Tip: The start of a new year is the perfect time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in the past year, create a plan, and take baby steps toward your healthiest, happiest self. 

by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group


You have emerged from another holiday season and awakened to a brand new year. Are you happy with this past year’s journey? Like most of us, you probably feel good about some of your choices and would prefer to leave others behind. The good news is you are at the start of your new year’s journey. This time of new beginnings is ripe with the opportunity to take note of what worked and what didn’t in the past and formulate a plan to move forward into a year of wellness for you and your family.

Take Inventory

Sit down with a cup of tea and consider your nutritional successes and disappointments from the holiday season and the past year as a whole. Acknowledge and feel good about the choices you made that nourished your body. Make note of all you did well so you can carry these habits forward with you. Next, take a look at your disappointments and consider why you made less than ideal choices. How might you choose better when faced with similar circumstances in the future? Be objective: This is an opportunity for investigation, not a time for self-judgment.

Create Your Plan

We are most successful at making smart food choices when we have a plan to guide us. This does not mean you should adopt the latest fad diet - quite the contrary! Formulate your own eating plan, using what you learned while you were taking inventory. Your plan should contain specific, individualized goals and incorporate what worked for you in the past. Also include the helpful solutions you brainstormed to avoid the same pitfalls from last year. Do certain foods or environments trigger you to make poor choices? Be specific and address these in your plan.

Make It Nutritious and Delicious

You will be more likely to stick to your plan if it involves pleasure instead of restriction. Truly nourishing food is not just healthy - it is delicious! Be on the lookout for recipes that are both nourishing and appealing to you. Keep them where you can easily reference them when planning your meals for the week. Start with our recipe for Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes. Seasoned with cinnamon and curry powder, this sweet and savory dish will be an irresistible – and anti-inflammatory – addition to your regular menu rotation.

It’s All Baby Steps

Above all, change happens in baby steps. Attempt too much at once and you will get discouraged and quit (remember last January?). Instead, make one change at a time and build on your successes. When you hit a bump in the road, don’t get discouraged - wake up the next day and get back on your plan. After a month of practicing your plan daily, even the most challenging changes will start to become habit.

You will love the way you feel!

The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.