Julie Fortenberry, RD, LDN

Do you recall the last five Januarys (or more) that you have resolved to lose 30 pounds, never eat sugar again or exercise 60 minutes each day? Only to experience frustration and defeat when February comes along and you decide thrown in the towel. Perhaps you set healthy mealunrealistic goals, didn’t feel motivated or simply didn’t care enough about your resolution to follow through with it after the “honeymoon phase” of the New Year.

Instead of swearing off certain foods completely or vowing to lose a certain amount of weight, make a promise this year to take better care of yourself in general. This could include a variety of things. Whatever you decide to be your cup of tea, do it for you and your future years not just because it is January 2015.

Try these few easy (and lasting) changes you can make to better yourself – not just on the scale!

Be aware of the foods you consume. Are you eating a variety? How does the food make you feel? When are you eating? Pay attention and see what naturally evolves. This is a step everyone must take before making beneficial changes in their lifestyle.

Eat real food at least once a day. This means fresh food vs. food from a box or package. Try to incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables and salads into your daily meals.

Don’t underestimate the value of quality sleep, which is as important as eating well and exercising. If you are not sleeping, consult your physician to find out why. Sleep is essential.

exercise• Wellness is more than just exercise and eating healthy. Mental and emotional health are important aspects of our well-being that often get overlooked.

Do something just for you every day. Between work, family and other commitments, the majority of our time is spent taking care of others. Resolve to set aside “recharge” time for yourself every day to exercise, relax, reflect, cook a gourmet dinner, write in a journal, garden, walk your pet or do an activity that you enjoy.• Keep your mind sharp by taking time to learn new things. It’s easy to stay inside our comfort zones and do “the same old, same old.” Read an interesting article, discuss a new approach with a colleague or practice a new language. Opportunities for continual learning are endless!

Take yourself a little less seriously. Play with your children/grandchildren, laugh out loud, tell silly stories, smile at a stranger, enjoy the little moments. Learn to live for right now.

Learn more about making lasting health changes at Touro’s free monthly lING Well Seminars. To view upcoming dates and topics, visit www.touro.com/events.

Fortenberry, JulieJulie Fortenberry is a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Julie believes that lifestyle changes and wholesome nutrition are obtainable, and brings real-life understanding to wellness and nutritional counseling. 

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