The start of a new year is a great time to take a look at our lives, be proud of what we have accomplished over the past year, and set our sights on what’s ahead. It’s that time of year where so many people will make New Year’s resolutions which often includes losing weight or eating healthy. Unfortunately, these resolutions frequently get abandoned and many times it’s because of unrealistic expectations. So how can this year be different? Here are some of my tips to help keep your healthy goals stick around for 2016.
Make SMART goals
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Instead of, “I want to eat healthy,” try, “I want to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables to 5 servings/day,” or instead of, “I am going to practice yoga,” go with, “I will practice yoga for 30 minutes 3 times per week.”
Understand your motivation
Ask yourself a few questions: Why don’t I do this already? Why do I feel the need to do this now? What am I hoping to gain by accomplishing this goal?
Remind yourself of these answers often. Understanding your reasons for having a specific goal will increase your likelihood of attaining that goal.
Start with one change at a time
Making too many changes at once can be overwhelming. Start slowly and incorporate healthy changes gradually. It’s important to keep in mind that it takes about 21 days to form a habit, so give it time.
Research has shown people who cook their food at home tend to be healthier than those who eat out more often. If eating healthier is part of your New Year’s resolution, cooking your own meals should be part of that goal.
This recipe is the perfect way to get you started on the right track! Quinoa is a power grain that has been around for ages. The ancient Incas in South America considered it, “like gold”. It is technically not really a grain, rather it’s a seed of a leafy plant. Quinoa is quite the super food. It has a number of vitamins and minerals including iron, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and copper. It is also a great source of fiber and protein. Quinoa is considered a complete protein which means it has all nine essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten-free for those of you who have a gluten sensitivity!
Quinoa is extremely versatile. Sure, on its own it is pretty bland just like any other grain. However, adding flavor with different herbs and spices can transform it into a great side dish. I also like to cook mine in a stock or broth instead of water to add flavor right off the bat. It works well mixed with vegetables for a grain based salad, or even better formed into patties for quinoa cakes!
These quinoa cakes can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days if you want to plan ahead. I love serving them over a bed of spinach and topping them with a fried egg which makes a great savory breakfast or light dinner.
I’m looking forward to sharing more recipes with you over the next year and am excited to see what 2016 has in store! Cheers to a new year!
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup bread crumbs (whole grain if possible)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Optional for Serving:
- Fried egg
- In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, garlic, green onions, cheese and spices.
- Add the breadcrumbs and mix until incorporated.
- Form the mixture into 6 patties. The mixture will be wet, but add more breadcrumbs if necessary.
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add patties and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown (be careful when flipping the patties as they fall apart easily).
- Top each patty with fried egg and serve over a bed of spinach.