With the New Year come new goals for many people. During this time of the year, many people are looking to get in shape and change their eating habits. In January, the gyms become packed, as fitness-related New Year’s resolutions are common at this time. Whether you made fitness-inspired resolutions or not, here are some healthy recipes and tips to stick with your goals this year.
Start off Small
Starting off small is especially important if you have never been to a gym, or you are trying to completely change your eating habits. Many times, at the New Year, people start off with grand plans, but starting small and taking baby steps can actually make you more successful in the long run. Rather than planning out an unrealistic workout schedule and diet plan, aim for smaller goals which will later contribute to a larger, more rewarding outcome. You don’t have to completely cut out your guilty pleasure food items, just make an effort to have them occasionally. As you reach your goals with these smaller steps, the habits you make will become a routine, and you will be able to build and make progress as you add new goals.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
This ties in with the last topic, start off small and work your way up. Realize that you have to start somewhere and your desired results won’t happen overnight. Hard work, dedication, and consistency will bring you to your goals. In the process of living a more healthy life, there will be ups and downs, but don’t get discouraged. It is okay to fall off your intended path, the important thing to remember is to get back on track when things don’t go as planned. Don’t let a couple of mistakes ruin the rest of your year.
Make exercise and food fun
Incorporating more healthy habits into your life doesn’t mean you have to eat salads and run on the treadmill all the time. Find new healthy recipes that you can make with friends, or get a workout by hiking, taking a dance class, or even joining a kickboxing class. Find something that works for you and makes you happy. It is simple, if you dread going to the gym, or eating a salad every day, switch it up because you are more likely to be consistent when you enjoy what you are doing.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you are left unsatisfied with your meals. Here are a couple easy recipes that are quick, healthy, and customizable to help you start the New Year off right.
Cilantro Lime Salmon Bowl
3 red peppers, sliced into strips
2/3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
salt and pepper
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
2 teaspoons honey
1 garlic clove, minced
4 salmon filets
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 avocado, thinly sliced
lime wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add a tablespoon of oil to the bell peppers, then toss with salt and pepper. Once the peppers are prepared, bake them for 10 minutes.
To make the marinade combine olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, honey, and garlic and mix very well. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then pour the marinade over the salmon filets.
Once the peppers have been in the oven for 10 minutes, place the salmon on top of the cooked peppers and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
The last step is to assemble the bowl. Place cooked rice in a bowl, then top with salmon and peppers. Lastly, garnish with cilantro and lime. Yield: 4 servings.
One Pot Pesto Chicken and Veggies
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound chicken thighs boneless and skinless, sliced into strips
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes drained of oil, chopped
1 pound asparagus ends trimmed, cut in half, if large
1/4 cup basil pesto
1 cup cherry tomatoes yellow and red, halved
Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, then add sliced chicken and toss in half of the sun-dried tomatoes and season with salt. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked (5-10 minutes)
Once the chicken is done, remove everything from the skillet, but make sure to leave in the oil. Still, on medium heat, add the rest of the sun dried tomatoes and asparagus. Season again with salt, and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Finally, add the chicken with the sun-dried tomatoes back into the pan, and add in the pesto.