As we start preparing for the end of one year and the beginning of another, we are bombarded with messages of setting New Year’s resolutions, trying the newest fad diet and hitting the gym every day. Under the surface of these seemingly “health-promoting messages” is an unspoken notion that we are not good enough as we are. I’m here to tell you that there’s a new way to approach New Year’s resolutions, one that won’t leave you feeling guilty and shameful if you come up short.
I ditched New Year’s resolutions years ago for these reasons, and instead I set New Year’s Themes. Rather than a concrete behavior, a theme should be a word that resonates with you and embodies something you have been missing. Instead of defining specific behaviors you want to practice, you simply keep your theme in mind and allow your days to unfold from there. A theme allows room for flexibility and less opportunity for “failure.” Some past examples of my New Year’s Themes include mindfulness, learning, enjoyment, compassion and openness.
If you’re feeling a little skeptical and that you need more structure, then I invite you to set a few short-term and/or long-term goals that fall underneath your themes. For example, for my mindfulness theme, a short-term goal might be to practice at least five minutes of mindfulness each day. A long-term goal might be to sign up for a day-long yoga or meditation retreat.
If you’re wondering how this applies to nutrition, I work with my clients on practicing “gentle nutrition,” which is one of the ten principles of intuitive eating. We refer to it as gentle nutrition because we’re moving away from hard rules around nutrition and towards more flexible guidelines. The two nutrition guidelines I talk about most often about with my clients are balance and variety, aiming for a variety of different foods, food groups, and nutrients throughout the day and throughout the week. We often talk about trying to include each of the three essential macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) at each meal for ultimate satiety and satisfaction.
And that’s what this smoothie is all about – balance and variety. Providing a good source of carbohydrates, fat and protein, and more importantly delicious taste. The yogurt provides protein, the almond butter, fat, and the fruit, veggies and milk, carbohydrates. The Wild Blueberries and cauliflower provide antioxidants and nourishing vitamins and minerals too. And, it’s the frozen Wild Blueberries and the touch of cinnamon that bring incredible taste to this smoothie, so much so that you can’t even taste the cauliflower.
So sip on this smoothie while rethinking your New Year’s Resolutions – can you shift to a kinder, more flexible approach next year? What would be your themes for 2018?