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Three health lessons learnt in 2022

By Sonia Salfity , Family Flavours - Feb 05,2023 - Last updated at Feb 05,2023

Photo courtesy of Family Flavours magazine

As I welcome 2023 with open arms, I can’t help but look back on 2022 in the hopes of having learnt a lesson or two. After all, the older we get, the better we appreciate how much we learn from our past mistakes.

We learn much more from our failures than from our successes. With that in mind, let’s start the new year a little differently this time. Instead of making a list of our New Year resolutions, let’s instead write two lists; one for the things that worked for us in 2022 and one for the things that didn’t work for us. This is not for the purpose of beating ourselves up, but so that we can make necessary modifications and adjustments to help us do better this year.


Food prep


Let me clarify what I mean, using my own journey as an example. One of the things I have been able to stick to in 2022 is eating more veggies and staying away from processed food. This has meant spending a lot more time in my kitchen for meal prep and washing more dishes! But it has also been very therapeutic in forcing me to slow down and to give my health priority.

Just hearing the sound of the knife chopping the zucchini and onions refocuses my mind on my goals. Hearing the sizzling sound of the squash and broccoli on my stove reinforces what I’m so desperately trying to accomplish. Sights, sounds and smells play a much bigger part than we’d like to believe. Usually this works against us; I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s succumbed to eating a hot cinnamon roll at the mall after smelling the cinnamon and watching that sugary white layer on top! 


Turning the table around


We can just as easily turn the table around and use our senses to make healthier choices. Once we train our bodies to make better food choices, our gut literally starts to crave them more. I still remember the wonderful smell of corn on the cob when my mama used to make it for us as children. We simply must fight the good fight and make these fresh foods readily available in our kitchens so they can make it onto our plates.


Healhty food at work


The second thing that worked well for me in 2022 is that I learned to pack healthy food to work. This way, I do not coming home famished and ready to eat everything in sight. This means meal prep on the weekends so that I can “grab and go” on workdays.

One of the easiest things to grab are hard boiled eggs along with a banana or apple that help take the edge off hunger. I eat them for breakfast and if I get hungry later, I keep nuts in my desk drawer to keep me from going into the break room and scarfing down the doughnuts and other homemade delicacies my co-workers bring to the office!


Water every hour


The third thing I’ve been very intentional about is drinking a glass of water every hour. Hydration isn’t just good for staving off migraines, but also doubles to fill and satisfy us so we’re not mistakenly thinking we’re hungry. You can always test true hunger pangs with a glass or two of water. After drinking and you still feel hungry, then you really should have something to eat. Interestingly enough, people fail to drink enough water in the winter because it’s not hot outside. Experts advise that if you wait until you’re thirsty to actually drink, then your body is already dehydrated. So, keep that in mind this winter season — your skin will thank you too!

As for the list of things that didn’t work well for me in 2022, I’m not sure there’s enough space in this article to share those! Perhaps it’s the times I bought the box of chocolates in case I needed a gift for someone. Somehow those always ended up on my hips instead! Therefore, the lesson learned is not to bring that special something inside your home if you know you won’t be able to resist it. Even if it’s on sale! Unless you are giving them away that same day, don’t kid yourself about having strong willpower, because you’re just setting yourself up for failure.


False beliefs


I’ve also become aware of false beliefs such as the belief that I can eat half the portion at the restaurant and take the leftovers home to eat later. As soon as the food is served, that great intention goes out the window. Therefore, I’ve learned to ask the waitress to divide my salad and hot entrée so that my husband and I can share our favourites without feeling guilty about the huge portions. It’s also easier on your wallet.

Sweet friend, join me this new season in learning from our past failures instead of letting them bring us down. Staying positive helps us to remain open to trying new strategies that keep us motivated to never quit!


Reprinted with permission from Family Flavours magazine

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