As the new year is in full swing, you may start to think about how to stick to your New Year’s resolutions. This year let’s take it back to basics. Instead of resolutions, let’s find solutions and put our energy towards those. To achieve “total wellness,” start with a realistic approach vs. “all or nothing resolution-type goals.” Set yourself up for success by focusing on small steps in five key areas to achieve “total wellness:

1. Eating Right

  • Try a new vegetable each week!
  • Add fresh lemon or lime to water, carbonated water or green tea.
  • Substitute fresh fruit for refined sugary desserts.
  • Sample nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios) or yogurt as “good-for-you” snacks.
  • Savor varying flavors via a new recipe that features the lean protein, whole grain and vegetable of your choice.

At home:

  • To keep portions in check, serve meals on salad plates.
  • Plate portions = ¼ whole grain, ¼ lean protein, ½ fruits/vegetables of your choice.
  • Focus on healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, tree nuts, chia seeds.
  • Limit saturated fats, choosing low-fat dairy products and lean meats (fish, chicken, pork tenderloin).
  • Be creative! (i.e. substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, add chia seeds to salads, or add spinach to smoothies.
  • Be mindful of your body’s fullness signals.

Dining out:

  • Look for baked, broiled and/or steamed options.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Make ½ your meal fruits and veggies.
  • Make water your beverage of choice.
  • Check nutrition info online before dining.

2. Exercise

  • Focus on types of exercise you enjoy!
  • Experiment! Try a new class at your local YMCA or take up a new sport.
  • Buddy up! Arrange to meet a friend or co-worker for a walk or run.
  • Try an at-home workout video for weight routines, cardio, abdominal exercises, or yoga.

**Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.**

3. Time Management

  • Make “exercise” and “meditation” appointments each week with yourself.
  • Plan meals for the week to include leftovers for late work nights.
  • Make a few meals ahead to freeze for use throughout the workweek.
  • Prep/chop fruits and vegetables right after shopping for easy access.

4. Stress Relief

  • Experiment with deep breathing techniques for 60 seconds, 2-3 times a day.
  • Journal away stress by writing down the day’s events on paper.
  • Attend a beginning Yoga or deep stretch class.
  • Block some time each week for yourself for a massage or to read a good book!

5. Get More Sleep!

Studies have indicated lack of sleep can lead to increased sugar cravings, irritability, and nervousness. While some of us need more sleep than others, a good rule of thumb is to aim for 8 hours to promote mental clarity and a healthy metabolism.

  • Drink a cup of decaf hot tea or take a warm bath prior to turning in for the night.
  • Turn off all electronics!
  • Read a good book or magazine for 20-30 minutes prior to lights out.
  • Keep a notepad by your bedside to jot down any stressful thoughts that are keeping you up.

Did you know that 80% of your physique is from what you eat? Also, 90% of chronic diseases can be managed or prevented through diet and exercise.

Accept yourself in 2020! Think positive and tap into a success! Let your body determine its healthy size/shape. Surround yourself with a good support team. Start now with a complimentary health assessment to achieve “total wellness!