(Alexes Papadopoli is the Registered Dietitian at Brown’s Your Independent Grocer in Stittsville.)
12:00 am on January 1 brings the age-old question – what will my New Year’s resolution be? Some choose to “workout more” or “eat healthier”, as there is something about the start of the new year that shouts new beginnings and opportunities. But did you know that 80 per cent of people give up on their New Year’s Resolution by February?(1) Making goals is simple in theory, however we often set ourselves up to fail through overly restrictive plans that aren’t sustainable, and sometimes not even healthy! The fact is, no two people can have the same path to achieving their nutrition and wellness goals. In 2023, let’s ditch the short-term diets and develop a positive relationship with food that fits with your unique lifestyle. Here’s some food for thought on how to reach your goals with a sustainable, non-diet approach.
Being successful means being SMART – Raise your hand if you’ve set a goal like “eat healthier” and stopped there. For many of us, vague nutrition goal statements, like “drink more water” or “eat breakfast”, leave us with the expectation that follow-through will come. While we all have the intention of turning our goals into reality, it can be difficult to achieve them without actionable items. To create a successful goal-setting strategy, it is important to be SMART. While SMART goals are unique to the individual, their pillars – of being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound – are universal. Next time, when creating a nutrition goal, try breaking them down into smaller, smarter goals like “opt for whole grain pasta, bread, or rice for one meal this week” or “cook four plant-based meals for dinner this month.”
Think of all the opportunities, not all the obstacles – Is it just me, or are many of our nutrition goals rooted in limiting “off-limit” foods? Setting goals, like “eat less chocolate” or “no more fast food”, only serve to create a mentality of “good” and “bad” foods. As a registered dietitian, I am here to let you in on a little secret – all foods belong to a balanced diet! When setting your next nutrition goal, center your goal in positivity, and think about all the foods you can add, not take away.
There’s more to nutrition than the numbers – Whether it is the number on a scale or the calories on the label, it can be easy to get lost in the numbers. While it may seem like attributing numbers to nutrition goals will set you up for success, it is important to remember that there is so more much to nutrition. Nutrition and food, at their core, are about nourishing our bodies and soul, which cannot be measured by numbers. Setting goals for nutrition does not have to be about “eating more lean protein” or “having 2/3 of the plate be vegetables.” It can easily be something like “cooking more family recipes” or “trying new restaurants” to empower us to look at food more holistically.
Start 2023 off right by setting sustainable nutrition goals. As your local registered dietitian at Brown’s Your Independent Grocer, I provide a range of services, such as virtual or in-store one-on-one consultations, store tours, recipe ideas as well as programs, like our Food for Thought Nutrition Program. To learn more, book a 15-minute free discovery call with me at dietitianservices.ca.
Vegan Yuzu Chia Breakfast Parfaits
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tub PC® Plant Based Cultured Oat Yogurt Alternative Yuzu Citrus Flavour
- 2 bananas, peeled and diced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup granola
- Stir chia seeds into yogurt. Divide among 4 jars or serving bowls. Cover and refrigerate at least
30 minutes, or overnight.
- Top with bananas, kiwis, blueberries and granola just before serving, dividing evenly.
Try this: Switch up the fruit depending on what’s in season (or in your fridge!), or try dried fruit or jam.