New Year New You - 12 Resolutions for a Happy Healthy 2018

1. Be SMART!

Start the New Year with SMART goals! SMART stands for goals that are: specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound. Set realistic goals so that you are not overwhelmed.

2. Have a plan

If your goal is to eat breakfast every day, prep for a healthy breakfast. If your goal is to walk, get a pedometer to count your steps.  If you have a busy work week, make a couple of extra meals on the weekend.  Planning ahead saves time, money & energy! 

3. Keep a journal

Writing a daily journal helps keep you on track. It also gives you feedback on how your day was, and what can you do to improve it!

4. Find time and activities to reduce stress

Stress can make your blood sugars go up and cause other health problems. Do activities that are relaxing for you on a regular basis, such as meditation, arts & crafts, reading, crossword puzzles or a massage!

5. Be more active

The benefits of regular exercise and have been proven beyond doubt. Whether you like going to the gym or working out solo, plan on being active daily. Remember to ‘Eat Smart & Move More’! 

6. Have a kitchen makeover

If your fridge and pantry are stocked with healthy food, then it is easy to eat healthy food!  Get rid of unhealthy snacks and sodas. Clean out your kitchen and start fresh. 

7. Sharpen your cooking skills – limit eating out!

If you don’t cook, make a resolution to learn some simple healthy meals. Use a crock-pot. Take a cooking class. Look for ideas on the internet; visit blogs or sites such as Pinterest or YouTube. Cooking at home can not only save time and money, but also control the amount of sodium and fat in your diet.

8. Eat breakfast every day!

Breakfast literally means, ‘break the fast’! Waking up and going about your day on an empty stomach is like trying to run a car without gas. Choose from healthy breakfast ideas such as whole grain bread with peanut butter or low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt with fruit. 

9. Eat more vegetables

Eat a rainbow! Make half your plate vegetables. Eat a salad or make vegetable soup. Add vegetables to casseroles, pasta, or stir-fry. Choose fruit as a snack.

10. Experiment with different whole grains and beans

Whole grains and beans are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several vitamins and minerals. Experiment with whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, millet, and oats. Eat a variety of beans. 

11. Choose healthy fats

Include small amounts of olive oil, canola oil, or sesame oil, for cooking. Eat a handful of nuts or seeds or 1-2 tbsp. natural nut butters as a snack.

12. Drink adequate amount of water

Make sure to drink at least 64 oz. of water throughout the day. Flavor the water with lemon slices, or add fresh mint leaves. 

Parul Kharod, MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist, and works as a Clinical Dietitian with Outpatient Nutrition Services at WakeMed Hospital in Cary and Raleigh where she counsels the adult and pediatric population for a variety of issues such as diabetes, heart disease, IBS, food allergies and celiac disease. She also manages the monthly Celiac & Food Allergy Support Group at WakeMed Cary Hospital. She can be reached at 919-350-2351.