I saw the hashtag #18in2018 and loved the idea of coming up with 18 things to do this new year!!
I am all about promoting health and well being in a way that works for YOU. Sadly, so much of the time “getting healthy” is confused with dieting, restricting, overexercising, and all the “shoulds” that we think we need to do because we live in a society that tells us skinny = healthy. <– not true.
Rather, my definition of health is doing what’s best for you and your body, remembering that only YOU know what that is based on your life and circumstances.
Here at Eat With Knowledge, we are all about having a healthy relationship with food. We focus on intuitive eating, eating disorder recovery, and improving body image. We are accepting new clients for the new year and would love to work with you.
No surprise that a lot of these 18 recommendations have to do with our favorite topics 🙂
- Start a daily meditation practice. Just a few rounds of deep breathing (done in 2 minutes!!) can help calm nerves and boost your mood.
- Cook dinner with a loved one and eat at the dinner table (a personal goal of mine this year and I get that it’s really hard to do)
- Get in touch with your hunger cues. Know that it’s your basic need as a human to eat when you’re hungry to fuel your body.
- Feel your fullness. It may be uncomfortable to leave food on your plate, but knowing when you’ve had enough is a skill that can develop over time when you’ve connected to your body.
- Challenge any thoughts you may have about what you “should” be eating. Know that everyone has different nutrition needs that change with appetite, cravings, specific situations, and proximity to food.
- Be mindful around what/where/when you eat. We eat on autopilot A LOT and while it’s normal if it works for you (and feel good about it), it’s also a good idea to take some inventory about the what/where/why. I always recommend to gather information before making any changes because you gotta see what’s working for you and what you do and don’t feel good about.
- Make emotional eating work for you. It’s totally normal to eat with emotions! Here in the northeast United States, we’ve been freezing and nothing sounds better than oatmeal, soup, and hot chocolate. But when you’re eating to zone out and not deal with your emotions, we are in a different category.
- Try to be consistent with fueling your body during the day. It’s so much easier to binge eat if you’re starving or restricting your food or over exercising.
- Try a new recipe and experiment in the kitchen with a meal that sounds delicious to you.
- Eat out at a new restaurant and be adventurous with the menu! Go with a group of people to share and try “new to you” food choices and share food with each other.
- Eat dessert!! Yes, to be healthy. Dessert is a normal part of someone’s eating experience, usually labeled as “fun” food. Dessert is sometimes the tastiest food of the day, allowing joy to come from eating. Looking at dessert as a “fun” food can help reduce shame associated with dessert because of our society’s fear of sugar. Learning that sugar is a part of our normal eating pattern and that humans are expected to eat sugar is so important to reduce the initial shame that may come from it.
- Buy yourself a new outfit, making sure to buy the appropriate size for you so that the clothes fit your body in a way that makes you feel good. If it isn’t possible to “feel good”, know that it’s okay and part of the normal process of healing body image. Focus on being “neutral” at first.
- Book a vacation. Go all out if you financially can afford it, or take off of work and plan a “staycation” around your home. Either way, unplugging from the stress of daily life is good for your soul.
- Try something different with exercise. Spoiler alert: this could very well be a rest day! It’s healthy to challenge our bodies, and healthy to rest when we want to do so. Listening to your movement cravings is so important.
- Donate to a charity or an organization that is doing good. One of the best organizations out there is Project Heal. Project Heal has a scholarship program to support clients to get eating disorder treatment.
- Practice empathy for others and self-compassion for yourself. Write post-its in places that you need love reminders.
- Know your boundaries and approach the new year by protecting the things that matter most to you.
- Contact a friend and keep in touch. This includes me!! Please know that I am so grateful for you and am so happy that you’re here learning more about my approach to nutrition and health.
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Jennifer is a Registered Dietitian and the owner of Eat With Knowledge in Nyack, NY. She is on a mission to help people heal from diets, and find peace and balance with their food choices. She leads a team of dietitians who support the philosophy, “Feel Fabulous about Food!”
Start your own healing by downloading her Free Stop the Cycle of Binge Eating guide or her Free Hunger – Fullness Scale.