Each year, we set New Year’s goals. Some we achieve, while some are as good as gone by Jan. 2. Just because you fell short last year doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying to make some positive changes this year.
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offers five nutrition and physical activity goals worth trying in 2018.
- Eat more whole grains. The evidence of the benefits of whole grains on our hearts, waistlines, and most recently, cancer risks, keep getting stronger. Try overnight oats for breakfast, a salad with wheat berries for lunch or add whole-wheat couscous as a side at dinner.
- Try meatless Monday. Whatever day of the week you choose, planning a meatless meal can be a good idea. A plant-based diet is recommended for general health and to prevent cancer and heart disease. Consider putting plant-based sources of protein in place of steak, chicken or eggs. Burrito bowls with brown rice and beans, tofu stir-fry or lentil soup could easily be worked into your weeknight dinner rotation.
- Cook at home more. It may sound cliché, but eating at home can really help control your calorie and salt intake. Even when we choose lower calorie options on restaurant menus, the sodium is often sky high. Make a commitment to bring lunch from home one more day per week in 2018 or commit to cooking at home for dinner one more night each week.
- Buy a spiralizer. Purchase a spiralizer, a small piece of kitchen equipment that will make you excited to cook healthier. Whether you get a spiralizer for zucchini noodles or an immersion blender for quick soups and smoothies, buy something that will make healthier options seem fun. Healthy toys are worth the investment.
- Commit to HIIT. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a good way to blast calories in a small amount of time. This type of exercise can be great for a busy parent or traveling executive, but it’s not for everyone. Whatever your fitness preferences, make goals and prioritize them. Your heart and emotions will thank you.
Although you may have thrown in the towel on resolutions last year, when Jan. 1, 2018, comes around, don’t be afraid to add your old resolutions to your list again. They are worth the old "college try" again and again. Have a happy and healthy 2018.
For more information on nutrition and physical activity, check out choosemyplate.gov and visit the UGA Extension publications website at extension.uga.edu/publications.html.