It’s a bit of a “resolutions week” here on D Moms Daily. I’ll be sharing some of mine at the end of the week, and on Wednesday, parenting coach Galit Birk will give us some guidance on creating goals with our kids. But we’re kicking things off with our green living guru Holly Davis’ tips on making resolutions we can keep, starting with revamping our diets to drastically improve our health…for life.
By Holly Pellham Davis
With each New Year, comes new resolutions for improving our lives. But what lies at the heart of a resolution?
res·o·lu·tion \ noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\
“firm determination, being resolute, resolving to do something, a course of action determined or decided on.”
The Free Dictionary.com. 2011.
We are resolute in our desire to do better, be better, and live better; but what is our course of action, and how long before our firm determination becomes soft?
For many of us, losing weight, taking better care of ourselves, and increasing our quality of health tops our list every year. We typically judge our progress by how far the scales tip, and we might jump start the weight loss process by going on a juice detox, trying out the Dukan diet, or switching over to organic foods. But are we really making a lifelong change to truly better ourselves or just looking for a “quick fix?” And what happens when our determination wanes?
The answer, I have found, is to make resolutions that contain the following three components:
- They reflect the person you want to become — Replace making a resolution to “lose weight” with improving and increasing your health for the long haul. Get in tune with your body, recognizing how each system is working — your skin, hormones, energy, excretion, strength, etc. Instead of dwelling on your jean size, write down and explore how you feel. This shift in attitude, belief system, and perspective, is life changing. You will become more aware of what your body needs and, in turn, more responsible and thoughtful in choosing what you “feed” or put into your body. You begin to qualify every choice you make with whether or not something is beneficial to your health. The greatest gift often comes in truly valuing yourself at a deeper level than just what the mirror is showing you. Instead, you feel what is really going on where it counts… inside.
- They call you to a specific action — Perhaps there is no greater call to action than that of our health and of our family and children’s health. We see everyday how fragile life can be. Does it not make sense to support health with every choice we make? Do we need a greater motivation than the hope of living a long healthy life or the blessing of watching our children grow up? And do we not owe it to our children to set an example for them and teach them the value of their health? If we don’t, who will? Every choice we make is an action for or against what is best for our bodies and life. It all counts.
- They include a plan — Creating an actionable game plan for how you plan to achieve a resolution is the difference between success and failure. Have a set of rules in place for achieving a healthier state, including:
- choosing foods that are as close to nature as possible. I always say, “God made us and God made the food he intended for us to eat.” Most of what is sold and consumed as “food” today isn’t even￼￼￼￼ ￼￼￼￼recognized by the human body and just causes a toxic mess inside. Choose foods that come with no packaging, have few or no “ingredients,” and aren’t heavily processed.
- always opting for organic. Pesticides are poison on our table. If cost is a concern, serve more veggies and beans than meats at each meal. Your body needs less food when it’s real food.
- having a formula. Have a formula you use for every meal such as serving one lean protein (quinoa, chicken breast, wild Alaskan Salmon, beans) with two vegetables (broccoli sauté with fresh garlic and olive oil, zucchini with squash and onions.) And always have washed, fresh salad greens on hand and serve first at dinner. Once you have your formula, it’s easier to create a weekly shopping list…and stick to it.
- thinking ahead. Plan tomorrow’s lunch along with dinner the night before by making extra protein to throw on salad greens for a super nutritious and quick meal. Or grab a sprouted wheat tortilla, use leftover beans from the night before, and toss some salad greens on top for an energy boosting meal. You can also be your own sous chef by prepping (fresh, cleaned, cut) veggies, garlic, pico de gallo, salad greens, kale, onions, chicken breast. Pair with easy to prepare staples like brown rice, quinoa, and tortillas to create quick, healthy meals like stir fry, quinoa and kale, and chicken fajitas. You can also soak steel cut oats the night before to cut cook time for breakfast. When you designate specific times during the week to clean and prepare meal ingredients, you can easily work them into your daily meal formula.
With the above three components, resolutions can now become a way of life. Eat at home as much as possible and make a commitment to gather around the table together with your family. Take time to talk, listen, and share with those you love. Let the conversation nourish you as much as the food does. The food is fuel for the body, the fellowship is food for the soul, together, they are ingredients for a truly healthy life.
I wish you health!
Holly Pellham Davis is the founder of Clean Fresh Living, Inc., a service focused on educating consumers and families on the importance of healthy, organic, sustainable living for life and generations to come. You can hear more from Holly on her Clean Fresh Living blog, twitter, and Facebook.