July 18th, 2018

From Our Table: The New Year’s resolution quandary

By Medicine Hat News on January 2, 2018.

It’s a brand new year with endless possibilities laid out on a blank page. This is the time of year many people decide if they should set New Year’s resolutions or not. Is it actually beneficial to set resolutions or healthier to not put yourself under more pressure.

The most difficult part is not setting the resolutions it’s following up on them. Then when people don’t achieve them they set themselves up for failure and feeling bad about themselves. This is definitely not beneficial.

I think setting resolutions is a very useful way to accomplish things in your life, however the goal should also be to feel good about yourself. The key then is to set goals that are realistically achievable. Goals that will improve your life when you accomplish them and will make you feel good about yourself. Then it’s a total win win!

Here are three things to help you on your way to setting successful New Year’s resolutions:

1. Start small. These will be easier to maintain therefore much more likely to be successful. The more success you have the easier it will be to stay with your plan.

2. Keep your resolutions positive. It’s not always about giving up everything you love to eat or do. For example, if you are trying to eat better focus on what you are willing to improve on, like I will try to eat a cup of vegetables at lunch and supper. Don’t just say that although I love chocolate bars I will never eat them again. That is not realistic or fun.

3. Be realistic. Set about three realistic resolutions in various areas to work on throughout the year. For example:

a. Drink more water. I will take a 750 ml bottle with me to work and will drink two of these bottles of water throughout the day.

b. Eat more veggies. I will pack one cup of veggies in my lunch and I will fill half my dinner plate with veggies at supper.

c. Walk more. I will park my car two blocks farther away from work and walk fast so I don’t freeze. I will park at the end of each parking lot I go to.

One of the most important parts of making changes to positively impact your life is to try to make them an everyday part of your life. Changes you can really live with forever. So don’t try temporary fixes that are short term and then you go right back to the way you were.

Quick fix diets are a great example. Of course you will lose weight on an unrealistically low calorie diet that focuses mainly on one food group but excludes others. This is not balanced and cannot continue over the long term. So as soon as you go back to the way you ate before you will not only gain the weight back it will come back fast and furious. Our bodies are designed to survive. You just put it into survival mode when you deprived it of calories now it’s learned not to let go of those calories. Next weight loss attempt will be extremely difficult. Don’t abuse your body that way, it’s much too valuable. Make small sustainable changes you can live with forever that will make your body better.

Here is a delicious recipe I’ve recently discovered. It’s a healthy way to get started towards the best you of 2018 and you are so worth it!

Happy New Year everyone!

Joanne Smith is a registered dietitian.

Terrific Thai Chicken Salad

4-5 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced

2-3 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 cup grated carrots

2 green onion, sliced thin diagonally

1/4 cup minced cilantro

2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast (could also use turkey breast)

3 Tbsp slivered almonds toasted


The juice of 1 lime

3 Tbsp peanut butter

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp honey or agave nectar

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp chili garlic sauce (more or less depending on how hot you want it)

Mix the dressing well until creamy and smooth.

In a large serving bowl combine first 6 ingredients. Toss with dressing until completely covered. It will shrink in size. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds.

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