Start a food journal to better understand your eating habits.

New Year, Renewed You: Final Check-In

Health Tips from the Natural Gourmet Institute

Now that we’ve made it through March and winter has come to an end, the start of the New Year seems like a distant memory. As resolutions begin to fade, use this time of the year to check in on the small health habits you’ve adopted to improve your overall well being.

Have these small improvements turned into habits? Have you fallen off the wagon? As the season of renewal, spring is an ideal time to learn from your mistakes, ramp things back up and document how these small improvements are making you feel.

First, I suggested ditching fad diets in favor of optimizing your plate with whole, unprocessed foods. Natural Gourmet Institute Founder Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., summed it up perfectly: “Ensuring our nutritional health is quite simple. We do so by consuming one to two servings of whole grains daily, a serving of beans and/or animal protein, plenty of vegetables of many different colors, and fruit and nuts as snacks.” Are you eating well-rounded meals?

Next, I recommended increasing your water intake to help boost skin health, stimulate digestion, flush toxins and prevent kidney damage, among many other health benefits. Are you staying hydrated?

Lastly, once you’ve checked in on these suggested improvements, start a food journal to better understand your eating habits and help identify what you are eating and drinking daily. Every food journal will look different, and nutritional needs will vary from person to person. It’s important to remind yourself that a fruit or vegetable that makes one person feel good may not make another person feel good. No one knows your body better than you.

Know that keeping a food journal goes beyond merely documenting your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ask yourself who you are eating with, what amount you are eating, when you are eating, why you are eating and where you are eating. I often notice that my digestion is poor when I eat too quickly or while under stress. How you eat matters just as much as what you eat. Accuracy and consistency with food journaling will eventually lead to knowing what makes you feel best.

Dr. Colbin understood that making good food choices could lead to a happy, healthy and productive life, and I am thrilled knowing her teachings will live on at the new Natural Gourmet Center. Keep these small improvements in mind throughout the year with your own monthly check-ins and remember that being intuitive and mindful of your unique needs leads to a healthier you.

Learn more about the connection between food and health in Health-Supportive Culinary Arts.

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