WRITTEN ON January 5th, 2011 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Cheese, Fish and Shellfish, No really, what IS for lunch?, Vegetables

I hate New Years resolutions. It seems to me that the reason we make them is because we have somehow failed in our attempts to accomplish whatever it is we’re resolving, again, to do.  Be healthy. Lose weight.  Spend less.  Excersice more. Why is it that each January, our resolutions are the exact same as last year?  Clearly we’re missing something.

Are we setting our goals too high?  I’ll be the first to admit I have some pretty unrealistic ideas about how I should look (32 and no wrinkles. Fitting into my high school jeans. Six pack abs that, even at my lightest, most fit self, I never had.) Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have high expectations, but I also think that in general, people are too hard on themselves. We live in an increasingly stressful environment.  Constant bad-news media. Around the clock communications (which is ok in some cases, not so great in others. For example, when it’s Christmas Eve and you’ve taken the day off but still have to respond to 50 work emails.)  Not enough sleep. New and discouraging health information every day. Last year, working out 30 minutes a day was what it took to be healthy. This year, it’s no less than an hour a day. The lists of what not to eat get longer and longer.  You get my point.

So this year, instead of hard and fast resolutions, why not just try to be a better you.  Forget how beauty magazines think you should look. Forget what Dr. Oz is warning will happen if you have that second cup of coffee. Try for a general mental shift. Take the stairs a couple times a week. Get up and go out for a quick walk. Try making only one serving of food per person at dinner each night (this is my downfall.  Hubster and I eat really well but we eat too much at dinner.  It’s the only time all day that we spend together, and I guess we just want to make it as joyful and long as possible, so we eat and eat.  Hey, even too much salad is too much.) Pack your lunch a couple days  a week to save some calories and some pennies (and if you do, try this to die for sandwich. Full of heart healthy fats, veggies and whole grains, and so tasty you’ll never know its health food.)

Kick off 2011 with a resolute change in attitude.  Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve had one too many glasses of wine.  Rather, do 40 sit ups to counter act it. Craving a cookie?  Have a cookie for dinner…and a salad for dessert.  Wanna work out more but hate the treadmill? Make working out fun: try a yoga class, get the whole family into Wii Fit, or go for a winter hike over the weekend. Too many hard and fast rules will only make you feel worse about yourself when you end up breaking them (and lets face it, we all do, eventually.) This year, be kind to yourself, be smart about your choices, and get your body moving.  Who knows, 2011 just might be the start of your best decade yet.

Smokey Treats

Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Sandwich (serves 1)
Two slices pumpernickel bread (preferably whole grain, preferably bakery fresh)
1 oz fresh goat cheese
1 tsp capers
1 handful fresh dill
5 thin slices cucumber
3 large arugula leaves
2 thin slices red onion
1 slice lemon
1 oz smoked salmon (whichever kind you prefer, I like Norwegian smoked salmon)
Lightly toast bread. Smear goat cheese on one side. Layer on capers, dill, cucumber, arugula, onion. Top with salmon. Squeeze lemon juice over top salmon. Top with second piece of bread. Cut in half, enjoy.

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