Ringing in 2013: A Happy, Healthy Body Plan for the New Year and Beyond

Okay, folks. It’s 2013. Let’s get this new year off to a healthy start! C’mon … let’s get off our butts and do this thing! We’re going to eat right at every meal! We’re going to exercise every day! C’mon … let’s do this!

Hmm, that much enthusiasm not working for you? Yeah, me neither.

But, it is a new year, and therefore, it’s naturally a good time to recommit to a healthy lifestyle … and that’s just what The Chef and I are doing. Now, we’re already pretty good about making healthy food choices — we cook many meals at home using whole, real foods and we always steer clear of fast food — but with the whirlwind that was our 2012, focusing on a well-rounded healthy lifestyle wasn’t a priority … and to say that we did our fair share to support the local food scene here in St. Louis would be an understatement. Throw in the fact that neither of us loves to exercise, and well, let’s just say we’re ready. It’s a new year, we’re in our new home … it truly is the perfect time.

But, haven’t we been down this road before, you ask? Of course we have. We all have. But just because we’ve fallen off the wagon before — perhaps many times before — doesn’t mean we can’t get on again. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true … if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. We’re all human. We do the best we can and sometimes it falls short … but try enough and eventually it will work.

And when it works, it really works. When The Chef and I truly focus on eating the healthiest foods we can, we feel better. We have more energy. We’re happier. It’s really that simple. What isn’t simple though? Keeping it going. Making the right choices day after day after day. Turning a few weeks of healthy eating into a way of life. But, we’re getting back on the wagon and trying again.

I took a look back at our prior attempts to focus on healthy eating (umm, hereand hereand here), and the truth is, we’re still following the guiding principles we previously set forth for us. But, too much of a good thing can also be a problem, so portion control is going to be priority for us this time around. The same goes for exercise … healthy eating alone isn’t going to cut it.

We all know that it’s not enough to just eat well … taking care of your body in other ways is just as important. And so, without further ado, here’s our “Happy, Healthy Body” plan* for 2013 … and beyond! (I think #12 is the most important, don’t you?)

Happy Healthy Body Plan

Of course, The Chef and I will also continue to choose local, organic, and sustainable food whenever possible — that’s one aspect of our lifestyle that never waivers. (Our recent order of heritage pork and grass-fed beef from Mac’s Local Buys should make this pretty easy too). And don’t be surprised if you find the occasional recipe here at Rhubarb and Honey that breaks the rules completely … remember, my culinary style can best be described as 80% “fresh / local / sustainable” and 20% “nostaligic / somewhat bad for you / everything in moderation!”

So, how are The Chef and going to keep our happy, healthy bodies on track?

First and foremost, we’re going to set realistic goals for ourselves. Getting back to my driver’s license weight any time soon? Not realistic! Losing 10% of our weight as a start? Realistic! We’re also going to meal plan each week and keep track of what we’re eating with a food diary. We’ve done both of these in the past, and not only does it keep you accountable, it’s great for your wallet too. Finally, we’re going to weigh ourselves once a week — no more and no less — just to make sure we’re moving in the right direction. Oh, one more thing. We’re not going to beat ourselves up if we take a misstep … remember, we’re all human!

Okay, readers. Did you make any “happy, healthy body” resolutions this year? Let me know in the comments … and tell me how you’re planning to achieve your goals!

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*Disclaimer: While I do hold a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and while I’ve done significant personal research into healthy eating and lifestyle habits, I am not a doctor nor a registered dietician. The “Happy, Healthy Body” plan I’ve outlined above includes things that have worked for The Chef and I in the past, and I’m sharing that with you. Before starting any weight-loss or exercise program, please consult your doctor or other health care professional.

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  • WSIEFBT

    You are so right, being healthy is a hard job. Your list is on my screen saver, thank you. I hope it will help me to avoid kebabs and snickers :D
    Marta @ What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?

    • http://rhubarbandhoney.com/ Kimberly

      I’m so glad our plan may be helpful to you too, Marta … and I think I need to come up with some healthy kebabs now! And can I just say too … I love your blog! Your posts and photos are absolutely delicious!

  • kitchenriffs

    Good tips. That portion control is really important. Getting older is mainly a good thing, but one of the bummers is as you age, even if you exercise more your metabolism does slow down. So you need less fuel (food). The good part is that even if you eat less, you can make sure it’s really good stuff! Quality over quantity is my motto this year. Good luck with your goals!

    • http://rhubarbandhoney.com/ Kimberly

      Quality over quantity … totally agree!

      The other night, The Chef and I made some whole-wheat pasta, which had a serving size of 2 ounces per person. I weighed out 4 ounces for the two of us, and it just looked like it couldn’t be near enough. And as it cooked, it still looked like it was so little pasta. But … when we split it in half and topped it with a homemade heritage pork ragu, it was the perfect amount for us to be fed and satisfied!

      It’s amazing how the American diet has totally skewed our view of just how much food we should really be eating!

  • http://twitter.com/stacyELTblog Stacy Anderson

    We’ve been making some diet changes in our house too. What we found was that it wasn’t so much the food itself, but how much we were eating. Also, we’re definitely decreasing meat portions and increasing veg. Meat now makes up 1/3 of the plate or less, and often isn’t there at all. Also, lots of green smoothies. We both feel great! Good luck to you guys :)

    • http://rhubarbandhoney.com/ Kimberly

      Yep, portion size is so, so important! See my reply to kitchenriffs below … it truly is amazing to see what a “true” portion size should be!

      The biggest portions on our plate now is greens and veg too … just a few ounces of protein and some whole grains make up the rest … and it feels go to!

      Thanks for stopping by, Stacy!

  • Eat Laugh Love

    Your approach seems very practical and common sensical. Interesting read in the USA Today this morning that more people are not “dieting,” instead following their own approach to weight loss. When we started on our new eating plan last spring, the kitchen scale was key, and four ounces of a lean protein is really a fine portion when the plate is filled with veggies (and we rarely eat even whole grain carbs). Good luck. Can’t wait to follow your progress!

    Denise

  • http://www.culicurious.com/ Addie K Martin

    Sounds like a great plan!! Putting it out there and making concrete goals is a great way to hit the ground running. Looking forward to more great recipes!! :)

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