This is the second in the New Year’s resolutions series. This week is all about small, simple changes that can add up to big health and energy improvements. I just couldn’t narrow it down – so there is actually 43 options to choose from! See part 1 – all about how to choose and make goals that are truly healthy and sustainable here.

Pick out 1 or 2 tasks that you feel are doable and get those working well before adding new ones. Some are more challenging than others, so whether it takes one week or one month before moving on resist the urge to take on too much, too soon. That tends to be where good diets go wrong!

Don’t forget to plan for success – make sure any food items are tacked on to your usual grocery list and pull a recipe or two you can start with if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen (yet).Chopping fresh parsley

Small, Simple Changes

  1. Have a salad once a day
  2. Find, buy for and cook one new recipe every week
  3. Join a cooking class- get specific to what you have trouble making at home. Fish? Veggie dishes? Need basic knife skills to speed up prep?
  4. Add a handful of dark, leafy greens to lunch or dinner daily
  5. Bump up my protein at breakfast by making mini-frittatas ahead of time on Sundays
  6. Make up grab and go veggie snack packs for the week after grocery shopping. Take them to work or school for an afternoon snack.
  7. Buy a fruit bowl, put it in plain view and stock it each week.
  8. Add legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas etc) to dinner twice a week. Black beans on tacos or a handful of chickpeas in a salad. Nothing fancy!
  9. Meal plan for 1 or 2 meals every week – planning, shopping from a list and prepping.
  10. Cut intake in half of soda/ syrup sweetened latte /Frappuccino /juice /vitamin water/any sugary or sweetener enhanced beverage of choice.
  11. Choose unsweetened or 1 pump in my latte instead of the full meal deal.
  12. Make my own salad dressing each week (double or triple a recipe and keep in the fridge.
  13. Learn to cook one of the dishes I usually buy pre-made or as takeout.
  14. Prep mason jar salads for lunches on the weekend (start small- 2 or 3 days worth).
  15. Swap processed dips for fibre rich hummus or guacamole.
  16. Cut down game night drinks by a third or half to save on empty calories and carbs.
  17. Try flavouring your water with berries, mint, lemon or lime to help drink more throughout the day.
  18. Start limiting artificial sweeteners (they are a short term crutch, not a long term answer thanks to effect on our gut bacteria).
  19. Learn to read food labels and start by comparing products I need at the grocery store.
  20. Add something green to my morning smoothie (mint, basil, spinach, kale, chard or a greens powder).
  21. Swap my usual afternoon sweets for fruit (and plan ahead so you have enough for the week)
  22. Practice mindful eating at dinner
  23. Swap chips for homemade lightly buttered popcorn or veggies and dip at night.
  24. Swap my usual bread for whole grain and high fibre.
  25. Swap white rice for brown or wild, quinoa or other whole grains.
  26. Eat a fermented food every day – yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso and kimchi are all great starters!
  27. Start shopping from a grocery list to make sure you have enough proteins, veggies, and fruit for each week.
  28. Pick up a book on mindful eating. Try the 21 day mindful eating challenge here
  29. Try meditation using the Headspace app to help de-stress instead of eating.
  30. Go for a 10 minute nightly walk when I usually snack.
  31. Bring a bottle of water to work everyday and refill it at least once.
  32. Stop buying chips/sweets/trigger food of choice for overeating so it’s not in the house.
  33. Add berries to my daily breakfast
  34. Skip appetizers at dinners out.
  35. Get brightly coloured, non starchy veggies on every lunch and dinner plate
  36. Keep your desk stocked with dried fruit and nuts or trail mix for emergency munchies.
  37. Add 1 tbsp of hemp seeds, chia seeds or ground flax to your yogurt or smoothie.
  38. Swap nutrient poor iceberg lettuce for romaine, spinach, arugula of mixed field greens
  39. Stop using “fat free” or diet versions of real food (like salad dressing!). Choose based on ingredients first, numbers second.
  40. Schedule one hour each week in to your calendar for meal or snack prep.
  41. Experiment with a new fish recipe each week (or each month!).
  42. Add canned tuna or salmon to your lunch roster once or twice a week.
  43. Batch cook (make a double or triple portion) a meal and freeze once or twice each month.


Do you have ideas that aren’t listed here – I’m sure there is plenty! I’d love to hear them, share yours on Facebook or feel free to email me if you’re the quiet type. Happy healthy goal setting!