Love Your Health: Living With Intention In 2021 – Greeneville Sun

Here we are, a week into a new month in, thank goodness, a new year. As the buzz from the holidays, sugar, and time off wans, I have to say it feels good to get back in the swing of things. Im a creature of habit. I love structure, routine and schedules. I know, I know. Maybe youre getting back into the swing of things, or you started 2021 with guns blazing, resolutions in hand, ready to go.

While Ive certainly shared that Im a lover of lists, resolutions Im not so big on. I dont do well with setting goals for myself and not completing them. Because of this I like to set mini goals, intentions if you will. If you made grandiose goals for 2021, by all means go for it. If youre like me or those goals are already starting to lose their luster, I thought Id share a few of the things Im doing in this new month and year to regain focus and reinforce healthy habits.

I went on a good old-fashioned grocery store haul. I had spinach, carrots, avocados, apples, beets, grapefruit, peppers, kraut, bananas, almond milk, brown rice, sprouted grain cinnamon raisin English muffins just to name a few healthy items in my cart Saturday. After one too many holiday treats my body, and I suspect yours, is probably craving produce. Dont adopt that diet mentality of skipping snacks and meals, living off diet soft drinks and air. Stock your fridge and pantry with produce and healthy items. Opening a well-stocked fridge with lovely fruits and veggies within reach is often the push you need, that and getting rid of some of the overly processed junk thats crowding your pantry and fridge.

Speaking of produce, I love salads. I pack a salad most every day for my lunch. During the holidays with time off and an abundance of yummy leftovers I fell out of that habit. My go to and the recipe Im sharing below takes minimal effort. Something you can throw together in five minutes. I love my salads with a serving of yummy whole grain crackers, fruit and a little bubbly courtesy of kombucha.

Packable Crunchy Detox Salad with Sesame Ginger DressingFrom the blog Eating Bird Food

1 1/2 cups kale and cabbage mix (can find a premade option or DIY)

1/3 cup bite-size apple chunks (about 1/2 an apple)

1 1/2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Instructions: Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Package salad ingredients in a portable container until ready for lunch. Toss greens with the toppings. Add sliced avocado and drizzle on the dressing. Add a squirt of sriracha if you like to spice things up a bit and enjoy.

I am hitting restart on my training program. I run almost every morning. Ive explained in this little space before that its not only my daily exercise but often my therapy. With a new job in 2020, which meant an earlier wake up time, COVID-19, canceling not only my precious morning runs with my girlfriends and any races I was training for, I fell into a comfortable pattern of just jogging a few miles a day. I havent been doing long runs, cross training, or challenging myself. Im optimistic the races I was training for and looking forward to last year will happen in 2021.

With optimism by my side its time for me to focus on following a training plan. This is by no means meant to make you feel like you should be training for a race. If you like to walk, jog or run, youve decided 2021 is your year to take up one of these good for you physical activities, or its been a minute, Id encourage you to follow a training plan as well. There are so many wonderful, free resources out there. Couch to 5k and Hal Higdon are two of my favorites, both free and great for all levels, training programs.

I am saying no to post holiday food guilt. In the past, Ive spent many a holiday season stressing and attempting to out-exercise my favorite treats. Skipping meals, saying no to my moms homemade Christmas candy, which I love, really just being miserable. Why? One homemade chocolate covered cherry isnt going to make me gain a pound and I am certain that neither myself or you have ever looked back on a Christmas and thought I wish I wouldnt have had that slice of grandmas pie.

One thing I have learned is to focus on making reasonably healthy choices throughout the day. Eating a filling and produce-heavy breakfast and lunch, running not to burn off my meal from the night before but because I love it and it makes me feel good. That salad or run will always be there. Time spent with loved ones, enjoying a beautiful meal will not.

Jessica Barnett is a Southwest Virginia girl married to a Greeneville native, a mom, personal trainer, certified fitness nutrition specialist, runner, herbivore and ice cream lover. To learn about working with Jessica, prospective clients may email

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Love Your Health: Living With Intention In 2021 - Greeneville Sun

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