5 Goal Setting Tips for Real Resolutions

Nutrition Advice from your Pawling Hannaford Dietitian

#1 Slow and Steady

It may sound trite, but indeed slow and steady does “win the race” when it comes to meeting nutrition and diet goals. Try to change too much, too fast, and you may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to sustain any of the changes you attempt to make.

#2 Small “Bites”

Not only should you plan to make slow and steady changes, but seek changes that are small, attainable, and sustainable, such as “add more color” or “eat vegetables every day.” These small changes will add up to results such as increasing your intake of antioxidants and filling your belly with weight reducing fiber. Clear, concise and specific goals are essential for success, as abstract goals such as “eat better” are too difficult to wrap your mind around.

#3 Make Your Goal a Top Priority

Your goal (or goals) must be one of the top three things you think about every morning or it won’t happen. In other words, if your goal is to exercise daily, then make it the first thing you do every day (even if it means adjusting your sleep schedule to accommodate early rising). Unless your goals are a top priority, they simply won’t be met.

#4 A Natural Fit

You may have lofty goals and big changes you desire to make, but if they require you to do things that don’t fit your lifestyle (i.e., never eat out when you are used to always dining out) you are going to be left feeling like a “tourist in your own land.” In other words, your “new” way of living can’t feel like a foreign country, or you will simply “visit” it for a while before returning to your own comfortable way of living. Bottom line: If it doesn’t feel sustainable, it won’t be.

#5 A Vehicle Is Okay . . . But Know Where It’s Going

I may not believe that every commercial diet is a good and sound idea, but I do believe that if they help a person to feel successful, then they are a good idea for that person. However, that said, it’s essential that individuals realize that these diets are “vehicles” they are using to bring them to success, but that they can’t expect to use the vehicle forever. If you are using a commercial diet, then it’s very important to clearly understand the reason it’s working. For example, are you eating far fewer calories than you usually consume? (This is generally the reason for weight loss.) Please note that simply paying more attention and being mindful about your choices leads to weight loss.

For more advice on meeting wellness goals and other nutrition topics, stop by to say “hello” to me at Pawling Hannaford, or visit Hannaford.com online.

As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit www.hannaford.com/dietitians for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours or call (845) 855-0553 for more information.


One Pot Ratatouille (2 Guiding Stars)

This colorful, “one pot” dish will help you meet your goal to consume daily vegetables. “Sweat” eggplant for this recipe by cubing it, adding salt, and allowing it to sit for 20 – 30 minutes to release some of the water. Rinse well before using. Please visit GuidingStars.com online for more on the Guiding Stars nutrition guidance program.


2 lg. eggplants, cubed and sweated

2 yellow onions, chopped

3 bell peppers, chopped

6 med. zucchini, chopped

4 lg. tomatoes, chopped

2 T. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 sprigs thyme

1/4 c. basil, sliced into ribbons

1 t. salt

Pepper to taste


Warm 1 teaspoon of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions; sauté until just and lightly brown. Add the peppers and cooking until soft. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini until soft and lightly brown. Add to onions and peppers.

Rinse the sweated eggplant well and press to release as much moisture as possible. Add to pan with more oil and cook until translucent. Add to cooked vegetables.

If necessary, deglaze the pan with water and transfer the liquid to the bowl with the cooked vegetables.

Warm another teaspoon of oil in the pan and sauté the garlic about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Add all the vegetables back into the pan and stir to mix evenly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, until desired texture is reached. Remove bay leaf and thyme and stir in the basil just before serving.