Healthy Habits for Women for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the RawToday, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite healthy habits for the New Year, to support the creation of a better you!

Now, I’m not a huge fan of making changes only on the New Year. I’m not a fan of detoxes, teas, and diets that only last for about 1 second of the New Year, even though you intended to make them stick for life.

What I am a huge fan of is taking that time right before the New Year to ground yourself, set your intentions, and do so from your heart.

These healthy habits can be easily incorporated by anyone! And they’re not hard to do.

Just remember: pick the habits that make you feel really good when you simply start to think of them. Don’t try to do all of them. Literally pick 1-3 from this list, and write down a little plan of exactly how to do it.

Don’t stress out about the plan part. A unique thing about this blog post is that I’m including action steps under each healthy habit idea so that you know exactly how to implement. It’s about implementation, right here right now, rather than perfection. So don’t forget that. Starting is always the hardest part, but once you do, you’ll feel like you’re already 90% there!

And I want to hear from you in the comments: which 3 (max) healthy habits did you pick, and how do you commit to implementing them in the New Year?

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Healthy Habit #1: Drink Water

Healthy Habits for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

Drinking water is probably the most simple healthy habit you can pick up for next year, yet so many people neglect it. Our body is composed of about 60% water, and loads of functions depend on water, including digestion, absorption, and transportation of nutrients.

Plus, drinking water can help lose and maintain ultimate weight. Often times when we feel hungry, we are actually thirsty, so drinking water can prevent overeating.

ACTION STEPS: buy a reusable water bottle and the amazing Berkey filter. Set your timer for every 1-2 hours, and drink a few sips from your bottle, so that you finish the whole one by the end of the day!

Healthy Habit #2: Eat More Whole Plants 

What I eat in a day according to Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen | Soul in the Raw

If you’re reading this right now, you probably know that eating plants is where it’s at. Eating a plant-based diet is the #1 (and ONLY) way ever scientifically demonstrated to reverse our number one killer: heart disease. In addition, eating plants helps you maintain energy levels, mental clarity, and a zest for life!

I am not kidding when I say that this healthy habit is definitely my #1 on this list. I have seen hundreds of people reverse chronic conditions and gain their LIFE BACK as a result of eating plants!


  • Pick a meal for which changing your eating habits will be the easiest. I recommend breakfast, because it’s usually the easiest for most people. Pick 3 days a week to start with when you will change up your breakfast. My two favorite breakfasts are smoothie bowls and overnight oats.
  • If you’ve already got this step down, the next one would be to expand this to all days of the week. So, for example, you’ll be having a plant based breakfast 7 days a week.
  • After you get this one down and it becomes effortless to do, then pick the next meal, and follow the same pattern until you’re entirely plant-based!
  • If you’ve been plant based for a while now, then I recommend improving your diet even more by eating more WHOLE foods, meaning cutting out oil and processed sugar (maple syrup, coconut sugar, agave, etc. included).
  • Once you have cut out processed foods for the most part, you can start to do your best to incorporate the healthiest foods into your diet, including making sure to eat plenty of whole grains, legumes, and greens daily, for example.

Join FREE the Plant-Based Challenge!

During this challenge, you’ll be getting daily meal plans, support, and expert tips on succeeding on a whole food, plant-based diet. Start the year with the best healthy habits by joining us!

Healthy Habit #3: Spend Time in Nature

Vegan Backpacking in the Sierras: My First Experience | Soul in the Raw

Bathing in nature’s goodness lowers stress levels, which leads to weight loss and overall amazing health! I highly encourage you to experience the positive mood you can get to, only in nature.

ACTION STEPS: if going out and hiking once a week is not your thing (although I highly recommend it), find a few local parks and spend at least a few days a week walking around, sitting on the grass, or even walking barefoot on grass. It’s life changing!

Healthy Habit #4: Start Your Day with High Vibrations 

Healthy Habits for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

This can include journaling, dancing, meditating, or calling a good friend that always makes you smile. Do whatever you need to do to raise your vibes. How you start the day will dictate how your day goes!

I have personally seen my business transform as I make an effort to start the day positively, smiling and feeling gratitude for all I have.

ACTION STEPS: recognize if you’re feeling sad or are in a bad mood at the beginning of the day. Allow this emotion to play itself out, and don’t push it away. Spend some time with yourself, eyes closed, feeling sad. That is the only way to release the sadness. Then, try doing an anxiety-releasing guided meditation on Youtube, dancing, or journaling. Do anything that you know raises your vibrations and mood. The most important thing is to make your positivity a priority every morning.

Healthy Habit #5: Perform Every Activity in Your Life with Complete Easy and Joy, Including Eating

Healthy Habits for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

Here is an honest confession: I used to spend much of my time complaining about what I “had to do”. I still do this sometimes, but I’m getting better.

Drop the victim mentality, and you’ll see that you’re actually incredibly powerful, and you have the power to change your life!

Do everything because you choose to. Even when you do some things out of necessity, such as picking your kids up from school in traffic, find joy there too, and realize that no one forces you to do anything. You choose it.

ACTION STEPS: notice when victim mentality creeps in, and when you say sentences like “I have to…” in your head or out loud. When that happens, change it immediately. “No, sorry. I want to pick up my kids from school right now. I can’t wait to see them. And on my way, I’ll be listening to an amazing and inspiring podcast”.

Healthy Habit #6: Turn Off Electronics Before Bed and Stay Off When You Wake Up

Healthy Habits for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

We are all guilty of this! Recent research is finding that the more time we spend on social media, the more depressed we are.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I spend lots of time on social media, especially for my job, and I think it’s extremely powerful in helping create positive social change in the world.

However, before you go to bed and right after you wake up is primary time to clear your mind and set your goals for your dream life. Don’t waste it on staring at abs that you wish you had.

ACTION STEPS: leave your phone out of your room.  Never charge your phone by your head. Instead, read a book or do a Sudoku (yes, I’ve been addicted) before bed. While you fall asleep, close your eyes and picture your dream life. This is primary time for changing your mindset! In the morning, begin by meditating, talking to your partner, and writing down your goals for the day. Switch social media to real life relationships!  

Healthy Habit #7: Do 1 Thing Every Day JUST FOR YOU

Healthy Habits for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

We get so lost in everything. Kids, partners, chores. We often forget that not taking care of ourselves leads to not taking care of all of those people we love.

So, do something, even something small, for yourself daily. It’s so crucial! My favorite thing to do is a yin yoga session right before bed. I turn the lights off, turn on a candle, and spend just 20 minutes in the deep stretches. It feels incredible!

ACTION STEPS: write a list of 5 things that make you FEEL AMAZING. Think about the things that actually NOURISH you from the inside out. Do 1 every day, even if just for 20 minutes!

Healthy Habit #8: Eat Turmeric, Flax Seeds, and Fermented Foods Daily

food pairings for nutrient absorption

A random list, yes. But these are foods that are often neglected and can seriously help create miracles for your health.

I’m not saying that if you eat junk food and incorporate these daily you’ll see changes. No way! But if you’re already eating a plant-based diet, incorporating turmeric, flax and fermented foods will lead to even greater results.

Turmeric is the best anti-inflammatory food out there, and is really amazing at preventing a whole list of diseases. In fact, it helped me finally reverse my PMS pain!

Flax seeds contain lignans.  From “Lignans are an anticancer plant compound found in red wine, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, sesame seeds and flaxseeds.  Flaxseeds may contain up to 800 times more lignans than any other foods.  Flaxseeds also give you the most bang for your buck at just $1 per pound in the bulk food section. Just a teaspoon a day can give you your daily dose (although make sure it is ground flaxseed or else the nutrients may not be absorbed).”

In addition, eating fermented foods is crucial because it helps you build up the good gut bacteria in your body, which is responsible for good digestion, immunity, and mood, among others.

ACTION STEPS: (this one, I think we can all do!)

  1. Blend up flax seeds and turmeric into your smoothies and smoothie bowls, or oats in the morning. You only need 1 teaspoon ground flax and ¼ teaspoon turmeric. It’s crucial to eat turmeric with a source of fat (just a few walnuts or that flax is enough), as well as a pinch of black pepper. In addition, make sure to eat both of these raw and uncooked, since they lose many of their health benefits when heated. 
  2. Ferment your own sauerkraut and add it to savory meals! For instructions, check out this post:

Healthy Habit #9: Stop Cooking with Oil

Vegan Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan-Inspired Marinara | Soul in the Raw

I talk about oil pretty much in every blog post, and I’m very passionate about it (or the lack of it…)

To learn more about why you shouldn’t cook with oil, check this video out.

To summarize: oil is a processed food that is pretty depleted of nutrition, and very harmful when heated. It lacks fiber, protein, and carbs, and is basically a whole bunch of empty calories.

ACTION STEPS: learn to cook without oil! You can sauté without oil by using other liquids like vegetable broth, vinegar, tamari, etc. I like to cook onions on a non-stick ceramic surface without any liquids – they turn brown! Roasting/baking is easy if you just use parchment paper or a silicone reusable mat, and dressings and sauces are very easy too. Just base them on nut or seed butters, which are whole food fats. To learn more about oil free cooking, check out my amazing online course right here.

Healthy Habit #10: Eat Seaweed a Few Times Per Week

Avoid Iodine Deficiency: Get All the Iodine You Need on a Vegan Diet | Soul in the Raw

This may sound random, but so many vegans forget the importance of iodine in their diet, causing issues with their thyroid and symptoms like fatigue. There is such a simple fix to this, and I really don’t want you to compromise your health when you can control it in such an easy way. 

ACTION STEPS: consume seaweed just 2-3 times per week. For more tips on exactly how much iodine you need and how often, see my detailed yet simple blog post about iodine right here:

And while you’re at it, be sure to check out my entire series on vegan nutrients that you shouldn’t miss out on. This will definitely be a game changer for you: 

I want to hear from you in the comments: which 3 (max) healthy habits did you pick, and how do you commit to implementing them in the New Year?

Healthy Habits for Women for a New You in the New Year | Soul in the Raw

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Marina Yanay-Triner is a wellness coach and recipe developer through Soul in the Raw. Marina creates easy and delicious vegan recipes and writes about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, focusing on evidence-based nutrition information. She loves to help clients go and stick to plant based eating through her powerful coaching program, combining nutrition and cooking education along with transformational mindset work. Marina adopted a whole food, plant based lifestyle over 7 years ago, inspired by her mother's incredible healing story of reversing a crippling bladder disease. She has reversed PMS symptoms and encourage emotional healing from trauma as a result of this transition. Marina is incredibly passionate about the vegan diet for human health, animal welfare, and the well-being of our planet, all of which she envisions as co-dependent.