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New Year, New Start? Love the energy, but let's take it slow.

It is the New Year and fresh off of the holiday season. Many people are ready to start eating clean and exercising. Some are looking to become more relaxed and are looking into trying yoga and meditation classes. It is easy to say "I am actually doing this, this year!" but how do we go about making it a commitment? First, let's be honest with ourselves. We just consumed an overwhelmingly amount of sugar (most of us have been since the Halloween candy hit the stores) and engaged in unhealthy habits because "it's the holidays!" Our bodies have been living off that sugar and craving it for at least over a month. So how do we go about eating healthy again? Our bodies will continue to crave it and our minds will want to slip back into those eating habits again.

Let's take it slow. Here are some tips to help you start off your new year:

1. Take it slow. Instead of going cold turkey and stop eating all "bad" foods completely, ADD in more vegetables to your meals. The more often you add the vegetables, the more you will begin to change your cravings and lessen your need for the sugar foods.

2. Focus on one thing at a time. If you find that your resolution list is more than one, try and focus on one thing at a time. Put each item in order of what you want to change first. If exercise is number one on your list, ADD in a walk once or twice a week to your daily routine. Making a goal to go to the gym 3-4 times a week when you have not exercised in months, is most likely setting you up for failure. Make realistic goals. There are 365 days in a year. MAKE EACH ONE COUNT TOWARD BUILDING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

3. Clean out your refrigerator. The best way to start fresh is to clean out your frigerator. Start by discarding any holiday leftovers and any condiments that you have not used in a while. Wipe down the shelves and drawers with a mixture of vinegar and water (avoid using harmful chemicals like Clorox Bleach sprays because those can be absorbed into your foods). Organize your items and make lots of room for those veggies!

4. "I don't do resolutions." If this is something you have said or thought in the past week, it is okay. Many people find that New Years resolutions do not work or are a waste of time. If that is the case, try and ADD something new to your life. What is something you have wanted to do but have not gotten around to yet?

5. Invite a friend. When you are setting a new goal, it is always helpful to have a friend, spouse, family member, etc. to help you reach that goal. If they are along for the ride with you, it will be easier to achieve your goals with their support and sense of teamwork.

Remember to TAKE IT SLOW. Avoid negative comments toward yourself and your progress. Changing your lifestyle takes time, patience, and acceptance with who you are. Don't forget to ask for help and always believe in yourself=)

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