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Mondays With Michelle: New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!! Welcome back to Monday's with Michelle! Another holiday season has come and gone and a new set of New Years resolutions have been pledged. As always, some of the most popular new year's resolutions are to loose a few pounds and to eat healthier. 

What were your new year's resolutions? 

Even if eating healthier wasn't apart of your 2012 plan, I think we can all use a few tips to make better choices with our food. Here are few things that I have come up with to keep 2012 healthy:

  1. Shop only the perimeter of the grocery store: You will notice that produce, meat, seafood, dairy products and other "clean" foods are found around the perimeter of the grocery store. (With the exception of  a few items such as, nut butters, grains and healthy oils.) These are the food you want to stick to. Stay away from the processed, prepackaged, microwaveable crap in the center aisles. 
  2. Eat colorful: Try to have more that 2 colors on your plate for dinner. The more colors, the more nutrients you are getting from your meal. For example, grilled chicken with salsa (red) and grilled zucchini(green) and squash (yellow).
  3. Drink water: This is a oldie but goodie, try to get your recommended 8 glasses (64 oz) of water a day. It keeps you full and regular... nuff said. 
  4. Replace white with something healthier: Most health gurus will say to choose whole grain, and of course that is the best and healthiest option, but the reality is, a lot of people don't care for the taste. So, for rice, try brown rice instead of white, but cook it in an unsalted chicken stock for yummy flavor and try cooking it in a rice cooker for a better consistency. For pasta try spinach spaghetti from whole foods. For bread go to the bakery at your local grocery store and look for fresh baked whole wheat bread, it may cost a dollar or two more, but it always tastes better than the stuff in the bread isle. For your baking needs try King Arthurs Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour, it is made from a different wheat, hence the "white", but believe it or not it is natural and it can be used interchangeably with regular all purpose flour.
  5. Eat Clean, Real food: Clean, Real food is anything that was grown in the earth (trees, plants, roots, etc.) or had a Mom at some point (according to Jillian Micheal's). Just to clarify, Cheetos were not grown in the earth, nor do they have a Mom.... the factory that they were processed in does not count as it's mother by the way. I get that it may not be realistic to give up your favorite bad processed snack, but the point of this is to try to limit it and make up for it by eating as clean as possible the rest of the time. 
  6. Use healthy cooking techniques: Baking, poaching, blanching, steaming, broiling, grilling... there are tons of options, stay away from frying and using tons of fat. 
  7. Don't deprive yourself: Deprivation leads to binging and binging leads to a downward spiral. Here is something great I read from Bethany Frankel of "Skinnygirl",  "No one ever got fat because of a cookie or a slice of pizza. Don’t beat yourself up if you have something you like that’s not on your diet. Don’t let a splurge derail your commitment to staying healthy. Don’t deprive yourself of a treat every once in a while." 
  8. Try new foods: I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say, "I'm so sick of eating boneless skinless chicken breast and broccoli everyday." First thing, eating healthier does not mean you have to eat bland, boring, "diet-food".  It just means you have to be more creative in what you chose to eat. Tired of chicken? Try some lean pork.  Or just try making your chicken a different way.  Walk through the produce section and pick up a vegetable you have never even seen before, or maybe something that you hated as kid, then take 5 minutes to research ways to cook it. You'd be surprised. 
Don't fall into the new year's resolution trap this year.  You know, the one where you have forgotten all about your resolution before February hits? These are simple tips that you can use all year round for your whole family to make better decisions about the things we put in our bodies.  Start your kids off young, let them help "pick colors for dinner" (see tip number 2). Stay tuned over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some yummy recipes, cooking techniques and ideas to help you along the way.  Don't forget to visit my foodie blog for more food tips, recipes and foodie fun. 

Thanks for reading!

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