It’s not too late for New Year’s resolutions

Angel Robledo climbs the bluff in Cayman Brac.
Angel Robledo climbs the bluff in Cayman Brac.

How many people have made New Year’s resolutions this month, and more importantly, who’s going to stick to them? The beginning of a new year always feels like a clean slate. It’s a time to right past wrongs and take control of our lives.

Even if you didn’t start on Jan. 1, there’s still time to get in gear. Here are some popular resolutions – for good reason – and the options available in Cayman to help you stick to them.

Eating healthier

Note that “eating healthier” is not necessarily the same thing as going on a diet or a step toward weight loss, but it certainly can’t hurt. It’s so easy to just grab the least complicated thing to eat, which can often be the unhealthiest.

A big part of the problem is not finding the time to track down or prepare a healthy meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you do not have the discipline to pack food the night before or get to the market each day, it’ll be difficult to break the cycle of your bad eating habits.
Consider a number of the food delivery companies on the island that can bring the goodness to your doorstep.

Green2Go juice uses fresh local ingredients with super foods to give your body what it needs.
Green2Go juice uses fresh local ingredients with super foods to give your body what it needs.

One such company is Green2Go, which delivers a jar of 32-ounce green juice to your workplace as often as you like. Most clients start off with three days a week, but if you can handle the whole jar in one day, then you can bump it up to five.

It’s brimming with fresh local fruit and vegetables, along with super foods purslane and moringa, and despite the fact that kale is a major ingredient, it actually tastes quite fine. Honest.

It’ll fill you up as you drink it through the day, which should keep you from reaching for the devil’s confection, otherwise known as chocolate.

Nicholas Adendorff is the owner of the company and health coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and since he started delivering his green juice, he has found demand increasing every week.

“It fills a need for leafy greens in our diet,” he said. “I’m trying to make the people of Cayman healthy one smoothie at a time.”

“There’s been a huge response to the product, with clients losing weight and lowering their blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Beyond being a great meal replacement option, it has very positive psychological effects. If people feel better about what they’re putting in their bodies, that tends to lead to adopting other good habits.”

This could be you in December!
This could be you in December!

Learning a new skill

Taking a class to learn another language is not just interesting, it can prove to be hugely beneficial when you’re traveling, particularly when you’re lost in a foreign country or need to find the toilet ASAP.

How about getting some music or art lessons? That whole “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” nonsense shouldn’t hold you back. You may not be playing in Carnegie Hall five years from now, or be asked to repaint the Sistine Chapel, but who are you trying to impress? A love of art or music and a desire to try your hand at either is all you need. It’s therapeutic and may reveal skills you never knew you had.

If, on the other hand, you’ve always had an interest in cooking, sign up for a class at Bon Vivant. They hold regular sessions in their dual professional kitchens in Camana Bay that are low on pressure and high on entertainment, often led by professional chefs.

For example, on Feb. 3 there will be a class on dinner party dining, hosted by chef Keith Griffin. According to the description, you can “get the tools and tips you need to create a balanced three-course meal that will impress any guests you have over.”

On Feb. 9, chef Dylan Benoit will take everyone through the fundamentals of sauce making in the “Let’s Get Saucy” evening; and on Feb. 17, Cayman Cook-off champion Gina Connolly will tell stories about her passion for home cooking and share some of her favorite dishes.
Getting fit

Anyone on Facebook will have seen the postings from friends participating in the Cayman Marathon year after year. Have you ever looked at the pictures and thought, “They all look like they’ve had such a great time – I should really enter next year?”

Well, stop talking about it and start training early. You’ve got nearly a whole year ahead of you to slowly build up your endurance, making it a very attainable goal. If you do not aim for the full marathon, you can do the half-marathon.

Race director Rhonda Kelly of Kelly Holding said people are already starting to register now for next December. “We open registration very early to encourage people to get a head start on their New Year’s resolutions,” she said. “In fact, we’re offering a special discount on our Facebook page for a week this January as an extra motivator.”

“Anyone who has done the marathon for the first time has said ‘I’m so glad I did it.’ They have a great sense of accomplishment; and obviously that good feeling lasts, because we have a very high percentage of repeat participants.”

Take a cooking class at Bon Vivant, where guest chefs such as Dylan Benoit will teach you what you need to be an excellent dinner host.
Take a cooking class at Bon Vivant, where guest chefs such as Dylan Benoit will teach you what you need to be an excellent dinner host.

Beyond walking, jogging and running, there are lots of activities, both indoor and outdoor, to help you get fitter without being mind-numbingly boring. Heck, dancing for three hours at The Wharf’s Boogie Nights on the last Friday of every month will burn umpteen calories for starters.

Swimming is a terrific form of exercise as well, and guess what? We’ve got a whole sea-full of water surrounding these islands in which you can swim to your heart’s content for free.
The Flowers One Mile Sea Swim is coming up in June, so if you’re more of a mer-person than a landlubber, then perhaps that should be your goal instead of the marathon.
Stow the smartphone

We’re all so connected these days that it seems no one can take a break for more than five minutes before getting back on their smartphone or iPad. It’s particularly bad in restaurants and cinemas, where instead of socializing or paying attention to a film, people are busy texting, checking emails, calling friends or browsing the Internet.

An anonymous Craigslist post in 2014 from a manager of a busy New York City restaurant stated that service and turning tables in his place of business has slowed down due to diners’ obsession with keeping connected.

A number of international papers reported on the story and the manager’s post: “Nowadays customers are too preoccupied with taking photos upon entering, telling the waiters they are having problems connecting to the WiFi, taking photos of their food once it’s delivered to them and bumping into other customers and waiters as they enter and exit the restaurant as a result of texting while walking.”

If you’re a parent with kids at home, then being easy to reach in an emergency is understandable, but for everyone else, a little more conversation or attention paid to what’s going on around us would not be a bad thing.

A helicopter ride isn't just for tourists - it's amazing what you'll see from this vantage point.
A helicopter ride isn’t just for tourists – it’s amazing what you’ll see from this vantage point.

Do something different

It is so easy to get into a rut, following a routine and not stepping far off your usual path. Cayman may be small, but odds are good you’ve not really taken advantage of all it has to offer.

For example, parasailing may seem like a touristy thing to do, but then so does Stingray City and look how many locals love to head out there on a regular basis.

Parasailing gives you a unique perspective of the island, and it is so quiet up there. Get a local rate and give it a try.

Book a bioluminescence tour by kayak. Speak to any resident who’s tried it and they’ll tell you it was one of the most magical experiences of their lives. Bays like that aren’t found everywhere in the world – we’re just very lucky to have one in Cayman.

Take a helicopter tour. You think you’ve seen the island when you fly in by plane, but you haven’t. It’s completely different seeing it through the windows of a helicopter. Beyond anything else, it will make you appreciate all over again just how incredibly clear the water here is.

Get your scuba diving certification. Feeling nervous? Not sure it’s for you? Take a discover diving course and see how you like it. We’re not one of the world’s top diving destinations for nothing.

Go rock climbing on Cayman Brac. Now, this is not for rank amateurs. Don’t just grab some rope and a few nails and hope for the best. It turns out that the bluff on Cayman Brac is quite a challenging climb, and is slowly but surely becoming known by international climbers.

If you have the experience, take a flight over there and explore the fascinating caves while you’re at it. See for more details.

Cutting back on your intake of booze will have many benefits.
Cutting back on your intake of booze will have many benefits.

Cut back on the alcohol

There is no doubt the Cayman Islands are a very social place, and that often means meeting up with friends at bars and clubs. There is a huge cocktail culture here which sometimes makes it difficult to turn down drinks when they’re constantly being thrust at you.

Believe it or not, you can still have a good time without getting sloshed on a regular basis.
People sometimes feel really pressured by even close friends to drink alcohol, with phrases like “oh, don’t be so boring” or “come on, it’s just one drink.”

If you do not feel like explaining yourself, order a beverage that looks the part. Not only will you feel much better in the morning, but in the long term you’ll no doubt drop a few pounds.
Finally, if you are drinking, make a New Year’s resolution that no matter what, you will not drink and drive.

That is probably the most important resolution of all.