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A Fresh Start

Tasty Tips for a Happy, Healthy New Year

For many, the New Year marks the beginning of a fresh new approach to living and eating well. Start the New Year off right by keeping these goals in mind for this year, and beyond. An integral part of any healthy lifestyle, these three simple approaches to eating can help you look and feel your best, now and for years to come!

Begin With Breakfast

Rise and shine! A balanced breakfast is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for children and adults alike. A nutritious breakfast should include items from at least three of the food groups, for example: a bowl of cereal with milk and some sliced banana, or eggs with whole grain toast and fresh orange juice. On a daily basis, breakfast gives you the energy and nutrients to jump start your day, and help you perform better all day. In the long run, studies show that eating breakfast regularly has been linked to overall healthier eating habits, higher levels of physical activity and fitness, and a healthy body weight.

Pick Produce!

During the cold days of winter, it's easy to head towards hearty, heavy comfort foods when hunger strikes, often at the exclusion of fresh produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables, however, are a perfect choice when you're craving something satisfying, as they're full of flavor and can help keep you full in between meals. Your morning meal is the ideal time to enjoy your first fruits and veggies of the day. Berries are fantastic sprinkled over hot cereal, yogurt or granola, while vitamin-C rich citrus fruits are great for fresh squeezed juices. Diced tomato, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and avocado are also outstanding in omelets! With so many delicious varieties to choose from, it's easy to enjoy at least five servings of fresh fruits and veggies a day. Snack on an apple, banana or orange, add fresh vegetables to a hearty soup, stew or casserole, or enjoy a salad alongside every meal.

Go for the Grains

High in fiber and a great source of antioxidants, whole grains taste great, and can help keep you healthy. By replacing refined-grain products with wholegrain products, you can easily increase your daily wholegrain intake. Studies show that unrefined whole grains may help lower blood cholesterol and protect against heart disease, obesity and more. And getting plenty of whole grains is incredibly simple to do. Savor wholegrain bread in sandwiches, for your morning slice of toast, or as a dinnertime side dish, and get ready to enjoy the many delicious benefits that whole grains can bring.

Whatever your New Year's resolutions may be, a few simple strategies can help you achieve success:

•  When deciding on a New Year's resolution, be specific and realistic. For example, resolving to eat five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday is a more effective goal than just 'eating healthier.'

•  Write down your goals, and your progress. It will help you stay on track, and keep your focus.

Surround yourself with people who support you, or have similar goals. Finding a walking buddy, joining a fitness class, or fixing a healthy meal every week with friends can make working towards your health and fitness goals more fulfilling, and more fun.

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