Good Eats & Gratitude - #WLActionPlan Week 1

image :: simply breakfast grapefruit

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. (T.S. Eliot)

The new year is a perfect time to implement new eating habits. There's momentum from New Year's resolutions, plus the inevitable post-holiday hangover. When parties, festivities and visits with family are in full-swing, we eat more holiday comfort food than any other time. Have enough peppermint martinis, pieces of pie and Christmas cookies—and your body will practically beg for healthier foods!

Each year I want to feel better, work out more, and lose weight. Despite these intentions, I settle into my routine of mildly nutritious habits by mid-March. Even though I'm grateful for where I am today, 2011 was a rough year in many regards. I put my health and wellness on the back-burner, knowing that I would need a major overhaul at some point.

I've reached that point.

Growing up, I was a serious athlete. I competed on a national level and earned a scholarship to swim in college. That experience armed me with a certain kind of knowledge, a self-awareness and understanding of what it means to care for one's body. I got plenty of sleep, stayed hydrated, lifted weights, and avoided junk food, alcohol, coffee and soda. I pushed myself—and appreciated what my mind & body were able to achieve.

Fast-forward to today. I'm a sedentary office-dweller with a commute. I leave for work at 7 in the morning and arrive back home at 7 in the evening. My level of exercise is moderate under the best circumstances. Even with a 95% vegetarian diet, there are plenty of gaps in my attempt at healthy-living. After a long day at the office, my favorite dinner has become chips & salsa, 2 glasses of red wine and dark chocolate.

I'm not lacking the knowledge to live a healthier, more fulfilling life, I've just been missing the direction and focus that's required. Something clicked when I stumbled across Whole Living Magazine's 2012 Action Plan a few weeks ago. An entire month dedicated to clean eating, new recipes and wellness? I wanted to start immediately!

If you're intrigued and looking for a way to jump-start your new year, I recommend reviewing the entire plan. It's an amazing resource for recipes and motivation.

It resonates deeply and I couldn't be more excited. There's an established flow from one week to the next, with plenty of options along the way. The meals are colorful and tasty. It takes time and effort, but it's worth it. I'm more dedicated to this than anything I've attempted in a long time. This is me living, breathing, and practicing wellness in 2012.

#WLActionPlan Week #1 Highlights:

  • Giving up processed food and drinks, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Sleeping between 7-9 hours each night!
  • Journaling more regularly, including my first entry of 2012.

Favorite Meals:

This week I've realized how important it is to be ready.

Things happen that we're not expecting. We sometimes drop the ball. Even with the best of intentions, we don't care or give our best effort to everything—and that is 100% ok. That's just called life. Maybe I had to go through the past few years of ups, downs and failed resolutions to appreciate where I am and to know that I've finally reached that point.

Image Credit: Simply Breakfast via Jen Causey