Monday, February 2, 2015

The February Dip and Apple Chips

Happy (Belated) New Year!!

Its one month into the new year and right now is when all those well meaning resolutions I made to myself just a few weeks prior about eating better and working out regularly start to unravel. According to the Wall Street Journal I'm not alone.

The article talks about the "February Dip" phenomenon. Facebook check-ins at gyms were followed and it was found that the biggest drop off was from January to February. The check-ins pick up in March probably as we get ready for spring break season and then continue to decline steadily as the year progresses.

Why does this happen you ask? One theory has been that it takes a certain number of repetitions for a new action to become a "habit" or a task that is done without much conscious effort. Many of us, myself included, don't keep up with our new habits long enough for them to stick. And exactly how long does it take you ask?  One research study cited in the above WSJ article found that it took on average 66 days for a new habit to form!

The author went on to describe a few ways ensure that your goals would be reached including
working out with a partner and being accountable to another person directly (i.e. with a phone call). Most interestingly, the researchers found those that shared what they were doing publicly i.e through social media had a sense of "premature accomplishment" and were actually less likely to follow through!

Something that has helped me for the past two years has been to pick one word ( to remember each day and allow that word to inspire my actions for the coming year. Instead of writing down and remembering a long, burdensome list it has been more effective to focus on just one singular word.

If you find that you're starting to buckle under the weight of all the To-Do's you set out with in on January 1, 2015 just take a breath, find a word to be inspired by and know you are actually almost half-way to creating a better habit!

Thankfully, I have been blessed with great siblings whose healthy habits have pushed me to take more action in creating a healthier version of myself.  On occasion, we swap pics of our healthy meals and tell each other when we work out. One such healthy (or so I thought) treat I love is the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad from Panera Bread.  Those delicious, crispy apple chips on top are my favorite part. So you can imagine, I was shocked upon discovering they were in fact fried! I decided to take a stab at making my own apple chips at home in the oven and guess what? They turned out even better than the packaged oily apple chips! Hope you enjoy!

a perfect sweet crunchy bite!


Baked Apple Chips

 1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
 2. Slice apples as  thin as possible and place in a single layer onto a silicone mat  (Choose your favorite variety. I used Washington Red)
 3. Bake for 2 hours on this low temperature then turn each chip
 4. Bake another 1 hour then turn oven off and keep chips inside the oven til cool
 5. Now you have a healthy snack for on the go or to top your favorite salad!

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