Now that the holiday rush is over and the novelty of the New Year has passed, it is a good time to look at the year ahead. At the two-week mark in January, statistics show that nearly 50% of all people that make New Year’s Resolutions have abandoned them at this point. I tend to think this is because most “resolutions” aren’t realistic and cannot be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
I love the idea of reflecting on the year past and setting realistic goals for your year rather and incorporating them into your schedule, so they become part of your lifestyle, rather than making resolutions. Your goals can be reevaluated on a regular basis; make your goals attainable and integrate them into your every-day life.
Here are some practical tips:
- Find an Accountability Partner – Making changes is hard enough, but doing it alone is even harder! Find a partner that you can connect with, one that will motivate you, inspire you, that will be an ear when you need someone to listen, a shoulder when you need it, and someone who isn’t afraid to give it to you straight. It is helpful if this person is going after the same goal; you are stronger together!
- Set Attainable Goals – Setting realistic goals is important. If you want to run a marathon, you may want to set milestones to get there. Going from vegging out on your couch one week to a full marathon the next is not realistic. This is how people break resolutions. Set a long-term goal and milestones along the way. For example, if your goal is to eat more real food and you’ve never cooked anything outside of a frozen meal, start with integrating one fresh meal a day, look up recipes online, plan your meals, shop smarter, and you’ll be a real food expert in no time!
- Make Your Goal Part of Your Day – If you set a goal, you need to schedule time to accomplish it; what you make time for is your priority. Set a reminder in your phone, write it in your calendar, block out the time in your schedule. This is how your “goal” becomes part of your lifestyle; you integrate it into your daily life!
- Document Your Success…and Failures – Let’s face it, there will be good days and bad days. Write them down: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You will be able to modify your milestones and your end goals by this documentation. If you failed one day, write down why. You’ll be more successful if you learn from your mistakes…and don’t forget to celebrate your successes!
- Believe in Yourself! – This is hard to do sometimes; this is why it is important to have a support system (see #1 above). If you set the goal, you can modify it, you can create milestones, you can set your own pace. Focus on your progress, not just results. Just because you slip up one day, doesn’t mean you are starting over – it is a lifestyle change, not a simple one-time resolution, right? You can do it!
January is generally a very cold month and because of that, not only is it National Soup Month, but it is also National Oatmeal Month. Did you know that more oatmeal is sold in January than any other month in the year? I am a big fan of Oatmeal for breakfast and I love making a big batch of steel cut oats and eating them throughout the week, mixing in different fruit each morning. Here is my go-to easy recipe that is sure to keep you full of energy for whatever your day brings, and especially perfect for these extra cold January mornings.
Steel-Cut Oats with Fresh Cherries, Blueberries and Walnuts
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt)
- 2 dashes cinnamon
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup cherries
- 2 tablespoons walnuts
- 1/2 cup soy milk (I also use light coconut milk)
About This Recipe
There’s a great outdoor cafe in Los Angeles called Urth Cafe and you might have seen it on Entourage – Vinnie and the boys eat there in nearly every other episode. It is a major celebrity haunt. Anyway they serve this amazing bowl of steel-cut oats with all the fruits, nuts and milk served on the side as you see here. It is one of the better breakfast dishes in town and now you can bring this celeb-favorite home for yourself.
Nutrition facts per ½ cup serving:
200 calories, 9 grams protein, 34 grams carbs, 5 grams fat
Step 1 – Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add salt, cinnamon, and steel cut oats.
Step 2 – Reduce to low heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3 – Serve ½ cup cooked oats with a bit of walnuts, blueberries and cherries.
Step 4 – **Alternatively follow package directions, top with your favorite nuts and fruits.
In honor of it also being National Soup Month, I’m sharing one of my favorite soups that is sure to warm you up and give you the energy and motivation you need to get out of the house on these blustery days (when I’m sure you’d rather be home by the fire reading a good book). On second thought, this soup would go great with a warm blanket by the fire… 😉
Low in fat and high in nutrients, perfect for detoxing from a food hangover. Add some toasted sourdough bread for the perfect PC Combo (if you don’t know what a PC Combo is, check out my book Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads or the Flat Belly Food System).
Chipotle-Mushroom Turkey Soup with Rice
- 32oz chicken stock or broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 onion, diced
- 10oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1lb roasted turkey, or rotisserie chicken
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- lemon wedges for garnish
Serving size: 1 medium bowl
Nutrition facts: 150 calories, 17g protein, 15 grams carbs, 2 grams fat
Step 1 – *If you are using raw meat, cube the meat and marinate for at least one hour with minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, extra virgin olive oil and dry thyme.
Step 2 – Sauté in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and set aside until the last five minutes of cooking the soup.
Step 3 – Combine first 13 ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil.
Step 4 – Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Step 5 – Add turkey and rice and simmer for 5 more minutes.
Step 6 – Stir in fresh parsley. Season soup with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Step 7 – Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve.
Something very exciting is happening this month! My incredible husband, and chairman of JDFF, Jonathon Fischer, is running The World Marathon Challenge! I am so excited and very proud of him. This is something that he did not just “decide” to do last minute; he set a goal, then smaller milestones, and worked very hard to get here. You can read a personal note from Jonathon and how he trained for the marathon here. This is a huge encouragement for anyone trying to set goals for 2017.
The World Marathon Challenge is this: 7 Marathons in 7 Days on 7 Continents! It is the only event that offers the opportunity to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days. Participants run 295 km (183 miles) over the seven-day period, spend 59 hours in the air and fly approximately 38,000 km (23,612 miles).
What is distinct about the 2017 event is that it will be the first time a Canadian will participate, which in prior years only allowed 15 runners due to the logistical challenges. This year the number has skyrocketed to 30 runners and Jonathon is honored to be amongst an amazing field of champions (a few are outlined below):
- Ryan Hall is a two time Olympian (2008 & 2012) who also holds the U.S. ½ marathon record (59:43), he is also the only American to run a sub-2:05 marathon
- Michael Wardian won the 2008, 2009 and 2010 US 50 km championships and the Washington D.C. Marathon in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
- Chile’s Silvana Camelio, winner of the 2015 Antarctic Ice Marathon
- Luke Wigman, winner of the 2016 Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert
- Ireland’s Sinead Keane hopes to become the first blind person to complete the World Marathon Challenge
The race will begin on January 23rd and conclude on the 29th. Here is a brief schedule of races and the charities Jonathon will be racing for on those particular days:
#1 (1/23) Antarctica – Running for Sick Kids Hospital www.sickkids.ca
#2 (1/24) Punta Arenas – Running for MPCF www.pinballfoundation.ca
#3 (1/25) Miami – Running for Thorn www.wearethorn.org
#4 (1/26) Madrid – Running for Dog Guides www.dogguides.com
#5 (1/27) Marrakech – Running for Free the Children www.we.org
#6 (1/28) Dubai – Running for Dream Center www.dreamcenter.org
#7 (1/29) Sydney – Running for other JDFF charity recipients www.jdff.ca
To read more about the race, you can view the full press release on the JDFF website. You can also connect with JDFF for updates on Twitter and Facebook the week of the race – send him your well wishes and encouragement on social media!
I would love to hear what goals you are setting for the New Year; connect with me on Facebook and Twitter to get the conversation going.
Here’s to a Happy, Healthy 2017!