It’s always good idea to take charge of your health, but there’s no time like the New Year.
To help you get started in 2017, several dietitians and health experts are offering up fresh approaches to keeping those resolutions.
“You’ve had time to think about who you want to be or what you want to accomplish and to plan for that change,” said Claudia Zapata, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author of the blog Claudia Zapata Celebrating Health. “The first days of the year serves as the ideal springboard for putting your plan into action.”
Advice from Zapata and numerous other experts are distilled into the following tips for healthier eating habits and getting active:
Start with a clean slate: Clean and organize your pantry and fridge by chucking the overly processed junk foods. Replace those sugary cereals, cookies and crackers with hydrogenated oils, bottled salad dressings and refined grains like white rice and pasta. Instead, stock up on healthy granolas and unsalted nuts and seeds; a good olive and avocado oil; a variety of vinegars; and whole grains such as quinoa, farro, bulgur, millet and brown rice. Evidence of your clean slate will help: Post “before” and “after” photos on social media to inspire yourself and your friends.
Be truthful: It can be easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating healthy. Sure, there are carrots in that cake and peaches in that pie. But these foods don’t count toward the fruits and veggies you should eat every day.
Cook more: Develop seven to 10 go-to healthy recipes and the shopping lists you need for them. Print them out or take photos of them with your phone. Let family members pick favorites. Aim to try a new recipe once a week or once a month. Try tweaking favorites with different ingredients.
Reduce sodium: Experiment by seasoning food with herbs and spices such as basil, black pepper, cayenne, garlic, nutmeg, and ginger instead of salt.