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A Week of New Year's Resolutions: Making Conscious Eating Choices

Like most people, I have a lot of trouble keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. More often than not, my motivation gives way to procrastination before I inevitably give up. This year, instead of repeating old mistakes, I committed to the simple goal of eating healthier for just one week.

I frequently experience cycles of sugar rushes and crashes that make focusing in class difficult, and this was one of the main issues I wanted to address through a diet change. By assessing my regular eating habits before starting, I found that it was not what I ate but how frequently I ate — in other words, I was snacking too much.

To fix this issue, I started tracking what I ate in addition to regularly making my meals. The tracking part helped me reevaluate why and when I would snack. I struggled a lot in the first three days because I was not used to distinguishing boredom with actual hunger, but seeing the junk food I would eat as a result of that lack of clarity prompted me to opt for healthier alternatives.

For example, banana “nice cream” (frozen blended bananas) was both tasty and cheaper than store-bought ice cream. So, in addition to eating healthier, I was also able to save a few bucks on grocery money.

Making my meals made me more ingredient-conscious as well. I’m an average cook at best so I stuck with easier meals like sandwiches or fried rice. While the difference between fast-foods and plain homemade food were noticeable, the effect of that change was actually very positive. It was fun to make my own meals, and messing up on recipes did not lessen that feeling.

I did hit a few snags, like when I forewent sleep to do homework and ended up raiding the kitchen. The difference between how I felt after overeating compared to when I was eating consistently healthy was noticeable: while the sugar rush lasted me through a tough night of homework, the crash and bloating that followed made me regret everything.

As I balanced out the meals for that day and slowly got back on track, I felt the difference between conscious and mindless eating even clearer.

There were more slip up, before and after the all-nighter fiasco, for sure, but I tried to not fixate on them as I usually did with resolutions. Resolving to eat healthier was a great and surprisingly fun start to the year, and I definitely see myself sticking to it long term.

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