Total Therapy Blog
How to Stay Excited About Your New Years Resolution to Eat Healthier
This post was written by our Registered Dietitian, Kirstie Hilverda.
I have loved food and experimenting in the kitchen since I was a little girl, which lead me to pursuing a career as a dietitian. My goal is to help others embrace food as a way to nourish our bodies and our souls. When it comes to nutrition counselling, I emphasize personalized client-focused care because nutrition looks a little different for everyone! I also advocate for an evidence-based approach, so your treatment is based on science – not fad diets or the latest food trend.
Because I’m such a foodie, my free time is often spent experimenting in the kitchen, trying new restaurants, and perusing food blogs. I also love spending time hiking in the mountains, rock climbing, running, and cozying up with a good book.
Making long-term sustainable change is hard work. In the beginning, there’s this beautiful, raw excitement that comes with goal-setting. The challenge and impending victory of uncharted territory is mysterious and wonderful…at least for a little while, but how do you stay excited about it?
As I mentioned in my first post of the new year, it’s important for you to be confident in yourself and your ability to make and maintain your changes. This is doable by breaking your Oprah-sized goals into small, manageable steps. In other words, you need to become comfortable running for 10 minutes before you can finish a 10k with a smile on your face. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it puts goals into perspective. The same goes for making changes to what you eat.
The other thing that’s important to keep things spicy…is to keep things spicy. Say hello to your nutritional bestie, variety! Eating the same thing every day can provide us with security, but it may also lead to feeling bored and limited.
Here are some suggestions to help you increase the amount of variety in your meals and add some spice to your life.
1. Buy a new (to you) fruit or vegetable once a month.
Or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, try something new each time you go grocery shopping. This can be fruit and veg (rutabaga, jicama, plantain, beets, persimmons), a whole grain (barley, spelt, steel-cut oats), or really anything else that might be interesting to you. We’re kind-of like little kids – the more that we’re exposed to a new food, the more likely we are to enjoy it.
2. Challenge yourself to spend more time in the kitchen.
Making things yourself provides a special sense of satisfaction. You get to both make something yourself AND you get to eat it. You don’t need to be ready for MasterChef (albeit, it can be fun to pretend you’re on a cooking show), so start small. Basics like spaghetti sauce and roasted potatoes are not only excellent staples, but they are also great confidence-building stepping stones to motivate you to experiment with other recipes.
3. Consider Meatless Mondays.
Plant-based proteins are truly nutritional powerhouses, and once you get comfortable with them, they are SO flexible! I’m not saying you need to convert to vegetarianism, but incorporating tofu, beans, peas, and other legumes into your diet is great for your health, your culinary creativity, and your pocketbook. Some of my favourite ways to enjoy pulses are roasting chickpeas, adding lentils to pasta sauce, using black beans in quesadillas, and adding chickpeas to my salads and soups.
These are just a few ways you can experiment with new foods. Trying new things is a great way to stay excited about healthy eating, develop your culinary skills, and improve your relationship with food. If you’d like more strategies and meal ideas that fit with your interests, lifestyle, and healthy eating goals, set up an appointment with me by calling (604) 620-9700.