new year check-in and new dietary guidelines

new year reset check-in

We did it. We survived week one of 2016. I must say, this was the longest week ever. Probably because it was my first full work week in a bit. Did you follow along with the new year reset that my sister and I embarked on? I posted about it last week here. I must say, the first week went better than I expected.

I had set a few goals to tackle during the first two weeks of the new year. One goal, was no alcohol. That was relatively easy to stick with week. I started a new TV show and my boyfriend and I went to our local diner for a Friday night dinner. We were the youngest people in there, but it was surprisingly enjoyable. 


Another goal, was to add green smoothies to my mornings in order to cut back on my meat intake. Every night I put my smoothie ingredients in a tupperware, and then added ice and almond milk in the morning before I blended it up. I enjoyed my smoothies with hard boiled eggs, which were also a nice change for me. The best part is that this new breakfast kept me full for four hours! Sticking with the less meat theme, today marks my second meat-free Sunday.

Cutting out added sugar was a tough one. I managed to stay away from chocolate! I also made my own granola bars. But, when I really had a sweet tooth I had some flavored nut butter. There was added sugar in these, however they are from an independently owned company and are made from real ingredients (I highly recommend you check out Blind Spot Nutbutters). Then, I made pancakes for Saturday breakfast. The recipe was free of added sugar, but I gave in and used syrup! Oh well, we can't be perfect, but I did feel better and had fewer cravings with the sugar cut back.

pancakes and bacon. the most delicious breakfast.

I am sticking with the outlined goals for another week. The goal was two weeks and I know I can do it! After that, I will do some reassessing and make plans for the remainder of the month.

2015 DGAs

Healthy eating got a lot of press this week, and not for the reason you might think. Yes, it is a new year and everyone is ready to overhaul their diet, but it was the new dietary guidelines getting the attention. Briefly, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are federal guidelines made by the Dpt of Health and Human Services and the USDA, as well as an advisory board of a diverse group of health professionals. New guidelines are released every five years and are used to identify areas where more nutrition research is needed, to develop federal nutrition programs such as school lunch, and by health professionals to guide patients and clients.

If you haven't seen already, check out my TV interview on abc2 about the new guidelines. Not my best interview, but I am not perfect. It was a last minute opportunity that I knew I shouldn't pass up. I explain some of the differences in the video, such as the broad approach taken in this edition of the guidelines. The DGAs are getting some backlash, of course. They are federally funded and corporate areas have the ability to weigh in with their opinions, which some believe can make the guidelines skewed. Politics aside, the overall message is a good one and a step in the right direction. Here are some takeaways that I think you should know:

  • Eat more fruits and veggies. We don't eat enough of them. Try replacing (they use the word shifting) a less healthy food for a more nutrient dense food. For example, replace refined white pasta with spaghetti squash to get more vitamins and fiber, and less carbohydrate/glucose load.
  • Longterm health is a result of what we eat everyday. You won't get strong or lean from one day in the gym, and you won't lose weight or get healthy from one day of healthy eating. Focus on making good choices daily. The cumulative and consistent intake is what will ultimately shape your future health. 
  • Small changes. One meal, one day at a time. That is the best way to build those consistent habits.
  • Added sugar is the enemy. No more than 10% of calories (about 50 g) should come from added sugar (not what is naturally found in fruit and dairy). That is the same as a 16 ounce soda. Yikes. Also, we don't know the long term effects or weight loss benefits of artificial sweeteners, so limit those as well.
  • Eat eggs. The previously outlined 300 mg daily cholesterol limit has been lifted. There is not enough research to show that cholesterol intake directly links to heart disease risk. And as a matter of fact eggs provide protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Eat up.

What do you think of the dietary guidelines? Had you heard of them before this week? What will you do to keep your healthy 2016 going?

Until next time...