By: Kristi Goode
What does that even mean? What if this year you set goals that were in addition to the behaviors you’re already doing, or “added” something specific into you day? For so many we set huge goals at the beginning of the new year and for many, those new goals “exclude” or “eliminate” certain foods that folks no longer want to be part of their diet or routine. However, most eliminate or exclude certain foods or food groups only to feel deprived or restricted. Then end up not following through or “falling off the wagon” after 2 weeks. So, what would it look like if you added in a new food or added in some extra water versus cutting out all sugar or cutting out all carbs? How would your goal look different? So instead of eliminating, you would be adding! Let’s start with a few food addition ideas!
Protein. Protein is such an important part of our diets and plays many roles in our body. It’s important for building and maintaining muscle, helps replace worn out cells, transports various substances throughout the body, and aids in growth and repair. It increases satiation by making you feel full, longer. And it assists immune function, metabolism, and weight management.
A few ways to add more protein to your day:
Start your day with protein!
Include it in your afternoon snack to keep you full until dinner.
Instead of 4 ounces of protein at lunch or dinner, have 5 ounces!
Fat. Fats pack a caloric punch! And like protein, they keep you feeling full. Even though some people fear fat, fats are really important for our diet. Fats help protect our organs, assist us in hormone production, support cell growth, keep our cholesterol & blood pressure under control, and lastly, we need fat for our bodies to absorb vital nutrients from our food. But not all fats are created equal and depending upon the fat source they can affect our health differently. I’m looking at you trans fats! Most of our fat consumption should come from unsaturated fats. These are the “healthy” fats that assist and support our bodies in the functions listed above.
A few ways to add more unsaturated fats to your day:
Use olive oil as a base in homemade salad dressings.
Add a serving of nuts to your afternoon snack.
Include salmon in your weekly meal plan.
Add ¼ of an avocado to your breakfast or lunch.
Vegetables & Fruit. Vegetables and fruits provide nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body. They’re an important part of a healthy diet, and variety can be just as important as quantity. Not only is eating a variety important for overall health, but people who include more vegetables and fruits in their diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. We also get dietary fiber from vegetables which is important for an overall healthy diet! Just a reminder to eat the rainbow because no single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy!
A few ways to add more fruit and vegetables:
1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables to any meal.
1 cup of vegetable juice.
Add one fiber rich fruit or veggie to lunch.
Include a fresh, frozen or canned veggie or fruit.
Smoothies! And add some spinach.
In the long run, taking the time to add something new to your diet may benefit you more than taking something away!