The holiday craziness is behind us and a New Year is underway! Follow Thrive & Dine and we can help make it a healthy one! There is no shortage of articles or advertisements telling us we need to lose weight and get in shape for the New Year. And who doesn’t already know that we need to drink more water, stop eating sweets, get more sleep and get to the gym more often to be healthier? How about a different approach this time?
This week Thrive & Dine is bringing you our top 8 picks for healthy ways to kick off the New Year. Remember, you have the entire year to steadily make changes that will stick. Maybe you’ll fall off track every now and then and need to get back on… that’s ok! That’s being human. What matters is that you are on-track more than you are off. Start by working on one goal at a time. Some new lifestyle changes will catch on quickly and be easy to maintain, others might take you a little longer and will need a little extra effort to make them stick.
Where to start? Anywhere. Start with one or two and once you feel you’ve “got it” add on every few weeks. The suggestions below are the ones we believe make the biggest difference in long term wellness and are easy to implement and sustain.
- Sign up for a CSA box. We love Farm Fresh to You, but other farms that offer organic produce to Orange County residents include Tanaka Farms and South Coast Farms. If you’ve got a selection of fresh fruits and veggies available in your kitchen, you’re more likely to eat them.
- Set aside time for a detox from electronics: disconnect for an hour or more from everything that has a battery or needs plugging in. Taking a break from technology has a multitude of benefits including less anxiety, better memory and improved sleep
- Eat out at a healthy restaurant more often (need ideas? We’ve got ‘em!) Healthier eating doesn’t mean you have to give up eating out. Thrive & Dine helps you be choosy about where to eat through our weekly reviews of the healthiest picks among Orange County restaurants.
- Stock your pantry with true nutrition, not phony foods. Thrive Market has great prices on better-for-you foods that get delivered right to your front door. Put the healthiest foods up front and in the center both in your pantry and in your fridge. A Cornell study showed that you are more likely to eat the first food you see than the fourth or fifth.
- Cook at home more often… or try an organic based, home meal delivery service like SunBasket if from-scratch cooking is just not your thing. Sun Basket has organic, sustainably sourced ingredients used in easy to prepare recipes (and the prices are very reasonable).
- Try a cleanse and introduce cold pressed juices into your life: Project Juice offers a variety of cleanses and a juice delivery program. All the benefit of fresh fruits and vegetables juiced and delivered straight to you, none of the messy clean up.
- Practice Gratitude daily. Choose three things, write them down daily and go back and re-read your list every few months. For inspiration, read “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp. Gratitude makes the heart smile any day of the year.
- Follow the advice of Michael Pollan “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much”. Put this into practice by filling half your plate with plants, the more dark greens the better. Our country is deficient in vegetables (and fruit). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did an analysis that showed only 13.1% of adults eat enough fruit and only 8.9% eat enough vegetables. Want to improve your health dramatically this year? Then make plants a priority when you eat. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296677.php
And if you’re really up for a challenge in 2017, add on a mega challenge (or be an overachiever and add both!) from one of these suggestions:
Break up with Sugar - in every form. From sweetened beverages (diet or regular!) and foods from refined white flours, processed wheat breads, to over-sweetened yogurts and salad dressings, sugar is hiding everywhere. There are over 50 different names for sugar on food labels. Get to know them and then stay away. This kind of break-up will help you lose weight, improve heart health and you will feel so much better. It’s not easy, but it has a great impact.
Give up soda! That means every kind of soda! Regular or Diet, it doesn’t matter. There is no value in soda; not one drop of either kind gives your body any nutrients. It fills you up and prevents you from taking in foods that are nutritious. Plus they add excessive amounts of processed sugars (or harmful artificial sweeteners) to your diet which cause you to crave more sugar, wreak havoc in your gut, interfere with cellular function and ultimately lead to weight gain. Yes, even the diet sodas!
So now that we’ve given you our favorite picks, it’s your turn; start with one to two things on the list then add one more each month. Be kind and gentle to your body and it will respond in a very good way, we promise!