There’s a reason why so many of our New Year’s resolutions focus on eating better, losing weight or getting fit: we overindulge for the last two months of every year.
At least we come by it honestly. It’s not our fault that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and whatever other holiday I’m missing all fall within six weeks of each other — and that all the accompanying celebrations involve some kind of special, not-so-healthy food or drink or, worse yet, both.
Not to mention that, living in Vermont, we are surrounded by so many amazing restaurants that paying homage to them all takes a toll on our waistlines.
This is why, after all the excesses of November and December, my family engages in a little something we call Detox January.
Now, don’t panic: this is not one of those crazy juice cleanse or only-eat-grapefruit-and-chia-seeds fads. Our Detox January is simply a return to sanity, a way of getting our health and lifestyle back on track and starting the new year with good habits (habits that will likely last only until next November, I suppose, but let’s not focus on that right now).
The rules are simple. For the entire month of January,
- Abstain from all alcohol (if a recipe calls for it, that’s OK)
- Eat a bit healthier every day (I don’t expect you to get crazy here — we just try to eat more veggies than cookies and keep our recipes more Cooking Light than Julia Child)
- Exercise more than you did in December.
That’s it. Easy, right?
Detox January is not some overly ambitious resolution that you know you won’t be able to keep (new gym membership, anyone?); instead, it’s a short-term, mini resolution that you know you can achieve. And what better, more positive way to start the new year than to be one of the fewer than 10 percent of Americans, according to Forbes magazine, that actually keep their resolutions?
Each year, through my blog, I try to get a few more people to join us for Detox January. As an incentive, I post healthy yet delicious recipes that can help us stay the course. Vermont Life’s Winter issue features Brussels sprouts (rich in A, B6, C and K as well as being high in fiber, protein and antioxidants) as the ingredient in the Cooking in Season department. I’m especially grateful for resources such as locally produced Eating Well magazine for easy recipes that don’t sacrifice taste for healthiness. For example, the first recipe I posted for Detox January 2013 was gingerbread muffins.
Because, really, wouldn’t you rather eat a muffin top than sport one?
Happy Detox January!