5 Healthy Foodie Tips to Ring in the New Year

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Now that 2015 is on its way out, many of us are thinking about what ringing in the New Year will bring.

Day One is a fresh opportunity for learning more, being better, and trying new things in all different areas of our lives. And for so many of us, our plans for the New Year revolve around food.

5 Healthy Tips to Ring in the New Year

Whether you’re big on making New Year’s resolutions (and sticking to them) or not, taking the time once in awhile to stop, reevaluate, and make a new plan of action on occasion is probably a good thing.

Without further ado, 5 tips for eating well in the New Year, trying new things, and making a plan that you can stick to:

1. Create weekly meal plans, and streamline shopping to avoid extras

This tip is probably the most diet-related of all of the items on this list, but it has little to do with the usual restrictive “diet” that you’re probably thinking of.

I’m not going to suggest anything that has to do with points or counting macros, eating only white foods or cutting all carbs from your diet (all of which I think are horrible ideas).

No, I’m not going to suggest anything that has to do with points or counting macros, eating only white foods or cutting all carbs from your diet (all of which I think are horrible ideas).

Instead, when I refer to “diet,” I mean a basic plan for eating. This isn’t something that you can cheat on, it’s more of a habitual understanding of what healthy eating means.

To me, it’s all about variety and balance. From the time when I was very young, my grandparents taught me a lot about eating.

Eating Healthy for your New Years Resolution | Foodal.com
Yes, you can still have your cake…err fruit salad…and eat it too!

Each dinner included at least two vegetables of different colors, but it also included dessert. Sure, dessert might have been fruit salad, and I know some of you would argue that this “doesn’t count,” but that’s beside the point.

This isn’t something that you can cheat on, it’s more of a habitual understanding of what healthy eating means… it’s all about variety and balance.

The key to eating well in a healthy way is relatively simple: eat a varied diet that includes a balanced representation of all of the food groups, and you should be able to achieve adequate intake of the various essential vitamins and minerals that you need without overdoing it on any one thing.

Take a look at our analysis of the top seven diet plans for more information on healthful eating options.

It’s important to keep in mind that junk foods do not fit into any of the basic food groups, so chips and candy, sodas and alcohol should be consumed in moderation.

It’s also important to remember that eating balanced meals that include lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, heart healthy fish and lean meats doesn’t mean you should feel free to add unhealthy processed snacks and sweetened beverages on top.

The healthier options should essentially crowd out the less healthy ones.

Create meal plans for healthy eating as part of your New Years resolutions | Foodal.com
Use meal plans as a method to ensure that the healthy foods crowd out the less than stellar prepackaged junk.

In terms of creating healthy meal plans, here’s a simple version of what I mean:

First, consider how many meals you and your family members eat at home in a typical week, and how much you typically eat at each meal.

Then, select recipes that are simple, tasty and re-workable for lunches and appetizing leftovers.

The key to eating well in a healthy way is relatively simple: eat a varied diet that includes a balanced representation of all of the food groups, and you should be able to achieve adequate intake of the various essential vitamins and minerals that you need without overdoing it on any one thing.

In addition to basic proteins and whole grains (I like to make big batches of lentil-based dal, oven-baked beans, quinoa and brown rice, for example) fill in with sautéed and oven-roasted seasonal vegetables and fresh salads, plus some grilled or roasted fish and lean meat, and you’re ready to go.

In addition to the basics, if you want to make something more complicated like a soup or stew with a specific flavor profile, include any more specific items that you might need for the week on your shopping list.

Then, include a few healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts, air-popped popcorn and hummus. Avoid processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Stick to your list, and you’ll be set up for success. Shop no more than once a week (every two weeks if you can manage it) and resist the temptation to throw extras into your cart.

Make a plan and a list before you shop | Foodal.com

Don’t shop when you’re hungry, and don’t shop without a plan – you’ll be able to save money, cut down on kitchen waste, and eat healthier meals.

I’ve found that shopping for groceries online really helps me to cut down on the extras, and I keep a list of all of the meals that I plan to make for the week on the fridge, so I never have that “what’s for dinner tonight?” panic at the end of a long day.

Stick to your list, and you’ll be set up for success. Shop no more than once a week (every two weeks if you can manage it) and resist the temptation to throw extras into your cart.

In addition to grocery delivery services like Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Peapod, lots of grocery stores offer grocery store delivery or in-store pickup with the option to shop online.

There may be a delivery charge, but paying a couple of dollars extra seems like a good tradeoff for me in exchange for avoiding my tendency to throw whatever looks good into the cart.

Plus, you won’t have to spend time waiting in line, or lugging your bags up the stairs. Having said that, remember to tip your shoppers!

2. Buy (or borrow) a juicer

When my husband brought home a pre-owned juicer that he got from one of his work colleagues last fall, I was ecstatic!

Making pear juice with a juicer | Foodal.com

We’d never owned one before, and though we’d registered for one when we got married, this particular wish wasn’t fulfilled and we decided it wasn’t quite time to make this particular investment on our own.

As new transplants to California originally from the east coast, we couldn’t ignore the prevalence of juicing in SoCal culture – they have places here that sell nothing but juice! A bunch of places!

As new transplants to California originally from the east coast, we couldn’t ignore the prevalence of juicing in SoCal culture – they have places here that sell nothing but juice! A bunch of places!

Though we didn’t feel compelled to go with the California crowd in other areas of life (Botox, anyone?) we thought such a healthy habit couldn’t hurt.

Especially if the means of production was free. Already members of a local CSA, we looked forward to seeing what kind of juice we could make with our haul of healthy produce.

Long story short, according to my records (a handmade homemade recipe journal with entries under the header The Juice Record that are more sporadic than I would like to admit…) we used our juicer exactly six times before I broke it.

When you’re only 5’3”, storing appliances with plastic parts on the top of the fridge isn’t a good idea. I pulled the attachments down on top of myself, and quickly discovered that they were not shatterproof.

Long story short… we used our juicer exactly six times before I broke it.

Fortunately, Breville offers the option to buy replacement parts direct from the manufacturer, and my mother-in-law was thrilled to be able to replace the Juice Fountain base as a belated housewarming gift.

She loved the homemade juice that we made on her first visit to our new home, and was inspired to make juice when she returned to the east coast (claiming she actually had a juicer, hidden away somewhere, though we’d never seen it… word to the wise: that long-forgotten juicer in the dusty corner of a friend or loved one’s cabinet has your name on it!).

Mom even threw in an extra juicing blade, since ours was a little dull when we got it.

Today, the new blade is still in the box. We made juice six more times before I broke the juicer again.

Different kinds of veggie juices | Foodal.com
Many of the more palatable juices, such as carrots, and high in the glycemic index and add lots of sugar. Great for taste but can make your lethargic (in quantities) give you an insulin rush leading to fat formation (dependent on your metabolism and body type).

Yup, I broke the brand new replacement part. Once again, I knocked it off the top of the fridge.

You’d think I would have learned after the first incident, but a juicer is sort of an unwieldy appliance with many pieces besides the base, and we didn’t have a convenient space to store it.

My husband is tall, and I guess we sort of just convinced ourselves that there was no way I could possibly commit the same error again. (A hilarious assumption, in restrospect: I’m pretty klutzy, and this is no secret…)

The point of this long story is this: juicing is a commitment. I’m not going to deny it.

Anyway, The Juice Record says the last time we juiced was February 9th of this year, meaning it’s been ten months and we still haven’t replaced that crucial part in order to get our juice on.

To top it all off, the company that used to deliver our weekly CSA share went out of business in Los Angeles, so that has put a damper on things as well.

The point of this long story is this: juicing is a commitment. I’m not going to deny it.

The equipment takes up significant counter and/or storage space, you need to clean the thing right away with a scrub brush or you risk damaging the parts, and you need to commit to baking a lot of quick breads or making a lot of soup or meatloaf to use up all of that pulp that’s left behind by the juicing process if you don’t want to waste the fiber.

Green juice is good for you. But it may not taste good | Foodal.com
Not all green juice is going to look like example that looks like it jumped up out of the fields of Ireland. Oftentimes, they will be a murky brown – good for the body but maybe not for the pallet.

Certain combinations of produce, though super healthy, may result in particularly earthy or bitter concoctions that can be a bit hard to get down, and sometimes the result will be a murky brown rather than a more enticing bright green.

Probably the most discouraging aspect of home juicing is that I discovered that I don’t really even like green juice.

This isn’t to say they aren’t healthy, just that certain mixtures might take some getting used to.

I found the best tasting combinations were generally the least healthy, since the ones that I found the most palatable mostly consisted of orange or carrot juice, high on the glycemic index (and packed with sugar).

If you want to do juicing the healthy way, in order to get the most nutritional benefit, you’re going to have to make some adjustments.

3. Join a CSA

As I mentioned above, until they stopped doing local delivery in my area, I loved my weekly seasonal fruit and vegetable delivery.

A delivery of fresh veggies from a CSA | Foodal.com

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it’s an opportunity to simplify your quest to shop the healthy way while supporting local farmers.

This one goes well with the juicing tip, since you can rely on receiving a box full of healthy fresh produce every week to sauté and make into salads. Then, you can use the rest to blend up a glass or two of fresh green juice every morning.

As soon as… fruits and veggies are picked, many of the healthy nutrients that they contain start to degrade. Fresh is best!

It’s true that juicing does remove the healthy fiber from your produce, so you definitely should not rely on fresh juice as a replacement for whole fruits and vegetables in your diet.

On the other hand, most Americans do not eat anywhere near the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables.

Adding fresh juice to your diet just a few days a week is a great way to up your intake of plant-based vitamins, minerals and healthy phytonutrients.

Plus, making this juice from recently harvested ingredients and drinking it right away makes it likely that you’re getting a super nutrient dense product, in comparison to shelf-stable juices and store-bought products that have been allowed to sit on the shelf, made from non-local products long periods after the harvest.

Buy Local, Buy Fresh | Foodal.com

As soon as those fruits and veggies are picked, many of the healthy nutrients that they contain start to degrade.

Fresh is best!

So sign up for a local CSA if one is available in your area, and take the guesswork out of eating local and seasonal fresh and healthy foods (a secondary option would be to habitually visit a farmer’s market known for selling local only).

Save that juicing pulp for other uses (like throwing it into a batch of carrot muffins or zucchini bread) and look up any less familiar items that you receive in your weekly box online to figure out how to use that mizuna or those sunchokes.

4. Learn something new in the kitchen

Making your own meals is a great way to cut down on added calories from salt, sugar and fat, not to mention artificial colorings and preservatives.

My husband and I are spoiled entertainment junkies, so we have speakers and a small TV in the kitchen… basically, we have no reason to ever leave that room of the house!

Sure, it might take more time to prepare pasta and sauce from scratch, and this may cut significantly into your TV time, but your health (and perhaps your waistline, as well as your taste buds) will thank you!

In my experience, making my own meals means I have more control over textures and flavor profiles.

This also encourages me to find out what’s in season, and to plan my meals around what looks best in the grocery store (or in my CSA box).

In my experience, unless you’re embarking on something more involved like making your own pasta or bread from scratch, cooking satisfying and healthy meals doesn’t have to take any longer than ordering up delivery or waiting around at a restaurant would require.

I know, I know… this will cut significantly into your time for countless other things, mainly the aforementioned TV time. But, I have a solution for that – create an entertainment center in your kitchen.

Watching TV in the Kitchen | Foodal.com

This can be as simple as propping up your phone or iPad with a stand on the counter, plugging in a set of speakers to cue up your favorite podcasts, or even setting up a small monitor with a Fire Stick, Apple Tv, Roku, or maybe even a cable box to watch your favorite shows while you cook.

You can even use ready access to various screens in the kitchen as an opportunity to learn new cooking skills.

My husband and I are spoiled entertainment junkies, so we have speakers and a small TV in the kitchen… basically, we have no reason to ever leave that room of the house!

I highly recommend this.

iPads and other electronics also double as great ways to display recipes that you found on Foodal while you cook, or even to watch exercise videos while your pasta is on the stove or your roast is in the oven.

Use your iPad or other tablet in the Kitchen | Foodal.com

The kitchen is a great space for doing squats, leg lifts, wall presses…

A bonus word of caution from klutzy: Be careful with your electronics, and only set them down in places where they will not be splashed, submerged in water, or otherwise destroyed while you’re cooking.

I once left my cellphone on the kitchen table on Thanksgiving, and minutes later is was fully submerged in all of the juices that leaked out of the turkey… wrap your iPad in plastic if you have to

I once left my cellphone on the kitchen table on Thanksgiving, and minutes later is was fully submerged in all of the juices that leaked out of the turkey when my stepfather started carving it.

You don’t want this to happen to you, if you can avoid it. Wrap your iPad in plastic if you have to.

If you’re really not a novice (I know, some of you are here just for the pictures. I don’t blame you!) declare 2016 the year that you learned how to ____ in the kitchen, and get to it!

Take a cooking class, watch cooking tutorial videos online, recruit a friend who is a pro in the kitchen (or even a professional chef) and dig in.

You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish, and your skills will get better with practice.

5. Eat fearlessly

No, this is not an excuse to give up your New Year’s diet before it even starts, and I’m not suggesting that you throw all caution to the wind and eat with reckless abandon in spite of your food allergies or intolerances because some blogger told you to.

No!

Eat Fearlessly | Foodal.com

What I mean is, now is the time to try new things. Eating should be an adventure, but so many of us have a tendency to get stuck in a rut, and boredom starts to sink in.

…now is the time to try new things. Eating should be an adventure, but so many of us have a tendency to get stuck in a rut, and boredom starts to sink in.

When Monday means meatloaf and every Thursday is pork chop night, we actually have a tendency to fill in with unhealthy extras in order to satisfy our cravings.

Novelty is the spice of life, and spices (and herbs) can make our food more lively, flavorful and interesting.

My grandma used to always tell me stories about her own mother’s habits in the produce department when she was little. Whenever she saw something new, she’d buy it.

Try new things like star fruit! | Foodal.com

My grandma remembers trying star fruit for the first time, and those tiny clusters of bananas that you know you’ve cooed over but never actually tossed into your cart.

My advice is to go for it.

In the end, my advice is simple. Make this the year that you learn to eat a well-rounded diet, filled with lots of fresh, vitamin rich produce.

Try that new restaurant, and then experiment with the new flavor profiles that you discover at home in your own kitchen. Try those energy bars made with cricket protein, or make that weird apple pie with the cheese crumble on top…

Before Great-grandma ever made it for me, I had no clue that I liked toasted English muffins with peanut butter and butter. Sounds super commonplace now, but as a four-year-old, this was a totally foreign concoction. Just go for it!

In the end, my advice is simple. Make this the year that you learn to eat a well-rounded diet, filled with lots of fresh, vitamin rich produce.

Take a stab at juicing, and try new things in the kitchen. Or, improve your heart health with these smart eating tips.

Let this be your best year of eating ever!

See more New Years food related tips and recipes now. To plan the perfect meal to actually bring in the New Year on New Year’s Eve, make sure to check out our guide!

What are your foodie New Year’s resolutions? Tell me all about them in the comments!

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About Allison Sidhu

Allison M. Sidhu is a foodie from Philly who is based in Los Angeles, where she loves exploring the local restaurant scene with her husband. She holds a master's degree in gastronomy from Boston University. When she’s not in the kitchen whipping up something tasty (or listening to the latest food podcasts while she does the dishes!) you’ll probably find Allison tapping away at her keyboard, curled up with a good book (or ready to dominate with controller in hand in front of the latest video game) on the couch, or devouring a food-filled magazine at the beach.

35 thoughts on “5 Healthy Foodie Tips to Ring in the New Year”

  1. Every one of these tips resonated with me. I used to work as a caregiver for a woman of 90. She had a stroke in her late eighties, and struggled to remember some things. One thing, however, that this woman never, ever let me forget, was the piece of fruit that came after every single meal. Her mother raised her that way, and that is how she raised her children. Stroke aside, for a person of 90, she was quite healthy. I couldn’t help but think that these healthy habits she maintained in her life greatly increased her health-span, so to speak. I am currently on the road traveling, but as soon as I get home I’m going to look into a CSA. I’m excited to get to know my kitchen a lot better upon my return. Thanks!

  2. Wow! You must be a very extra ordinary person @alexfranks. I too have a similar experience. My grandmother is 67 now. She too has maintained a routine of having a fruit everyday after a meal. She is healthy, healthier than my kids who often forget to do so even after telling them the benefits of eating a fruit.

  3. As someone who only think of herself to feed, I have NEVER ever tried making meal plans. I live alone and I often argue that it’s an ordeal to be cooking for one. Haha, it should have not been difficult as I’m both the sole decision maker and the sole eater, right? My excuse has always been, it’s better to eat out than cook for one. It’s cheaper that way (only in MY MIND, though). As we usher in the New Year, I think I can make that change and try out meal planning. Primarily, because I just lost my job, haha! Anyway, I also want to resume juicing. I stopped eating healthy when I felt healthier, crazy. But now my body is telling me to go back to healthy eating NOW or forever regret it.

    • This was also my mindset when I was living in an apartment alone. Takeout and frozen galore!
      BUT I had a friend who showed me the light, cooking like Allison described above. Even for one if done right and prudently then it’s healthier and a cost saver!
      Except Allison has taken this to the next level! I evened learned a few things I am incorporating into 2016.

  4. These are all such good tips! Especially the meal planning one, that’s been one of the key components to my diet. If I sit down and plan my meals and shopping list then I can see exactly how much junk I’m eating and cut it down.
    The one tip I would add: go to that grocery store you hate! It saves me from impulse buys and saves me a lot of money in the end. I’m so miserable there that I don’t wander. Wham Bam and Get Out. It’s also the cheapest store in the area, so that’s added incentive, but it’s always mobbed. No matter what time of day I go, and as a stay-at-home mom I have the option of going anywhere from open to close. The aisles are narrow, it’s small, people suck. BUT I spend half of what I would spend at that store I do like.

  5. These are all great tips. I cook dinner most nights of the week and usually leftovers are used for lunches the next day. We eat much healthier, and way more adventurously, than most but there’s always room for improvement. I want to work on adding in even more vegetable variety to each meal and possibly trying to lower my cravings for sweets, by replacing most desserts with fruits instead. We’ll see how the sweets thing goes…We have a juicer but I don’t use it all that often. We try to only consume water, coffee at brunch on the weekends, no sodas, and keep juice to perhaps once a month. Fresh juice can be a great source of nutrients, if you don’t eat enough, but they are also a sneaky source of excess sugars. I mainly pull mine out to use up produce before it goes bad, left over carrots, greens, etc with some added fruit. This helps me keep food waste down but since juice is just an occasional treat, we don’t need to worry about the extra sugar.

  6. I’ve been wanting to try juicing for forever. My problem is the same as yours- no space. Not even on top of the fridge. I do make my own orange juice and lemonade, but would like to cut out store bought juices. The rest I’ve been doing for years. Meal planning has been a Godsend, and making sure I have a super quick and easy meal planned in case I’m too tired to cook keeps me from falling into the “hot dogs and mac and cheese” hole (or *cringe* TV dinners). I frequent farmers markets, but am looking into a CSA. Save me from having to shop and cut time in the store? Yes, please! And I always try to make at least one new meal a month, which is much easier with Pinterest. The hardest part is deciding which one to try!

  7. Thank you for all of the excellent tips to starting healthier eating in 2016! I can’t agree with you more that juicing will improve your health. A couple of years ago I was juicing 4-5 times per week and my husband and I noticed such a difference in our health. We really need to start 2016 off with juicing again. It seemed to take so much time, but it is definitely worth the extra time. Thank you so much for the grocery shopping tips. We are going to definitely start using them.

  8. Thank you for this article, it definitely resonated with me. I believe that I am generally a pretty healthy eater, however, recently, it seems I have slipped and find myself grabbing sugary quick foods instead of taking the time to make healthier choices.

    I always ensure that my daughters eat their fruit every day, however, I shamefully admit that I forget to eat a piece of fruit also. Perhaps, in 2016 I will start a weekly meal planner for my family…I am going to get one of those chalk boards to put up in my kitchen and add my meals everyday.

    As for juicing, I would love to make my own juices, but like many I don’t have the space on my counters for a juicer, and if it is my cupboards I just won’t use it. That being said I am not a big juice or pop drinker. I love a good glass of water with lemon.

  9. I looove this post! I would never think about exercising in the kitchen. That’s a very original idea 🙂
    I’ll head your diet advice – it’s really useful for me. I really want to get out of my rut, lose weight and start eating healthy again! I had hard time and gained weight. Now is the time to lose it!

  10. Thank you so much for the informative post! I’ve been trying out a new diet plan in 2015 but I always fall short and end up splurging on unhealthy food instead. I brought a juicer recently and I’m making juice for myself and my family once in a while. Once 2016 comes, I’m hoping I could stick to a concrete diet! I’m adding more nuts and fruits to my meals now to shed some extra pounds.

  11. Exercising while cooking…now that’s a great idea that I never thought about! Love that tip. Once you’re done burning calories it’ll be time to replace them with a delicious fresh meal. ????

  12. Thank you for these great tips! What you say about having variety and being adventurous really resonated with me. I have tried eating healthier previously, but would fall back into old habits and add extras to my meal because I would be eating the same thing all the time with not much variety (think of dinner being a big plate of boiled spinach and flavorless steamed chicken).

  13. Eating fearlessly is the way to go. I recently tried buying a pomegranate for the first time. I had put it in a zip lock bag and the next thing I knew it it was moldy inside. So I attempted again to eat this fruit but this time just buying a cup of the seeds. Then I realized I don’t even know how to eat it. This is when you tube came in handy. Let’s just say that I might just stick to drinking the juice instead.

  14. Thanks so much for these great tips! One of my new years resolutions is definitely to eat clean so I will be needing these. I always buy too much and then over snack and eat just to make sure I am not wasting everything. Creating a weekly meal plan sounds like a great way to fix this. At the end of last year my family joined a CSA and I would recommend it to everyone. You get amazing vegetables and fruit while supporting a great cause.

  15. Creating weekly meal plans is one of the biggest changes that helped me get healthy. I typically like to plan everything out in Sunday, all my breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week. This way when I come home hungry I eat what I’ve already prepared not just grab the first junk food I see to snack one. I also find planning out my meals and snacks helps me stick to a plan. I’m less likely to snack though out the day if my meals are filling and I bring enough food to work.

  16. Lots of great advice. We all need to take a look at our eating habits and clean them up from time to time. A much healthy diet and lifestyle is on the cards for my family in 2016 and this article has only served to inspire these goals.

  17. I’ve seen so many healthy juice cleanses and those fancy juices made with a juicer and I’ve really been wanting one
    >.< this post just makes me want to get one even more! I hope when I get a juicer (which I hope is soon) then I'll be able to make a lot of juices which are usually more expensive in stores!

    Sadly I don't have any local CSA deliveries made near me, so I have to go to the Farmer's Market, but I guess that's better than nothing.

  18. Great article! I completely agree with the advice about not being afraid to try new things in the kitchen. I love trying new things, and ninety percent of the time it turns out very well. I also like the advice about cooking from scratch when possible. It is a healthier alternative by far, and it nurtures a deeper understanding of the meal making process.

  19. Very nice rounded up article, 2016 has started out nicely for FOODAL! 🙂 One of my new year’s resolutions is to eat healthier. I ate too much junk food in 2015 simply because I was abroad a lot, but this year I will learn how to cook new dishes and get rid of the bad stuff. Joining a CSA is a great idea!

  20. All these are good and sensible ideas and I particularly like the ‘liece of fruit after each meal’ habit. The suggeston that resonates most strongly with me is number one: the meal plans. This is something we used to do as a matter of course but over the past couple of years we’ve slipped into the habit of not planning and this has led to increased shopping trips, which , in turn, have led to increased spending. You’ve given me a timely reminder that not planning ahead can have mighty expensive repercussions, so thank you very much and a happy and well-planned new year to you all!

  21. I love how you made these tips. They aren’t the usual tips which includes “more of this, less of that,” or “replace this with that,” etc.etc. They tackle about habits/lifestyle which is more effective since it lasts a long time (if not forever, that is).

    I put “be healthier” in my New Year’s Resolution this year since I got weak immunity/resistance. So, I guess I’ll have to start working with these tips first! 😀

  22. Oh yes, I truly needed to read this today! It’s very timely and I’m glad I found the article. Great tips here! Let’s see how many of them I already do or have to start doing…

    Creating weekly menu plans, check. I’ve always done this, and I always go shopping with a list. That’s not to say I never buy anything that’s not on the list but it definitely helps to keep me on track. I’ve wished for years that Peapod would have me in their coverage area, but no such luck yet.

    A juicer… that’s one of those things that I’ve wanted to do but simply haven’t gotten around to yet. I *do* use a small food processor for smoothies, though, and had an interesting one today with a base of cashew milk and baby spinach. Kind of odd, but I liked it. the processor works for me in a pinch.

    I’m pretty sure there’s not a CSA anywhere near me so that’s one I wouldn’t be able to do. Learning new kitchen stuff has been a passion of mine ever since I started *being* in my own kitchen, so a big “check” for that one, too.

    And that fearless eating? I have done *tons* of that in the past 18 months. I have a huge stack of new healthy recipes, all hand written on my trusty recipe cards for fast access and I have already made at least half of them.

    Wow, I did better than I expected! 🙂

  23. Thanks for sharing this post. I have been looking for ways to add additional healthy meals/tips to my usual routine. I have been putting off getting a juicer but I think I am going to go get one this weekend.

    Last week I made a meal plan and saved a ton of money and are way healthier (although we usually eat pretty healthy anyway). I am definitely going to do this again and improve this week.

    Thanks again!

  24. I found this article to be very helpful in regards to keeping healthy. I am a very busy person, and coming up with meals in the middle of the week is too time consuming for my schedule. However, thinking up a meal plan during the weekend can help save me time, and effort during the week. Making large meals and then eating them over the course of a week is also very helpful towards my schedule, and I thought that this article explained the process and possibilities very well. I also think it is important to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, and the article reminded me that in doing so, I am supporting local farmers. Since this is a win-win relationship, I will be sure to continue buying these locally grown foods, and use them in my meals for the week.

  25. As a mother of five, I must say meal planning really keeps me on my budget, and taking a Saturday or Sunday to cook for the week really saves time. Use those days to also chop up any onions, garlic, peppers or whatever fruit or veggies you’ll need or want for the week. Allison is right about making your kitchen your entertainment center while you cook. I always keep a radio in my kitchen because I love music, so I get the opportunity to cook, sing and even dance around in the kitchen, and sometimes when I’m in a different kind of mood, I enjoy listening to NPR, podcast about gardening and cooking are my favorites-I love the cooking podcast, The Splendid Table. It seems like when I listen to The Splendid Table, I want to cook even more food.

    One suggestion I would like to make about using the pulp from juicing is, if you can’t use it for cooking usage, you can put it in your compost if your a gardener.

  26. That’s for the tips! I’ve always heard that if you were going through the effort of juicing to get the nutrients, you might as well just eat the fruit and vegetables themselves to get the fiber and nutrients in the skin. However, I’m not a big fan of drinking water, so if juicing can be a better alternative to sugary drinks, I’m all for it. 😉 Also sorry your juicer broke, I know those can be pricey! I also enjoy getting fresh foods delivered to my door. Though I can’t get vegetables and fruits locally, we do have a milkman with locally made cheeses, yogurt and cream. The taste different is so noticeable!

  27. I love your idea about joining a CSA. I have always liked the idea of supporting local farms. It’s easy to do in the summer with the lovely farmer’s markets, but it gets a little difficult in the winter. Do you find that it is more expensive to join a CSA than it is to shop at the grocery store?

  28. Wow, what a fantastic guide! I’ve always tried to eat healthy myself, but have no idea how to go about it. I’d never even heard of the CSA before. I intend to check if there’s one in my area, supporting our local farms is always a good cause, even if it does end up being a tad more expensive.

  29. I like this. There are some good ideas here.

    I’m always open to trying new things, but the rest of my family, not so much. I have been trying to (gently) “push” them a little bit in that direction.

    The best method for me is to try to incorporate new things a little at a time, only every so often. Even then, I just make a little to see what everyone likes, so I don’t have things going to waste. I guess it’s just an ongoing process, but personally, I enjoy new scents and flavors and all that, especially if it’s something yummy that’s more healthy.

  30. The tip about meal planning and organizing your grocery shopping trips is huge! I committed to doing that once I moved out on my own and encountered some budgeting problems, and it made all the difference. It’s just me and my boyfriend so I usually shop every two or three days, otherwise the produce starts wilting, but it still saves me way more money than when I was popping into the store every day for one or two little things. I try to follow the rule about shopping mainly along the outside of the store as well, since most of the processed and prepackaged foods are concentrated in the aisles towards the center.

  31. Allison, thanks for all of these recommendations. They will come in handy as I begin the quest for the new thinner, healthier, and fit me. Getting this blog off the ground has taken the toll on the mind and body.

  32. Those are excellent tips, and even if we’re not that close to the new year, I still am not the type of guy who really makes plans on New Year’s anyway. Instead I try to make a list of things that I want to accomplish in a certain amount of time, but without pressure. I stick to those plans way more that way. My favorite tip was probably the number one. Sometimes to eat healthy, all we need to do is to cut off extra meals that as you’ve said, we eat when we’re hungry. When it comes to me, I always choose the most unhealthy foods in those situations, lol!

    • Thanks for your comment! Great point- no need to wait until January 1 rolls around- you can incorporate these tips into your life at any time of year!

  33. My absolute best tip for sticking to a health new years resolution is to get the junk out of the house – all of it! If you have to rely on your own willpower to keep away from the unhealthy snacks you are setting yourself up for failure. But if the junkfood isn’t there, you can’t eat it! 😉
    I definitely also recommend having some frozen food which you’ve made yourself available for when there just isn’t time to cook, or you really just don’t feel like it. I always try and make one or two servings extra when I cook so I can freeze a small tub for emergencies, it works like a dream!

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