Your Guide to Dieting and Meal Planning

Keeping up with the latest diet trends is difficult enough, but finding out which lifestyle is right for you can also be time-consuming. By now, you probably know someone who claims that the XYZ diet is the most favorable, but everyone is different. And so are our bodies. So how can you determine the right meal plan and lifestyle for you? It starts with understanding what options are out there. 


What we eat is essential to achieving optimal health. And for some, that means only consuming plant-based foods. This includes leafy greens, almond milk, beans, and whole grains. The vegan diet is focused on the nutrients you can find without consuming dairy, eggs, fish, or meat. And because many plant-based foods are naturally nutrient-dense already, following this diet allows you to truly optimize your mealtime and inevitably, your overall wellness. There are several variations of veganism, including vegetarianism which is less strict than veganism as it allows you to consume products like eggs and dairy. Similarly, pescatarians often consume fish as an added protein substitute. 


As a low-carb diet, the Keto lifestyle is focused on eliminating foods like sugar, bread, most fruits, and starchy vegetables. The reason for its popularity is its ability to help people lose weight and manage their blood sugar. However, there are a plethora of other benefits as well. Instead of eating carbohydrates, you get most of your energy through proteins and healthy fats. An example of a meal you might prepare on this diet would be a piece of salmon, cauliflower rice, and broccoli. For a snack, you might grab a cheese stick, hard-boiled egg, or a handful of nuts. While this lifestyle can come across as restricting, there are plenty of versatile, low-carb foods you can still enjoy. 


If you were born 10,000+ years ago, you might have followed what’s now known as the Paleo diet. 

To refine the list, think about anything that can be hunted or gathered. This includes fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Essentially, following this diet takes you back to what people used to eat before modern farm practices were introduced. While whole grains and legumes are cut from this diet, you still get a variety of nutrients from the number of fruits and vegetables you consume.  


Optimal health looks different for everyone, so while following any one of the diets we touched on plays a contributing role, finding a balance can also prove beneficial. For instance, you may choose to eat meatless products on Mondays, alter between Keto and Paleo throughout the rest of the week, and give yourself a bit of grace on weekends. Your primary care physician can help you determine the appropriate route based on your unique health goals. 

When meal planning, try to stick to a schedule. For instance, perhaps you plan your meals on Thursdays, shop for groceries on Saturday’s and prepare to batch cook meals on Sundays. This ensures you start the week off on the right foot. As you begin a new lifestyle change, recognize that it’s normal to fall out of your routine every now and then. Instead of getting down on yourself, look at each day as a new opportunity to be the best version of yourself. 

Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or give us a call 901-312-7899.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail (And What to Do Instead)

It’s late January, and most New Year’s resolutions created with the best of intentions have already fallen to the wayside. That’s right–nearly ⅔ of all new year’s resolutions are forgotten by February. 

In fact, according to University of Scranton Psychology Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D, less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are actually ever achieved. Ouch.

So why don’t resolutions work, and what should we do instead?

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

One reason that new year’s resolutions fail is because they are too vague and are not measurable. Let’s say your doctor wants you to lose weight. A broad resolution of “lose weight” does not offer any specific goals to reach and offers nothing to hold you accountable to that goal. 

Another reason resolutions often fail is that we set too many. After all, it’s overwhelming to try and juggle six goals and much more effective to focus on one or two truly vital goals.

Do This Instead…

Instead of setting broad, undefined resolutions (ie, “lose weight”), set smaller, more attainable action goals. 

For example, you might set the specific goal to walk 20 minutes every morning, to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or replace your cream-and-sugar morning coffee with green tea. 

Each of these smaller action goals will help you reach the larger resolution (in this case, to lose weight) but committing to smaller behavior changes breaks a large, overwhelming goal into more easily changed habits.

Say you want to save money for a trip to Italy. Break that into smaller action goals in order to work toward that objective. For example, you might choose to limit your dining out to twice a week instead of four, or replace your morning coffee shop run with making your own at home. Small changes add up, and as each smaller goal becomes a habit and is reached, you can add more smaller goals

Replace Old Habits With New Ones

They say old habits die hard, but it’s easier to nix them when you replace them with new habits–or, add onto current hood habits.For example, if you already walk 20 minutes every morning, what’s another 10? Set a goal to add 10 minutes to each morning walk, and before you know it, a 30-minute walk is your new habit.

If your old habit is to eat sugary cereal each morning, replace that with a bowl of hot oats and fresh berries. This simple, smaller behavior change is much more attainable than setting a resolution to “eat healthier”

Measure Your Success

Find a way to track your mini-goals and your successful habit changes, whether it be on a whiteboard, calendar or journal. Check off as you meet each goal. When you find a goal becoming a natural part of your routine, add in another small goal. Keep stretching toward that big-picture resolution, but stay focused on the baby steps.

Before you know it, new, healthy habits will have you on your way to feeling healthier and happier!