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The start of a brand New Year often signifies a time to set goals for the year ahead and improve on the year that was. If you are unsure on how to approach the new year, here are my top 10 ways to start the New Year right:

  1. Set smart goals – goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely to allow the greatest chance of being achieved. If you are used to setting goals but finding that’s as far as it goes, sit down and make sure your goals fit the smart criteria and put a plan in place to action them.
  2. Re-stock the pantry – diet goals won’t be met if you don’t have the right fuel on hand. Star the year with a pantry full of healthy staples, including SunRice Microwave Quick Cups and Pouches, tinned legumes/beans, canned fish, ground herbs and spices, coconut milk, SunRice Rice Cake Bites and rice cakes.
  3. Add some mindfulness practice into your routine – this can be especially valuable if you ended last year feeling burnt out! This can simply be 10 minutes of deep breathing, a 15-minute meditation, or a daily yoga class. It is incredibly beneficial to overall wellbeing to allow the mind to shut off for a short period of time and focus on breathing.
  4. Plan quick meals – have a handful of go-to quick meals for those nights when the schedule is thrown off. This will enable you to still keep to your health goals instead of reaching for unhealthy options. For example, make a quick stir-fry rice using SunRice Microwave Steamed Rice Pouches, eggs and vegetables, or a vegetable rice pilaf using leftover chicken. As an added bonus, these meals can also double as lunch the next day.
  5. Meal prep – meal prep doesn’t have to mean spending an entire day in the kitchen cooking meals, portioning and freezing. It’s possible to meal prep in a simple way that’s equally effective. For example, each week, cook a batch of grains such as rice and store in the fridge for a few days, this can be used in meals, or tossed through salads. Do the same with a tray of roasted vegetables and make a healthy tomato and vegetable-based sauce, which can be turned into a meal in seconds.
  6. Back-to-school organisation – back-to-school may be closer than you think and if lunchbox and after-school snack ideas were a struggle last year, plan in advance this year. Spend time with your children over the holidays and together, come up with some healthy options. SunRice Rice Cake Bites and Mini Bites are an energising snack on their own, or with an avocado dip to help children get through the day. They are also a great option to have in the car at pick-up to keep appetites stable until dinner.
  7. Exercise as a family – turning exercise into a social event increases enjoyment, which means we are more likely to stick to it! Whether its bike riding by the beach, going for a bush walk or kicking a football at the park, all of these options are a great way to get outdoors and move as a family.
  8. Keep a food diary – if you feel like you could do with more energy or feel better overall, put your diet down on paper for one week. Review this and see where you could make improvements. You may actually be surprised how little changes such as adding a serve of carbohydrates, such as rice at lunch, or including a carbohydrate-rich snack before exercise can make a huge difference to energy and overall wellbeing.
  9. Be realistic – it’s important to be realistic when making change; we may not succeed if we aim to do it all at once. Drop the ‘all-or-nothing’ mindset and allow yourself to make one small change every few days. I guarantee this will make living a healthy lifestyle much more sustainable and enjoyable.
  10. Try new foods – diet diversity is key to ensuring we get the correct balance of nutrients and minerals. If you are used to eating the same thing day-in, day-out, this year, try mixing it up! For example, instead of an egg sandwich for lunch, try a roasted vegetable and rice salad with boiled eggs, or eggs on rice cakes with a side salad.