Our Health and Wellness Goals for 2017

Last year, a few of us here at the IFIC Foundation shared with you our New Year’s resolutions. Let’s check in to see how we did last year and make some new goals for 2017!

Megan Meyer, PhD:

In 2016 I made an early effort to step away from my desk and get outside for about 15 minutes a few times a week. Looking back on last year, I did well early on and during specific periods like if the weather was nice or if a co-worker wanted to go on a quick coffee run. However, I noticed that if it was a particularly stressful week at work or if I had a ton of deadlines to get out the door, this effort quickly went out the door. While it’s pretty obvious as to why these new healthy habits fell to the wayside during a busy time, I also think that not having more concrete goals and plans made it easier for me to ignore these efforts.

Looking ahead to 2017, I want to refine my 2016 goals by getting out on a walk at least once a week. Whether it’s blowing off some steam after a long meeting, enjoying some sun on a beautiful day, or going on a quick afternoon pick-me-up, it should be pretty easy for me to hit this once-a-week goal!

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Matt Raymond:

I made progress toward my goal last year (eating more fruits and veggies), but it was more evolutionary than revolutionary—I still have a ways to go. In particular, I did indeed buy much more frozen produce. As I write this, my freezer is stocked with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, and blueberries. Also, I’ve had some success with home meal delivery services and the fresh veggies they include. However, I’ve scaled the deliveries back a little because it’s not always easy to keep up with so many home-cooked dinners in a week.

That said, in 2017 I want to make even more progress toward that end. Cooking and incorporating more healthful foods into my routine has led not only to some good meals—I had one of the best pork tenderloins in my life the other night—but also the great social interaction that home cooking can provide. In 2016, I also did better than most other years in sticking with a more consistent gym and cardio regimen, and I hope to do even better this year!

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Laura Kubitz:

For 2016, my New Year’s resolution was to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I owe a big thanks to hummus and veggies for that one. I have a small kitchen and mini-fridge to contend with, so my options are limited. I depended mostly on carrots, sugar snap peas and green beans with hummus at lunch. I also started eating more plant-based foods at dinner. I’d say I did pretty well with my resolution.

My New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to finally expand my culinary capabilities. I enjoy cooking but don’t do it enough. I blame my tiny studio apartment kitchen. But no more! This year, I plan to try three new recipes a month, whether the recipes are for side dishes, slow-cooker concoctions or baked goods. Eating at home and planning meals can help save money and help me eat healthier! I am excited to embark on this adventure in 2017.

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Kamilah Guiden:

Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was to walk more as a means of getting more physical activity and de-stressing. I made a goal of 20 miles a week … but I didn’t exactly stick to it. I did walk a lot, especially during the warmer months. Nonetheless, I was still able to get physical activity through yoga, which is also a great way for me to de-stress. Just goes to show that you don’t have to follow your New Year’s Resolution to stick to your goal.

This year, my goal is to continually reduce food waste. In the middle of last year, I made a promise to myself that I would stop throwing out food; I started by becoming an “in-home vegetarian,” meaning that I don’t eat meat while at home. This is because I would let meat go bad while trying to figure out how I wanted to cook it.

This year, I want to take this a step further and buy "ugly" fruit and vegetables. Ugly fruits and vegetables are often thrown out because they don’t meet a certain aesthetic to be sold to groceries stories. There is nothing wrong with them, but because of this flaw, they are thrown out. I found a place that works with local farms to sell ugly produce and am getting bi-weekly deliveries, which will keep them out of landfills and in my stomach.

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Julia Dugas (dietetic intern):

For my New Year’s resolution, I want to focus on building better habits surrounding my eating patterns. I am already pretty good about portion sizes, but I want to improve on listening to my hunger cues. I plan to do this by only eating when I feel hungry and stopping when I am satisfied, even if I don’t finish everything on my plate. Instead of eating based on outside indicators, such as, “It is noon and I always eat lunch at noon,” I will listen to my body. My resolution is to eat what I am hungry for, when I am hungry for it, and only eat enough to satisfy my hunger, regardless of the portion size in front of me.

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Silvia Dumitrescu:

New Year's resolutions are always fun. This year my goal is to balance my protein intake. While trying out the flexible diet for our “Try it Tuesday” series last year, I discovered that my protein intake was low. My strategy is to add a few protein-charged snacks throughout the day (such as edamame/soybeans, mixed nuts, hummus, yogurt, cheese). Also, I’ll be keeping avocados, smoked salmon, and boiled eggs close by to add to salads or enhance a meal. Looking forward to a protein friendly 2017!