By Virginia Beck

IMG_0261After the feasts and fun of the holidays, it is always time to recover and reset for the New Year. It is our habit to do this. We desire new balance and routines, just as the holidays gave us the habit of seeking fun, activity and celebrations.

After the rich pleasurable meals of the holidays, we can appreciate lighter foods more, and maybe, a waistband not so snug!

We are always creating a future, which actually starts right now! Mostly, we are unaware of the ways in which a very small choice or lapse in attention can set us up for an entirely different future. Tiny, accidental encounters may have brought you a wonderful new job or partner. A small error might have created an embarrassing moment when you forgot something.

A chance for a new life, a new future, is born over and over again, in tiny decisions that pass our notice. Choosing the high-fat dessert every time you eat out, instead of the sorbet, or choosing to share your portion with another, which cuts calories in half.

P1010409Saying “I don’t need this” when you pass baked goods or ice cream in the store saves you money and calories. It also reduces your chance of diabetes and heart disease.

Shopping at farmers’ markets gives you more choices for healthy, life enriching minerals, enzymes, vitamins at lower costs and better value than some markets.

Fresh foods give you better muscle tone, and less belly fat — a key area for heart health and boosting self-image.

Shopping local helps our friends and neighbors and encourages our young people to choose agricultural careers. Taking children to markets is fun, free entertainment, and it gives them the chance to understand that all real food comes from the earth. Living foods have a shorter shelf life than canned, but they create a longer, healthier life.

Letting kids choose the vegetables and fruits they eat, teaches them healthier choices as well as how to budget the grocery money. They will eat what they choose.

Failing to change is not a character flaw. It is simply the result of previous choices and habit building. It is the result of the pre-historic brain programming that prefers unconscious, repetition to new choices that might be risky. Any change in the jungle or the route to the water hole could have been dangerous!

Virginia Beck

Virginia Beck

Our brains are really three brains that have been welded together over millions of years. The oldest part is very deep and focused on ancient needs for survival. But over millions of years, we developed an outer layer that is more “modern” and is able to think our new thoughts. It provides us the chance to control or change our primitive instincts to eat everything we find that is good.

In ancient times, sweets only showed up when the berries and fruits were in season, but now we can have them 24/7. This leads to the food habits that might not make us feel good. New choices lead to new habits.

Experts agree simple things, such as eating before shopping, tames your brain from making bad choices. Planning to run before the beer and television, gives you guilt-free football.

Happy New Year!

  • Virginia Beck, NP, Certified Trager Practitioner®, does private Wellness Consulting and Trager ® practice at the YWCA Women’s Center in Lihu She is part of the Women’s Health Team at West Kaua‘i Clinics, and can be reached at 635-5618.