Mountaintop Medicine: Nutrition Notes — New Year, Better Nutrition
Hello everyone and Happy New Year! If you are looking for a New Year’s resolution, there is no better way to start fresh with making healthy diet changes (and generating a healthier you).
Here are a few things to consider:
As we ring in the new year, start by assessing your current eating habits – look at what you are eating and identify areas where you can make healthier choices.
Determine what you want to achieve regarding your nutrition and overall health this year. Do you want to eat healthier? Do you want to reduce your risk of chronic disease? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to start an exercise regimen?
It is best to then set small, specific, and achievable goals that you can work towards to reach your overall desire. There are so many potential goals that you can create depending on your current eating habits and lifestyle. Below are a few ideas to choose from to help get you started.
New habits for this new year:
1. Eat more fruit and vegetables: Aim to incorporate a variety of colorful produce into your meals and snacks.
2. Focus on whole foods: Fill your plate with a variety of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These provide our bodies with the essential nutrients they need to support our overall health.
3. Plan your meals: Take some time each week to plan out your meals and snacks. This can help you make healthier choices and avoid impulsive, less nutritious options.
4. Watch your portion sizes: Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use smaller plates and practice mindful eating habits.
5. Cook at home more often: By preparing your meals at home, you have more control over the ingredients and portion sizes.
6. Drink more water: Staying hydrated is important for overall health. Try to replace sugary drinks with water throughout the day.
7. Reduce processed foods: As we mentioned earlier, cutting back on processed foods can have a positive impact on your health.
8. Be mindful of snacking: Choose snacks like fruits, nuts, or yogurt instead of reaching for processed snack foods.
9. Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and try to savor each bite. I find it immensely helpful to eat without distractions such as my phone, laptop, and TV, and instead, enjoy my own or someone else’s company.
Remember, it is important to set realistic goals and make gradual changes. Progress takes time, so be patient with yourself. You’ve got this! If you are interested in diving further into your health and nutrition, I offer outpatient nutrition counseling and education services at Estes Park Health. Contact your healthcare provider for a referral. If you have any questions or if there are any nutrition-related topics that you would like me to discuss here on Nutrition Notes, please reach out at LGardner@EPH.org.