Forget resolutions — small, simple steps will enhance health

A new year has arrived. It’s time to let go of the past and take a fresh approach to getting healthier without New Year’s resolutions.

That’s right, skip them and take these small steps, using seven simple strategies for better nutrition.

Extreme dieting and restricting foods is out! Here’s “newtrition” that will maintain your health all year long.

1. Reset your perspective by taking an assessment of what heath means to you. Keep it real and be specific.

Is it being able to wear those jeans you bought a year ago? Being able to get down on the floor and play with your grandchildren without struggling to get back up? Having more energy to get more out of life? Pick the one thing that means the most to you.

2. Do an alcohol fast. Give your liver a break after the past two months of holidays. Try it for two weeks and you’ll be amazed at how differently you look at your next glass of wine.

3. Vow to take more time to cook in your kitchen — it’s a surefire way to improve your nutrition. Rid your pantry of prepared foods like white rice mixes, instant mashed potatoes and store-bought salad dressings and buy and cook more whole foods. Pick one new food you’ll make at home, and healthier, this year — example: salad dressings.

4. Learn to love whole grains. Start with these quick-to-cook ones that add fiber, flavor, texture, important nutrients and phytochemicals: quinoa, whole wheat couscous, bulgur, oats and popcorn.

5. Embrace quality carbs that provide benefits. Focus on beans, peas, lentils, colorful fresh, frozen, (even canned) vegetables and fruit and low-fat dairy products. Use them in a balanced way to give you more long lasting energy and eating satisfaction.

6. Energize your meals with one delicious new food or interesting recipe every week. Keep it simple. Try fermented foods, plain Greek yogurt, shaved Brussels sprouts, riced cauliflower, freekah, tofu or a new type of mushroom. Have fun with it by writing down your favorites and lessons learned as you go.

7. Evaluate your added sugar intake honestly — are you eating sugar you really don’t need? Pick one area where you know you can cut out that added sugar. Is it using fresh fruit in plain yogurt rather than buying sugar filled yogurt? Subbing applesauce or prune pureed in your baked goods? Skipping that sugar in your coffee? Limiting sweets?

Kim Larson is a registered dietitian nutritionist, founder of Total Health,, and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition &Dietetics.

Talk to us

More in Life

Jeff Daniels
Actor Jeff Daniels also knows his way around the blues guitar

The Edmonds Center for the Arts will present a streaming concert by Daniels on Jan. 15.

Artists Amber and Alex Vincini sit by examples of their artwork outside their studio on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
CARES Act grant helps artists be creative — and pay the rent

The money allows Everett’s Schack Art Center to hire artists and art educators.

When harvesting an Asian pear, the best method is to taste. Asian pears will ripen on the tree. (Getty Images)
Fruit trees 101: A gardener’s CliffsNotes for growing them

If you have any interest in growing your own fruit, it’s prime time to pick up apples, plums, cherries and pears.

Scherenschnitte is a special type of German paper cutting art, and old and new examples are both seen at auctions. This modern example sold for just $40. (Cowles Syndicate Inc.)
G.B. French made this scherenschnitte in the 20th century

The Kovels were surprised French’s paper cutting art was at auction, when artwork from the 1800s is more popular.

"Diane" witch hazel produces dark copper-red flowers in winter, providing quite a show against its bare branches. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane,’ Diane witch hazel

“Diane” witch hazel produces dark copper-red flowers in winter, providing quite a show against its bare branches.

Shylah Hallam-Noel left, a worker at Queen Anne Healthcare, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Seattle, receives the second shot of the Pfizer vaccination for COVID-19, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, from a Walgreens Pharmacist, right. The facility had an outbreak of COVID-19 in May of 2020 that resulted in more than 100 positive cases among staff and residents, including Allen, and the deaths of 20 residents and two staff members. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
The tricky road to herd immunity, explained

Three researchers who study the spread of infectious disease offer a reality check on how far we’ve come — and how far we have to go.

Photo by Wes Anthony/Firehouse Creative
Lead actress Shannyn Sossamon talks with filmmakers Andrew Morehouse,center, and Nate
Bell while filming “The Hour After Westerly” at the Fort Casey Inn.
Watch film featuring Whidbey Island for free through Jan. 16

The “Twilight Zone”-esque “The Hour After Westerly” is based on a short story by Robert M. Coates.

Mead maker Jeremy Kyncl pours a tasting glass of Hawthorn Tulsi Mead, a blend of hawthorn berry and holy basil, in the new Whidbey tasting room of Hierophant Meadery. Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Whidbey Island meadery off to a sweet start

Jeremy Kyncl and Michelle Scandalis of Hierophant Meadery in Freeland brew their mead with local honey.

Next year’s Sustainable Gardening Winter Speaker Series includes a “Hummingbird Madness” class with the one and only Ciscoe Morris. (Anna Medwenitsch)
Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Home and garden events and resources around Snohomish County

Most Read