With the season of celebration and feasting behind you, your waistline may still be a reminder of your abundance.  If you are thinking of boosting your health this year, you’re not alone. January is a natural time to yearn for change.

January is named after Janus, the Roman God of endings and beginnings. So it’s no surprise that as the seasons change, you may feel compelled to make a promise to yourself to reach for something new.

There is merit in taking time for change and restoring balance. Here are my favourite nutrition habits to boost health in the new year:

Drink water. Festive foods are rich and often high in sugar, salt and other additives that dehydrate your cells and take their toll on the overall function of your digestive system. Good digestion is the gateway to better health and water is key to ensuring adequate digestive enzymes, gastric juices and efficient elimination of waste. Try a cup of water with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice 20 minutes prior to meals.

Eat more slowly – savour your food. In our fast-paced on-the-go world, the practice of sitting to enjoy a meal – or even a coffee – is often overlooked and our health is paying the price. Take a moment to appreciate as you chew and taste your food. This helps to calm your nervous system and activate the rest-and-digest state, allowing optimal absorption of nutrious enzymes and elements. The process of digestion is the number one stressor your body faces each day and can be responsible for the energy dip you feel after meals. Chewing your food releases enzyme-rich saliva to support digestion of nutrients and ease the burden on the stomach, ultimately boosting your energy.

Eat real food. This might sound simplistic but in a world dominated by the processed food industry and factory farms, it is worth repeating. The body needs quality nutrients to perform all of its functions and the best quality nutrients come from fresh, unprocessed food. Choose organic, locally grown food items and prepare meals at home to be sure you are getting best value for your food dollar. Aim to include some fibre, fat and protein with each meal and snack. Choose a variety of colourful vegetables and fruits and high quality proteins.

Seek support. Talk with a holistic nutritionist to help guide you through these steps and ease past the resistance to change. Every old habit was developed to keep us safe at some point in the past. January is a great time to restore balance.

Lisa Grant, a Registered Holisitic Nutritionist with a functional mindset, teaches individuals with chronic health issues to use food as medicine so they can feel better and love more. Contact Lisa at 604-740-6254 or lisa@lisagrant.ca. www.lisagrant.ca