First of all, Happy Holidays to all of you!!! I think that you, just like me, could ask for countless things from Santa Claus… However, something that I was thinking about intensely lately, is that our health is the most important of all. So, for this reason, I would like Santa Claus to bring Health to everyone this year…I’m sure you will agree with me!
I know, though, that many of you have already set new goals now the new year is coming – either on a personal or on a professional level- I thought of preparing a list for you, regarding your goals that have to do with nutrition, health, and exercise. So, the following list is practically a guide that -I believe- will help you set more easily achievable goals and, actually, in priority order.
Shall we look at them one by one and follow them step by step?
1. As the new year comes, leave behind all of your guilt for the excess drinks or food that you consumed. It won’t help you at all to be hard on yourselves. Simply make the big decision and start a healthier and more active lifestyle.
2. Take care of your health by taking small steps at a time. If for example, it is easier for you to start with a more balanced diet, do that firstly. On the other hand, if you prefer working out, start by doing that in January and start your diet in February…
3. Take up a new activity and something that you haven’t tried before. That can be anything from learning how to play chess or go on a mountain trip, learn scuba diving or simply try a new group fitness class at the gym. Anything that prevents us from thinking about food and makes us burn calories or build more muscle mass, is important to help us come closer to our goal!
4. Start cooking and prefer good living recipes. Learning to cook our food from scratch is another step that brings us closer to a healthier lifestyle. Besides, there are countless delicious, healthy recipes and it’s certain that you can cook a different one every day or choose the ones you like the most and make them a part of your everyday life.
5. Choose your raw materials correctly. If you cannot resist temptations, simply make sure that you don’t carry them at home with you…What do I mean by that? If you can’t limit yourselves to only one piece of cake, then avoid making it often or make it once a month and simply enjoy it! Moreover, fill your refrigerator with more fruits, vegetables, and foods that don’t have so many calories.
6. Start eating something before going out for drinks. In that way, you will avoid the meal after the drinks, which won’t be very healthy, it will contain a lot of extra calories, and will be very late at night. Having dinner before going out, also helps you avoid getting drunk! This, of course, depends on how much you drink; so always make sure that you have a glass of water along with each drink. Of course, try not to overdo it with the alcohol quantities you consume.
7. If your diet is generally balanced, simply enjoy your meal at a restaurant or your dessert, when you feel that you need it. The important thing is to maintain a balance in our everyday lives!
8. Be happy with your body…and love yourselves. Heredity and genes play a very important role in the body's structure… Getting upset -especially women- for the few extra kilos or the so-called cellulite, is simply pointless. Just do the best that you can for your health.
9. Another very important thing… Set a goal to drink one more glass of water than you used to within your day. If you have a hard time consuming the necessary quantity for your body, just try to add one more glass of water in your day. In that way, you will not only see a difference in the feeling of hunger that you might often feel, but also in your digestion and skin.
10. Simply make your health a priority and start a healthier lifestyle, thinking very positively at the same time and doing the best you can! Look ahead and decide what you’d like to improve regarding your health in the following 12 months! Even stopping a ''bad'' habit or succeeding in one of the above goals, is very important and you will see great differences in many parts of your life!
Welcome 2019 with optimism and by setting small goals…regarding nutrition, health, exercising, and of course, every other part of your life…I believe that by following the above, you will manage to succeed not only these but even more goals!
Happy and creative new year to everyone!
This article was written in collaboration with Kitchen Lab’s Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.