The New Year is full of possibilities, opportunities and time. We embrace its distant horizon with arms wide-open, full of energy, desire and passion to achieve our goals. The goals start out as resolutions and seem to fall by the wayside by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. Resolutions to lose weight, to manage money better, to make more time for you, to get that promotion, to workout regularly, to eat healthy always.
The challenge with New Years resolutions is exactly that – it’s a resolution. An intention to do something new from that day forward, or a firm decision to break a habit that’s likely become a routine. With such a concrete approach, the second you falter, it all too quickly just too far out of reach to accomplish in the year. Maybe next year. Well, giving up or making concessions just isn’t our style!
Set yourself up for success this year and try making five small changes to your habits rather than committing to tall-order resolutions. When you set realistic expectations of yourself, it’s much easier to hold yourself accountable, but more importantly get you on track towards those big ticket New Year’s resolutions.
1. Eat Organ Meats Once a Week
Yes I’m talking about Liver (Chicken, Beef), Giblets (Chicken, Turkey), Kidney, Beef Tongue and if you’re feeling ready – Heart. Organ meats have been eaten for centuries and contain more nutrients and minerals than any other meat1. BONUS: they’re almost always cheaper than other meats, so you can save a few bucks as well. Two resolutions in one – this year’s starting out great already!
2. Wash and Prep Your Vegetables
Do this as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Why unload all the groceries from your reusable bags, into the fridge, and then take it all out again to wash, cut, dice, and slice. Save yourself the time and get them ready when you get home. This will make cooking time shorter, and you have healthy snacks ready to go whenever you might need to grab them or munch on them at home. Time management, healthy snacking. Check, check.
3. Double the Recipe
When you’re cooking dinner, double all the ingredients as if you’re cooking for more than yourself, your partner or the family. When you’re ready to serve, grab a sealable glass container (or two) and dish out dinner for it as well. Let it cool at room temperature and store in the fridge. This guarantees you’ve got something nutritious to take for lunch to work the next day, or a ready to go home cooked meal when you need it most. The trick is to not eat it just because its there when you’re eating dinner!
4. Get the Tech out of Your Bedroom
TVs, iPods, laptops, tablets, cell phones. Out. This will likely be the biggest change and toughest habit to break, but it’s so worth it! Sleep REM cycles are impacted from light pollution at night and have serious adverse effect on health2. We’ve all experienced irritability, inability to focus and exhaustion from a lack of sleep. Why purposely make it difficult for our brain and body to get the rest it needs to perform best?
5. Add Turmeric to your Spice Cabinet
This is the simplest habit to add and it’s full of health benefits. Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory for centuries in Asian culture, and recently been linked to decreased symptoms of IBS.3 Turmeric has strong antioxidant properties and is easy to add to any recipe – why not give our Dried Lime Chicken a try! With just a pinch of turmeric you’ll release a burst of flavor and a delectable golden punch to your dish. Keep it next to the pepper and add to soups, stews, salads, marinades, even smoothies.
And just like that you’re making a few small changes (five to be exact) to get healthy, eat better, get more sleep, have more free time and even save some money along the way. Just think, this might be the best year yet.
Sanja Jovanovic is a co-founder of PALEO WIRED – a site dedicated to GATHER the best and latest paleo recipes & information to share with you, to inspire you to EAT the deliciousness of those recipes and creations and to REPEAT each day. Because we’re all going to eat something anyway, might as well make it something that our bodies will thank us for!
 Wahls, Terry, Adamson, Eve. The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine. New York: Penguin Group; 2014. 432 p.
 Cho JR1, Joo EY, Koo DL, Hong SB. Let there be no light: the effect of bedside light on sleep quality and background electroencephalographic rhythms. Sleep Med. 2013 Dec;14(12):1422-5. PMID: 24210607.
 McCann MJ, Johnston S, Reilly K, Men X, Burgess EJ, Perry NB, Roy NC. The effect of turmeric (Curcuma longa) extract on the functionality of the solute carrier protein 22 A4 (SLC22A4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) variants associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Nutrients. 2014 Oct 13;6(10):4178-90. PMID: 25314644.