Mountain Trek Hike with Guide Jenn

New Year’s resolutions with nutritionist Jenn

Last summer, I walked into Mountain Trek with a host of digestive issues. Food and I were not—I repeat, and emphasize, NOT—on good terms. I was bloated. I was inflamed. I was crumbling.

Jenn Keirstead, the program’s nutritionist, fixed that. And within a week. With her emphasis on non-inflammatory foods, and appropriate meal times and portions, she was able to save me from the dark depths of a body in revolt. I picked her brain as much as her brain would allow for picking—her tolerance is remarkably high, if not infinite—and my gut and I left forever changed.

Because of Jenn’s excellence, I interviewed her to learn exactly what she’ll be doing throughout 2019. I needed to get into her head to find out just how she’s always, well, a ball of sunshine. Is it what she eats? How she views life? How does she view life? I may not have gotten all the scoop this time around, but here’s a snapshot into how one nutrition specialist views New Year resolutions. 

Thanks for spilling the beans on how you’re kicking off 2019, Jenn. What are your resolutions?

To be honest, I don’t make resolutions! Instead, I take time to look back and reflect on the previous year. I’ve noticed this habit of reflection helps me create more self-awareness, and resilience. I’ve also found it helps me establish, and achieve, more meaningful goals. As a nutritionist, I also focus on the dietary strengths and challenges of the past year. I ask myself, how did my diet seem to affect my health, my energy, my overall wellbeing?

Interesting. How do you go about asking yourself these hard questions?

I encourage you to take your time with these questions over several sittings. Let your thoughts percolate. Stay with the questions over the next few weeks. You can start by asking yourself what went well, who needs to be acknowledged, how you grew, what didn’t work so well, and how will you continue to meet your dietary and fitness needs?

MT emphasizes keeping goals doable upon returning home. How can we apply this logic to our goal-making for 2019?

To help make the goal of reflection achievable, ask yourself what the year ahead will look like. Questions such as, “Will there be big changes this new year, with work or relationships,” “Who would I like to connect with more,” and “What kind of leader/ friend/ partner would I like to be?” Try to create very specific intentions you are wanting to achieve. 

How have you created and manifested your own intentions?

During my swimming career, my coach would encourage me to specifically visualize every second of the upcoming race. I found this to be one of most helpful practices in all areas of my life. For example, my husband and I adopted a little boy this year, and during the three year preliminary adoption process, I would constantly focus on manifesting a healthy, happy child in our world. And it has seemed to work out beautifully!

What’s one tip you can offer regarding diet this New Year?

Here’s the bottom line: small, sustainable change is much more likely to turn into a lifelong habit. Try not to aim for dietary perfection, as that often leads to increased stress and unachievable success. Baby steps will get you there. For example, something as simple as focusing on mindful eating, and putting your fork down between each bite, is an excellent place to start. 

Discover why micro-resolutions are twice as likely to succeed than lofty New Year’s resolutions, and Kirk’s take on goal-making in 2019.