New year, new you. How many times have we heard that before? The new year is a time when it seems that everyone is trying to get back on track with their diets, recommit to their gym memberships, and lose a couple pesky holiday pounds. While we here at VERTS are all about a healthy lifestyle, we would never advocate a dreary diet of depravation and bland recipes. How can you get back on track and feel great about your new year’s goals while still feeling happy and satisfied with your cuisine routine? We’re so glad you asked. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
1. Try new things
Don’t be afraid of the unknown. That new farmer’s market down the block, funky-sounding ingredient in your new cookbook, sauce you don’t know how to pronounce, or vegetable in your local farmbox that has always looked a little intimidating? No time like the present to dig into the mystery. Who knows, you might find your new favorite food.
2. Don’t sacrifice flavor for health
Eating healthily doesn’t mean a boring regimen of dry chicken breast and steamed broccoli. There are plenty of flavorful spices and sauces out there that pack a punch without adding a lot of calories (may we suggest yogurt-based condiments like our old favorite, tzatziki?). Focus on complex carbs like quinoa and brown rice. Mix up your lean proteins by eating a variety of pork, turkey, seafood, legumes, and lean beef. And fresh, crisp vegetables and fruit are natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber… which brings us to tip #3.
3. Eat colorfully
Used to a beige plate full of white breads, potatoes, and other processed grains? Time for a change! The more shades of the rainbow on your plate, the better. Naturally colorful foods are high in phytochemicals and antioxidants, meaning you’re fighting disease and toxins every time you take a bite. Red veggies, like tomatoes (okay, we know those are technically a fruit), are high in lycopene, and orange veggies, like carrots, are high in beta-carotene. All the leafy greens in our favorite salads are high in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
4. Incorporate food and fitness into your social schedule
Everyone knows the tired old “I don’t have tiiiime to work out” excuse… instead of looking at working out as, well, work, find a way to make it fun. Swap your usual happy hour with friends for a cool new class at your local gym or fitness studio. On nice days, take a walk-and-talk around your local park or trail instead of catching up over a platter of apps. And when it’s time to grab lunch or dinner with your family or friends, pick a restaurant that won’t make you feel guilty after you’re done eating. Small, simple lifestyle changes will add up throughout the year.
5. Treat. Yo. Self.
Wait, what? Aren’t these healthy resolutions?! Well, yes, they are, but if you stick to being 100% strict 100% of the time, in a few weeks you’re going to go off the rails and find yourself bingeing on a tub of ice cream at 2am. While we encourage eating healthily and getting those steps in, there’s always some wiggle room for a couple tasty craft brews, a nice glass of wine, or a side of sweet potato fries. At the end of the day, life is all about balance, and it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break every now and then! If you make little treats off-limits, you’re going to beat yourself up when you inevitably give into a bit of temptation.
With these five small tips in mind, you’re sure to succeed in your healthy and happy new year!
Let us know what your resolutions are on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!