Skip the Resolutions

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My buddy goes to the gym a lot. She’s a bit obsessive. She watches every January as the gym crowds surge and recede like the tide. By February, she gets the pool to herself again. Point being, resolutions rarely stick. Strict “diets” (yes, including paleo and gluten-free) rarely stick. Behavior change is not a one-time, this-year-I’ll-do-it proposition.

So, here’s a list of healthy diet recommendations. They come from my favorite, research-based cookbook about eating by Dr. Miles Hassell, titled “Good Food, Great Medicine,” based on the Mediterranean Diet.

Pick one a week and make a simple goal for yourself that seems totally wimpy such as “I will eat an apple after lunch every day,” or “I will drink a big glass of water before every meal.” Wimpy goals give you power to change your habits permanently!

  1. Eat vegetables with every meal and snack, and eat whole fruit, not juice.
  2. Eat beans and other legumes every day or at least three times a week.
  3. Avoid processed grains (whole grains have naturally occurring gluten which is better tolerated than refined gluten added to lots of commercial bread products).
  4. Eat fat! What? Good fat = raw nuts, seeds, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil. New evidence suggests whole fat milk products are better for you than the nonfat alternatives.
  5. Eat oil-rich fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines at least twice a week.
  6. Eat unprocessed meat and eggs, but think of the meats as condiments, not the main course. Vegetables are your new main course.
  7. Eat cultured daily like plain yogurt, kefir and aged cheese.

And healthy lifestyle recommendations:

  1. Don’t join a gym, but walk more. Build movement into your day instead of making it one more thing you “have” to do.
  2. Drink more water. Humans have trouble distinguishing hunger from thirst. When you feel hungry, drink a big glass of water and wait to see if you are still hungry in 15 minutes.

See every day as an opportunity to change and feel better. New Year’s Day is just another day, but your life happens every day!