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Get Tips on Creating and Keeping Healthy Habits

By Inside Columbia
Hannah Holzum cooking

Photos by L.G. Patterson and Ava Kitzi 

The hardest part of a New Year’s resolution isn’t finding a goal, it’s keeping it. Research from the Fisher College of Business shows that by the first week, 23% of people quit their resolution, and 43% have called it quits at the end of January.

Hannah Holzum, a registered dietitian and owner of Wholesome Nutrition, says the trick to keeping healthy long-term habits is to start small. “Start with two habits. That could be anything from getting a good serving of protein each meal, it could be eating a fruit or vegetable every time you eat or drinking more water.” Holzum works specifically with busy moms to build realistic and healthy routines using multiple methods, including meal planning, coaching and a sense of community.

Holzum says instead of overwhelming yourself with too many new changes all at once, it’s about the small, consistent choices that, over time, will lead to significant transformations. “I like habit building, and working, once you get really good at two things, at adding more in,” she says. “It’s not about cutting a million things out of your diet or trying to go as clean as possible. It’s more about adding the good stuff in.”

A successful health journey is not about drastic changes but about seamlessly incorporating positive choices into your daily routine. “We should definitely make sure we are incorporating foods that we like, even if they aren’t considered a health food,” she says. “Because if we are super strict and cutting all those things out that sets us up for not wanting to do it longer and we can end up in a worse place than where we started.”

It’s about making health a part of your lifestyle rather than a seasonal commitment. Even if you start with something small, like eating more whole foods, adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet or switching to lean proteins, Holzum says those little changes can make it “easier to maintain a healthy body weight and feel good.”

But eating healthy isn’t the only factor that leads to a healthy lifestyle. Adding movement and fitness into your routine will not only improve your physical well- being but your mental health as well. Jamie Gleeson, head coach at Orangetheory Fitness in Columbia, says the first key to main- taining fitness goals is “having an accountability partner because the fact is just us alone, we aren’t strong enough sometimes. Or having someone who knows that you are set toward these goals so you can tell them, and they can check in with you.”

But maintaining a fitness goal is also about your mindset, Gleeson says. “You can’t be half in with your goal. It has to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely,” Gleeson says. “It is crazy what your body can do when your mind is behind it.”

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, Gleeson says not to get discouraged or quit when you don’t see results right away. Know that big dreams take time. “The more gradual the change over time, the more sustainable it is for the future,” she says. But everyone has different goals, so Gleeson says the fitness recommendations will differ from person to person. “It’s important to figure out what are your goals; is it to lose weight in general, is it to build up your muscle, are you wanting to run a marathon or are you just wanting to chase your kids around in the backyard,” Gleeson says.lemon chicken orzo soup

Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & chopped finely
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 pounds uncooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Sauté the celery, carrots and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.
  • Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken. Bring the soup to a boil.
  • Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar) and reduce the heat, simmering for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. (Keep the lid off and stir it often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.)
  • Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up, then add it back in. Add the lemon juice, parsley and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Turkey Taco Quinoa

Turkey Taco Quinoa

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon chili poweder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, for garnish, if desired

Instructions
 

  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey and minced garlic and cook until meat is cooked through, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks. Stir in all the spices and cook for another minute.
  • Add in the black beans, corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, salsa and quinoa, stirring until everything is combined.
  • When the mixture starts to bubble, add in the water, cover the skillet with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked. (It should have a slight bite to it, but should not be hard and crunchy.)
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and cover with the lid, cooking until cheese is melted. Serve as is, or in tortillas if desired.

bell pepper meatloaf

Bell Pepper Meatloaf

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3 bell peppers (your choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Sides Frozen steam bag of green beans, whole-grain dinner rolls:

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bell peppers into 1-1 1/2-inch-thick slices and lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix beef, egg, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, remaining pieces of pepper chopped into small pieces and Italian bread crumbs together until well- combined.
  • Scoop meat mixture into peppers evenly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the ketchup and brown sugar together and brush on top of the meatloaves.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take them out of the oven and top with Monterey Jack cheese then place the baking sheet back in the oven until the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes). May top with parsley if desired.

Simple swaps

Zoodles or spaghetti squash for regular noodles.
Plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.
Applesauce instead of oil when baking.
Whole wheat over plain white grains.
Ground turkey or ground chicken for ground beef.

Helpful habits

Drink lots of water and electrolytes.
Start your day with high protein.
Snack less.
Eat more fruit and veggies.

Short at-home workout to try!

Walk for 10 minutes (maybe take your kids with you!) 10 pushups
20 situps
30 squats
Start with 1 round, next time make it 2!

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