By Nisha Takhar | 4th Year Dietetics
Nisha’s passion for food, science, and helping others sparked her interest in dietetics. She is interested in exploring the social and personal connections we create with each of our food choices. Using social media as an engagement tool, Nisha hopes to facilitate access to evidence-based and trustworthy nutrition information for all.

New Year’s resolutions are hard to stick to – especially when the goals aren’t specific and well-defined (e.g. “eat better”). In fact, most people who make resolutions give up by the second week in February.

This year, instead of following fads or trying a new trend, focus on building sustainable and health-promoting habits that feel right for you. Here are three healthy eating ideas to consider this year.

1. Make vegetables and fruit part of every meal.

Include more fruits and vegetables at meals and snacks. Aim to eat at least one dark green (e.g. arugula, broccoli, gai lan, kale/collards, salad greens) and one orange vegetable (e.g. carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin or yams) each day. This is an easy guideline to follow that helps you increase your vegetable intake and meet your nutrient needs. All three of the UBC Residence Dining Rooms – Feast, Gather, and Open Kitchen – have delicious options to help you make healthy choices! Make sure you check out the sides bar for extra vegetable options.

2. Eat more fish.

Fish is a good source of protein and rich in omega-3 fats, making it an excellent choice for meals and snacks. You can buy canned fish for a quick and easy snack or fresh filets for delicious dinners in minutes (fish cooks fast!). Aim to have two servings of fish each week. Play around with different types of fish and sauces to keep things interesting. Here’s a delicious salmon recipe to help you get started.

3. Include more whole grains.

Experiment with different whole grains. You don’t have to stick to brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains are higher in fibre than refined grain products. Increasing your fibre intake can help keep you feeling full longer, reduce spikes in blood sugar, and help things “move along”. Spice things up by trying a new whole grain each week! Experiment with grains like amaranth, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, barley, oats and wild rice. Try this delicious overnight oats recipe for a quick and filling breakfast!

If one of these healthy eating ideas sounds achievable to you – try it out today! Make a SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Bound) goal; for example, including a serving of leafy green vegetables at dinner twice this week. Track your success and make new goals once you achieve past ones.

I hope these three simple tips help you in your journey to build lifelong, enjoyable and sustainable behaviours. Happy New Year!

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