With the new year upon us, many people are thinking about setting “new year’s resolutions” or “new year’s intentions.” These goals, resolutions or intentions – however you want to refer to them may vary but often tend to focus on living a healthier, better life in the new year. When making changes to your diet or lifestyle it is always a good idea to consult your doctor first because they will be able to offer important guidance based on your personal health history. A naturopathic doctor will look at your comprehensive health and help guide you in the right direction to help you achieve your health and wellness goals in the new year.
When setting goals for the new year, many consider making changes to their diet or starting a variety of programs like Whole 30 or Paleo. These diets are focused on eliminating processed food and making more healthy and natural food choices. While these may offer a variety of benefits to most people, it is still wise to talk to your doctor before beginning because you are an individual with unique needs and may even benefit from running a variety of tests to determine what diet is specifically best for you. When opting for more natural, unprocessed food choices it is important to not just focus on the big meals but snacking as well. Snacking should not simply look like another large meal – rather, it is best to make “smart snacking” choices. Plan ahead to make success more achievable and pack or choose things like fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or sliced vegetables with hummus. These choices will give you the energy boost you need, help maintain your blood sugar level in a healthy way and help you stay full until your next meal without binging on other snacks like chips or candy.
In addition to making healthy food choices that involve eliminating processed food, it is important to also be physically active. This will look different for everyone but, generally speaking, the more physical activity, the better. If you are generally not physically active, start with something as simple as taking a walk. Not only is it a great way to unwind and enjoy the fresh air but it is good for your body. Others who are more physically active may set goals of exercising for 30 minutes 3-5 days per week. Physical activity is not only good for your physical health but your mental health. Additionally, adding in yoga is a low-impact way to get both physical activity, relaxation and spiritual focus incorporated into your day.
We know that physical health is important but mental health is also an important goal for the new year. Taking time out of your day to pray, meditate or just sit in silence and take time for reflection can greatly impact stress levels, help you to stay centered and help you stay focused on your goals. As we mentioned previously, before making changes it is very important to speak with your doctor. Your naturopathic doctor will focus on whole body health and even help you to uncover some of the reasons you may have struggled with achieving goals in the past such as hormonal imbalance, food sensitivities, spinal misalignments or other underlying issues. With the help of a naturopathic doctor, you can not only set health and wellness goals for the new year, but achieve them with great success.