HEALTHY LIVING: Small changes, big results

Published on Monday, 17 January 2022 13:56
Written by Jessica Richardson


New Year’s resolutions, are they sustainable? During the month of January, about two thirds of the people who made New Year's resolutions will abandon them. This sense of "giving up" leaves them feeling dissatisfied and disappointed. Instead, start identifying places you can make small changes. Avoid setting unrealistic goals. If you currently do not exercise, it is unrealistic to say that you will exercise for 45 minutes every day. Instead, try making a SMART goal.

A SMART goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. A SMART goal would be, “I will walk for 15 minutes, 2 times per week for the next month.” Once this goal is accomplished, you can now increase to 30 minutes, 3 times per week, and continue to gradually increase the duration of exercise and number of days. As you can see, the goal started off small by working out for 15 minutes, 2 times per week, but over time, you can achieve your ultimate goal of 45 minutes of daily exercise. Do you typically walk outside and do not have a gym membership? Are you unsure what to do for exercise now that it is cold outside? Here are some suggestions: set a timer and walk up and down the stairs at your home or apartment; once you walk or drive to the grocery store or mall, set a timer to walk; use YouTube or phone apps to do at-home exercises such as yoga or Pilates.

Exercise goals are similar to making healthier food choices. If you typically hate vegetables or fruits, and the recommendation is 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit per day, your goal could just be to try a new fruit or vegetable one time in a month. If you typically eat a sleeve of cookies per day, perhaps each week you subtract 2 cookies from your daily intake and replace them with a protein (such as nuts, peanut butter, a cheese stick or Greek yogurt) paired with a fruit or vegetable. Over time, your fruit and vegetable intake will increase while decreasing your fat and sugar intake. Think small to get big results!

Sweet and crunchy craving? Candy your own pecans, walnuts and almonds by combining a sugar-free sweetener with cinnamon and bake, or make a trail mix with unsalted nuts, dried fruit and a low sugar cereal such as shredded wheat or Cheerios. Looking for a sweet, no-bake option? Peanut butter protein balls are easy and delicious. Combine peanut butter (or peanut butter powder mixed with water), rolled oats, crushed walnuts, honey, and mini chocolate chips into a bowl. Make small balls and place on a cookie sheet and refrigerate until firm. For the full recipe: Roasting chickpeas is another snack that is packed with protein and fiber. Chickpeas can be flavored in endless ways, from cinnamon to cocoa to ranch to garlic. Simply take a can of unsalted chickpeas, pat dry, drizzle with olive oil and seasoning such as garlic and paprika, and bake. For the full recipe:

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Monday, 17 January 2022 13:56. Updated: Monday, 17 January 2022 13:58.