While you may be seeing lots of messages in the media encouraging you to try an extreme diet or go all-in on a fitness plan, the truth is that making too many changes at once never works in the long run. It’s not a quick fix but making small tweaks to your lifestyle and developing healthy habits is what leads to lasting change. Those doable changes can be as simple as swapping lean ground turkey into your favorite recipes instead of beef, adding another serving of veggies to your day, or drinking an extra glass of water.
So, what are some realistic things you can do to feel better and improve your health this year? Here are a few ideas:
Low Key Meal Prep.
Trying to prep every meal and snack for the week is too overwhelming, in my opinion, and it doesn’t leave any room for a change of plans or those nights when you’re too tired to cook. What’s more realistic is to plan out and shop for three meals, as well as plenty of healthy snacks that you can prep in advance. This way you have more flexibility and are more likely to stick to your healthy cooking routine. I always keep JENNIE-O® ground turkey on hand because it’s so versatile. Try it out with this tasty recipe for Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Ground Turkey and Vegetables.
Add More Plants
Just like adding a new houseplant brightens up your living space, adding colorful fruits and vegetables to your plate, alongside a lean protein like turkey, livens up your meal and adds important nutrients and fiber to your diet. Try adding two colors to your plate at each meal. For example, blueberries and strawberries on top of your morning oats, baby carrots and cucumber with your turkey sandwich at lunch and roasted Brussels sprouts and mushrooms with your dinner.
Plan to Move
A goal that many of us have is to exercise more regularly, but a meeting that runs late or a call from your mom can derail your sweat session. That’s why it’s smart to treat workouts just like any other meeting and schedule them into your calendar. If you treat them with the importance of a work meeting or doctor’s appointment, you’re less likely to skip them. And if you need someone to help keep you accountable, book a weekly walk or run with a friend.
If January doesn’t start off perfectly for you, please don’t get discouraged—it’s life! You are resilient and worth the effort it takes to see change, one meal and one workout at a time.