Break out a healthier new year

Published 7:57 am Sunday, December 28, 2014

As you begin to make your New Year’s resolutions this year, think about resolving to get away from the word “diet,” and instead focusing more on the word “lifestyle.”  The technical definition for “diet” is simply “what you eat habitually.”  However, what comes to mind when most of us think of the term diet isn’t habitual at all, but instead some form of temporary restriction in food. These restrictions can be seen in the form of of daily calories, entire foods groups (like carbs) or just as a more general grouping of foods like junk food or sweets. Regardless, the common problem with them all is that they are temporary.  They are also often measured in success by a number, whether that be in days of restriction, or what shows up after stepping on the scale. My hope this year is to rid your New Year’s resolutions of the word diet, and instead resolve to make lifestyle changes, and measure health and success in more than just numbers.

By focusing more on making lifestyle changes, a person must consider what will work for him or her on an everyday basis.  One major reason diets fail is because they don’t come in a “one size fits all.”

Think of the different factors that play a role in the foods you choose to eat and how much you eat: taste, time, stress, size of family, money, cooking skill, etc. All of these factors reflect one’s lifestyle, and changes one person can make to improve her/his everyday lifestyle may not work for the next. Therefore, it is important to find long-term strategies that can fit into your own daily routines.

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If your New Year’s resolution this year includes living a healthier, happier, easier life, I am here to help.  As a Registered Dietitian at Hy-Vee, I can provide you with the following:

Grocery shopping assistance: Call (507-437-7625) or email to set up a time to shop with me, and find ways that will work for you to live a healthier lifestyle.  Also, learn about NuVal™ our nutritional scoring system and how it can help you make informed decisions at a quick glance.

Biometric screenings with instant results which include total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, blood glucose, blood pressure, weight, waist circumference and body mass index.

Begin:  A 10-week Healthy Life Style & Weight Management Program that I will be offering throughout the year.

Cooking classes: Including a slow-cooker freezer meal class in which you can take home six different slow-cooker ready meals.  Our chef and I will do the grocery shopping, provide the supplies for prep and even do the cleanup. “Like” our Facebook page or check Austin’s Hy-Vee website for upcoming events.

Meal solutions: I can provide you with recipes for special diets or the current season, like this recipe for Beef and Barley Soup which is sure to warm up any occasions this winter.

Beff and Barley Soup

Beff and Barley Soup

Serves 11 (1 cup each)

 All you need

•1 tsp Hy-Vee Select olive oil

•2 cloves garlic, minced

•1 medium white onion, diced

•1 stalk celery, diced

•1 pound bottom round steak, cubed

•1 quart reduced-sodium beef broth

•1 (15 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

•1 (12 oz) can spicy V-8 juice

•1/2 cup pearled barley

•1 cup frozen Hy-Vee green beans

•1 cup chopped carrots

•1 cup chopped parsnips

 All you do

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil. Add garlic, onion and celery; sauté until tender. Add steak and cook over medium-high heat until browned.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, juice, barley, green beans, carrots and parsnips. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 1 hour.

Source:  Hy-Vee Seasons Healthy Living Recipes Cookbook.

The information is not intended as medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.