By Melanie Stewart
There’s something so refreshing and exciting about January and the start of a new year; a blank slate, a chance to renew our commitments to what’s working in our lives, and a chance to let go of what’s not. And then it becomes February — which means the motivation of January might wear off, and you might reevaluate what you plan on accomplishing this year. Maybe you’re like the majority and you’ve already broken one or more of your resolutions, but don’t be dismayed.
Rather than setting resolutions to “be better,” and then feeling bad if you break them, setting intentions can open up a new way of thinking and even increase your chances of success by allowing for a wider range of actions. For example: the resolution to lose weight could become the intention to be healthier, which includes unlimited choices from getting more sunlight, to eating less junk food. With that in mind, here are some New Year intentions I highly recommend:
Dump all processed food from your diet. Degenerative, chronic diseases came with our modern processed food diets and will leave if you stop feeding them sugar, grains, and starches that they need to do their damage. Instead, consider making your own salad dressings, soups, salads, etc.
Eat whole foods. A 100-calorie packaged snack is not the same as a 100-calorie apple because the fiber present in the apple slows the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream. This helps to prevent a blood sugar spike, and subsequent fall, which can help reduce food cravings.
Eat organic whenever you can.
Eat a low insulin producing diet. Insulin is a hormone, the key hormone in both weight issues and chronic health issues. Humans do not have the ability to eat sugars, grains and starches on a regular basis and stay healthy. Why? Because we have existed and evolved on diets of little to no sugar/grains or starches and we developed this amazing genome eating a high fat, moderate protein diet with filler fibrous veggies with virtually no carbs. Only red blood cells require glucose, and less than a teaspoon per day. Our body can literally make that much glucose in its sleep, without eating a single carb.
Stop looking at weight as a calorie issue. There is nothing fun about counting calories and the whole “calories in vs. calories out” theory has been debunked. Not all calories are created equal and counting calories will not help you lose weight if you’re consuming the wrong kind of calories. For example, proteins are more satiating than starches and require more energy to metabolize. The net result is you feel less hungry while burning more calories, not that we’re counting!
Include healthy fats. Our evolutionary diet provided ketones for energy from fat, the preferred energy source for your heart, kidneys, brain, muscles and other tissues. Further, healthy fats have the least effect on insulin which helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels while providing usable energy to the body.
Make exercise a priority. There is nothing less healthy than sitting all day at work and then sitting away your free time in front of the television, computer or even reading a book. I enjoy all of those things as well, but not at the expense of moving my body!
Manage your stress. Grounding on the beach, yoga, deep breathing exercises, adequate rest, social support, singing and meditation are all scientifically proven to enhance your health and, best of all, they’re FREE!
Melanie Stewart has written two books for children (Yum Tum, Good Food is Fun! and Yum Tum, We Get it Done!) and one for adults (Yum Tum For Everyone!) all available on Amazon or at: https://www.yumtumnutrition.com/ All content is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech laws. It’s not meant to give individual medical advice or to make any health claims on the prevention or curing of diseases.