Looking to get back on track with self-care, and take your creative pursuits to the next level? As the new year begins, consider the link between nutrition and creativity. I know, I know, there’s the bohemian ideal of the starving artist, slaving away in a cold, ratty loft, living on crackers and cheese. But that isn’t real life, is it?
Eating poorly leaves us feeling bleh. Bleh is not an ideal creative state. But if eating well improves our energy levels and clears our minds, it can pave the way for greater creative productivity.
Remember: garbage in = garbage out. If you want both your health and your productivity to shine this year, focus on a few easy steps:
Eat Your Favorites
By planning your meals ahead of time, you’ll find you’re able to consistently enjoy your favorite foods. It’s a lot easier to eat nutritious meals if they’re in the house and ready to go. When you make the dreaded, “What’s for dinner?” decision in advance, you’ll have less stress, too. You’ll also have fantastic food. No more staring at the pantry and arguing with yourself over what to eat. And when you’re eating what you love instead of avoiding junk food, good habits are so much easier to build.
Eat in Season
My home state, West Virginia, ranks last almost every year in surveys of the healthiest states. We’re also at the bottom of the list for per capita income. So when people complain about the cost of eating healthy foods, it’s pretty real here. One of the best ways to eat well and keep the cost down is to eat foods that are in season.Buying strawberries in January is costly (and less satisfying–who wants white-in-the-middle berries?!). Stick to the winter produce, and watch flyers and digital coupon apps for deals. Use what’s in season to shape your menu for the week.
Eat for Your “Why”
When we focus on the chore instead of the freedom, we set ourselves up for failure. It’s hard to sustain momentum when our focus is on a dreaded task–eating right. Bring all of your emotions into your goals, and really let yourself feel your purpose. Eating right is only a means to the ultimate goal, a quality life with your loved ones. Think about who will benefit from your changed habits. Who’s watching you? Who will be inspired to make the journey with you? Making a healthy change will shift your entire family’s course. You’ll grow together. And that’s what it’s all about!
…over-complicate it. Once, the owner of a local health food store told me and a room full of teens, “Just do the best you can.” Even Cooking Light magazine had a feature called, “What’s Healthy Now”. Nutrition science is growing and changing all the time as we learn how to better care for our bodies. If you make it too hard, you’ll end up quitting and be in the same place one year from now. It’s more important to make small, positive steps and stay committed. So set reasonable goals and change gradually but steadily.
New Year’s resolutions are a double-edged sword. There’s so much energy and hope at this time of year, but as the weeks pass, so can our momentum. But you can hack your willpower by remembering these easy tips. Are you making a positive change this year? What’s your ‘why’?