There are a mere 5 weeks left until the end of 2015 and the beginning of yet another year.  A year of possibilities. Of opportunities. Of untapped moments. And unknown victories and challenges.  But why wait? Why not get a jump start on all you want the “new year” to be with this 5 week challenge? Yes, it’s holiday season. Yes, there are likely to be peppermint mochas, freshly baked cookies, and a myriad of other delicious seasonal treats. And I have no desire to make this holiday season an unenjoyable one for you. But, why not stick with a traditional holiday theme? Be 10% naughty and 90% nice!

So, the 5 week challenge, should you choose to accept it… Each week from now until the New Year will have a focus, a goal. You have the whole week to master it. If you can get it right the whole week, woo-hoo! You’ll be that much close to making this new goal a routine habit. Each week, you’ll add a new focus, keeping the previous week’s focus going. By the New Year, you’ll be regularly doing 5 healthy things already that will be sure to give you a jump start on your New Year’s goals, no matter what they are. Good nutrition serves you not only in weight loss and health, but improved sleep, better attitude, increased focus, and a million other little things that can help prepare you to take on any big thing you want to tackle this new year!

Week One, November 30th to December 6th: Set your foundation with proper hydration. Aim for AT LEAST half your weight in water. So, if your weigh 180 lbs, aim for about 90 oz of water a day. What counts as “water”? Herbal Tea, unsweetened iced tea, flavored water (NOT Gatorade, powerade, etc), milk, even a smoothie if made from real fruits and veggies, not juice or a mix.

Strategies for getting in your daily water:

1)   Get a large water bottle, one big enough to hold ¼ to half of your daily needs at once. Aim to have half of your goal intake in by lunch.

2)   Enjoy some herbal tea to warm you up and help you get re-focused before starting your afternoon.

3)   Every time you check facebook, twitter, personal e-mail, etc., take a drink. It’s like a healthy drinking game!

4)   Add a bit of lemon juice and sea salt to your water for a fun twist and electrolyte boost.

5)   During your evening tv watching, aim to drink 4 oz during every commercial break until your daily goal is fulfilled.

Get drinking! And check back in next week for the next challenge!


Aubrey Phelps, MS RDN