February is Heart Month in many countries. The goal is to spotlight cardiovascular health and increase awareness of what we can do to reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease. There are many steps we can take but I’d like to suggest one simple and delicious one. Eat more garlic!
So this month I’ve created a menu that is Gung Ho for Garlic. I chose garlic because it is a brilliant example of how food can directly impact your health. Garlic has numerous evidence-based healthful properties. As well as improving cardiovascular health, garlic can benefit physical and sexual vitality, cognition and resistance to infection. This last one is especially useful at the moment. Garlic also has anti-aging properties, which are always useful! For Heart Month, however, I’d like to highlight the heart-healthy aspects of garlic.
Here we are in February and so you’re likely wondering why I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions. That’s because by February most of us have given up on the New Year’s resolutions we made with such gusto in January. Consequently, the New Year New Me is no more. So here’s a chance to breathe new life into them. How? Paradoxically, by making them smaller.
You see, the reason we often fall short and give up is because our resolutions ask way too much of us. We set our bar too high. After all, if you’ve been a couch potato since the pandemic began, resolving to run 5K every day may doom you through overambition.
Instead, start smaller. Maybe commit to walking around the block each morning. This will make it easier to build a morning exercise habit because it isn’t asking too much of your time or effort. According to Dr. Brendon Stubbs, a physiotherapist and senior clinical lecturer at the King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, “if we start with smaller, more realistic changes in health habits we are much more likely to sustain them.”
So in this edition of Dishing It Up I offer four suggestions. These are smaller things you can do and/or changes in perspective that may bring you closer to your intended New Year’s resolutions for 2022. A Feb Four, if you will.
The first is to select a word that, like a mantra, guides your year. I chose equanimity. Oxford dictionary defines it as “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.” I also like the Buddhist interpretation: “Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love.” It resonates with me in the midst of this pandemic where things aren’t quite as I’d like them to be and there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. Perhaps they will inspire your own ideas. It’s worth it to recalibrate your ambitions for 2022 rather than abandon them. When it comes to behaviour change, it’s the least you can do. Because starting with the least will ultimately yield the most.
Dishing It Up on New Year’s Resolutions
- 22 motivational words to propel you into 2022
- Balance your body budget
- Get outside in the morning light for 2 to 10 minutes
- Make simple food swaps
Read on for a bite-sized summary and links for each suggestion …