Today’s contribution is from Good Measure Meals’ registered dietitian, Rachel Baer, RD, LD. Originally published in Wingfoot magazine. The journey toward our goals is paved with great intentions. No processed foods, exercise every day, sleep 8 hrs each night. But before long, life happens. Great intentions give way to the busyness of life, and very soon we find that we’ve strayed from our plan to meet our goals. After years of working with clients, I’ve found that it’s the partial solutions that typically carry us the farthest. The small concessions – the realistic, every day habits that you really can do every…single…time. Here are 5 small changes that make a big difference: Pre-exercise fuel: Did you know your body requires carbohydrates to be able to access stored fat and use it as fuel? Start small with a handful of cereal, half a banana, ½ cup of applesauce, or 4 oz juice. If you’re looking to improve your performance or shed a few pounds, pre & post exercising fueling is an important place to start. Smart Snacks: Falling prey to the mid-morning or mid-afternoon munchies? Plan ahead with pre-cut fruits or veggies to snack on. These colorful delicacies provide us with endless vitamins and minerals that can help you lose the need for that daily multivitamin, not to mention their ability to hydrate. Strawberries are 92% water. Cucumbers are 96%! Opt for smarter treats: Even athletes fall prey to the sweet tooth. Indulge smarter with ½ cup of strawberries and a dollop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, instead of the other way around. Blend frozen fruit in a food processor to make your own sorbet. Newsflash: 1 frozen banana blended with 1 tsp of peanut butter added at the end just may blow your sweets-loving mind. Don’t get bored: Be proactive! If you’re eating the same healthy meal for lunch every single day, it is entirely probable that you’re headed for a barrier called boredom. Look for opportunities to switch it up. Roast broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the tips turn brown. Blend spinach into a homemade hummus or smoothie. Caramelize onions until they’re sweet and melting and toss into any grain or veggie salad. Use your friends/coworkers: One of your greatest advantages when working toward any goal is the power of the encouragement and accountability of the person working out next to you. Share your goals, your successes, and the barriers you hit along the way. These people care with the same fervor as you do, and they’ll be beside you to pick you up when you’ve fallen off the wagon, and cheer the loudest after you attain that next milestone. Use the power of your friends/coworkers, and better yet, be that power for someone else.