Its my 2nd week of IIN training, and it got me thinking about setting new nutritional goals for myself. I believe that there is always room for improvement and let’s be realistic you cannot change everything at once. I truly believe in the power of habit so by setting these goals and reminding myself of them I will slowly incorporate these activities into my daily life. One tip, I try to make my goals as specific as possible. If you are looking to create your own, don’t forget to be detailed. (If you want to read a GREAT book about habits, I suggest reading “The Power of Habits: Why we do what we do in life and business” by Charles Duhigg) Let’s get started on my list of nutritional habits!
Here is my 5 new nutritional habits for myself! And I encourage all of you to join with me or create some of your own!
1. My Nutrition Habit goal #1 : Practice chewing every bite. Specifically, I will strive to chew each bite 10 times.
Okay, so I am super bad at this. I am naturally I am a super fast eater, and people are always like “wow! where does that food go?”. I always gobble my food down, and even faster when I am super hungry or busy. We live in such a fast-paced life, we don’t seem to have time to eat! So I decided I need to practice slowing down and actually chew my food. The only way I can get better is through practice and eventually it will become habit. The main reason I wanted to start this habit is because chewing is such an important part of the digestive process. Chewing starts the digestive process and release enzymes that help break down the food. It is just one easy step that only takes a bit of practice to make it a habit in our daily lives.
2. My Nutrition Habit goal #2: Let my food nourish me. Let myself relax when I eat.
This goes along with the challenge above, but its very key to nutrient absorption. Life can by crazy and hectic and there is never enough time. But today we really have forgotten how to make time for the truly important things like eating. Eating is vital to keep us productive and efficient so we can be successful. Why do we rush to eat as fast as possible? As if it’s a chore. Why can’t we take the time to really let the food feed the body? We need to examine our priorities and make time for self-care. This is just one of many ways you can be kind to your body. Let yourself release the tensions from the day and just enjoy the moments while you nourish your body with food.
3. My Nutrition Habit goal #3 – Learn how to cook one new vegetable a week.
There are tons of vegetables out there and a lot that scare me to be honest. I really want to get out of my comfort zone and learn how to cook as many vegetables as I can find. I already have created a list of some scary but new vegetables. These include Brussels sprouts, artichokes, fennel, turnips, kohlrabi, sea vegetables and many more. I believe in variety and the more the merrier. So thus begins my adventure into new territory! First up this week: Brussel Sprouts! (Look for a post later this week!!)
4. My Nutrition Habit goal #4 – Keep a food journal. Write in it once a day.
Keeping a food journal is a good idea for three reasons. First, you can keep track of what you are eating and analyze what food groups are regularly missing from your diet. Second, you can keep track of how specific foods make you feel. For example, beef always makes me sleepy. I can eat chicken or fish and feel fine, but not beef. I will immediately need a cup of coffee or sugar or just in general feel like crap. It is helpful to understand because now I can avoid eating beef during lunch time and instead eat it for dinner. This is a simple way to learn how to optimize your eating choices. Third, it is helpful if you are looking to lose weight. It is an easy way to analyze if you are consuming too much sugar or fat. It is good to have a balance of both, but the key is balance. If you write it down, you can more easily tell where you may need improvement.
I am sure many of you are thinking I already keep track of what I eat. I use my phone app like myfitnesspal or loseit! etc. I have tried these and if they work for you great! Personally, it got to be too difficult to guess the right amount of calories I ate. If I ate TV dinners or frozen pizzas, this would be a great app because I would know exactly how many calories I am eating. But I don’t, I eat home-cooked meals everyday and rarely go out to eat. So it is not practical for me to use this app. My goal isn’t to calorie count anyway. Instead I am looking to listen to listen to my body and feed it what it needs.
5. My Nutrition Habit goal#5 – Eat less pasta, more rice, quinoa, etc.
I love pasta!! Heck, I could just eat pasta and marinara sauce for a week and be perfectly content. Okay that would get boring. But nonetheless one of my favorite go-to comfort foods. And I have many delicious pasta recipes I could share. One note though I am VERY picky about my pasta. I will not eat white pasta, as it spikes your blood sugar and I feel like crap after eating that. My favorite is my omega-3 pasta, its so delicious and I feel really good after eating it. And I LOVE omega-3’s, but don’t get me started on that. I will eat whole wheat pasta, but I still prefer the omega-3 kind. But enough about pasta, I need more grains!! I am looking for new kinds of grains to add to my diet. Currently, I enjoy rice and quinoa, and I may look to exchange pasta with rice pasta as it is gluten-free. This is what I am really seeking to avoid, gluten. So if you have suggestions for simple healthy grains besides these, please throw your ideas at me. I will be planning a new healthy eating plan starting in January and I got lots of work ahead of me.
Well there you have it! My 5 eating challenges. What challenges do you have? Is there something you are looking to change in your eating habits?
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