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Don’t Ban the Bon-Bons! Happy Healthy New Year!

If you’ve already banned bon-bons and sworn off French fries, I don’t need to tell you that New Year’s diet resolutions are among the most popular annual self-improvement declarations. 
My New Year’s Resolution is to swim more! 
But, the trouble with telling yourself you’re going to make big changes – whether it’s with food or finances – is that it only takes a few little slip ups and you’re back to your old tricks again.  
That’s why nutrition experts say don’t be so rough on yourself because adopting healthier eating behaviors takes some time. In her new book, The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook, registered dietitian Janet Helm writes, “One recent study found that it takes an average of 66 days before a new habit becomes automatic. 
Helm’s Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook features expert tips from RD’s like moi! Page 205 folks on olive oil!!!
So commit to 30 days, then the next month will be much easier to sustain.”  She adds that long-term behavior change is the result of small victories and little daily tweaks.  For instance, when ordering a veggie omelet ask the kitchen to double up on the veggies and halve the cheese to shave off significant calories and add fiber and nutrients. 
Sometimes a new habit means continuing to enjoy the splurge foods you love, but less often. “Eat your special foods in reasonable amounts,” suggests registered dietitian Jill Nussinow.  “If you love cheesecake and eat it a few times a year, that’s fine. Love great croissants? Eat them occasionally, as in when you go to Paris or the best bakery around.”  You had me at Paris. 

Be Specific

Be Specific: I’ll only use a sprinkling of salt on the top of foods. OK, not as pictured!!!

Diet declarations such as “I’ll never eat ice cream again!” or “I’ll never eat out again!” are just way too broad to be believed. Helm advises being as specific as possible so goals are action-oriented. For instance, instead of “I’ll be more active” make the change to “Get up 30 minutes earlier so I can walk in the morning before work.” 

Be Specific: I will try to limit happy hour to one hour.


Or, let’s say you love southern foods. Rather than promising to back away from bacon and sweet tea, learn to enjoy southern flavor favorites in moderation.   At Buttermilk Kitchen in Buckhead, share an order of pimento cheese and house pickles with a few friends. Order the grilled chicken sandwich that comes with avocado, spinach, grilled onion and bacon but ask to skip the creamy ranch dressing.  Servers are happy to customize your iced tea by adding just a splash or two of sweet tea to take the edge of the unsweetened tea.  

Pimento Cheese on toast with house made pickles and tomato jam at Buttermilk Kitchen, Atlanta
Survey the list of side dishes to see that Buttermilk Kitchen owner and Chopped winner Suzanne Vizethan let’s you order a broiled half grapefruit for a naturally sweet and low calorie dessert.

Resolve to Eat More

While most folks think of nutrition improvements as a list of the things they’re not to suppose to eat, registered dietitian David Grotto has come up with the lists of food you should be eating more of to be healthier.  
Dave is who we call a “Guy-a-titian”
In his new book, “The Best Things You Can Eat” he ranks nutrient rich foods “For everything from aches to zzzz.”  For instance, rather than maligning the ingredients associated with causing heart disease Grotto’s top foods for lowering cholesterol fall into three categories – whole grains, berries and legumes.  Garlic, apples and oatmeal make the list too.  
Another happy side effect of eating more of these healthy foods is that they taste great and keep you feeling full while crowding out the junk foods and fast foods you may be trying to consume less of this year. 

Happy New Year, New You and New Healthy Things to do!

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