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Dietitians Serve Up Their New Year’s (Un)Resolutions

Exercise and Nutrition
Author name: Lee Health Dietitian Team

Editor's Note: The following piece was a collaboration of Lee Health dietitians Ashley Lovetere, Ryan Morrison, Nicole Hajdamacha, Noel Konken, Andrew DiSilvestro, and Leigha Messner.

Happy New Year! It’s a time to start anew and pledge to become the best version of ourselves yet.

Right? Well, for many of us dietitians, we roll our eyes because too often the “New Year, New Me” mantra can lead to fads that fade faster than invisible ink.

But we hear you. We want to help you through our own experiences and offer our expertise, too.

We developed our unusual approach—the “un”resolution—at work while discussing why new year’s resolutions can often seem more harmful than helpful. An open and honest discussion led to the realization that many resolutions meant losing or cutting something out of our lives that we truly enjoyed.

So, we asked ourselves, why do we feel the need to start the year off with taking away something that gives us pleasure? Why do we tend to focus on something we feel negatively about, like how “awful” we look in those slacks because we don’t weigh as we did in high school? We all nodded around the conference table at feeling lousy as the clock struck midnight to a new year because we failed to meet some of our goals from the past year.

Well, we propose a new idea for this year, and maybe you’ll join us: Consider gaining something instead of losing something this new year.

Think of it less as “I want to change who I am or there's something wrong with me, so I’m doing this” to “I want more out of my life, so I'm going to add something to it.”

That said, here are some suggestions you might consider to make 2023 a bountiful year for you!

Try new foods: The world is filled with so many different foods, herbs, and spices. Venture out and explore Southwest Florida’s spice shops, farmers’ markets and even hot sauce stores to find something that inspires you to cook or even try a new dish.

Explore a new hobby: It could be a physical activity such as hiking or running or one that challenges your brain like chess. But whatever you choose, find an activity that fulfills you, gives you joy. If you don’t like running, your resolution should not be to run a 5K race or marathon! Instead, resolve to do something that you brings you pleasure. Make more time to enjoy that part of your life.

Let it go: Whatever diet-related fallacy that has been running through your head…let it go. Whether that fruit has too much sugar and is unhealthy for you, that carbohydrates are bad for you because they can lead to weight gain, or that you need track every calorie to lose weight, let it go. Give yourself a break.

If you are looking to improve your relationship with food or medical health with nutrition therapy, working with a registered dietitian is a great place to start.

Enjoy your food: Stop forcing yourself to eat broccoli if you don’t like broccoli. There are plenty other vegetables you can choose to eat instead.

Explore: You don’t have to leave our community to become a tourist in our area. Explore our town by finding new restaurants and local shops. Volunteering is a great way to explore!

Choose joy. Always: When scrolling through social media, if something or someone makes you feel bad about yourself—unfollow. Be inspired and inspire others!

Some Helpful Recipes

Pickled Red Onions

Ryan Morrison, RDN, LDN

2-3 red onions, sliced

1 cup warm water

1 cup vinegar-white or apple cider vinegar is okay

1 Tbsp Sugar

  1. Let soak for 30 min in the sun. Last 1 week in the fridge.

Avocado Bagel Toast

Ashley Lovetere, MS, RDN, LDN

1 everything bagel

1 Avocado, mashed

Pinch red pepper flakes

Handful pickled red onions

Optional: lox, capers, sprouts…anything you’d like!

  1. Slice and toast bagel
  2. With a fork, mash avocado and spread onto bagel
  3. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top
  4. Top with pickled onions