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new-year-new-youNow that the holidays are behind us (but hopefully not on your behind), it is time to look ahead to a healthy and happy 2012.

Let’s review some basic health issues that I try to follow.

1. Watch What You Eat 

Even thought statistics say we only gain about a pound during the holiday season, if you over indulged and ate more, now is the time to cut back. A good rule is to eat more leafy greens, whole grains, and vegetables, and to eat fewer animal products and processed foods.  Cut back on alcohol, snack foods, refined carbs and sweets.

2. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

I have 2 suggestions that work for me.  Try a bowl of low-fat, unflavored yogurt, lots of seasonal fresh fruit and granola.  Another fav is a smoothie made with a small amount of yogurt, one ripe banana, a small amount of fruit juice (I use orange or apple) and 4 ice cubes. Put these ingredients in a blender for a few minutes and you have a healthy start to your day.

3. Eat Your More Substantial Meal as Early in the Day as Possible

The later it gets, the less you should eat due to digestion reasons.  Complex carbohydrates such as raw vegetables, fruits, low-fat yogurt, skim milk and whole-wheat crackers work well and are good food choices for late in the day. 

4. Exercise

If a gym membership isn’t in your budget, try speed walking.  Even house cleaning and chasing the children around helps—just stay active.

5. Weigh Yourself Daily

Not everyone agrees with this plan but I do this to keep up with any changes.  If I know I’ve gained a pound one day, I cut back on my intake the next.

6. Don’t Skip Meals

If you do, you will be more likely to gorge yourself at the next meal.

7. Only Eat What You Love

If it isn’t a favorite of mine, I don’t waste the calories.  I stay away from fried foods and processed foods but I admit, sweets are my downfall.  I’ve never met a dark chocolate covered caramel I didn’t love.

8. Alcohol

Moderation is the name of the game here. Statistics say women should have no more than one to two drinks per day.

9. Sleep

Each of us needs a different number of hours of sleep each night.  If you miss that number during the week, try to play catch up on the weekend.

For more ideas and tips, please visit my website, www.sallybernstein.com

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