The new year brings a renewed focus on wellness, health, and diet goals. Too often these objectives are broadly defined and difficult to meet due to their abstract nature. You know the ones, “eat better” or “lose weight”. Let’s push those not so helpful ideas aside and instead focus on four small, but attainable wellness goals that work together to bring you down a true path toward healthier living, and ultimately a new year with good vibes.
Too broad: “Eat more veggies”
Your goal may be to eat more veggies but does your shopping cart reflect that goal? Keep in mind that your shopping cart is the key to ensuring that your home kitchen will help you meet your goals. If you only have a small number of veggies, it will be difficult to increase your consumption.
Turn it into a goal: When shopping, always start in the produce section, then add no salt/sugar added packaged vegetables and fruit. Finally, visit the frozen section to round out every shopping trip. Choose a variety of options for easy prep and more consumption.
Too broad: “Eat a healthy diet”
A “healthy” diet is tough to define, which makes it a difficult goal to meet. Instead, aim for a colorful diet complete with fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, and legumes. Think of a colorful diet as nature’s multi-vitamin. Not only does color make for a beautiful dish or drink, but it represents different antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that reduce risk of chronic disease and support healthy immunity.
Turn it into a goal: Consume 3-5 colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and more every day.
Too broad: “Add fiber to my diet”
Most Americans aren’t consuming enough fiber. However, the good news is that if you’re increasing the color in your diet, you’re likely adding more fiber too. Fiber is essential for maintaining gut health, encourages satiety, controls hunger, and lowers cholesterol. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will enable you to increase your fiber intake.
Turn it into a goal: Read food labels and consume fiber-rich foods to meet your daily needs (Women: 21-25 grams/day; Men 30-38grams/day).
Too broad: “Drink more water”
It’s difficult to say exactly how much fluid your body needs, as many factors influence your body’s hydration status. That said, it’s important to maintain fluid intake throughout the day and prevent the signs that tell us we’re under hydrated such as dry mouth and dark urine. Keep in mind that “watery” fruits and vegetables like cucumber, celery, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and watermelon contribute to your fluid intake.
Turn it into a goal: Grab a large water bottle and use a permanent marker to note the time down the bottle. Be sure to drink by the time noted and finish the bottle by the end of the day. Incorporate “watery” produce into your day.