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The Middle on your own personal middle

This week, Jody Vance searches for The Middle in…food? Sounds nuts, but it’s a thing.

The anger around food has been simmering for some time, but came to a boil this past Sunday. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association served a 100% plant-based meal at the Golden Globe awards.

Plant-based dishes are all the rage in 2020, unless of course you’re offended by what others eat. One viral tweet called it “a Hollywood act of vegan extremism.”

Come on.

Food extremism isn’t served at an awards show, it’s much more often served as punishment after New Years. Yes, I’m referring to those pesky resolutions. If you are a resolution maker — and hate it — this column is for you. Experts will tell you to toss a dart at a calendar and set your resolution for literally ANY day but January 1st.

We are fed a non-stop stream of marketing to improve ourselves this new year, and that joining now will make a better you. Ironically, those ads replaced the Ferrero Rocher spots.

Celery! Grapefruit! Cabbage soup! Wild rose or master cleanse! Some extreme diets are downright dangerous – especially without speaking to your doctor first.

Food extremism isn’t served at an awards show, it’s much more often served as punishment after New Years.

Here’s what your doctor will say: extreme anything is not healthy. If your new program needs your body to go into some sort of next level stage of starvation, it’s likely unsustainable.

Yes, this is absolutely an endorsement – but there’s no money changing hands for my suggesting that instead of extreme resolutions, head to Nutritionist Alyssa Bauman will help you hit plant-based proteins hard, with free recipes to help crowd out the meat on your plate, keep portions in check, and set you up for making healthy decisions every time you plan a meal.

I know this because it worked for me. In January 2010, Alyssa asked me to be her guinea pig. Her assessment and direction changed my approach to food in an incredibly positive way, permanently.

I particularly enjoy at this time of year as nothing is taboo, including Cheezies and Guinness. What I’m saying is you need never do deprivation resolutions again.

Misery isn’t sustainable.

The Middle for 2020 is some friendly advice: eat what you want, in moderation. Portion size is everything.

Do NOT diet, do NOT cleanse, do NOT fast, do NOT cold turkey — find moderation in your lifestyle, and keep it rolling year-round. Talk to your doctor.

Hardcore resolutions aren’t just about the food; take a moderate mindset to fitness as well. It’s legit dangerous to dive into an over-the-top regime when your last workout might have been many moons ago and consisted largely of armchair athletics. Far too many lifetime CrossFit memberships are sold at this time of year, purchased by people who’ve never attempted a burpee.

Resolutions only work when sustainable. Misery isn’t sustainable.

Suffering the “Keto Flu” – misery. Dry dudes and dudettes swearing off drinking for 31 days, biting off heads of everyone in sight – misery. The cleanse crew living the Goop life — misery (and often literally fainting).

Yes, it’s a good time to assess lifestyle and what you might improve over the next 365 days…just don’t do it all at once. Statistics show that resolutions, on average, last until January 12. You’re almost there!

If you’re not going to make it, consider that a base hit might be better than swinging for the fences and striking out.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who’s spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.