5 Secrets to Becoming the Best Version of You in the New Year!

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Photo credit to the Iowa Food & Family Project

guest blog post by Anne Hytrek, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator for Ankeny Prairie Trail Hy-Vee

You may have pictured it in your head numerous times – the best version of you. The best could mean the healthiest version, the happiest version, the smoke-free version or the less-stressed version of you.

Whatever your best version means, the following 5 secrets can help you reach your maximum potential in 2020:

  1. Balance Your Diet – Take a good hard look at your daily food intake. Does it include at least a couple of servings of fruits and vegetables per day? Is it made up of sugary processed foods? Are you skipping meals?  According to Forbes, only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Take this opportunity to be part of that 8%! Your Hy-Vee registered dietitian can work on your nutrition goals. He or she can keep you accountable and ensure that your diet is balanced and fulfilling.
  2. Water, Water, Water – Most of us have heard it before, “You need to drink more water.” Take this message to heart and focus on making the majority of your daily beverage intake water. To help increase your intake, take a clear water bottle and draw hash marks evenly spaced along the side of the bottle. Starting at the top, label each hash mark with a time of the day (i.e. 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., etc.). Use that as your hour-by-hour water intake goal.
  3. Relax, Renew and Refocus – Let’s admit we could all use some stress reduction in our hectic lives. Whether you like to listen to music, read, meditate or exercise, try to take time each day to give yourself a mental break. This mental break can help you refocus your time and perhaps make you more productive because you gave yourself a chance to just breathe.
  4. Move More – According to The Huffington Post, it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Start slowly. Do something you enjoy. Move more throughout your day, and after about three weeks, it will become a new healthy habit for you.
  5. Give Yourself Some Attention – In 2021, make it a point to write down the things that make you happy. Keep this list handy and add to it throughout the year. Focusing on your happiness may inspire you to have a better outlook on life. We only get one life, so make it your best!

Whether you work on all five of these secrets at once or just one at a time, it’s a step in the right direction toward being the best version of you.  Your Hy-Vee registered dietitian can help you throughout the entire journey.  In the words of Zig Ziglar, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Fruit Pancake-Taco “Pacos”


  •   ½ cup Kodiak Cake pancake mix
  •   1/3 cup water
  •   ½ tsp vanilla extract
  •   Baking spray
  •   1 cup strawberries (cut into 4 pieces)
  •    ½ cup blueberries
  •    1 kiwi cut into pieces
  •   1/8 teaspoon maple extract
  •    Vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt


  1. Mix together pancake mix, water and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  2. Spray baking spray onto pan as it heats up to medium heat. Use 1/3 cup to measure out pancake mixture and place in pan. When pancake bubbles appear, flip over and cook other side until golden brown.
  3. Place pancakes on plate to cool.
  4. Stir strawberries, blueberries and kiwi together in a separate bowl.
  5. Mix vanilla yogurt with maple extract.
  6. Spoon fruit salad into pancake like a taco; top with maple vanilla yogurt mixture. Enjoy!

Yields 3 to 4 pancakes plus fruit filling

Source:  Anne Hytrek, MSEd, RD, LD, CDE