We all have them, even if they’re left unstated. Even if we’ve refused to come up with any this year, they lurk in our subconscious, coming out in mysterious ways like guilt for blowing $50 at your favorite restaurant or for eating a bar of Chocolove for breakfast (welcome to my world).
So it’s best to face up to them now. Even better, here are some easy ways to achieve them. After all, who says 2009 has to be difficult? Let it go down easy as a shot of Sambuca.
Resolution No. 1: Eat Cheap. There’s a great way to do this — it’s called Restaurant.com. You can buy gift certificates for local restaurants and get up to 50 percent off your meals. Or you can just eat at some of the cheapest restaurants in town. My favorite is Mt. Adams Bar & Grill; the prices haven’t changed for 15 years.
Resolution No. 2: Eat Healthy. Yeah, I know, some people hate this phrase. It makes them alternately angry and nauseous. But others love it. I’m one of those others. One of the best ways to eat healthy is the plate method; the American Dietetic Association recommends that at least half your plate be made up of vegetables.
Here’s a cheap and easy way to make that happen: Stock up on frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s (it’s cheap); pair it with some steamed vegetables from Whole Foods hot bar (these are pretty cheap as well); and mix it with some pesto (from either store). If you want to add meat, you can buy pre-cooked lemon chicken breast at Trader Joe’s. It’s yummy, it’s cheap and it’s fast. I like to refer to it as the cancer-prevention meal (very appetizing description).
Resolution No. 3: Eat Healthy When Eating Out. As a restaurant reviewer, I obsess over this, and I’m almost always on a diet. Here are some tips I’ve gathered along the way: As soon as you get your plate, ask your server to bring you a box and bag (seriously). Wrap up half your dinner before you even start eating it. Unless you’re desperate (and I’ve had my moments), you won’t be breaking into the box to retrieve it during dinner. Also, if your big eating-out temptation is French fries, go to Pizzeria Uno; their fries are baked.
Resolution No. 4: Drink Less. This is always a challenging one. One tip that helps me is to always have a glass of water next to my drink so I can alternate between alcohol and water sips. It also keeps hangovers at bay.
Resolution No. 5: Weigh Less. Particularly for single people, this goal looms. Because I get paid to eat, I’ve had to learn a few tricks in the last year. Here they are: Eat a piece of fruit for breakfast, eat a turkey and whole wheat sandwich for lunch (low cal and filling) and blow all your calories at dinner. Dinner — when you’re unwinding from work stress — is when you’re most likely to pig out, so save the calories, but eat early. If you have a craving later, keep a tray of fresh-cut vegetables in the fridge so you can chomp on those. Or make a yogurt smoothie. Another favorite is Trader Joe’s rice crisps — these taste just like potato chips and you can eat the whole bag for 400 calories.
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