This post is written in partnership with Milk. Love What’s Real.
This month we're pleased to welcome Katie Morford as part of our January Reset Challenge! Katie is a San Francisco-based cookbook author and registered dietitian who writes the blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook.
A number of years ago a new client told me that his diet consisted almost exclusively of two daily stops to McDonald's. During each trip he bought a large soda, two large burgers, and two large fries. Sometimes he added apple pie. He had all the markers for chronic disease, from high blood pressure to sky-high cholesterol, and didn’t feel particularly great.
I worked with him over many months, introducing one small change each week to move him towards more nourishing choices. First, he agreed to choose a soda one size smaller. Next, he scaled down his burger. Then he swapped sliced apples for apple pie. It went on like this until eventually, we began talking about the grocery store and home cooking. I introduced the idea of getting off the bus one stop sooner so he had movement in his day. It was baby steps. And it worked.
Small Changes Add Up to Big Changes
That’s what this week’s challenge is all about. We’re not suggesting you abandon life at the table as you know it (often fast and sweeping changes don’t stick, anyway). Instead, we’re suggesting you take a look at how you’re eating and see where there might be some wiggle room.
Maybe you’re not hitting the drive-thru twice a day, but what are you doing that you’d like to shift? Break your dietary goals into tiny changes added in over time, and it will feel more approachable with a greater likelihood for success.
Making one simple change at a time can translate to big changes over the long haul. We live in a culture that’s always looking for a quick fix, but real transformation doesn’t typically happen overnight.
“One Simple Change” Challenge
Think about just one aspect of your diet you’d like to improve. Try to be specific with your goal. Below you’ll find 10 ideas to get the brainstorming going or check out 25 Simple Ways to Eat Better for additional inspiration.
- Drink water instead of soda and sugary drinks.
- Pack your own lunch rather than eating out.
- Choose plain yogurt instead of a sugar-sweetened one.
- Skip alcohol all week.
- Stop snacking after dinner.
- Eat a probiotic-rich food daily (yogurt, kefir, pickled vegetables, tempeh, and kombucha).
- Cook at home every night.
- Choose whole grains at least half the time (brown rice, whole-grain bread, whole wheat tortillas, farro, sorghum, quinoa).
- Eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack.
- Choose packaged foods with five ingredients or less.
We've got a BIG prize this week for one lucky Resetter sharing their One Simple Change: we'll say more about it early this upcoming week on our Facebook page, but to enter we'd love to see what simple change you'll make this week!
If you aren't on social media, rest assured! Everyone that's signed up for the challenge is automatically entered to win, but you will get an additional entry for each photo you share of your one simple change on Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtag #simplyresetchange so we can follow along!