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Hello, Health

Make these food goals work in 2018

Bring in the year of gaining wellness and giving back.

 |  Hello, Health  |  3-minute read |   28-12-2017
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As a year ends, we make resolutions and big promises about how the next year will be different, better for us, and how we will fix everything that is wrong with our health. But the fact is, without a good road map in place, these promises are bound to fall flat, as they probably did in 2017 and maybe even the year before.

To prevent that from happening and losing another precious year, make a feasible plan for 2018, as that alone can make a difference: from wanting to be healthier and disease-free to actually becoming healthy and disease-free.

Firstly, instead of just making vague promises, make some concrete ones, think through each one of them thoroughly, and chalk them out in detail — put everything in black and white. Yes, write it all down. This is the most important step.

Then freeze the timelines. Without this, nothing will get done.

food-binge-binge_122817061428.jpgMake small changes like cutting down on meat one at a time.

Also, this year, instead of trying to do it all (beginning that daily walk, taking that wellness vacation, cutting off junk totally, learning golf, enrolling for the beginners’ yoga course, cutting down meat, eating three fruits a day, growing herbs in the balcony), make small changes, one at a time, and see the butterfly effect work its magic. The generative benefits will take you faster on the path of wellness.

My suggestion: make just one small change every week. That’s good enough! But make the decision stick.

Finally, please don't depend too much on your willpower; it is an overhyped tool. And it’s very easy to blame and cut corners. Depend on the power of planning instead, to score concrete results.

Give back

Awaken and whip up your social conscience. Make giving back a priority this year. You don’t have to become a food activist for that, though there are a lot of really good people worldwide like Michael Pollan, Vani Hari and Michael Jacobson who are doing some excellent work, and helping shape our new food environment for the better — but you can just do your bit and feel great about it.

Feeding the hungry must top the list of must-dos. Recently, I attended a few sessions of the Tasting India Symposium, a forum held in Delhi across multiple locations where people gathered for dialogues on various subjects related to gastronomy and its future, with focus on India.

food-health_122817061617.jpgFeed as many unprivileged as possible. Photo: Reuters/File

While all the sessions were informative, the launch talk on “Save Food, Share food, Share Joy” struck a chord. Here they showcased the recently launched FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) initiative to get street food vendors to form a national network to donate hot meals to the poor and needy. Termed as FSSAI's national food donor network, this initiative definitely deserves kudos.

There are many other good Samaritans working along the same lines, like Arjun Sawhney and Jesse Jindal of Feed On, Ankit Kwatra of Feeding India, Atul Kapoor of Rasoi on Wheels, and Vandana Singh, Indian Food Banking Network. And everyone is doing commendable work in making good quality, fresh food available to people from needy sections of society.

Simply put, they are feeding the starved. As a social resolution for 2018, one could support such initiatives or feed as many underprivileged people as one practically can on one’s own.

We could/should also vow not to waste any food, as that can make a tangible difference, too. Hunger and food waste are actually solutions for each other. As popular chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain says in his much-acclaimed documentary Wasted, “Use everything Waste nothing.”

Agreed addressing all these problems is costly and time-consuming, but it is possible to mitigate negative outcomes by just moderately modifying our food habits and embracing the idea of living simply, and in a socially conscious manner.

In fact, I believe doing our bit, however small, should actually not be a choice but a responsibility that should be embraced happily.

Also read: 2018 seems like an exciting time for Delhi diners

Writer

Kavita Devgan Kavita Devgan @kavitadevgan

The writer is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don't Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).

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