New year, new me?

New year, new me? No thanks.

None of that B.S. for me.

I'm the same body, same mind. Same conglomeration of fabulous metabolic workings that do amazing things to keep me alive, with a spirit that keeps propelling me through life at what sometimes feels like warp speed.

Like right now... 2018 already?? How did I get to 24 so fast, with just 1 year till I'm done with grad school?

2017 has been quite the year. I learned a whole lot about the human body, and the behavioral and environmental factors that influence our health. I traveled to Puerto Rico, Sonoma, New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. I worked at a rural health department in the Appalachian mountains, and wrote a blog post for a local pasta maker. I started a fellowship in developmental disabilities, and gained some valuable leadership skills. I learned how to brew kombucha and make more vegetarian proteins in a way that was not restrictive or self-judgmental, but nourishing and curious. I lost a car, gained a bike, ran a 5k, did a whole lot of yoga, and danced the least ballet I've ever danced. I spent less time with my family and my boyfriend than I would've liked (I cannot wait to move back to the West Coast later in 2018), but cherished every moment I got to spend with the people I love.

2017 was also the year that I threw out my scale, and dove headfirst into Intuitive Eating. It was the year that I truly started to accept my body, and began to appreciate all it's intricacies, curves, and abilities.

It's also the year that 5 years of intense academic stress finally caught up with me, and manifested itself in the form of a condition called cholinergic urticaria, or hives that happen when I am acutely stressed, exercise, am overheated, or eat spicy food (ugh. don't google pics cuz my hives are definitely not that bad.) Luckily not dangerous, just really freaking annoying. So, I'm taking a high dose antihistamine and am definitely OK, but I'm interpreting this message from my body as "OMG MCKENZIE PLEASE STOP CHILL OUT AH," or something along those lines.


So, that's why this year I am sure as hell NOT trying to have the perfect bikini body. I'm choosing to not stress about food or exercise, because I trust my body.

As my friend Lindsay so wonderfully wrote, "good for them, not for me." A diet might make someone else excited or hopeful about looking thinner, or feel good in the short term. Eating "clean" might make someone feel morally better because they aren't putting anything "bad" in their body. But all of that is simply just not for me.

The stress of the deprivation/guilt cycle is not for me. I choose to listen to my cravings and enjoy my food.


The stress of obsessing about my abs is not for me. I choose to do yoga because it feels good and builds functional muscles to help me stay healthy.


The stress of seeking perfection is not worth my mental or physical health.

Goals for 2018

Instead of trying to change something about myself, I've got a few goals I'd like to work towards in the coming year.

  1. Learn a whole lot in my final classes and internships and get ready to graduate with my MPH. I'll sit for the RD exam in early 2019!
  2. Be intentional with my stress management by consistently going to yoga every week and doing some sort of joyful movement every day.
  3. Stay creative and keep putting out content on my blog, both recipes and other posts like this one.

Copy of Food for Thought 1229 (1)

A challenge

No new year diets or detoxes on this site, but I do want to challenge you to come up with your own goals or intentions for 2018.

What is something you can work towards in your career or relationships with family/loved ones?

What is one way you can find balance and take care of yourself?

Let me know in the comments below. I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!