Goals or resolutions that fall in the category of restricting food and calories are not only harmful, but are most likely ineffective and unsustainable. Instead, this year, consider intuitive eating for a sustainable, enjoyable, and mindful approach to your goals that can be continued for a lifetime.
- Spend more time cooking by candlelight. Just the simple act of lowering the lights in the evening can calm our nervous system, while making the act of cooking dinner more of a relaxing experience than a task that needs to get done. Throw on some of your favorite music while you’re at it.
- Have more slow breakfasts on weekend mornings. We often change our routines on the weekends, which does not need to be seen as a negative. Instead, we can use the extra time we have and spend it in a way that sparks connection, relaxation, and fun while also taking care of ourselves (aka making sure we eat breakfast still). Go make those waffles and light some candles.
- Make sure you’re eating breakfast on weekday mornings. This is another act of caring for oneself that often goes missing during busy work weeks. Also, coffee is not breakfast. Try to eat something with protein, carbohydrates, and a healthy fat before heading to work in the morning. Some sprouted toast with peanut butter and hemp seeds and some fruit on the side, homemade protein bites that you can keep in the freezer, yogurt and chia seeds and fruit, freezer breakfast burritos, the list goes on. And these all can be prepared within a few minutes.
- More meals at the table and without devices. Pretty self explanatory, but the nervous system benefits this provides are so important. Eating while on the go, while watching tv, while working at the computer, etc. can put us in a sympathetic state, or fight or flight. This makes it very difficult for our bodies to properly digest and absorb the foods in front of us. Take some time for yourself, sit at the table, take a few deep breaths, and really enjoy and taste your food.
- Buy one new vegetable at the grocery store each week. Diversity in our diet is a significant factor in gut health, as well as overall health. It can be overwhelming to make sure we are eating new things, so I try to just look for one plant (fruit, veggie, seed, nut, grain) that I have not had in a long time, or have never had and throw that into my cart. One at a time to make sure I am not overwhelmed and so that I have time to make sure it gets used that week in my meals. Who knows, it may become a new favorite.
Remember that these are only options, not rules. Try one or two things above and see how it feels over the course of a couple weeks. Does it feel easy, enjoyable, beneficial? If not, see how you can modify it to fit into your own life, or try something new. We are all bioindividual beings and deserve to be treated as such. We also deserve to enjoy our lives and nutrition, without feeling starved or overwhelmed.
I hope you have a happy new year. ❤️