Nutrition Goals Stop Here
Nutrition Goals Stop Here
By: Beth Corcoran CPC, ELI- MP
CFC Nutrition Educator
Nutrition is the foundation to your health, happiness and wellbeing; yet, this idea often seems to be overcomplicated and elusive. Health and nutrition are talked about and frequently made to seem glamorous, on billboards, grocery stores, TV, doctors’ offices and can be found on every social media platform and in magazines. The keywords here are that health, happiness and nutrition are ‘talked about’—but, not necessarily acted upon.
There is so much talk that, honestly, it all becomes white noise and just something that fills conversations with should’ s, have to do’s and setting goals to do. But, this is where it stops.
The Why and the How
At times, it can even seem overwhelming and too much to add into an already busy schedule. Because there is so much talk about nutrition and eating healthy—we may be triggered into a sense of panic or even defeat before we have even started on a revision of our current actions. It makes complete sense if you have had these thoughts or feelings around nutrition and health due to the bombardment of ever-changing information without an explanation or real (as opposed to unattainable) manageable steps to reach sustainable lifestyle goals.
In this article, you are going to get the nutrition details quick and simple; this will be an extensive resource that makes implementing the details a “no brainer.” We will also breakdown how to once and for all make a conscious decision to choose your nutrition lifestyle and live it.
- Balanced meal = vegetable, fruit, protein, dairy, whole grain, and healthy fats
- Eat fresh as often as you can. If you are unable to get fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen or canned are good too.
- Eat the rainbow: meaning get as much of a variety of colors into each meal throughout the day
- Read nutrition labels, get to know your food and what is in it.
- Limit sugar as much as possible.
- Drink water—all day long
- Enjoy what you eat
The following is a website that provides great information about nutrition and health and can make mealtime a no-brainer. This link is to the recipe section which allows you to pick practical, healthy snacks and meals as well as offers many recipes that fit the nutrition guidelines and balanced diet—on any budget using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen: https://eatfresh.org/recipe
Take a minute to breathe. Full, deep breaths are the most beneficial way to start moving in a healthier direction or to doing anything. All it takes is 3 rounds of inhaling for 5 seconds, hold at the top for 2 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds to reset your parasympathetic nervous system. In total that's 41 seconds! Do it!
The Juicy Part
Now, let’s move on to the juicy part, where we talk about taking the nutrition basics and other health goals that can become sustainable lifestyles.
Set a goal, you're probably thinking, “Oh, here we go again, set a goal, track it and oops, I’m going to forget it.”
Stick with me for a minute. I get it and have been there, more than once, but they are onto something with the whole goal setting thing. Instead of just throwing words at you and suggestions of how and what you should be doing to obtain a balanced diet, let’s talk about how to take all the information you know and turn it into how you choose to live.
- Know your “Why”
The first thing is making a conscious choice about what you want and why it is important to you. Like we have discussed there is a lot out there and many ways to obtain it. It comes down to what do you want for your health and how are you going to use nutrition to get there. Once you get a clear picture of what it would look like for you to get what you want, ask yourself why this is important to YOU. Why is this so important to you, not your doctor, friends, partner, family; but, really know your why. If your want for healthy eating is important to you, then you are already halfway there! Use positive self-talk to help you understand why you are trying so hard to do what you want to do. I suggest you write the answer to this question down in your journal: Why do you want to eat healthier? Why do you want to feed your family healthier meals? Go back to the entry from time to time and let that motivate you, to keep you going—especially when times get tough.
- Set goals
This is where you take it from talk to action. Something important to remember when we are making conscious choices and moving toward our ideal self is to keep an eye on self- sabotage. This typically makes its appearance in the form of fear, overthinking, anxiety, and falling back into old habits. During the process of seeking healthier eating, and creating a healthier lifestyle, you may want to meditate on these possible pitfalls to your success. Breathe and take a few moments before falling back on old habits or allowing anxiety, fear or over-thinking sabotage your goals. Take that deep, satisfying breath. It will help your brain and body stay calm, in the moment, choosing what you actually want and to remember why you want it.
Helpful Practice:Grab your journal and write this down-
- Overall goal—be as detailed as possible
- First step (mini-goal) to take to get to overall goal?
- Plan the details for first step—write down when, what, where, how, who
- Check yourself—is this goal achievable this week? Reset goals based on achievability. This is a No Judgement Zone. The more honest you are with yourself the better the results! There is no finish-line in the realm of health and nutrition. It is a daily commitment to your why and so no matter how “slow” you go, it is one step in the direction you want for yourself.
- Build up your “self-armor”—what can get in your way of achieving this first step this week? Be honest with yourself and remember, no judgement. Ask yourself about ideas or strategies that you can put in place if you run into obstacles to your goals.
- Pull it together—review your first step and what do you feel about it? No judgement, if something feels off, ask yourself, “Is it something that needs to be tweaked?” Remember to breathe and work through with self-talk. Build up yourself with encouraging words like, “You got this!” and “I am proud of you.”
- Accountability—how are you going to stay accountable to yourself? A few ways can be setting an alarm on your mobile phone, telling a friend what you are trying to accomplish, and adding reminders to your calendar.
- Reflect & Reset—each week set a date with yourself to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Utilizing this information, reset goals for the week ahead.
Breathe :) You’ve got this. Remember to take one step at a time. As you continue to go through weekly First Step goals you will be stepping your way to your overall goal.
Here is an example: Someone who rarely eats vegetables
- Overall goal: Increase my vegetable intake to 2- 3x a day
- First step (mini-goal)- Eat vegetables 3x this week
- Details—salad for dinner on Monday, raw green beans with my afternoon snack on Wednesday and add pureed carrots into my pasta sauce Friday for dinner
- Check yourself—is this achievable? Yes!
- Build up your “self-armor”—what could get in the way of reaching my goal? If you find there were obstacles to reaching our goal that week, look at creative ways you can solve the problem.
Such as: If you do not have vegetables in your house when you are preparing your lunch, be sure to block time on your calendar go to the grocery store to buy some vegetables. Did you remember to breathe?
- Pull it together—review how far you have come each week. Praise yourself for your successes and strategize how you can make changes to help you reach goals that were unattained. Remember to set yourself up for success for this week.
- Accountability—set reminders, write a note to yourself, share your successes and struggles with your friend
- Reflect & Reset—this week I only ate the carrots in my spaghetti sauce. It was ok, I hardly noticed it. I am going to keep this for next week. Then start again going through steps 1-7.
Key to Success: Be gracious with yourself. There will be days when you breeze through hitting your goals and being a rock star and then there will be days when you celebrate yourself for not eating the entire pizza or pecan pie in one sitting. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate the small successes along with the big ones and know you can always reset and begin again the next day and remember to breathe!
You got this!