New Year’s Resolutions, aren’t they wonderful? The ‘out with the old, in with the new’ spirit that a New Year provides, a clean slate, a new opportunity.
We all have aspects of our life that we would like to improve or change, and don’t forget – change is good, often scary but good.
So what are mine?
First of all, I’m not into any superstitious, weave your own yogurt, mumbo jumbo. I do see the New Year as a kickstart though – an excuse to change, and I like excuses! I get so caught up in the day to day treadmill (figurative, not literal) of life, that I lose sight of the bigger, more important things like health and nutrition. I know that I need to shift some pounds (‘some’ can be subjective) and I know that eating sugary things, crisps and whatever else is no good for me, but it’s easy and is often a go-to snack during a long or challenging day – this has to change, and I am going to make a conscious effort to eat more naturally – less processed, more organic (I will come back to this).
I have been thinking a lot recently about meat (stop laughing you) – I eat meat every day in various forms, and in almost every case 2 out of 3 meals I have each day will include meat. The more I read about having a healthy, balanced diet makes me think that I need to change this approach. There are plenty of replacements for the nutrition that I get from meat, and plenty of more natural alternatives when some of the things that I eat are processed (with sodium nitrate, water and whatever else added to it) with resulting diminished nutrition.
Processed meat received a lot of press in recent months when it was classed by the World Health Organisation as being a carcinogenic, in the same category as Plutonium. This doesn’t mean that both are as dangerous as each other, though the WHO did state that the cumulative effects of processed meat daily (50g, or two rashers of bacon, is the example used) will add up, and make cancer more likely.
Arnold Schwarzenegger recently talked about meat consumption in relation to climate change, he urged people to cut down on their consumption and essentially have a couple of days off eating meat each week. This in theory could have a huge effect on production, and ultimately on climate change. For someone seen as such a strong alpha male to come with a message like this is refreshing, as many people from my generation and background see meat as the manly thing to eat (hell I’ve even got a beard, that’s how manly I am) – if you order a salad instead of a steak then look out!
“You can get your protein in many different ways, I have seen many body builders and weight lifters that are vegetarian” – Arnold Schwarzenegger, BBC News
The climate change argument doesn’t do much for me. I’m an only child, so I am looking at this from a selfish perspective – it is about improving my own health.
This is a fundamental shift in my mindset and will be a real challenge to be honest. I don’t know how to cook without using meat (I can barely cook with meat), my default is meat and two veg. (come on, you’re better than that).
I’m not saying that I am giving up meat completely, but I will make every effort to shift my diet to include more veg and less processed food.
So nutrition is a big Resolution for me – less meat, less processed, more organic and more natural. As I get older I think increasingly more about health and wellbeing, I am concerned about the conditions that much of our food is produced within, the processes that the food goes through (from apples that are polished like cars, to added sugar in our bread), so I am going to use 2016 as an excuse to change. I plan to blog about my progress.
Stay tuned for part two of my New Year’s Resolution, particularly if you are addicted to your smartphone – coming soon!