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5 Things To Do NOW for a Healthy New Year!

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There's nothing quite like a brand-new year. I love the idea of taking all the mistakes of the past and just tossing them out the window (or into a large garbage bag!)

woman eating salad

JJ Virgin: While you're in the tossing spirit, leave that window open to throw away the idea of making New Year's resolutions. It's too hard to make a concrete resolution and then face the idea that you didn't live up to it. Most people abandon their resolutions well before Valentine's Day and go back to their same old ways.

What if you approached this in a different way -- a way that works!

I prefer to have people "add" before they take away. So, instead of all this tossing, I want you to add five things that will make you healthier this year. They're easy to incorporate into your life, and soon you won't even remember a time when you didn't put these tips into practice.

1) Hang out in the produce aisle.
Think of the produce aisle at your local grocery store as one of your primary shopping areas -- and really take a good look at what's being offered. The fun part here is to buy a new vegetable each week and then go on the Internet and find a new recipe to cook it in a healthy way. With most veggies, you can never go wrong stir-frying in a little extra virgin olive oil with some fresh herbs or garlic.

2) Remember to include protein at each meal.
Too many people are still doing meals that are just one big carb bomb. Don't just have your steel-cut oatmeal, make sure to add two poached eggs on the side. Add whey protein to your shakes. Dinner shouldn't just be a pasta dish with cheese. Try some fresh wild salmon with veggies or some great grilled chicken with a wonderful salad. When you eat protein, you will feel full and satisfied. I have been studying the science behind diet and weight management for YEARS, and I invite you to discover what you are eating that may be keeping you fat in my free upcoming teleclass on January 12th by visiting Freedom from the Fat Trap.

3) Stop eating chemicals. Make a vow this year to take as many food chemicals out of your life as possible. This means nixing the diet sodas and boxed meals. Really read the labels, and if you can't pronounce it, then don't eat it. Remember that many so-called healthy sports drinks are also full of sugar and chemicals. One great benefit of getting rid of these chemicals is your skin will look brighter and healthier. By the way, as you read these labels, get rid of anything with high fructose corn syrup. It's making you fat!

4) Don't do artificial sweeteners -- at all! Switch to the only sweetener I use, which is xylitol, and just use a little bit. Get rid of all of the rest of the chemical sweeteners. If you have a stash at home or in your bag or purse, then get rid of them. Did you know that a recent long-term study on rats showed that high aspartame use could result in both leukemia and breast cancer?

5) Make healthy lateral switches when it comes to foods. I don't want you to just deny yourself, but make conscious lateral shifts. For example, if you love soda, then switch over to sparkling water with some Emergen-C in it. It's a delicious mocktail that tastes great. Soon, you won't even miss your soda anymore, and may actually come to hate the taste of it (believe me, it's true). Remember, if you are looking for some really GREAT ideas on making healthy lateral switches, be sure to visit and jump on my free teleclass next Tuesday afternoon! And don't worry if you can't make the actual class; when you sign up, we also send you the archived recording.

BONUS TIP: Modify your coffee habit. Many of us have been kidding ourselves over the years about our little 800 calorie midday or morning coffee pitstops. It's time to realize that adding sugar, chocolate, and whipped cream to coffee turns it into a very high calorie dessert. I'd rather opt for plain coffee and add a little organic half & half plus xylitol.

next: Ten Ways to Save in 2010
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Monica January 9, 2010, 10:56 AM

I’ve definitely been doing #2, 3 and 4. My dinner consist of nothing but a lean meat like fish, chicken and sometimes pork and steak with vegetables. I do not buy any boxed side dishes any more because I’m living a low carb life and trying to stay away from processed food which are loaded with carbs. And when I need to sweeten something I use Agave Nectar. Way better than any sugar substitute. All natural nectar from the Agave fruit and if you are a Diabetic its wonderful because it doesn’t cause your blood sugar to spike. You can add it to anything and everything hot or cold that you use with sugar because it dissolves nicely and its sweeter than sugar so you don’t need to use a lot. I’ve used it in tea, oatmeal and homemade BBQ sauce. Everyone should try it. Its something you will fall in love with if you are trying to cut the sugar.

chris January 11, 2010, 7:21 AM

Whey Protein serves as a dietary source of amino acids. The body needs amino acids to build the various proteins used in the growth, repair and maintenance of body tissues such as skin, bones and muscles.

Whey protein also offers the benefits of supplying high nutritional value and branched chain amino acids (BCAA) to athletes. BCAA are essential amino acids, which are part of muscle protein. They may preserve muscle glycogen stores and help reduce the amount of protein breakdown during exercise.

Rima Kleiner, MS, RD January 11, 2010, 11:25 AM

As a Registered Dietitian, I see a lot of misinformation on the Internet about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners, so I wanted to provide some perspective. Recent studies have shown that the body does not react differently to HFCS than it does to regular table sugar. And according to the International Life Sciences Institute and the USDA, there is little evidence that HFCS and sugar have differing effects on satiety. Additionally, artificial sweeteners (also called low- or no-calorie sweeteners) have been shown to be safe in more than 200 scientific studies. A recent study published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners may help people manage weight, and that people who consume reduced-calorie products have an overall healthier diet. I advise my clients, who include food and beverage companies, that a sensible diet can include everything in moderation and that they need not eliminate specific foods, beverages or ingredients. Eating a variety of foods in moderation (including favorite foods and beverages) and balancing those calories with regular exercise still remain the foundation to good health and a healthy waistline.

hellos January 19, 2011, 9:35 AM

i love it, thanks
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