5. Get More Greens
Given the startling CDC report finding that about 91% of Americans fail to get enough veggies, the advice to eat more greens from dietitian and founder of Nutrition Stripped, McKel Hill, MS, RDN, are words to live by. “Whether you add greens to smoothies, sneak in a salad before a meal, snack on vegetables, or greens to stews and stir-fry, they’re great source of fiber, minerals and antioxidants our bodies need,” she says.
If you’re averse to vegetables, I’ve found that it’s helpful to take a stacked approach to eating more. For instance, if you already like scrambled eggs, add some spinach to the scramble and see how it goes. If you’re making a side of brown rice, try adding some chopped broccoli. Folding veggies into things you already enjoy helps make it easier to make this change.
6. Eat More Plants (and Fewer Animals)
“Try to reduce your meat consumption for your health and the health of the planet,” encourages The Plant-Powered Dietitian, Sharon Palmer, RDN. Even if you only do this one day a week, it can curb your risk of obesity and lower your odds of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the scientific team behind the Meatless Monday campaign. “Have more meals based on legumes, grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds,” says Palmer. If you need inspiration, try her weeknight-easy Mediterranean Edamame Quinoa Bowl.
7. Build a Buddy System
We all get by with a little help from our friends and no area of our lives is this more true than with our health and wellness goals. Nutrition expert Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN has this sound advice: “Make an effort to include one more supportive, health-minded person in your life this year.”
According to Bannon, research shows that supportive relationships with friends, family members or both, can help you deal with day-to-day stressors and reach and sustain your health goals. “The opposite side of the coin holds true too: eliminate (or minimize) your time with emotional vampires — they sap your strength, emotional energy and often sabotage your health goals,” she says.