It’s a new year and everyone is sitting down to figure out what their resolutions are going to be. If you are anything like me, you will come up with this long list of things you want to change, get motivated, work toward it for a week or two and then give up completely. That is the cycle that I have been going through each January for as long as I can remember.
This year, I decided to try something different: small goals that can be achieved in short periods of time. This is called SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Setting SMART goals is one of the best ways to promote habit change that can last long term. The trick is to start very small and adjust the goals as you meet them.
Another tip for SMART goal setting is to not set too many goals. Too many things to work on at once can be very overwhelming and soon enough, you will have forgotten them all and gone back to your old ways. Aim for 2-3 goals to work on over a period of 4-6 weeks.
Use your long term goal to set your SMART goals: if your goal is to lose 50lb by the end of the year, think about how you would lose that weight. Is it by eating better? Is it by being more active? Then use the answer to that question to prompt the small goal. For example, if you want to start by eating better, maybe your goal will be to eat a serving of vegetables for each dinner meal. Small steps can lead to big results!
Let’s run through the steps using one of the goals that I set for myself:
1. Drink at least 5 cups of water per day for the month of January.
Specific: I pinpointed water as the thing that I want to drink more of, this will exclude all other beverages
Measurable: I am going to drink at least 5 glasses per day- this can be measured in many ways, tally marks, rubber bands around a bottle, etc.
Achievable: I am currently drinking about 3 glasses of water per day, so drinking 5 seems like it would be reasonable to me.
Relevant: This goal is relevant to me right now because I am noticing that my skin is dry and that I hit a wall, getting really tired at around 2pm, these are both signs of likely dehydration.
Time Bound: I set a time limit on my goal by stating that I will do this goal for the month of January.
If I am consistent with my goal each day (which I have been so far!), by the end of January, it should be easy to drink 5 glasses per day. By then, I will want to adjust my goal, maybe to drinking 8 glasses per day.
Once your goals are set, it is important to keep track of them. This is a way to hold yourself accountable and to remind yourself of your goal. I keep track of my water intake by drawing 5 cups in my planner for each day and coloring them in with blue pen once I have consumed a glass of water.
Keep in mind that goal setting is different for everyone and what works for me, may not work for you. Experiment with different goals and ways of tracking those goals.
Remember to set a goal that you KNOW you can achieve!
Happy New Year!
Healthcare costs in the U.S. are on the rise. It is estimated that 70-80% of healthcare costs are due to chronic disease, and the main reason for a trip to the doctor.
Exactly what is chronic disease and what can you do about it? Chronic diseases are conditions that cannot be prevented or cured by vaccinations or medications, nor do they go away on their own.
Common chronic diseases:
● Elevated cholesterol
● Type 2 diabetes
● Coronary heart disease
● High blood pressure
However, living significantly longer and increasing quality of life is a reality, even for those with these chronic diseases. Modifications in lifestyle will lessen and potentially eliminate chronic conditions, and therefore increase quality of life and reduce medical expenses. You have the power to take charge of your health. This is lifestyle medicine.
Lifestyle modifications include:
● Plant-based, whole food diet and nutrition
● Physical activity
● Stress reduction
● Family/social support network
For more information on Rochester Clinic, the services and programs we offer, please give us a call at
We are happy to answer your questions and get you on your way to a healthy life!
Whether you’ve fully adopted a plant-based diet or are simply dipping your toes in the water, there’s no doubt that wholesome food is at the center of one’s wellbeing.
Here we’ve rounded up five of our favorite cookbooks that are chock full of nourishing recipes and nutrition tips that are sure to assist in your healthy eating goals:
1. Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook
If you watched the Forks Over Knives documentary (read more about it here , along with the rest of our top documentary picks), you know what FOK is all about – the concept that degenerative diseases afflicting so much of the U.S. today can be controlled and even reversed by rejecting animal-based and processed foods. This cookbook features 300+ plant-based recipes which place fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes in the lime light.
2. The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes
This cookbook came to fruition thanks to The China Study; a book touting one of the most comprehensive nutrition studies ever conducted which reveals that a plant-based diet leads to optimal health and can halt or even reverse many diseases. The China Study Cookbook shares 120+ plant-based, nutrient-dense recipes that promote optimal health.
3. The PlantPure Nation Cookbook: The Official Companion Cookbook to the Breakthrough Film
PlantPure Nation, yet another noteworthy documentary created by the same producers as Forks Over Knives, provides this trusty companion cookbook boasting 150+ plant-centric recipes. It’s also filled with tips, tricks, and grocery lists for people interested in a whole food, plant-based diet.
4. Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes
Inspire healthful, plant-based eating among the whole family with this must-have cookbook from Dreena Burton. From delicious school lunches to appetizing on-the-go snacks, this book supplies more than 100 kid-tested and approved recipes and serves as an excellent reference for parents raising young ones on a whole food, vegan diet.
5. Crazy Sexy Kitchen
Don’t let the risqué title of this one deter you. Author and cancer survivor Kris Carr attributes her triumph over cancer to her lifestyle changes, most especially her diet. After embracing a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods, she soon discovered the transformative power of nutrition and felt better than she ever had. This cookbook offers 150+ recipes that includes everything from fresh-pressed juices to delectable desserts.
Also recommended: Oh She Glows, Minimalist Baker, But I Could Never Go Vegan
What are some of your favorite cookbooks? Share on our Facebook page !