When Life Gives You Lemons

Published on: 04/12/2021
Close up of sliced lemons

When life gives you lemons🍋, how do you handle it? Do you show up as your best self? With a whole damn pitcher of lemonade :)? Do you curl up under the sheets to avoid human contact? Perhaps you’re somewhere in the middle — you show up, but not with the energy needed to manage the situation. For the last year (plus) every one of us was handed bushels of lemons. Many people experienced days, weeks or months that were quite sour. Some of us used the pandemic as a time to complete projects, cook, bake, exercise, hang with your pod, and gather outside with others. Spring is in the air and, with the promise of vaccination, hope is also out there. Let’s embrace some hope, slice up some lemons and create more hope…and some tasty zesty food.

In regard to nutrition, if you could pick one new thing to create or change, what would it be (i.e. add veggies to a meal, eat breakfast, mindful eating)? Regardless of what you decide to change, you need to have a strategy to help make the change doable and sustainable. Hope alone is not a strategy. I “hope” to lose 10 pounds before the summer. I “hope” to start running. I “hope” I will drink less once I can get out again (LOL). What do you want to change? What is your strategy to get there? Your strategy or plan of action will help you to achieve your desired new habit. Without it, when the lemon is handed to you along your journey — and it will happen, you need to be prepared to manage the obstacle(s).

As dietitians we talk a lot about SMART goals. They very efficiently take you right where you need to be, when setting goals:
S — Specific
M — Measurable
— Achievable
R — Relevant
T — Time-bound

Example of a vague goal or strategy: I will lose 10 pounds by summer.

Example of a SMART strategy: I will include at least one vegetable serving with my lunch 5 days a week. I will include vegetables on my shopping list to be sure I always have options. This will help me fill up at lunch with the extra fiber.Starting next Monday, I’ll add a vegetable to my lunch at least 5 times each week. I will put food shopping on my calendar for this Sunday, so I’ll be ready.​

Creating your own personal strategies to achieve your own personal want, no matter how daunting the task, will help get past any lemons thrown your way. Your plan can break down any goal into measurable and achievable amounts. Your plan should empower you, as you know you can do it! Plan meals, grocery shopping lists, exercise classes, & social situations that we have not managed in quite some time. Without a personal plan or strategy, you may feel frustrated or lost (sour lemons) instead of energized and focused (with a lemon martini🍋)…SEE BELOW!

LEMON GARLIC-APRICOT CHICKEN

LEMON PISTACHIO PESTO

CHOCOLATE BANANA BLUEBERRY LEMON□MUFFINS

LEMON MARTINI

The most effective way to do it, is to do it. 

~Amelia Earhart, first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

RESOURCES:

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/essential-guide-writing-smart-goals

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With a longstanding dedication to healthy cooking and eating, I promote nutrition with a rebellious twist: the belief that perfection is not required for success on your wellness journey. 

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