Sunday, January 13, 2013

Resolutions! It's that time of year again...

With the new year beginning there seems to be this inevitable need for change. I think it’s great that people are so driven at this time to reflect on their lives and the past year and want to improve upon it, but sadly most of the time we fail.


Because we’re human. And we’re flawed.

And despite these past failures we make these resolutions, these promises to change, year after year.

I don’t usually make resolutions. Of course there are aspects of my life that need improvement and I want to continue to grow and mature, but I don’t think making huge goals for the year is necessarily the only way to go about it. So instead I decided to pick an area or 2 and start with small goals that build upon each other, like a stair case. That way it’s not an all or nothing kind of deal, but rather laying a good foundation of behaviors that result in a new (and improved) habit.

And this year one of the areas of my life that I want to focus on is food. Don’t you just love food?? I sure do! So much of our day, our lives in fact, is focused on food - it’s amazing! So I thought, since I love food why not dig a little deeper into what I’m (and most Americans) eating. And the results of my research have been quite astonishing.

I never knew the amount chemicals, additives, and artificial junk that I have been consuming for years and years. Some of you reading this might be thinking the same thing…or maybe you’ve never even given it any thought. I was the same way. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with cancer (the reason this blog began) that I changed my diet. I cut out all sugar, drastically increased my veggie intake, and took horse pill size vitamins daily. This was when my fascination with food and it’s affect on my body started!

Now almost 4 years later and I’m still learning about the things you and I consume on a daily basis. My change in eating habits began to slide back to the way they were before I had cancer, once I was in remission. And although I still consume a large amount of veggies and don’t drink soda, I eat way more packaged and processed foods then I would like. Ideally I would like the number to be 0, but knowing that isn't possible at the moment, being a college student and all, I figured I might as well start somewhere. And that brings me back to these small and achievable goals I mentioned. I want to start by eating 1 meal a day that consists of truly real food and track my success and failures of this endeavor along the way. To know what I mean by “real food” check out this link. This site is one of the main blogs that I read on a daily basis and she makes eliminating processed food not seem so daunting.

I encourage you to consider a real food challenge this coming year as well. And if 1 whole meal is to intimidating to start with, try 1 snack a day for a while and then up it to the meal. Maybe instead of having those chips from the vending machine after lunch everyday brink a sliced apple with peanut butter (that only contains peanuts and/or salt) twice a week. And I would also suggest getting educated about what you’re eating. Pick something from your pantry and read the ingredients label. If there is something on it that you can’t pronounce or just don’t know what it is, google it. You will be amazed at what you find out!

I’ll end this rather long post with a quick update. I’m currently 42 months cancer free and in my first year of the online Bachelor’s Program for Psychology at the University of Wyoming. I am eager to see where I go and what I learn in 2013!

I wish you all plenty of sunshine and smiles in this new year!