With a New Year come New Year’s resolutions. At the beginning of January, it’s exciting to create that healthy eating plan, but by Jan. 20, the hopefulness usually starts to fade. Don’t lose your motivation this year! Sandy Wolner, Pampered Chef Food & Trend Innovator, has a few helpful tips for sticking with your goals. 1. Replace, replace, replace. When we remove things from our diet, we feel deprived. Focus filling your plate with foods that make you feel great. As an alternative to regular pasta, choose whole wheat pasta. Think of it as enhancing your diet as opposed to punishing yourself. Recipes like Zucchini Noodle Carbonara, Cauliflower Fried “Rice,” and Baked Avocado Tacos give you the flavor of the original recipe, but with more nutritional benefits.
2. Don’t aim for perfection. Along with deprivation comes overindulgence. If you aim for perfection in your diet, you’ll quickly burn out and give up. One mistake or slip-up isn’t a catastrophe! It means you’re human, and it might actually help you stick with your healthy eating plan. If you give in to your cravings occasionally, you’ll stop having them. Just stick with smaller portions and enjoy yourself.
3. Focus on small and simple changes that add up. Drinking more water can have a big impact on your overall health, and it helps promote fullness and trim calorie intake. And, did you know that many people confuse thirst with hunger? Making infused water is a great way to keep up with your water intake and prevent boredom.
4. Try something new! One of my resolutions is to try one new healthy recipe or one new vegetable per week. This keeps me out of a dinner rut and expands my family’s eating horizons. Here are a couple of ways you can start incorporating new recipes and ingredients into your dinners this year:
5. Keep your eye on the prize. Sure, we’re all inspired by looking great. However, this type of motivation doesn’t always last. Think about how living healthier can improve your everyday life. Not only does eating well help shed pounds, but it also gives us more energy, improves our moods, and extends our lives.
This post has been updated since it was originally posted in December 2017.
- Start a meatless Monday tradition. Meatless Mondays is an initiative set by the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and is becoming a global movement. The goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15%. A couple of my absolute favorite meatless recipes are Spicy Sesame Cauliflower and Roasted Vegetable Toasts.
- Try ancient grains like quinoa, millet, barley, sorghum, spelt, or amaranth instead of the standard brown rice. Ancient grains offer a variety of tastes, textures, and nutrients, and some are even gluten-free. And don’t feel like you have to prepare grains as a standard boiled or steamed side dish—get creative with a recipe like Mexican Quinoa Bowl.
Sandy Wolner, Pampered Chef Food & Trend Innovator. Sandy is a registered dietitian nutritionist and loves coming up with creative and healthy recipes to bring families around the table.
Learn how to create a weekly meal plan with a "Comfort Foods Made Better" meal planning party.