New Year's Aspirations

The New Year is almost here! The days between Christmas and January 1st are fuzzy, aren’t they?  While I love the opportunity to lay low, sleep in, and just get off the relentless treadmill that modern life has become, somehow I emerge feeling not quite refreshed, but rather a little sluggish and well, puffy.  I believe that after six weeks of parties, celebratory eating and drinking, late nights, and frenzied schedules, this sudden and very much needed nap that many of us have the opportunity to take after December 25th, leaves us with aforementioned puffiness.  While some dread the austerity of January, I look forward to the cleansing, lightening and renewal of the first month of the year.

Here are a few little ways to get your New Year off to lighter start:

  •     Bring a healthy dish to that New Year’s Eve party. 

Yup, you still have one last holiday land-mine to get through:  the New Year’s Eve party.  We go to a great bash with neighbors – and I’m bringing this salad that I’ve adapted from Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook.  It’s called the Layered Arugula Salad, and while I’ve yet to find the official recipe on any Magnolia site, I do think you can find it on Pinterest.  The beautiful purple that I’ve added are watermelon radishes from my Farmer’s Market.

 
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  • Get outside on New Year’s Day.

The forecast in New England looks amazing for January 1, with high temperatures in the 50s.  Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and sunshine on that day.  If you like being with other people, why not opt for a community hike.  Here are 10 First Day Hikes being held in Massachusetts on January 1:  https://www.boston.com/travel/travel/2018/12/28/begin-the-new-year-outdoors-with-one-of-these-12-first-day-hikes  If solo hiking is more your thing, there’s plenty of places to go.  Borderland is beautiful right now!

 
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  •     Clean out Christmas.

As soon as you possibly can.  Christmas is over.  Start with any food that is left over.  We have some dark chocolate Hershey kisses that will be going.  And some Italian Pannetone and German Stollen that if not eaten by January 1st will be gone, gone, gone.   But don’t stop with the food.  You will feel lighter once the dried up tree is no longer dropping needles everywhere and the house feels less cluttered with decorations.  You can still keep a winter look with outdoor lights, window candles and a few winter decorations.

  •     De-puff.

There are so many easy ways to start de-puffing!  My favorite is to add lemons to my drinking water.  You can also add cucumber, turmeric, ginger, or mint.  Drink a lot of water.  A lot. 

  •    Consider a Detox.

I like an eating plan that focuses on unprocessed, whole foods.  Cooking Light has been running a New Year’s 3-Day Detox for a few years now.  Sadly, Cooking Light just published their last print magazine last month, but they are continuing with their online version (yay!).  So the 2019 3-Day Detox is alive and well.  Here is a link here: https://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/3-day-detox-2019

  •     Set mini-goals.

An extraordinary amount of New Year’s resolutions fail.  Why?  Because they are either too vague – as in I’m going to exercise more!  Or they are too ambitious – as in I’m going to lose 45 pounds! Why not try mini-goals?  Something like, I’m going to reach 10,000 steps per day every day in January.  It’s something you can track with a wearable device.  It’s time-boxed with a beginning and an end.  Or, I’m going to practice yoga every day for 10 minutes a day in January.  These goals can be tiny.  But they can make a big difference. 

 

  •   Commit to Dry January

If you haven’t tried Dry January, I urge you to give it a whirl.  I tried it last year for the first time and it’s a rewarding experience.  OK – I do miss having a glass of wine – especially on Friday night.  And Saturday night.  And at book club.  And I could go on, but I’ll stop.  The point is that we live in a society where alcohol is everywhere.  Try taking one month off.  You will feel better, have more energy, sleep better, feel less puffy, save money, and maybe even lose weight.  If you don’t believe me, see this link on what scientists have to say about the benefits of Dry January: https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/why-scientists-say-dry-january-is-the-best-way-to-start-2019-off-right/

 

  •      Recommit to Fitness

If holiday plans uprooted your fitness routine, January is the time to recommit to fitness.  Are you getting bored with your routine?  Maybe it’s time to try something new.  If you’ve spent all of your time in the group fitness room at Sheehan, maybe it’s time to go over to the other side and try Personal Training.  Tom & LeAnna are offering a wonderful promotion right now – sign up for 3 months and get your 4th free.  And you get all of your group fitness classes and cardio equipment access as well.  Check it out soon as spaces are filling up quickly:  http://www.sheehantraining.com/jan-2019-personal-training-special/

Happy New Year Everyone!