’re sure to enjoy it at optimal flavor.
If you’re not really willing to commit to trying too many new foods, you can enjoy a healthy diet by paying attention when filling your plate. Choose a “rainbow” of foods that come from the earth to help you achieve a healthy diet.
This doesn’t mean eating Skittles candy found on the ground, but rather most of the foods you eat should come from mother earth and not created in a factory.
Having a “rainbow” of food colors on your plate will give you a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients while giving you a wide variety of flavors and textures.
New Years is all about change for the better, but don’t punish yourself for your food choices. There’s no need to feel guilty if you think you’ve eaten too many cookies or indulge in a bowl of ice cream. Remember, those things are fine to eat as long as you balance them with a healthy, daily diet.
Big things can come from small changes. This New Year’s resolution, try a few simple changes to your diet instead of a big declaration of hunger, and you’re sure to experience a lot of success in the New Year.