2013 Nutrition resolutions

These tips will help you get on the right track and stay there for 2013. Deciding to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight takes time and consciousness.

The start of the 2013 New Year is an exciting time to get organized, feel healthier and to look forward to a great year ahead. If your resolution has to do with managing weight, these tips from Michigan State University Extension will help you get on the right track and stay there. Deciding to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight takes time and consciousness and the two key factors are good nutrition and increased physical activity.

All food groups are important - For optimal health, increasing specific food groups and decreasing portions of others will help you achieve your body weight goals. Slashing entire food groups not only deprives your body of essential vitamins and minerals, but slows down weight loss.

Want that Crunch? - One of the hardest foods to give up is snack foods, so don’t!  Enjoying a healthy snack every three to four hours gives your body the energy it needs for the entire day. Waiting long hours between meals can cause you to over eat. Snacking on crunchy roasted chickpeas, kale chips (see recipe below) or a handful of unsalted pistachios will satisfy your craving while providing vitamins and fiber.

Go the whole grain way - Most everyone has heard that whole grains will keep you fuller longer and they have more fiber and nutrients then the refined (white) grains. Trying different whole grains such as barley, quinoa, cous cous, rye bread and whole wheat pastas not only adds more flavor to meals but also gives high quality energy.

Enjoy a glass of quality H2O - You know that 2:30 p.m. feeling at work? Not only does 80 percent of your body need water, even being slightly dehydrated reduces alertness and focus. Trading that extra cup of coffee for a glass of water will wake up your brain and make your skin look better, who doesn’t want that?

Look at food as fuel - Your body is a machine! Fueling your body with quality energy makes it more alert, focused and toned.  However, having excess energy, even from healthy foods, can lead to weight gain. Exercise is important to keep your body in balance. Consult your doctor to see what steps are needed for a safe and effective exercise program.

It’s a piece of cake - Craving that leftover pecan pie? Don’t deprive yourself, which may make you want more. Thoroughly take in the taste of the pie by sitting down with a glass of water and eating with no distractions.  Eat enough to be satisfied, and then stop. You may find that the craving stops in just a few bites.

Plan ahead - Everyone has a busy schedule but realizing that and taking time for you is just as important as eating right and exercising.  Planning time to exercise, organize meals, grocery shop and relax is part of reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Remember it takes time to see and feel results. A New Year resolution is a 365 day plan and not every day is going to be perfect.  Set reasonable small, short goals and celebrate when you achieve them.  Enjoy the journey to a healthier you!

Roasted Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans 

Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and drain 15oz can of chickpeas. Toss with ½ Tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Spread evenly on cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, toss pan every 10 minutes for even brownness.

Kale Chips

 Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Discard ribs from one bunch of kale.  Chop or tear kale to chip size pieces. Toss with 1 Tablespoon of Olive oil and sea salt. Spread on cookie sheet(s) bake for 35 minutes, toss and rotate every 15 minutes, until mostly crisp.

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