I’ll be honest, I can’t stand all the “New Year, New You” nonsense that makes its way across news feeds, magazine covers and into conversations every January. Really, people? We are creatures of habit. Unless we choose to break those habits with a concerted effort, we will keep going back again and again.
Oh, my, am I sounding a bit jaded? Well, it’s the truth. They say it takes around 2 weeks of repetition to form a new habit. So why does it takes us MANY times that to break it? We get comfortable. We don’t want to change. Even if we *think* we want to change, we give up when it gets hard or uncomfortable or even inconvenient.
Well, here’s the good news: change can happen, but the right tools must accompany you on your journey.
Here is what worked for me:
- Finding an important reason not to fail. This one is huge. If you are only half-hearted in your attempt, your success with be less than stellar, too.
- Finding a support system. No, this does not mean passing the responsibility of your success to others, it means laying the groundwork for keeping yourself accountable. Announcing your intentions and then setting up a contingency plan for when you are faltering is a great way to avoid pitfalls.
- Don’t drive everybody crazy! Oh, this is a tough one. I fail at this one ALL the time. It is important, though, to remember that not everyone around you wants to hear you sing the praises of your new found lifestyle. Don’t be pushy. Don’t try and convert everyone! How long did it take you decide to make a choice for yourself? Everyone needs to work in their own time.
- Be patient with yourself. Patient with what you will experience as you mourn the loss of your old, unhealthy lifestyle. Patient with the frustration you will encounter as you move into a new sphere of reality. Patient with yourself if mess up.
- Don’t give yourself an out. Patient is one thing, lenient is quite another. Set your goals and don’t budge. If you make a mistake, move on and get back to it. Don’t give yourself permission to fail.
- Find what you like and stick with it. Or at least find what works and stick with it. I can’t say I like most of the things I eat, but by golly, they work for me and I LOVE that!
One of the things I have struggled with in my new healthy eating lifestyle is the loss of some of my favorite foods. I know that veganizing a recipe usually results in disappointment, so I don’t do it often.
One of my favorite salads used to be a prosciutto, bleu cheese, apple salad with vinegarette and candied pecans. Obviously, most of those things are off the table for me now. I wanted one so I decided to try and give myself something that would help scratch the itch. I started with an oil free vinegarette from Healthy Girl’s Kitchen’s Big List of Oil Free Dressings.
I adapted this one:I didn’t have any Dijon since I finished mine up over Christmas and have yet to replace it. I also couldn’t find my Balsamic vinegar (although, I’m pretty sure I put in on the lowest shelf of my pantry instead of with the other vinegars, which is why I couldn’t find it in the rush of making dinner and trying to get my son out the door on time for youth group. Oh, well!)
I used Red Wine Vinegar, coconut aminos, and left the mustard out completely. It was good, but next time I am going to make it correctly.
I served it over a salad made with:
- Spring Mix
- Chopped Fuji and Winesap apples
- Pomegranate arils
- Chopped pecans
- Chopped walnuts
- Thinly sliced red onion
Mmmmmmm! Crisp, fresh, zingy! I can’t wait to try again with the dressing made the right way.
Until then, fight the good fight, my friends.