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Healthy Ideas for a New Year
Healthy Ideas for a New Year
Natalie Broehm
Friday, January 17, 2020

‘Twas the Month After Christmas

By author unknown

'Twas the month after Christmas,

and all through the house

Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste

At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber),

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared:

The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The cookies and the fudge, the bread and the cheese

And the way I'd never said, "No, thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt

And prepared once again to do battle with dirt—

I said to myself, as I only can,

"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So—away with the last of the sour cream dip,

Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished

‘Til all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie—not even a lick.

I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie;

I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore—

But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot,

Happy New Year to all, and to all a good diet!

This poem is one of my favorites. I can appreciate the humor and laugh at the truths I recognize in myself. Healthy eating and exercise are often on people’s minds at the beginning of the New Year, and many have made resolutions to eat healthier and to exercise more. However, new diets and exercise plans can be hard to stick to when they require us to make drastic or overwhelming changes. If healthier bodies made your resolution list this year, then here are a few of my recommendations for making small but sustainable steps toward a healthier year. (Please note: I am not a doctor; the following information is based on health articles I have read throughout the year. You should always consult your doctor for medical advice and concerns.) 

Exercise The Mayo Clinic recommends at least thirty minutes of exercise per day. However, it is important to note that your thirty minutes of exercise does not need to happen all at once. You can split your thirty minutes of exercise into smaller time frames. For example, you can exercise for ten minutes three times a day or even five minutes, six times a day. If thirty minutes still seems too overwhelming, lower your minutes to twenty, fifteen, or even ten minutes a day and build your way up to thirty. You can also take small opportunities to move your body. For example, choose stairs over the elevator, and park near the back of the parking lot when shopping, these small choices can make a big difference in helping you move your body. 


Diets can be hard. Last year, my husband wanted to try the Whole 30 diet. I only made it a day. Cutting out all grains was not something I was willing to sustain for an extended period.  Instead of trying an extreme diet that you won’t be able to maintain, try these small changes that can be developed into healthy habits. 

  • Try to eat protein and vegetables with each meal. These foods fuel your body and help you stay full for longer periods of time.
  • Eat slower. Your body will become full before your brain registers that it is full. Eating slower gives you time to process and recognize when you are actually full.
  • Use smaller plates. Using smaller plates can help with portion control.
  • Use measuring cups as scoops. I love pasta, rice, and ice cream, but vegetables are not my favorite. I use measuring scoops to make sure that I am getting the proper portion of food. Instead of filling my plate with pasta or a bowl with ice cream, I’ll use the measuring scoop to scoop out a cup. I also use the measuring scoop to make sure I eat enough veggies because, on my own, I won’t serve myself enough vegetables. I usually double the veggie scoop to the pasta scoop. 


Finally, here is some information if you want to try a new diet this year.  I have had two of my 8th grade PE students put together some very basic information about the Paleo diet, the Keto diet, and the Whole 30. If the basic information interests you, then I would recommend doing more research on your own. The internet is full of great resources and recipe ideas for all of these diets.