Whether you’re a man or woman, young or old, it’s likely that somewhere in your list of New Year’s resolutions is “eat better” and/or “work out more.” Far too often, we fall off the bandwagon (or never even make it on the bandwagon) and don’t meet our goals. While we have good intentions, sometimes the path to success isn’t clear and we are unsure about how to reach our goals. Rest assured, there are many simple steps to take to help achieve your healthy eating and fitness goals in 2015.
Stock up on seasonal produce
A cornerstone of any healthy diet is consuming fresh, vibrant and seasonal veggies into most, if not all, meals of the day. Eating fresh produce offers vital nutrients that help lower the risk of many chronic diseases. While veggies should be at the top of your menu list, don’t forget fruit as it makes for quick, healthy snacks. You should aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Support your local farmer and get the benefit of flavorful, high-nutrient produce. Better yet, your local farmers provide the best veggie and produce for the season: winter squash, apples, sweet potatoes and kale, to name a few.
Exercising just one hour per day is a great way to burn off steam, stress and those extra calories you may have consumed over the holidays. Take advantage of outdoor recreational activities with your family. Bundle up and enjoy a walk through the park, go ice skating or sledding, and don’t underestimate the power of making a snow angel. If you don't have 60 solid minutes for a workout, try breaking it up into 10 minute intervals. Incorporating workouts throughout your weekly chaos will help you keep a healthy mind and body.
The holidays are abundant in beverage indulgences just as much as they are in food. Although popular during the winter season, hot chocolate, white chocolate mocha lattes and eggnog are loaded with sugar. Sugary drinks are both high in calories and dehydrating. Instead of these empty calorie drinks, water should be your beverage of choice. Drink 4-8 cups of water per day. Add fresh fruit or choose sparkling mineral water to make things a little more exciting. Try herbal teas made with warming spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, coriander and nutmeg.
With delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes such as this, it’s easy to stay on the healthy eating bandwagon.
Roasted Apples and Brussels Sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 Jonagold apples, cored and cut into wedges
6 shallots, peeled and quartered
10 fresh thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high heat oil)
Salt and pepper
Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss together Brussels sprouts, apples, shallots, thyme and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Arrange Brussels sprouts mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, 20-25 minutes, shaking pan every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Elizabeth Blessing is co-founder and chief nutritionist of Green BEAN Delivery, an online home delivery service that provides organic produce and natural groceries to Kentucky members. To learn more, visit www.greenbeandelivery.com
More recipes from Elizabeth