by Ashley Quadros, Registered Dietitian for Harmons
It’s that time again — we are officially two months into our new year’s resolutions. About half of Americans make resolutions, yet just 8% of us report keeping them. Instead of waking in the morning and feeling daunted because the goal you made was so big that it feels unattainable, why not take a different approach this year? At Harmons, we believe in moderation, balance, and self-kindness. Be kind and reasonable with yourself. Choose one or two meaningful resolutions, and instead of overcommitting, pick something you can work on for an hour a week.
Think about that! There are 168 hours in each week. Committing one hour to your resolutions sounds easy, right? The other benefit to setting aside an hour a week is that it’s specific. Let’s say your resolution is to lose weight. What are you going to do for an hour to meet that goal? Maybe it’s exercise, or maybe it’s planning lunches to avoid the fast food drive-thru, or maybe it’s Shopping with a Dietitian at Harmons to learn about delicious alternatives to include in your diet. Have different goals? Here are some ideas from Harmons registered dietitians regarding all aspects of healthy living:
Food: Spend an hour meal planning to get 2.5 cups of vegetables in each day.
Soda: Make a batch of infused water or iced tea for sugar-free hydration during the week.
Exercise: Sign up for a new weekly exercise class or activity, or take four 15-minute walks.
Learn something new: Try a new hobby or skill and work on it for an hour every week.
Personal relationships: Commit to a weekly coffee date with your significant other or with a friend.
Money: Track your spending each week. Make it easy with a free online service like www.mint.com.
Mental health: Practice meditation and mindfulness for 10 minutes a day. Learn how with a free app like Headspace.
Personal growth: Spend an hour reading about a topic you are interested in.
Volunteer: Call an organization that needs volunteer help. Commit to helping out regularly – an hour a week or two hours every two weeks.
Another important aspect of keeping solid resolutions is to ask for support. For many goals, having support is the key to finding success. Let’s say you’d like to take a walk in the mornings. Find a friend who wants to do the same so you have to get up and meet them. You would never leave your friend alone in the cold! Or, going back to the weight loss goal, reach out to your local Harmons dietitian who can shop with you with weight loss in mind. They can also meet with you for nutrition counseling if you would like more frequent support.
At Harmons, we’re not normal. We like to be loud and proud! In this spirit, tell everyone you know and see regularly about your plan. This keeps you accountable to someone other than yourself – which motivates you to stick to your guns. Once you tell people, they are also likely to ask how everything is going, which is a gentle reminder to stay on track.
Finally, ditch the all or nothing mentality. So often, Harmons dietitians hear, “I’m either really good, or I throw it all out the window.” There is no such thing as a perfect diet, perfect exercise regime, or perfect – insert your resolution here. What will you do at a birthday party when it’s time to eat cake? Or if you’re sick for a week and can’t make it out to exercise? Being perfect is an illusion and it just isn’t necessary. Just because you can’t follow the perfect diet or stick to the perfect workout plan doesn’t mean you should give up entirely! Every little bit that you do adds up to positive results.
If you are working on eating more healthy, Harmons is here to help. We have Healthy Checkout Lanes at all of our stores. They are always open and stocked with healthier and kid-friendly products. This is so kids are not bugging their parents for candy bars, and so adults aren’t tempted by sugary treats.
Our team of registered dietitians also puts Dietitians Choice tags on the healthiest items throughout the entire store. Products with this special tag limit added sugar, saturated fat, and sodium, and no trans fat or hydrogenated oils are allowed. Items that are tagged Dietitians Choice emphasize nutritious and delicious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and lean animal proteins.
And finally, our registered dietitians are in the store to help you. You can meet with them in person for nutrition counseling or personal shopping to help you address a variety of nutrition-related topics, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, cancer prevention, and even shopping and cooking for one or two.
Follow Harmons dietitians on Instagram with #HealthyHarmons, or visit www.harmonsgrocery.com/Dietitians-choice for more information on upcoming classes and tours.