Tuesday, January 26, 2016

My 2016 Goals

As promised in my previous post, I'm sharing my 2016 goals today. Sharing these goals is not a braggy, "hey look at me" sort of thing. If anything, it is a look at where a fall short and areas I hope to improve. Sharing my goals is meant to encourage you to evaluate if you want to set goals. Sharing goals is also a way to be kept accountable. People who share their goals tend to be more successful. So, I'm sharing the goals here to encourage you and to keep me accountable. And, I'll share progress over the year. You are welcome to comment with your goals and progress as well.

2016 Goals
1) Try 30 new recipes.
I had a similar goal last year. I love baking and cooking. I think it's important to continue to grow and learn. Since I love baking and cooking, I want to continue to learn new techniques, try new cuisines, new flavors, and new food combinations. As a registered dietitian, I know the importance of healthy eating. As a human, I want to enjoy eating. So, I'm passionate about learning and trying new things.

I received several cookbooks and new cooking gadgets for Christmas. It's so nice to have fresh inspirations. I love to learn from other people's recipes. Then, I like to tweak the recipes to make them my own. I usually add a healthier spin as my dietitian twist to make the recipe my own.

2) Read more.
I grew up loving to read. When I was in elementary school, I got to stay up a few minutes past my bedtime if I was reading. In the Summers, I participated in the Summer reading challenges that my local library offered.

Then, I went to school and had to read. I had to read a mountain of books for English class and keep up with textbook readings from other classes. Then, college. Then, internship. Then, Masters. Then, CSP. Then, my textbooks for school. Whew. For so many years, I had to read. Don't get me wrong; I actually really enjoy reading and learning. Hence, the reason I teach. It's more of the mountainous volume of reading and looming deadlines that take some of the joy out of reading.

I don't have a specific number of books I plan to read. I did stop by Half-Priced Books and found some books about food - one on New Orleans cuisine and another about Julia Child. I like to read when I travel, which ties two goals into one. 

I've also started reading through my cookbooks. I read them cover-to-cover. I mark recipes I'd like to try. I make notes of things I'd substitue or variations I'd like to try. Do you this too? Does anyone else read cookbooks cover to cover? One of my best friends does this, so I know I'm not the only one.

3) Build endurance and strength.
This is my take on increasing my physical activity. I hope to constantly grow and improve. I found a really good weight lifting class. The instructor challenges me and keeps me from getting bored. I know that weight lifting is important for muscle mass and maintaining good health, so I'm glad I found a great class. I actually look forward to going to class (most days).

In Arkansas, my husband and I played ultimate frisbee with a group of our friends. It was such a fun time in our lives. We met new people. I actually enjoyed running . . . for short distances, after the frisbee or to guard people when I was on defensece. The people and game were my incentive to stay active. Since we moved, I need to find another incentive to do more cardio. I'm thinking about a new workout playlist. Does anyone have any new, favorite songs?

4) Travel.
My husband and I have several trips planeed this year. I have a work trip coming up soon. We are going to go up a little early and stay a little after the trip to have some vacation time together. We are also planning to visit family and friends.

These are broad goals, but they do have more personal, specific meanings to me. SMART goals are important when you are making changes. That doesn't diminish the value of broad goals.

5) Learn something new.
As a RD and college professor, I teach people every day. It is especially important for me to keep learning every day as I continue to teach others. This is a very broad goal that will be manifested in many ways. It will likely look like reading journal articles to keep up with the evolving field of nutrition (I usually share these on Twitter). It may look like learning a new skill. I'm not sure exactly what it will look like, but I'm excited to see what I learn this year.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Quick and Fruity Breakfast Smoothie

Good morning! Do you know why it's a good morning? I had a great breakfast! I wake up and am motivated to get out of bed because of breakfast. It's a great way to start the day. I love this simple, quick smoothie to start your day in a healthy way. If you're looking for a quick breakfast, this is your recipe.

I love fruit and yogurt, which is the base of this smoothie. I love using frozen fruits for smoothies. They keep your drink cold. And, frozen fruit is a great way to eat fruit out of season and get micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, in the winter. Fruit is picked in season. Then, frozen. Since I can't get fresh peaches and blueberries this time of year, frozen fruit is the way to go.

Here's the recipe for my Peach and Blueberry Smoothie.
1 ripe banana
1 1/4 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
6 ounces light vanilla yogurt (I used Yoplait yogurt.)
1/4 cup skim milk

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This smoothie is a gorgeous color. It has a thick, silky texture that still allows you to drink it through a straw. It's portable. It blueberryrific. It's peachy! It's a great way to start your day.  Enjoy!

I know many of you are working on your new goals and resolutions. If your goal is to eat breakfast, try this delicious smoothie. It takes very little time to prepare and is a great way to start your day.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter. 

If you liked this post, you may enjoy:


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Goals, Resolutions, and Thoughts for 2016

I like the idea of fresh starts. I like new years, new months, and even the start of a new week. 'New' feels like a fresh, clean slate.

I like planning. I like hoping. I look forward to looking forward to new things. So, I look forward to the start of a new year. It brings the opportunity for fresh starts, opportunities for growth, and new adventures.

Pro-resolution or Anti-resolution
There are two kinds of people. Those who set resolutions and those that don't. I am a goal setter, so I usually set some goals for myself. I like to reflect on what I've enjoyed in the past and what has worked for me. Then, I include those things in my goals. For example, I was a dancer in high school, so I like to include dance classes as part of my physical activity goals. This has looked different in different life stages. In college, I took dance classes with friends at a local studio. In grad school, I took classes through the school's gym for a discounted, student rate. As a young professional, I took classes with friends at a dance school and classes at my local gym with my gym membership. Make your goals work for you - your budget and your lifestyle

Setting Mini Goals
So you've reflected and set goals, what will keep you motivated? One thing I like to do is set short- and long-term goals. The short-term goals are like mini resolutions that help me reach my ultimate goals. For example, do you want to be more physically active? I encourage you to set mini goals to help reach that goal. For example, you could start by being physically active 30 minutes per day 3 times per week. Each month, you could increase the length of time you are physically active or the number of days per week you are active.

Set SMART Goals
I'm going to give some examples of goals. Then, show ways to make them better.

- Be more physically active.
- Run a half-marathon

Better Goal:
- Run one mile per day.
- Use couch to 5K app in January to help me increase my running time and distance.

- Eat better.

Better Goal:
- Eat breakfast everyday at home.
- Drink 64 ounces of water per day. Use a reusable water cup and take to work to remind me to drink water.
- Eat 3 servings of vegetables per day.
- Limit fried food to three servings per week.

The better goals have some things in common. They are SMART goals.
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Timely
The "Better Goals" or "SMART Goals" give specific, measurable details. They are achievable and realistic based on where you are now and where you want to be. They also give a time frame or time measurement to keep you accountable to your goals. With SMART goals, you know the who, what, when, and where. Now, what is the why?

Find What Motivates You
Your motivation stems from the "why" or your reasons for setting these goals. Do you want to run a marathon or complete a sprint triathlon? Do you want to keep up with your kids? Do you want to prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? Ask yourself why am I setting these goals? Write it down. Keep it in a prominent place. This will remind you of your resolutions and keep you motivated to continue to work on your goals. It usually takes 21 - 66 days to develop a new habit. So, buckle down, and keep at it for 1 to 3 months. Then, it should be easier. You can do it!

Reward Yourself
I also think small rewards can be helpful to achieving goals. Just make sure that your rewards do not contradict your goal. So, don't reward yourself with "junk food" when you're trying to eat healthier.

In college, money was tight. So, I "paid" myself for working out. I can't remember the exact amount, but let's say it was $1 for every workout. I "saved" this work out money to buy new tennis shoes, since my tennis shoes were wearing out. This was motivating to me because I earned the new shoes. The new shoes were cute and comfy which encouraged me to work out. It's a winning cycle!

You can reward yourself with a massage, a new movie, a trip, spending time with friends, trying a new meal delivery service, or a new book. Think of something that fits in your budget and motivates you.

Prepare for Roadblocks
Changing habits or building new habits takes work. There will be difficulties. You could get sick and not be able to work out. You could move and need a new gym membership. That's life; there are roadblocks you will need to overcome. I encourage you to be flexible and continuously evaluate your goals.

Evaluate Your Goals
Sometimes we set inappropriate or unachievable goals. That's OK. If you are making progress and healthy changes, that is a win! Think about how you can change your resolution to be more achievable or timely and still progress toward your goal.

Eliminate Negativity
If you do not meet your goal or resolution, are you a failure? No, you tried! So, don't beat yourself up. Goals should be constantly evaluated. If you wanted to run a marathon and you only completed a half marathon, are you a failure? No, you made progress. You became more physically active. You invested in your health and well being. Since you've run a half-marathon, now you goal could be a marathon or another half-marathon. Keep at it!

Share Your Goals
People are more likely to keep goals that they are accountable for. You can tell a friend or family member your goals. You can set reminders in your phone or calendar. You can post your goals to social media. You can tell your dietitian your goals. Just tell someone!

RDtipoftheday Goals
I will be sharing my goals and progress over the year. You are welcome to comment with your goals and progress as well.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

RD School: What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?
(image source: Google Images)