Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and were able to slow down enough to relax, visit with family and friends and reflect on the past 12 months. I did and so enjoyed an intermission from the daily grind. Our children filled our home for a few days and, despite the additional dishes, loads of laundry and clutter, I treasured the time spent with them engaged in conversation which allowed me to gain a greater appreciation for their Millennial perspective on politics, social issues and life's priorities. We lingered over family dinners, watched way too many movies, prepared meals together and participated in family workouts. Now, the holiday reprieve is over, the kids have returned to their West coast homes, and I'm back to doing what I love - helping people harness the power of dietary and lifestyle choices to improve their health and wellbeing. January is always busy for me because, for many of us, the New Year is an opportunity to start afresh and renew one's self. And while everyone's resolutions are different, a common theme is to take better care of ourselves by exercising more, eating better and dropping those unhealthy and unwanted pounds.
Great aspirations! Improving your diet and lifestyle can increase your energy, reduce your waistline, sharpen your mental function, and significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, type II diabetes and many cancers. But in order to reap these benefits, the changes need to be permanent. Unfortunately, after just a few short weeks of avoiding sweets, going to the gym and climbing into bed earlier, our enthusiasm for our new routines often wanes and we quickly resume old habits, bringing about feelings of guilt and frustration. Are we really incapable of change or are the changes we try to implement too severe, stressful and unsustainable? I believe the latter. Bad habits take months to develop and will take months to alter. Set realistic goals and allow yourself time to establish new, healthier patterns. Below I've listed 17 modifications you can gradually implement in 2017. Doing so, will improve your health, help you feel better about yourself and make your New Year's resolution a habit worth keeping.