This week we are excited to have a guest entry from Erin Wanke, local Columbus health coach and vegetarian foodblogger. You can find her websites at www.feedmegreens.com or www.erinwankewellness.com. Follow her on Instagram @feed_me_greens!
We are almost two weeks into the new year, and Americans are already dropping like flies with their resolutions that seemed so reasonable on January 1st. I’m not a huge fan of coming out of the gate on New Year’s Day loaded up with unrealistic resolutions, setting yourself up for failure and disappointment when you don’t stick to the lofty goals you concocted in a buttered rum and mashed potato hangover!
The hard truth is, any lasting change will come slowly and only with small committed steps over time. As a society, we are conditioned for immediate gratification in all areas. Want to know the weather at 4pm (anywhere in the world), traffic on the way to work, the number of times a square piece of paper can be folded in half, the country with the most wine consumption per capita? You’ll find these answers within seconds on your phone. Then you can tweet them right away so your followers have it as well.
In many ways, the immediacy of information and results is amazing and helpful! But when it comes to personal growth, we have to acquire some mental stillness and patience. To get comfortable with small steps forward and the knowledge that we are moving in the right direction even when change doesn’t happen overnight.
For instance, if you are trying to cut out soda, don’t go cold turkey and set it up on some pedestal as the most delicious (but forbidden) thing. It might last for a few days but then you’ll cave and get down on yourself. Instead, commit to replacing one soda per day with water (add fruit for infused flavor or try sparkling water). Try that for a week or two and then replace another soda with water, and so on until you have replaced sodas with a better alternative. Our tastes can and do change over time!
Another example is working out. You may start the new year gung ho about maximizing your gym membership this year, only to be met with the same obstacles and excuses you had before. Instead (at any time of year, not just on 1/1!), really look at your excuses and make realistic goals to address them. Is time the issue? Start by committing to some sort of physical activity two times per week, even if it’s a 10 minute jog or a 15 minute home workout before you shower in the morning. If motivation is the issue, make a standing date with a workout buddy for a class once or twice a week, and you’ll be less likely to bow out. Small habit changes set you off in the right direction, give you the mental boost that you can do it, and motivate you to continue upping your activity. It’s a domino effect that starts with a small decision and commitment.
As for diet, my favorite way to make positive changes is not to make a list of all the “bad foods” you can’t have, but instead to make a list of all the healthy ones that you love. Then decide on meals and snacks that feature those things. In this way, you can actually get excited about what you’re eating instead of focusing on what you “can’t”. Over time, “adding in” healthy foods versus “cutting out” unhealthy ones will have the same results, but in a lasting way because you are looking at it positively.
As a vegetarian for 20+ years, I love to recommend adding in some meatless meals each week if you don’t already! I was recently able to sample all of Bellisari’s amazing spreads and sauces, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. I created the below recipes using their Blistered Fig and Jalapeno Spread and the Saigon Street Sauce. I’ll definitely be incorporating their sauces and spreads for a pop of flavor in my cooking in 2018!
Spicy Saigon Veggie Noodle Soup, makes 5 - 6 servings
The unique flavor of Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce adds the perfect amount of heat and garlic to this veggie-packed noodle soup!
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed or cooked per package instructions
1 large carrot, grated
2 heads broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 8oz package of brown rice noodles (I use Annie Chuns)
½ container Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce
7 cups vegetable broth
For toppings: chopped cilantro and thinly sliced green onion
Bring the 7 cups of broth to a light boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the brown rice noodles and cook at a gentle boil for 2 – 4 minutes (use package instructions). In the last minute of cooking, stir in the edamame and carrot.
Once the noodles are done cooking, remove from heat and stir in the Bellisari’s Saigon Street Sauce. Top with cilantro and green onion!