It’s the first week in January, a week filled with self-examination, determination, and the promise of a fresh start and a brand new year. As Americans, so many of the resolutions that we make concern healthy eating and physical fitness. We promise to banish carbs from our diets once and for all, start training for a marathon, or button those jeans that haven’t fit past our thighs in twenty years. While these goals are admirable, the truth is that they just aren’t realistic. And let’s face it: life without bread is just no fun, and if you hate running, maybe marathon training isn’t for you. The point is, setting goals for the new year is an excellent idea; the key is knowing how to do it so that you are most likely to be successful.

Our first suggestion is to make each goal a reasonable one. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll quit bread, pasta, and rice altogether, and we don’t think you should. Carbohydrates, especially the complex variety, provide fuel for the brain as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Instead of quitting them, why not try controlling your portions? For example, try to keep each serving of grains to the recommended one ounce equivalents. This means one slice of bread, or a half-cup serving of pasta or rice. If this seems difficult, use a measuring cup for a week or two until you are better able to approximate the right amount. This way, you still get to eat and enjoy these delicious carbs, but are still being mindful of the amount. The idea that we want you to grasp is to make goals ones that you can live with over an extended period so that they add up. Otherwise, you are more likely to get overwhelmed by an overly ambitious resolution and revert back to your old ways.

Another strategy you should use when goal setting is learn from your mistakes. It’s very likely that your New Year’s resolution is something that you have tried to accomplish before, so ask yourself, “What went wrong the last time I tried to meet this goal?” Figuring out your previous missteps or barriers to success and navigating around them will ensure that you are prepared for the roadblocks that will inevitably come your way. If you committed to running five days per week, but did not have the time to dedicate to it, then you now know to tweak your exercise plan accordingly. Also, attempt to learn from others. We are all different, but we are also all alike, so using someone else’s ideas in the formulation of your own plan might not be a bad idea.

Our last piece of advice sounds cliche, but it rings true. If you slip up, get back on track right away. We see many well-intentioned people in pursuit of the perfect diet, but that doesn’t exist. If you truly want to change the way that you eat, it will have to be long-term, during which mistakes are bound to happen. Learn from these mistakes, and over time you will develop a way of eating that contains more of the healthy stuff and less of the not-so-healthy stuff. Try to see the big picture: is that piece of chocolate cake you ate last night going to matter in a year? Probably not. Be kind to yourself, construct a plan that you can maintain, seek help along the way, and above all, enjoy the journey!

For more healthy eating tips or advice on setting healthy eating goals for the upcoming year, visit the newly named Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics website at

If you are looking to makeover your family’s eating plan this year, Family Food, LLC wants to help! Contact us by phone or e-mail (both available by clicking the ‘Contact" tab) or via Facebook and Twitter!

Don’t forget – you could be entitled to SIX FREE VISITS with a Registered Dietitian in 2012. Check out our ‘Services’ tab to see if your insurance carrier qualifies!






I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."



Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.



Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!



Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.



My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.



Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.



I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.



I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.



I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!



I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.



I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.



I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!



I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.



I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.



The Family Food blog

The most reliable evidence-based nutrition information on child and adult nutrition.

5 Unexpected Nutrients to Optimize Your Immune System

5 Unexpected Nutrients To Optimize Your Immune System by Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN The immune system protects us from disease by fighting infections. Our immune system function is lowered during stress. It is important to note that no food can...

read more

Eat Right Bite by Bite

March is National Nutrition Month! .This years theme is “Eat Right Bite by Bite”. This means that we should be trying to eat healthier in small steps. Making improvements and changes to your nutrition and lifestyle in small bites can really add up over time. Think...

read more

3 hacks to eating guilt-free holiday desserts

3 hacks to eating guilt-free holiday desserts  by Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN Who says you can’t make cookies, cakes, and desserts nutritious?  The holiday season includes more time with family, food, and yes - even holiday treats. Here are 3 hacks to...

read more

Gain access to a personal Registered Dietitian today.

We accept most Health Insurance plans