27 Jan 2011
When the New Year rolls around, I try not to get caught up in the resolution hoopla and instead set healthy goals and intentions for the upcoming months. Some may say “goals” and “intentions” are just other words for “resolutions” but I see them as positive changes of growth and accomplishment I can build on throughout the year, instead of seeing them as something I’m going to automatically change as soon as the calendar flips over to January 1.
Whenever I set a new goal, I break it down in my mind as well as on paper how it’ll look as I work towards achieving it. I think of how long I want to spend going for my goal, if I should break it down into micro-goals along the way, who I can count on for support, what are some obstacles I may face, and how it’ll look when I achieve my goal. I believe visualization is key when striving for a goal or positive change – if you imagine yourself achieving your goal and know what that looks like, it’s easier to keep plugging away until you get there.
This year one of my biggest health goals is to cut back on the salt. As a dietitian, I know all of the harmful effects of too much sodium in our diet. The American diet is full of processed foods and restaurant meals, which is where the majority of the sodium in our diets comes from. While I rely on processed foods pretty minimally, cook most of my food at home, and only really dine out on special occasions, one might think my diet can’t be too high in sodium. But my dirty little secret is that the salt shaker on my kitchen table has become my flavor saver for almost every meal. I add a dash or two to my veggies, sprinkle some salt in my soups, and usually find myself adding salt to a meal when I’m plating it, even if I added the amount the recipe called for.
What can I say? I’m used to that salty flavor, but I’m going to cut back. I want to train my taste buds to recognize what food tastes like in its original form. To do this, I also know I need to eat more slowly and mindfully. That’s not to say salt has no place in the diet. It certainly does enhance the flavor of so many foods. But my goal is to just cut back, and I’ve started by banishing my salt shaker to the back of the cabinet, and adding only the amount of salt recipes call for. I’ve moved my other spices – garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper – onto the kitchen table to season my meals, and I’m using more fresh herbs and spices to flavor foods without the excess sodium. So far I’m off to a good start and it is my “intention” to continue this way from now on! Have any salt reduction suggestions for me? I’d love to hear them!
JanelCheck out my latest posts here