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Archive for January 4th, 2012

Wishes for 2012

New Year’s Eve has passed and January 1, 2012 marked the beginning of a new year. Perhaps you took the last day of 2011 to reflect on the foods you ate and how they affected your health. For many, the past year changed lives, whether for better or worse. Maybe last year you made resolutions that soon went awry. Will you, or have you already, missed the mark in 2012?

Instead of impossible resolutions, consider a wish list. Do you wish you could eat more healthy this year? Consider ways to make that happen without a guilt trip when you don’t make the wisest choices.

How difficult would it be to eat one more vegetable or fruit each day? This one small change could help make a difference. Find ways, as I have, to sneak in those added foods. I make my sauce for lasagna. My adult grandson thinks my recipe is the best. Whether he knows it or not, each batch has two shredded carrots. If you use purchased sauce, add carrots to that. Some substitute zucchini for noodles or shred a few into the sauce. The same principle works for many vegetables and foods. I’ll bet young children will never suspect additional chopped vegetables on their pizza.

To add fruits, consider an old standby that most children (and adults) love—Jello. If you believe your children consume too much sugar, choose artificially sweetened gelatin. Combinations of fruit and gelatin are endless. Add fresh or frozen strawberries to strawberry flavored gelatin or canned Mandarin oranges to orange. Lime is great with apples. Crushed pineapple adds a great touch to all of these as well as other flavors.

Choose individual serving containers of flavored or original applesauce for a tangy dessert. Substitute applesauce for part of the oil in most baked goods such as cakes or nutbreads. This little ingenuity cuts fat in the diet (not to mention calories) as well as adding more fruits.

Other minor changes include passing up all those less healthy goodies in the grocery and reaching for special treats of low-fat yogurt or one of the many snack or protein bars. Just check labels to know what you are eating and choose the healthy ones.

If losing weight is your number one wish, as it is for many, the above choices will help with that, too. Forget failures and focus on the future. Many substitutions provide painless hidden ways to cut calories and at the same time eat healthier. Filling your cupboards and refrigerator with more nutritious snacks helps. May your wish for a healthier you come true in 2012.

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