Keep Your New Years Resolutions Beyond January

Every New Years, we create resolutions in hopes of improving our health or making positive changes to our lives. Often our resolutions, while well-meaning, don’t last beyond the month of January. Deciding to improve one’s health is a good first step. Follow our tips below to ensure your resolutions stick well beyond this month.

Avoid a fad diet

Fad diets have gained large popularity over the last few years. Celebrities often use their platforms to market these diets and products. Unfortunately, a fad diet’s success is just that – a short lived fad. No one wants to see their hard work and progress go right down the drain. Some popular fad diets include: the Keto diet, the Carnivore diet, and any diet labeled with “detox” or “cleanse”. These diets can be very restrictive of the nutrients that your body needs. There are some lifestyle diets, however, that emphasize balancing macronutrients and are more suitable to follow long term. These include the DASH diet and the Mediterranean Diet. If a diet fits into your lifestyle make sure to speak with a Registered Dietitian so they can help you successfully achieve your goals without compromising your health.

Subtle modifications

Instead of drastic diet modifications make subtle changes that alter your lifestyle without making major changes. These changes should take into consideration not having a substantial effect on your schedule or finances to avoid any extra work on your part. For example, make meatloaf with half ground beef and half ground turkey. Want to take it up a notch? Add a cup of spinach into your meatloaf for a tasty layer of greens in the middle. Simple swaps can work with various type of meals and recipes. Find an idea and make it your own!

Never underestimate the power of veggies!

Veggies are not only colorful, but nutrient dense foods that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system while fiber helps to regulate bowel function and lower your cholesterol. Consuming the recommended amount of vegetables daily has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as: diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. The recommended intake for vegetables is 2 to 3 cups per day. Color your New Year, by following some of these tips to help increase your daily vegetable intake:

  • Add vegetables into sauces – This can include pureeing butternut squash into your homemade mac n’ cheese or chopping up mushrooms, peppers, and spinach to your tomato based sauce
  • Replace pasta with your favorite vegetable – Spiralizers are all the craze, but all you need is a standard peeler to use on summer squash to make long noodle-like strands. Cook with crushed tomatoes, a lean meat, and your favorite seasonings. If labor is a concern, spaghetti squash is also an option. To prepare cut the squash in half, lightly drizzle olive oil, sprinkle pepper, and garlic powder, and cook in the oven at 375° for 40 minutes. Dish it onto your plate and top with turkey meatballs, and another colorful vegetable of your choice
  • Sneak vegetables into your favorite dinner meal – It is easy to add vegetables into a lean ground meat. Doing this not only increases the nutrients, but also helps moisten the meat and add additional flavor to the meal. Some examples include: adding a half cup of peeled zucchini and carrots into a ground turkey or lean beef mixture and use for meatloaf, meatballs, or lasagna. Adding additional vegetables like mushrooms and chopped eggplant are especially delicious in a lasagna. You can also spice up your next burger by adding diced mushrooms and spinach. The choices are endless!


Healthy Twist on Taco Rice

Makes ~4 servings

1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup frozen cauliflower rice (may thaw for quicker cooking)
Half onion ( approx. ¼ c chopped)
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon low sodium taco seasoning (or use ¼ tsp of each: cumin, chilli powder, garlic powder)
Choice of low sodium broth (vegetables, chicken, beef etc.)
¾ cup canned beans ( pinto, black beans etc)
1 medium tomato diced optional
½ avocado diced optional
½ c shredded cheese optional

1. Prepare rice according to directions but substitute half of the water with your choice of broth and under-cook by 2 mins.
2. While the rice is cooking sauté onion on low-med heat with 1-2 tbsp olive oil until translucent approximately 8 mins
3. Add cauliflower rice to pan, cover and cook through for ~ 4-8 minutes
4. Combine cauliflower/onion mix into pot with rice
5. Add taco seasoning and beans, cook over low heat covered for an additional 5 minutes
6. Top with optional toppings if desired and Enjoy!

This can be paired as a side with an entrée or topped with grilled chicken, shrimp or tofu along with a side salad for a complete meal.

January Energy Tip from NRG


When making new year’s resolutions, people probably don’t think about using less energy in their home. But using less energy can benefit not just you, but your neighbors, your town, the entire grid.

  • Use LED lights when possible. According to the Energy Department, residential LEDs — especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. The investment you make now will more than pay off over the long term.
  • Check your air vents regularly. The air in your home should be distributed effectively. If something is obstructing the vents, it can make the system work harder, thus using more energy.
  • Weather strip around your doors and windows. Stop heat from escaping during by sealing any cracks and holes that might exist. You’d be amazed at the amount of heat that’s lost via small cracks and holes.
  • When making major purchases of appliances in the new year, be sure to get energy star rated appliances. They can bring you big savings over the lifetime of the appliance.
  • Use an electronic power strip for all your electronics like TVs, desktops, cable box, etc. That way, you turn off all appliances by turning off just one device.
  • Lower your thermostat. Better yet, consider getting a Smart Thermostat.

If possible set your thermostat to no warmer than 68°F! The U.S. Department of Energy says you could save about 1% on heating usage for every degree you lower your thermostat over an eight-hour period. Even 70 instead of 72 can make a difference.

  • In winter, keep your blinds open during the day to let the sun heat your home naturally. It’s the opposite during the summer. Close your curtains during the day to prevent the sun from making your home even warmer, making your A/C work even harder.

BONUS TIP: One thing to also consider. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are electricity choice states, which means consumers don’t have to settle for the one price fits all the utilities offer. People have a lot of choices. Many companies, like NRG, offer a variety of electricity plans that suit a family’s lifestyle and electricity usage, including fixed price plans that allow customers to lock-in their supply price for a set period, which can protect them from potential unpredictable energy price hikes due to heat waves, cold snaps, and other factors. Some plans offer you renewable energy, which can basically offer many of the benefits of solar or wind, without having solar panels on your roof.