Happy New Year Everyone!
In this issue of The Quest:
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Not surprisingly, resolving to lose weight is the number one New Years resolution we make. Frustrated by bad habits like overeating or living a sedentary lifestyle, many of us vow to change come January 1st, promising to make amends with our turkey dinner-indulged bodies. Its discouraging to think that an astounding 95% of all diets ultimately fail and by springtime, our New Years resolutions are often as dead as the passing winter.
Resolutions are fragile young seedlings, pure intentions carrying unlimited potential that must be nurtured and tended to with daily attention. With blazing inspiration, we plant our seeds today but in the coming weeks, many of us forget to water them. In order to stick to our resolutions, we must pinpoint why we are making these goals in the first place. Being aware of our motivation, we help connect desire to action. How do you do this?
Take your January resolutions (if you dont have any written down, the time is now) and for each fitness or health-related goal you have made for yourself, write down why you exactly want to reach this goal. Ask yourself, Why do I really want this? Whats in it for me? What am I willingor unwillingto do? How will I feel if I reach my goal? How will I feel if I dont? Weight loss success hinges on convincing yourself this is a worthwhile goal. If youre not truly convinced, youll find yourself taking the easy road. When temptation rears its ugly head, youll revert to the instant gratification unhealthy food or inactivity seductively offers.
SMART Goal Setting
The next necessary step is to create an effective action plan; a SMART plan for each of your resolutions. Take each one of your goals and break them down into this simple but effective recipe. In the example below, Ive taken the resolution or desire to get in better shape and made a specific, tangible and accountable action plan. Each week you review your progress and make any necessary adjustments.
Like the seasons, our journey towards health is a continuous process of renewal and change. One of the most important secrets to keeping New Year's resolutions is to take the process of change one day at a time and choosing activities that nurture who you are in body, mind, and spirit. By making small changes throughout the year, come next January you may not need to make the resolution to lose weight after all.
3. Tips for Vegetarians from Dr. Weil
It's perfectly possible to be healthy on a vegetarian diet. In fact, vegetarians have a lower incidence of heart disease and cancer than people who include meat in their diets. While the type of vegetarian you are will affect the types of nutrients you need, here are some general guidelines:
Pay attention to your calcium intake: The best vegetarian sources are sesame seeds, collards, broccoli, sea vegetables, and tofu that is coagulated with calcium. You can also buy calcium-fortified orange juice and soymilk. If you're still concerned, take a calcium supplement. Dr. Weil recommends 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg a day for women, and up to 1,000 mg a day for men. Look for calcium citrate, because it is the most easily assimilated (and its inexpensive). Be sure to complement your calcium with half as much magnesium.
If you're a vegan, you'll want to make sure you get plenty of vitamin B12 (through fortified soy milks or cereals or supplements).
Some vegetarian diets are deficient in zinc and iron. Vegetarian sources of iron are dried beans, prunes, figs, raisins, molasses, and dark, leafy green vegetables.