You may have heard the term one too many times before, “new year, new me.” You may have even been the one to say it for yourself. A new year feels like a blank sheet of paper for some of us– a fresh start to quitting that bad habit, building new healthy habits, and to taking action toward something you have been thinking about doing for much too long. Hear from our friend Hope @localplanteater as she gives us some tips on bringing healthy eating habits into the New Year!

Many people take this opportunity of a new year to eat better and build healthier habits when it comes to what they’re eating on a daily. For the first few days into the New Year, we are usually always right on track and extremely motivated. But after 1 month many have already fallen off their New Year’s goals and resolutions.  It takes 21 days of consistency to build a habit and the problem is that many people don’t have clear short-term goals and it can become scary when you just see the big picture ahead. If that sounds like something you have done, you aren’t alone. That’s why we are sharing 3 simple things that you can do this year to help you bring healthy eating habits into the new year.

Identify a few recipes that you love but put a healthy twist on them –

When starting to focus on eating better, we tend to think we have to eat food that is bland or boring. We think of salads with no dressing, or leafy bitter juices – which is not the case. You can simply write down a few of your favorite classic dinners and explore the internet for healthy twists to your favorites. There is not one dish that you cannot make healthier! Write down 3-4 dishes that you and your family love, and become a master of cooking those dishes, rotating them from week to week. You will be very surprised how similar a healthy twist to a dish taste just like the original. For example, if you love desserts and have a huge sweet tooth, try masking a no-bake, vegan dessert like these Fresh Vegan Fruit Tarts with a Sweet Cashew Cream Cheese made from cashews. Talk about a great alternative! This recipe is plant-based, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and is made with just a few simple wholesome ingredients like dates, cashews, Alonna™ Canary Melon, Sweet Blooms® Strawberries and Blueberries.

Meal prep for time management –

If you have a crazy, hectic schedule, it can feel like healthy eating is just not in the cards for you. It can be easy to fall into the habit of just picking up fast food to go and to put your desire for eating healthy away until the following year.

That doesn’t have to be, rather you can use it as a benefit to eat healthier. When you meal prep, that is the food you have made yourself for the week, therefore you have to stick to those foods for the week since you wouldn’t have time to make anything else. If you can set aside 1-2 hours one night a week and prepare some type of protein, wash and chop up your produce for the week to have it prepared, you will save yourself a lot of time throughout the week. You will find that you even have more energy to tackle your busy week when you are fueling yourself with healthy whole foods.

Make room for balance –

To help yourself stay on top of your healthy eating habits and goals, you must ensure there is balance. If you don’t allow yourself to enjoy your favorite chips or treats from time to time, you will find yourself having an even harder time staying on track. Don’t deprive yourself, rather give yourself balance – You will be constantly thinking about the foods you “shouldn’t” have or “can’t” have, and it will make you want them even more. Keeping that healthy balance of 80/20 will help you, especially as you start out. Once you continue building up those healthy habits, you may no longer even feel called to your previous favorite treats when you realize how they make you feel, vs your favorite new healthy twists and versions of those treats.  Allow room for pleasure and enjoyment!

Don’t allow yourself to say “I’ll do it when I have more time.” The time is now! It’s not too late to start. You have been pushing it aside for too long, and it is now your turn to feel your best. Future you will take you for making yourself a priority! Make this new year the one where you finally did it.

~ Hope