Each year we make resolutions that we break before the New Year really starts. It’s because we get caught up in the peer pressure of resolutions but struggle with the follow through. In other words, we set our expectations too high and fail.
So the Hunter family isn’t making resolutions this year. Instead we’re setting achievable goals for better eating, exercise and health. And like it or not, we’re sticking to them… just don’t say resolution because it’s a dirty word.
Our first goal is to eat in more often, sitting around our own kitchen table, instead of out around restaurant tables. This is a lofty goal for a family that makes its living in the restaurant business. But we can do it because there’s strength in fours… Andrew, Marilyn, Ben and Nick.
Our second goal is to include as many colors of the rainbow in our daily diet as possible. Nutritionists say eating colorful foods is healthy because of the natural nutrients. This means more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, bean purées and lean meats. Eating the rainbow is an easy concept to follow. Here are a few ideas:
- Put out an array of little bowls with carrots, cucumbers, radishes, edamame, lightly steamed green beans and healthy dips like hummus. The different textures, colors and temperatures make for entertaining eating.
- Buy chicken tenders to grill or broil instead of whole breasts. Brush the chicken with a little oil before grilling to get more caramelization… it tastes good.
- Instead of 4- to 6-ounce burgers, make 1- to 2-ounce sliders and serve one per person along with all the other “little plates” on the table. You’ll be amazed at how satisfied you’ll be without feeling stuffed.
- Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, every day, all day.
- And drink cold water infused with cucumber and tangerine, honey and lime, or lemon and thyme.
Our third goal is to get additional protein from alternative sources. Bean purées are a great complement to lean meats and fish. Here’s a recipe that you can make on Sunday for the whole week. You can double or triple the ingredients depending on the size of your family and your appetites.
1/4 cup nonfat yogurt
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 to 3 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
3 to 4 fresh mint leaves
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and to desired thickness. Garnish with chopped parsley and cayenne pepper.
Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita bread or fresh raw vegetables.
Healthier eating and lighter eating will give you more energy later in the evening for that game of tag with the kids. And that’s really what it’s all about.
So here’s to a new year of healthy habits.
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