When it comes to nutrition New Year’s resolutions, setting measurable, tangible goals gives you structure and lets you know when to celebrate successes along the way. Rather than merely resolving to “eat better” in the coming year, how about incorporating some of these nutrition New Year’s resolutions into your day-to-day diet?
1. Eat Breakfast:
You probably don’t need me to remind you that you wouldn’t drive your car without putting gas in the tank, but the comparison is a cliche for good reasons. Starting your day with a balanced mix of protein and complex carbs can boost energy, metabolism, concentration, productivity, and help curb overeating at lunch. If a hearty morning meal sounds overwhelming, start with something simple like a piece of fruit, a handful of nuts, or a hard-boiled egg. A few of my favorites: sprouted-grain toast with avocado and an egg, oatmeal with ground flax and peanut butter, and plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds and fresh fruit.
2. Have Vegetables at Lunch and Dinner:
This is a great way to up your veggie intake by helping you gradually train yourself to make the green stuff a habit. You’ll automatically get in more filling fiber, plus nourishing vitamins and minerals to help you feel and look your best. Make a Pinterest board for inspiration.
3. Spice Up Your Cooking:
Give the salt shaker a rest and experiment with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, and other herbs and spices. The powerful compounds provide all kinds of health benefits along with the flavor. Win-win situation.
4. Eat More Seeds:
Pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, flax, and chia seeds are just a few examples of ways to get more fiber and healthy fats into your diet. These little nutrition powerhouses are packed with vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system and make your hair shine and your skin glow. They’re also great source of plant-based protein. Add to salads, grain dishes, yogurt, smoothies, or as an oatmeal or cereal topping. They’re also great as a substitution for croutons when you’re eating soup.
5. Eat More Beans:
Beans, peas, and lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, and they also provide filling fiber. For example, a half cup serving of cooked chickpeas will give you 8 grams protein and 6 grams fiber. The complex carbs in beans break down slowly, promoting stable blood sugar and long-lasting energy.
What are your nutrition New Year’s resolutions?
By Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian and writer in NYC. She blogs at Keeping It Real Food.