New Years: Challenge Accepted!

I’m talking about the all time hardest challenge. At least, for me personally. I’m talking about the sugar challenge! The goal is to have 15 grams or less a day. This may sound easy, like all you have to do is skip dessert, but my normal go to breakfast sabotaged me yesterday with jam, toast, and oatmeal that has dried dates mixed in. The only thing that didn’t put me in the pit was my innocent twin eggs, which my food log got upset over for the sake of the calories. Which I guess isn’t too big of an issue, since I’m logging my food in for the sugar, not calorie, count. But to have all of my sugar for the day stuffed into one innocent meal… It felt impossible! I didn’t even have some egg nog.

New Year`s resolutions are difficult to keep. (even my nail resolutions aren`t going perfectly!) You make them up when you are on vacation, and surrounded by resolution breaking goodies as well as a vacation that doesn`t help you develop the habits you need to survive during your normal schedule. Let`s face it, resolutions are hard. And by now, they are probably broken for you. Don`t feel bad- most resolutions seem to inevitably fail in the first month. Most people won`t revisit those goals until about April, when they are ready to do desperate last minute actions to be fit and pretty by the time Summer, and swim suit, season has rolled around.

We can change that! You, me, and some accountability on this here blog. Let`s keep each other on track!

I have some brilliant plans to do exactly that. Just like procrastinators are told to break a big project down into bite sized tasks, we are going to make a step by step plan that can be slowly instituted throughout the year. After all, if you made a resolution about it, it is probably something you`ve put off doing before. We can change that!

You can see my plan, and maybe get some ideas for yourself: (the links go to blogs, or something in that vein)

January: cut ten grams of sugar off your daily total (this requires s few weeks of logging your daily sugar grams first, to see how much you need to cut!)

February: eat a handful of whole (non juiced, smoothie-d, or otherwise changed) veggies at every meal. I was going to specify salad, but honestly if it`s a vegetable why does it matter what variety it is? Taking baby steps, baby. I am aiming for darker greens than wimpy iceberg lettuce, if it makes you feel better.

March: finish two water bottles a day, sip by sip. We were running out of reusable options at home, so we found a few colorful ones on sale at Costco (in store only)- and I absolutely love them! You don`t make a loud slurping noise when drinking and this thing doesn`t drip when held completely upside-down. Contigo water bottles

April: daily dinnertime stroll. I say evening because there are other people in the house to walk with, and I get lonely all by myself!

May: Start a morning jog routine. I think around the block, alternating between going up the big hill and going down the other day, should be a good system.

June: I am going to be a counselor at a Summer camp. The thing about seasonal jobs is that they put a lot more work in a lot less time, so my goal for this month is to keep up the good work!

July: Quick jog every morning. I`m not talking about anything serious, I`m just saying that you can pick your feet up a bit from one end of the block to the other, and maybe throw in the ‘hill’ around the corner for good measure. I`ll still be doing camp stuff, so I`ll be running around then, so I`ll end up doing a lot more running than I`ve been doing since May.

August: have a salad every day. I`m pretty flexible about what constitutes a salad, and basically means having a meal that is 90% vegetative, not including starches and stuff. (so no, I don`t count baked potatoes as a salad. That would be crazy!)

September: add some  to your diet. I`m always vigilant to prevent adding any food allergies, because gluten free is already restrictive enough! Using game meats and wild vegetables you forage can help achieve the goal!

Type of Food Good `ole boys Some alternatives for variety!
Red Meat Beef Venison, bison, alpaca, sheep
Poultry Chicken, turkey Ostrich, duck, quail, goose
Eggs chicken Duck, goose, flax, chia*
Root Veggies (Starchy) potatoes Yucca, parsnip, sweet potato, Asian yam**

*these are vegetarian alternatives to egg, and are best used in baked goods. Tofu is a better choice for cooking eggs, such as in a tofu scramble.

** Asian yams are super different from American sweet potatoes. I don`t care what the label in the super market says, unless you are in an Asian specialty store it is lying and not a yam. I mean, it`s still not a potato, and therefore a viable alternative, but still. It is the anti-sweet potato! Muhahahaha yamness. 🙂

September: plan every weekday lunch and dinner. (The kids, and you, can make do with eggs and toast or oatmeal being constantly cycled for breakfast.) I like to use the app pepper plate for this. If you plan it ahead of time, it is way more likely to be healthy, to avoid going out to eat and spending money/calories, and and you will get less cravings knowing that your next meal will be in just x-minutes.

October: Cut another ten grams off your daily sugar total. I say stop at about 15 grams, just because it is a low number you can keep up with while also having a social life. If you go lower, you`d be thinking about it all the time, and that would probably also make your cravings go up!

November: Take up some indoor sports. I happen to be taking a volleyball class in the Spring semester, so all I`ll need to do is find a group to join, or gather some friends, to get together and play some walleyball twice a week. (with two days of strength training thrown in to balance it out!)

December: Plan ahead! The holidays, as we just saw, are chock full of dangerous pitfalls, including your favorites sweets and treats. Decide to have one treat a day as your max, and plan before each party which food is worth the splurge. For example, if they are serving stale cookies out of the box, forgeddaboutit! But if it is those amazing fresh cookies no one but that one friend can make, go for one!

I recorded this plan in the Fliq Notes app, and set dates for it in the Conqu app. There may be other, better apps available, but I like free apps- and I can only use the apps in the Nook Android market, because that`s all I get access to. I could get a converter thingie, but that would waste memory. Then I might have to put one of my beloved books in the archives!

I`ve done a pretty good job with the sugar thing so far. I`ve gotten it down to about twenty. I`ve noticed I really start to feel the sweet tooth coming on strong when I skimped on my veggies, so I`m working on increasing that. And fiber. Apparently, I am supposed to be having thirty grams of fiber per day. So far I`ve gotten to about… twenty, and that was after having three salads yesterday, and a physillium shake! I`m not sure I`ll be able to push that number up much more. I think what I need to look into now is improving the quality of that fiber- I`ll admit a lot of that salad was much closer to neon green than healthy dark greens.

So now I`m asking you: what have you done to follow your New Year`s resolutions? Were your resolutions based on health, or did you look into fashion or nail resolutions like I did? I`ve heard some people make moral or even personality resolutions in the New Year, like being a more forgiving or cheerful person. What are your goals for 2013?

You can also answer my questions, ask your own, and leave feedback at my brand spanking new Twitter account, @TheGreatZambini


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