By Emilia Sochovka MS, RDN, CPT

Now that the New Year is here, many of us want a fresh start for our health habits. We may want to change what we eat, how we move our bodies or other lifestyle behaviors. While the pursuit of self-improvement is overall a positive thing, many go awry during the goal-setting process, eventually leading to a sense of failure. Embrace Wellness is here to help you reach your health goals. Consider these steps for making healthy changes that you will stick to all year.

  1. Silence the noise. The diet industry promotes cleanses, detoxes and programs that call for extreme behavior changes such as eliminating entire food groups. Instead, stick to the basics – eat more nutritious whole foods, hydrate and be physically active.
  2. Be specific. If your goal is to lose weight, think about the specific behaviors that will help you work towards that overall goal. While there is no one weight loss method for everyone, start by eating more whole plant foods and being physically active in ways that are enjoyable. Zero in on practices you want to include, rather than exclude. Instead of a goal to eat less food, consider eating more healthfully prepared veggies, a strategy that supports weight management.
  3. Avoid a 0-to-100 approach. A common downfall of New Year’s resolutions is that they are not realistic. It’s not reasonable to expect that you can flip a switch and consistently practice a demanding new health behavior. Start with small goals and build on them over time. If a goal is not sustainable, change it. Check in with your goals regularly to make sure they are evolving along with you and setting you up for success.
  4. Make the habit enjoyable. Health habits can be tough to practice if we don’t experience the satisfaction of a short-term reward. Find some pleasure in the habit, perhaps by focusing on the feeling you have afterwards. Other ideas include incorporating a reward that is not food- or drink-related. Save your favorite podcast to listen to while cooking, call a friend while on a walk or take a warm bath post-workout.
  5. Consider accountability. There are many ways to stick to health goals, starting with writing them down. To stay accountable to an exercise goal, add workouts to your calendar like any other commitment. Fin a workout buddy by joining in-person or virtual group fitness classes. Try various exercise disciplines so workouts never get boring.

 As the New Year begins, remind yourself that healthy changes come from within. Decide what works best for you and make your journey your own.

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By Emilia Sochovka, MS, RDN, CPT

Nothing says summer quite like a BBQ, whether it’s in a backyard, on a rooftop or in a park. Embrace Wellness is here to help you reach your health goals while also enjoying summer celebrations. Socializing with friends and family is an important part of practicing wellness. Here are some wellness tips for summer BBQs:

  • Reject social pressure around food. Focus on internal cues such as hunger when assembling and eating your meal, rather than external cues. If another guest is directly pressuring you to make a certain food choice, respond with a simple “no, thank you.” Only you should decide what and how much you eat.
  • Balance your plate with veggies. Seasonal veggies deserve a place on the BBQ buffet because of their disease-fighting phytochemicals and fiber. If you’re a guest, offer to bring a side dish. Fresh ideas include Crunchy Cucumber Salad, Green Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing and Katchkie Farm Cucumber, Melon & Arugula Salad.
  • Plan an active game. While mingling and eating is usually the main event at a BBQ, games allow partygoers of all ages to have fun and move their bodies. Activities include cornhole, spikeball, badminton, wiffle ball and ring toss. Or try wheelbarrow races and capture the flag, which do not require any special equipment.

Don’t forget to hydrate (perhaps with infused water), wear sunscreen and practice grilling and food safety.

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By Great Performances

Over our 40 years, we’ve been privileged to create and cater events celebrating life’s milestones, engaging clients, launching products, raising funds and awareness, and building positive work environments. And with our scope and volume of work—and in 2018 alone we served more than half a million meals—we knew we had the opportunity to do more.

About a year ago, we launched Embrace at select venues. Embrace extends our philosophy that “Life happens around food®” to the spaces where people work, collaborate, celebrate and live, providing education, conversation, and engagement around food. Our first pillar, Embrace Wellness, focuses on health and well-being. Through collaborations with a registered dietitian nutritionist, our chefs have crafted balanced, health-supportive meals, supplementing the traditional favorites with what’s quickly becoming new favorites. Through blog posts, webinars, and live demonstrations, we engage our customers, sharing recipes, perspective shifts, and tips for navigating often complicated food choices to select foods that nourish their bodies and minds.

We invite you to Embrace Wellness with us and to stay tuned for our next pillar which embraces a different aspect of our daily lives.

And now, a note from Emilia Sochovka, our Embrace Wellness registered dietitian nutritionist.

Embrace Wellness celebrates nutrient-dense, seasonal and delicious food, while also sharing expert guidance on balanced living and wellness trends. On, find featured blogs, recipes, and webinars on health topics delivered by our registered dietitian nutritionist. In our cafes and at events, Embrace Wellness empowers guests to adopt a fresh way of looking at their food choices.

The purpose of Embrace Wellness is to empower our community to make daily choices that sustain health. This year, give thought to simple habits that enhance the holiday season by helping us feel healthy, energized, and happy.

  • Have a snack with protein and fiber before a holiday party to ensure you do not arrive hungry. Examples include carrot sticks and hummus, berries and almonds, or a hard-boiled egg and whole wheat crackers.

  • Eat foods with vitamin C to boost your immunity. Think only citrus foods have vitamin C? Think again. Try antioxidant-rich vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, parsnips and potatoes.

  • Stay active by trying winter activities like indoor rollerblading, rock climbing, ice skating, skiing, hiking and walking.

With the holidays in full swing, balance indulgences with practices that nourish and strengthen your body. Each day is an opportunity to support well-being.

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