How to Keep Your Resolutions
E-Mail to a Friend Print Article Comment Smaller Larger Share on Facebook
Let's face it. Despite the best of intentions, most health-oriented New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside long before February rolls around. So, what's the secret to keeping your resolution to shape up and eat better?
To find the answer, we sought some expert advice from local personal trainers, nutrition consultants and dietitians. Here's what they had to say about battling the January bulge and keeping those fitness, nutrition and weight loss resolutions on track.
“First and foremost, don't set super high goals,” says Lynn Augustino, a registered dietitian with the Barrie and Community Family Health Team. “It has been well-documented that unrealistically high goals almost guarantee failure. Rather than an ‘all or nothing' approach, focus on small, achievable goals to gain motivation.”
For example, instead of completely overhauling your current lifestyle with promises to exercise for an hour every day, go on a low-calorie diet, stop consuming sugar and alcohol and committing to losing five pounds a week – be realistic. “One change versus an entire makeover is the message,” she explains.
Take smaller, more attainable steps such as avoiding sugar, getting extra exercise or even committing to maintaining your weight rather than gaining extra pounds. “Successful weight loss is like a combination lock,” explains Augustino. “As you make little changes, something clicks and it starts working for you.”
Studies have shown that just two weeks into a new year, 30 per cent of people who resolved to change their lifestyle have throw in the towel. And despite good intentions, only about 8-per-cent succeed in achieving their resolution.
The local dietitian also advises you not to focus on the scale. “Focus on behaviour, instead.”
Some of her tips include sitting less, getting more sleep, eating more vegetables, eating breakfast, eating less processed food, preparing and eating home cooked meals, no meal skipping, eating at the table, never eating in front of the TV, always eating earlier than 8 p.m. and using smaller plates. »
“There was actually a study done that proved people will eat less and lose weight if their plates are smaller,” explains Augustino. “It makes sense, because today's dinner plates tend to be oversized.” She adds: “Eighty per cent of healthy weight loss is behaviour change.” 
What about fad diets?
“While they can be a temporary fix, most of them are too restrictive and not sustainable,” she explains.
And she offers up stats to back up the point. According to the National Weight Loss Registry, 75 per cent of people start and stop their diet in less than a year, and 97 per cent of people regain their lost weight over five years, and only 3-per-cent are able to keep a 10-per-cent or more weight loss over five years.
Rather than a restrictive diet that focuses on numbers, opt for an all-encompassing healthy lifestyle change, she advises. This message is part of the current Health at Every Size (HAES) movement ( Very simply, it acknowledges that good health can best be realized independent from considerations of size.
HAES equates success and happiness to decreasing your risk of disease, rather than focusing on the scale. “For example, for most people, all it takes is a 5-per-cent drop in weight loss to achieve benefits to your cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.”
Sleep is also a big part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Lack of sleep plays a huge role with respect to weight gain,” she explains. “If you are sleep-deprived, you will crave foods that are higher in energy and sugar to help you stay awake. And that's a problem for many people because we live in a sleep deprived society.”
Sleep is so important to maintaining a healthy weight that some studies have shown that a sleep-deprived person should choose extra ZZZs over squeezing in some exercise.
“One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to dieting is starting a diet in the first place,” says Jody Dawson, a Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit public health dietitian. “There is no one diet that works. It's not the diet that works. It's you. Another mistake is forgetting to be active.”
Dawson believes healthy eating is a way of life. Instead of focusing exclusively on weight loss, focus on preventative healthy outcomes like reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and more.
“Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight also helps you to feel good about yourself and gives you more energy to enjoy life!”
Healthy eating also means getting back to basics, says Lesley McMullin, also a public health dietitian at Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. She tells people to eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains, along with more high-fibre meat alternatives like nuts, seeds, lentils and legumes. “Whole foods such as these are naturally satiating whereas processed foods tend to be higher in tasty sugar and sodium that can trick us into eating more than we need,” she explains.
Be a mindful eater. “Pay attention to your body and hunger signals,” advises McMullin. “Eat when you're hungry and not because someone is offering food to you, such as samples at stores or friends offering food when you visit.” Avoid skipping meals, especially if you are heading to a party.
“If you're going to make New Year's resolutions, make sure they are motivating and don't leave you feeling deprived,” says McMullin. “Focus on making small changes, such as enjoying more fresh fruit and vegetables, always make time to destress and re-energize with physical activity.”
And, Dawson says, get outside and enjoy the snow while being active with family and friends.


Recipe and photo courtesy of Ontario Turkey

Mild spicy sauce is filled with lean Ontario turkey to make an Indian favourite that is perfect served over fluffy basmati rice.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup (125 mL) plain nonfat yogurt
3 tbsp (45 mL) ground almonds
2 tbsp (25 mL) minced fresh ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
Pinch each ground cinnamon and cloves
1 large boneless skinless Ontario turkey breast (about 2 lb/1 kg), chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh cilantro

In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, ginger, almonds, garam masala, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in turkey to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
In large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat and cook onion, garlic and cayenne for about 4 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in turkey mixture and cilantro. Cook, stirring for about 12 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink inside. Makes 8 servings.
Tip: Garam masala is a blend of ground spices that has an intense flavour for this recipe. It can include a variety of peppercorns, cloves, mace, cumin, cardamom and nutmeg to name a few. It has a great blend of sweet and savoury spices to create warmth in the dish.
Ground almond substitution: You can substitute fine dry breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour for the almonds if there is a nut allergy. The almonds help thicken the sauce.
Freezer Friendly: Feel free to freeze any leftovers for up to 2 weeks in individual containers to warm up for an easy dinner or lunch.

Per serving:
  About 216 cal, 29 g pro, 5 g total fat (2 g sat fat), 13 g carb, 3 g fibre, 65 mg chol, 222 mg sodium.  %RDI: iron 21%, calcium 8%, vit A 5%, vit C 20%


Recipe and photo courtesy of Ontario Turkey

Looking for something different for dinner? This recipe will be perfect! The quinoa crisps up while roasting in the oven while keeping the turkey moist and juicy. The fresh tomato salsa gives it a lift in flavour and colour too.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup (125 mL) quinoa, rinsed
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder
1/2 cup (125 mL) turkey or vegetable broth
1/2 cup (125 mL) orange juice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2 pkgs (215 g each) Ontario turkey breast fillets
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup (50 mL) diced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Half jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
1 tbsp (15 mL) cider vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

In saucepan, combine quinoa, chili powder, broth, juice and half of the salt; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat; cook for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Using fork, fluff quinoa into shallow dish.
Combine remaining salt with flour and dredge turkey fillets in mixture, shaking off excess. Dip into egg letting excess drip off. Press turkey into quinoa turning to coat well, patting to help it stick on turkey. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast in 425°F (220°C) oven for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is golden brown and turkey is no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, in bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, vinegar and salt; stir to combine. Serve with turkey fillets.
{Makes 4 servings}

Per serving:  About 270 cal, 28 g pro, 5 g total fat (1 g sat fat), 27 g carb, 3 g fibre, 99 mg chol, 433 mg sodium.  %RDI: iron 28%, calcium 5%,
vit A 7%, vit C 62%


Recipe and photo courtesy of Ontario Veal Appeal

This simple stew is bursting with the sweet flavour of root vegetables, complemented by the mild taste of tender Ontario veal. The late addition of the carrots, parsnips and turnips allows them to retain their fresh flavour and form. Serve with crusty whole grain bread and a glass of your favourite red wine.

2 tbsp    (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) each salt and fresh cracked pepper, divided
1 lb (500 g) stewing Ontario veal           
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil               
2 cups     (500 mL) chopped onion           
1 cup (250 mL) chopped celery           
1 cup (250mL) chopped leeks           
2 cloves garlic, smashed               
2 bay leaves                   
2 sprigs fresh thyme               
1 sprig rosemary                   
1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine           
2 cups (500 mL) veal or chicken broth           
2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces       
2 parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces           
1 cup (250 mL) turnip, cut into 1-inch pieces       
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 F (160 C).
In bowl or resealable bag, toss flour and half the salt and pepper with veal until completely coated.
In large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown veal on all sides, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer veal to plate. Stir in onion, celery and leeks, cooking until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, remaining salt and pepper, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in broth and return veal to pan. Bring to simmer.
Cover and transfer to oven for one hour. Add carrots, parsnips and turnip, stirring to combine. Cover and return to oven until vegetables are tender and veal is fork tender, about 1 hour.
Serve with a green salad and crusty whole grain bread to soak up the yummy sauce.
{Makes 4 to 6 servings.}

Per serving: about 260 cal, 18 g pro, 7 g total fat (1.5 g sat fat) 23 g carb, 5 g fibre, 65 mg chol, 700 mg sodium, 1 mcg B12, 2 mg iron, 3 mg zinc. %RDI: iron 10%, calcium 8%, vit A 100%, vit C 45%, B12 18%, zinc 20%


Recipe And Photo Courtesy Of Ontario Veal Appeal

This open-faced hot sandwich, served up with a mixed greens salad is perfect to serve guests at lunch or for a light dinner. Enjoy the ease of quick cooking scaloppini in a new way with some great mediterranean flavours.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 12 Minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) all purpose flour
1 Tsp (5 ml) dried thyme leaves
1/4 Tsp (1 ml) freshly ground pepper
4 Ontario veal scaloppini (about 10 oz/300 g)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup (250 ml) halved grape tomatoes
1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh italian parsley
1 Clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (15 ml) aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 Cup (60 ml) crumbled ontario goat cheese
2 Ciabatta buns, halved and toasted

In a shallow bowl, combine flour, thyme and pepper. Dredge both sides of scaloppini into flour mixture letting excess fall off.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and brown veal on both sides.  Place on parchment or foil lined baking sheet; set aside.
In a bowl, stir together tomatoes, parsley, garlic and vinegar. Spoon evenly over top of scaloppini. Sprinkle with goat cheese and broil about 6 inches (15 cm) from broiler for about 3 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and serve on ciabatta halves. Yield/servings: 4 sandwiches


• For the rounded half of the bun,
trim some of it to ensure it lies flat when serving.

• Look for aged balsamic vinegar in your grocery store, it has a more syrupy consistency. You could also use balsamic glaze for this recipe for a sweet hit of balsamic flavour.

Per Serving:  About 267 Cal, 24 G Pro, 9 G Total Fat (3 G Sat Fat), 22 G Carb, 2 G Fibre, 58 Mg Chol, 202 Mg Sodium. %Rdi: Iron 19%, Calcium 3%, Vit A 7%, Vit C 25%


Be the first to comment on this story!