New Year’s resolutions are common traditions, and quite often they’re related to health and fitness. I’m going to lose weight! I’m going to join a gym! I’m going to fit into my pre-baby jeans!
But what steps are good steps to take if you are looking to make 2014 a healthier year nutrition-wise? GOOD Morning Wilton spoke with Wilton-based clinical nutritionist Loryn Galardi, whose practice is known as Comprehensive Nutrition.
She says simplifying the kinds of resolutions you’re making is a key to sticking with them when it comes to your health.
“First of all, make just one resolution, and it’s important to be very specific with what you want to do. It’s important to write down your resolution, and try to make it measureable. Instead of, ‘Try to have more energy,’ what does that mean? For example, ‘I want to lower my cholesterol to under 200 points. I want to lose 10 pounds.’ Don’t make it overwhelming—start with 10, so you don’t get overwhelmed and just give up. Make it reasonable and measurable.”
Galardi also said that getting support from people in your life can help make sticking to the resolution easier.
“People say, ‘If I tell everyone and I can’t do it, I’ll be embarrassed.’ It should be the other way around. If you tell everyone, and ask for everyone’s help, you have partners in this. People are going to help you, they’re not going to impede you. It’s important to have people on your side. Enlist help, don’t try to go it alone.”
Nutrition-wise, Galardi has some simple, straightforward changes that everyone can make. She said that implementing them can take practice, but they’re good ideas for everyone, especially if you’re trying to make health a priority in 2014. We asked her for “5 Basic Nutrition Tips for 2014,” and here’s what she told us.
1. Eat as clean as you can possibly eat. If it looks the same on the tree or in the ground as it does on your plate, it’s going to be basically good for you. As opposed to processed foods and fast foods and the more convenient foods. Yes, clean foods are going to take a little extra time, to wash, to cut up – vegetables that you can snack on instead of going for chips or crackers. Taking a few more minutes in the grocery store, instead of going robotically—we’re used to getting the same old thing, we have no time, so nutritionally to make sure that you have these things in the house. Put a bowl of fruit on the table for the kids when they come home from school, instead of having the cookies, the pop tarts, the whatever.
There’s no pasta tree, there’s no bread tree, there’s no cracker tree, there’s no cereal tree. They are not foods found in nature—they’re processed foods. Clean is an apple, a potato, beef, chicken and fish. These are all real foods. Yes, if you can get organic, that’s best.
2. Fill up on as many vegetables as you can possibly consume during the day. It’s not 4-, 5-, 6-, or 10 servings—it’s as much as you can possibly eat. That’s as good as it’s going to get. Then have some fruit—not too much, but one to two servings every day. When you’re eating your fruits and vegetables you’re getting your fiber. Beans have great fiber, nuts and seeds, whole grains.
3. It’s really important to have some clean protein. I hesitate to say everything should be organic, because even I don’t do that. But I always say lean, good quality protein, like chicken, fish, beans and eggs are really important.
4. Don’t be afraid of fats. We have this old fashioned mentality that fats make us fat. Fats don’t make us fat, they keep us full. So we want to look for foods that are not “fat-free”; it’s better to get 2-percent with dairy. When you take the fat out of dairy, the naturally-occurring lactose—which is milk sugar—becomes much more prevalent. So it actually increases your blood sugar levels and your insulin levels. We want good fats, we want low-fat dairy and not no-fat dairy. We want good cold-water fish, we want good healthy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and again nuts and seeds. So don’t be afraid of fat.
5. Make sure that you’re having enough anti-oxidants, especially during the winter. It’s really important for your immune system. You get these from really good teas—any kind of herbal tea, green tea, these are the basics to look for.
Galardi offers a variety of programs that are great to help people kick-off and stick to their healthy regimens as well as work on their overall nutritional plans long-term.
“I always see people individually, not only for weight loss but for any health issues—whether that’s any gastrointestinal issues, food intolerances or allergies, IBS, bloating, acid reflux, sleep disorders and fatigue, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, pre-diabetes, any kind of hormonal imbalances, arthritis. There are so many things that nutrition can help you fight. Those individual meetings can be scheduled at a client’s convenience.”
In addition, Galardi meets with people in a group setting, for overall nutritional knowledge.
“I have a program called ‘Restyle Your Lifestyle.’ It’s an eight-week program, we meet once a week for eight consecutive weeks. It’s a group, and we go over something new every week. We talk about how to read labels, how to grocery shop, my Phase 1-2-3 healthy eating program. I give you shopping lists, sample days, recipes. We talk about supplements. Every week I do a presentation and there’s a group discussion. It’s a very effective program. It’s not just weight loss—some people use this to learn how to better feed their families, how to help their kids and their spouses.”
Galardi also runs a group program for guided nutritional change.
“I have a 28-day cleanse and detox group that is starting on Jan. 15. This is not a fast; it’s a real way to become much more mindful. We eat really cleanly, and we take out very highly intolerant foods for 28 days, and then I teach you how to put them back to see if they can work for you in your everyday life. It’s a great program.”
She added that while some people do the cleanse and detox program for weight loss, it’s also something that is helpful for people who are coming off of long-term antibiotic or chemotherapy treatment, and it’s something she highly recommends for women going through menopause. “It helps people eat better, sleep better, have more energy, and help you get your body back to higher functioning.
To contact Galardi, visit her website, loryngalardi.com, or get in touch by phone 203.451.5468 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo credit: Moments by Andrea Photography