Five healthy intentions for the new year: how to improve your diet

By January 7, 2016Blog
Resolutions post-its

The start of the year is the moment when we have the best resolutions which we sincerely want to follow the whole year. Experience shows however that the best resolutions do not last long. In this blog I suggest five simple and realistic ways how to improve your diet in an easy and sustainable way.

  1. Change one habit per month

Make a list of eating habits that you would like to change. Select one, on which you’ll be working. Set realistic goals! Do not attempt to change a second habit until the first is not yours for real. Give yourself one month. This is a fairly long time for integrating a good habit into your routine. A list of specific daily habits is easier to bring to life than radical resolutions. Under the resolutions I mean serious changes, which only at a first glance seem to be doable. For example: from January first I will become a strict vegan (says a meat-eater). Or: I will go to the gym 5 times a week (says person who has not visited the gym a single time in the past year). Often, however, after 2-3-x weeks or even earlier most people give up the resolutions. This happens, mainly, because they are not actually ready for the radical changes.

  1. Become vegan for one day a week

Eat one day a week exclusively plant food. This habit will not only positively benefit your health, weight and mood, but will have a positive impact on the health of our planet too. Plant foods include: vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, cereals, nuts, seeds, sprouts, berries, mushrooms, seaweed.

  1. Cook one new dish every week

Make it a rule to try out one new recipe every week. At the end of the year you will taste over 50 new meals! Keep a record of the recipes that you’ve especially liked and cook them more often.

  1. Eat slowly

We all tend to eat too quickly. This is a really bad habit that affects the digestion and leads to an overdue satiety. Eat mindful. Thoroughly chew every bite. Count: have you been chewing your bite at least 25 times? Focus on the food, not on the TV or PC screen! A tip for those who really are bad in slow eating: try to eat with chopsticks.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables

This advice might sound banal. Do not underestimate its importance! The World Health Organization since 1990 recommends eating at least (and this is really a minimum) of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This recommendation is based on the benefits of vegetables and fruits for the human health including prevention of chronical diseases. It is believed that from the point of view of preventing illnesses vegetables potentially have a greater role than fruit. Fruit however is believed to play a more crucial role in our feeling of well-being and preventing depression. Some countries, including Japan, Denmark and Australia, in recent years have been conducting national campaigns aimed at stimulating of an even greater consumption of fruit and vegetables. For example in 2005 Australia initiated campaign “Go for 5 + 2”, suggesting to citizens to eat 5 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit a day. In Canada a similar large-scale campaign was conducted which offered to eat even more fruits and vegetables – from 5 to 10 servings a day. These campaigns cost millions of dollars, which speaks about their ultimate importance from the point of view of the state.

To this advice I would like to add: Try to eat a rainbow every day. The color of plants indicates the presence of certain nutrients. Pigments of all colors play an important role in maintaining the optimal health. If you are one of those people who always choose the same fruits and vegetables, go discover new tastes! To get the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and bioactive nutrients follow the simple principle: try to eat every day fruits and vegetables of all the rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and instead of light blue – white.