We’re a little more than a month into the new year and already the crowds at the gym are starting to go down. It’s a bittersweet feeling but breaking or making new habits can be tough… if you don’t know how.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to set new habits is setting unrealistic goals. You may really want to lose 50 pounds but taking baby steps may be the better option. Making small goals you can reward yourself for will be more effective in the long run to keep yourself motivated. If your goal is 50 pounds you may want to consider every 5 pounds a small victory then also really celebrate when you reach your 50 pound mark. These rewards are what keep us motivated. While we feel the affect endorphins after a good workout, treating yourself to that new game you’ve been wanting to play or getting your nails done will enhance the good feelings that come along with the work and the progress.
Almost everyone knows the story of the tortoise and the hair, the moral of that story and of building habits is “slow and steady wins the race”. There’s no need to rush when forming new habits or breaking them in most cases. When it comes to weight loss, slower is healthier. Fad diets will tell you you can lose 10lbs in 10 days but fast isn’t always healthy or long lasting. If you’re like most people you will occasionally slip and that’s ok, what’s important is you don’t give up and give yourself credit for small victories because they add up!
If you’re a mac and cheese lover this recipe is a great compromise if you’re starting in your journey. All the delicious flavor while adding a healthy twist (great for sneaking in veggies to kids too).
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni – whole wheat, low glycemic, gluten free… any will work!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 small butternut squash (4–5 cups cubed)
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese – I like Gruyère but any kind will work
- parsley for topping
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Cut the onion into thin rings and add to the butter in the pan, sauteing over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Bring the broth to a boil and add the squash. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender. Add the onions, milk, salt, and reserved broth and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce.
- Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked noodles and add the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese; add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
If you’re still needing help reaching your goals and you’re in the Chicagoland or Northwest Indiana area feel to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. We are located at 6819 W. 167th Street in Tinley Park, IL 60477. We can be reached at (708) 633-8000.
Recipe found at https://pinchofyum.com/healthy-mac-and-cheese
Blog inspiration and information from https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2018/02/13/the-science-behind-adopting-new-habits-and-making-them-stick/#17a3f65243c7
-Dani at Olive Branch
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