Big fan of the New Year’s resolution? Don’t worry, you’re not alone: we get the appeal of making healthy changes this New Year. Despite the fact that so many people are so over resolutions, there’s something really inspiring about a clean slate. A fresh start. A new year to achieve brand new goals. We’re all about it.The problem of course, is that sometimes we leave our goals, well, kind of vague. Lose weight. Be nicer. Get in shape. Be Healthy. All lovely ideas, sure, but none of them are particularly measurable. How do you know when you’re healthy enough? What kind of shape? How much weight, and by when and how? There are too many question marks. On the flip side, some people make goals that are too extreme: workout for at least an hour everyday. Cut out gluten, sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and anything-fun-ever. The problem with these goals is that they aren’t realistic. If you couldn’t get your butt to the gym once a month in the past, you will not get it to the gym every day in the dead of winter, through the snow and in the dark. (You just won’t.)This year, when you start thinking of what healthy changes you want to make, start by taking a good look at how you already live your life. Instead of completely overhauling your routine (which may feel good short term but lacks sustainability), find ways to incorporate healthy living into your preexisting life. Your sanity (and spouse/friends/coworkers/family) will thank you.
Let’s be real: soy is kind of a controversial food. Once it was considered to be the ultimate health food, and then suddenly it became the worst substance you could be eating. What gives? What do we actually know about soy, and is it a right fit for you? With all food, context matters, and it’s usually not a simple case of bad or good. So let’s dive in.
If you haven’t heard of SMART goals, it’s a real game changer, and definitely something for you to keep in mind as you create your goals for 2020. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. And basically all that means is that when you think about what resolutions you want to create make sure to set goals you can actually stick with. For example, if you want to “get in shape” a good SMART goal might be: “Exercise for 45 minutes at the gym, three times a week at 8am before work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.” Make it as specific as possible and set ways to measure your goals so you can actually check them off.
If you have a busy life, don’t expect it to change much come the new year! Sure, we can all slow down a little and carve out more time for ourselves, but if you have a lifestyle that keeps you busy (kids, long work hours, long commute home) it can be a challenge–instead, find ways to make small changes. If you’re cooking a healthy meal at home (good job!) see if you can cut corners and get food that’s already semi-processed or prepared: buy foods like pre-spiralized veggies, steamed beets, cauliflower rice, frozen vegetables, organic tomato sauce, or frozen burgers. There are a lot of healthy food products on the shelves nowadays, just be sure to read the labels! Impact Kitchen also has a retail section with ready-made items, like soups, granola and bone broth (and if you aren’t sure how to use the bone, we also have in-store brochures with tips to help you out!). In less than 20 minutes you can have a bowl of marina meatballs and zucchini noodles, or falafel on roasted cauliflower with hummus and arugula–all with things that are pre-made and still healthy.
On the nights where cooking at home is not an option, instead of ordering in a pizza (cause yum), swap your weekly takeout for a healthy substitute. Most restaurants today are on every food delivery app you can think of. And healthy definitely doesn’t have to be boring. Impact Kitchen’s warrior bowl, grass-fed burger, and chicken noodle soup are all awesome winter comfort foods when you’re craving more of a salad–and they all support your health! Find out how to order-in Impact Kitchen near you!
If you’re not working out at all, then great, you only have to go once a week–that’s not too bad! Pick a time of day that works and stick with it. Once you feel you have a good habit with one day, try adding two. Remember: working out is meant to make you feel better not worse. So if you can’t get to the gym every day because of other commitments, go easy on yourself. Find ways to sneak in movement in your existing schedule, and make that once a week workout something you actually like doing. Life is too short to be miserable at the gym. Which brings us to the next point:
You might surprise yourself with how much you like the gym once you get the hang of it. A workout high is a real thing, and it can feel really good (and productive) to have a killer workout at the gym! But it’s not for everyone, and it’s okay if it’s not for you. Find something you like. Join a class! Apps like Classpass are great alternatives (or additions) to a monthly gym membership, as it allows you to try out different workouts all around the city. Switch it up with barre, dance, kickboxing or yoga! If your budget is as lean as you’d like to be, opt for home workout (there are lots of free workout on youtube!) or find free workout events around the city. Be sure to join our Impact Nation Community Facebook group to stay tuned to our free monthly workouts and wellness events! We’ve got everything from running, weights, spin and personal training events offered monthly. Lastly, if you’re looking to join a gym, but not sure what to do once you get there, apps like Aflete offer video workout plans on your phone to help guide you! There are so many options to help you get fit.
If you’re stuck on what to eat, but determined to eat better this year, just stick to the golden rule: eat healthy fats, fibre and good quality protein at every meal and you’ll be good to go! This will keep you full and well-fed so you’ve got the energy you need, while still supporting your health! Pick healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds; fibre-rich foods like chia seeds, flax, avocados, and root vegetables; and proteins like grass-fed beef, sustainably farmed or wild-caught seafood, organic tempeh, legumes and beans. Try Impact’s Power Breakfast in the morning or the Macro Bowl in the afternoon to get all the fuel you need to keep going!
Nothing is worse than feeling like you have nothing to eat while you’re working or on the go. Stock up and pack healthy options to keep you from getting hangry (and keep you from eating office candy): good quality energy bars, apples, nuts, hard-boiled eggs and cut veggies with hummus are all good options. Make (and freeze) healthy muffins or loaves to snack on, or head to Impact to load up on collagen-rich chocolate pudding, paleo chicken tenders or healthy baked goods! Making healthy changes doesn’t have to be drastic or draining–opt for simple habits that you can make daily and watch the difference it makes in your overall health and wellbeing!