Nutrition: New Year New Habits

Welcome to 2017!

By Eric Chen, WAC Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

As we venture into a new year and set new resolutions, consider a slightly different approach. Instead of creating larger-than-life goals, establish three small healthy habits you can start implementing immediately. As you make your small habits a regular part of your daily routine, you can make more simple changes each month.

A great place to start is with one of my favorite quotes from author Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Simply said, it’s best to eat real foods that haven’t been processed and stabilized with extra ingredients, eat until you are satisfied instead of full, and get in a lot of vegetables. You can’t go wrong with these seven words guiding your nutrition choices. Here are a few other resolutions to help kick-start your healthy 2017.

  1. Eat more legumes and vegetables. What do the world’s longest living populations have in common? Their diets are composted of over 80 percent vegetables with one third of those veggies being legumes. Aim for four full servings of vegetables or legumes each day.
  2. Chew your food. The average American chews about 15 times before swallowing. By bumping that number up to 40, you’ll enjoy your food more, absorb more nutrients, ease digestion, and trigger satiation. This is one of the easiest tricks to help lower your calorie intake.
  3. Replace sweetened beverages with herbal or green tea. You’ll eliminate empty calories and add antioxidants to your fluid intake.
  4. Eat local. Support your Washington farmers by purchasing produce that doesn’t have to travel across the country. This cuts back on the use of fossil fuel and mitigates the nutrient loss that occurs during extended transit time.

—Posted January 4, 2017


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