If you had goal or resolution to eat healthier, maybe even shed a few pounds this winter you’re not alone. But as January moves to February, opportunities bombard us to indulge in not-so-great for us food. Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day are just a few examples. Simultaneously, our willpower may be weakening, and we end up caving in to food temptations. But I’m here to remind you-there are ways to splurge wisely.
Eating well is up next on our discussion of lifestyle habits that impact our memory wellness. Studies link brain healthy eating with enhanced cognitive skills and memory. We know it’s better for our bodies and our brains. Yet often it’s difficult to make this habit a priority. We’ve all heard stories of people who deprive themselves of certain foods then later binge to excess. This is an unhealthy cycle not worth copying. So how can we make healthy eating a habit?
There are many ways to try this, but one I’m working on this year is meal planning. This habit of planning out at least our dinners for the week is incredibly helpful to stay on track with healthy eating. It began as a personal challenge to use what was in our freezer. Turns out, it’s helping our family eating habits, too.
The tweak I’ve added lately is to use what’s in the freezer, but also to buy mainly whole, fresh, and brain healthy foods. I’m opting to supplement what we have with dark fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less processed foods. Now this isn’t to say we haven’t splurged on eating, but we’re trying to do so wisely.
Continuing this healthy eating habit during special occasions is trickier. The Super Bowl party and its indulgences are behind us. Instead let’s focus this week on splurging wisely this Valentine’s Day.
Here are a few tips:
- If indulging in chocolate, do so in moderation and make it dark chocolate which includes more antioxidants and flavonoids which benefit our brains.
- If eating out, try to include a brain healthy fruit or vegetable with your meal.
- If celebrating with a cooked meal, include whole grain, less processed foods, and lean meats.
- If drinking alcohol, keep it to red wine (or white if red isn’t tolerated well) and alternate drinks with a large glass of water.
- If indulging in less than healthy food and drink options, at least make the portion size smaller. You’ll regret it less.
Life is full of celebratory moments where unhealthy foods are present. We don’t have to deprive ourselves of foods we love. Let’s enjoy them by keeping brain healthy eating in mind and splurging wisely.