The New Year represents a fresh start, which is exactly the motivation you may need to begin changing up the way you eat. Some of the healthiest habits for the New Year are also the simplest. You don’t need expensive exercise equipment to make a change in how you feel. Nor do you need to deprive yourself of enjoying hearty meals.
Instead, establishing small habits over the next few weeks will add up to big improvements in how you look and feel. You’re also more likely to keep those resolutions when the changes you make fit seamlessly into your normal daily routine.
Eat More Vegetables
Ok, you may have heard this one all your life, but it is worth noting that adding more veggies to your plate can be more exciting than you might think. One way to generate some excitement about vegetables is to try a new one each week.
Eating more vegetables doesn’t mean having to limit yourself to lettuce and carrots. Instead, create a list of some more unique vegetables that you can find in the grocery store and at farmers markets. Then, commit to cooking at least one new recipe each week.
During the rest of the week, you can challenge yourself to add more colors to your meals.
Making a stir fry is a great way to motivate yourself to add more color and flavor to your meals. You can sauté red, green and yellow bell peppers along with some purple onion in some of our habanero & cayenne pepper infused olive oil to give your stir fry a bit of a kick.
Or—you can use a similar cooking method to prepare fresh spinach before tossing it into a quiche along with fresh tomatoes and mushrooms.
Making your meals more colorful and exploring new types of foods makes your efforts at getting healthier seem more like an adventure than a drudgery. After a few practice runs, you might even be ready to show off your new culinary skills to your family and friends.
The trick to making your healthy habits for the New Year stick is to make them so easy that they seem better than your current ones. Simplifying your meals makes it easier to opt out of picking up fast food on your way home from work since you can whip up something faster than it takes to go through the drive-thru line.
Salads are a simple go-to choice that you can enjoy for either lunch or dinner. You can use the rainbow vegetable method if you’re feeling creative, or you can stick to some comfort foods such as dark leafy lettuce and heirloom tomatoes.
Either way, a balsamic vinaigrette dressing is the perfect topping. The usual ratio for this dressing is three parts oil to one part balsamic vinegar, but you can play with the measurements a bit to get the flavor you want.
Roasted vegetables and grilled meat are also easy to prepare. Simply drizzle them with a bit of olive oil or vinegar to infuse them with flavor and keep them moist while you cook them in the oven or on the grill. Using olive oil in place of other fats offers health benefits such as lowering your stroke risk.