It's the time of year where people are starting to think about goal setting. You're probably looking back on the past year and thinking about what you've accomplished (or maybe not accomplished quite yet), and looking forward to 2016 and thinking about what you want to accomplish over the next year.
New Year's resolutions get a bad rep, especially resolutions that are health focused. There's often snide comments and the general feeling from others (and maybe even yourself) that come the end of January you'll be back to life as usual.
I think New Year's resolutions are great. It's important to take time to assess where we are in our life and where we want to be, as well as acknowledge where we were previously. Most of us find it pretty easy to know where we want to be; but it can be more difficult to look back at where we've been. However, I think the retrospective aspect of goal setting is just as important, if not more so, than the making of the goals.
I consider the retrospective step of goal setting to be two pronged. First, it's important to give yourself credit for your past accomplishments. When looking back a full year, it can be easier to remember the let downs rather than the accomplishments. That's why I like the idea I stole from Pinterest last year and tweaked a little. On New Year's Eve, decorate a container (it can be on old pasta jar, an old coffee tin, even just a cardboard box, whatever you have), then throughout the year as you accomplish small goals you've set for yourself, write down what you accomplish and put it in your container. At the end of the year, or whenever you're looking back to make new goals, pull out the container and remind yourself of all the goals you set that you accomplished. This is both a good mood booster to remind you that you can accomplish goals you set for yourself, and also allows you some insight on what type of goals you can set that will set you up for success.
It's also important to acknowledge past failings, and take an honest look at them to understand why those failings happened. Once you understand why you've failed to reach a goal in the past you can adjust your strategy and try again.
If you want to make a change in 2016, but feel overwhelmed at the thought of going at it alone, you're in luck! Right now I'm offering a package of an initial consultation and 2 30 minute follow ups for $120 (50% off regular pricing). Or, if you're not convinced nutrition counseling is for you and not ready to make that kind of commitment, I'm also offering initial consultations for $60 (50% off regular pricing). Contact me if you're interested and we can get you scheduled (if you're outside of the LA area, I can still help you via teleconferencing or Skype/FaceTime).
I hope everyone has wonderful rest of the holiday season. Remember to enjoy the time with your loved ones, and try not to stress about all those cookies and fruit cakes. I'll be back with you in 2016 with more delicious recipes and nutrition tips to help you reach those goals you set December 31st.
When the weather gets colder, it can feel more challenging to get all of your servings of vegetables, especially if when you think vegetables you think salad. Who wants to eat salad when it's 30 degrees outside? Not many people. Definitely not me.
Luckily there are a lot of ways to eat vegetables that don't include salad! Sauté them and serve them with pasta; roast them with garlic for a side or for a dish topped with a poached egg. There's stir-frying, boiling, or steaming. Or chop up a bunch and toss them into a homemade stew.
I like to stick with seasonal, local vegetables as much as I can. It's better for the environment, and the produce is also more nutrient-packed. Once produce is harvested the nutrient value starts to deplete; so the fresher it is when you eat it, the more nutrients you're getting. If you want a vegetable (or fruit) that's not in season, I recommend going with the frozen version (avoid the ones with added sauces) as the nutrient value of frozen is pretty much equal to fresh.
Right now I'm really feeling curry dishes. I mean, really, what's more warming and cozy than curry? This recipe makes about 10 1/2 cup servings. It take about 10 minutes of prep and 25 minutes to cook, so it's a pretty easy, quick dish. You can serve it over your choice of brown rice or quinoa. (Or I guess eat it like a soup if you want to be different. You do you.)
Lentil Sweet Potato Coconut Curry
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 leek, chopped
2 cups green beans, trimmed and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup green lentils
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon red curry paste*
In a large pot, heat the oil. Cook the leeks until they're softened. Then add the rest of the beans, carrots, potato, lentils and spices. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until lentils and potato cubes are tender.
Turn off the heat and mix in the coconut milk and curry paste.
*The red curry paste is optional and adjustable depending on your palate and preference for spice.
Taryn is a Los Angeles based Registered Dietitian who's passionate about helping you be your healthiest you.