Five nutritious New Year’s resolutions

New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and so are your annual resolutions! January is the ideal time to start fresh and form new habits. This year, we’re helping with your resolve to take better care of your body. It’s the little things that will make a big difference. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and choose a parking spot that isn’t right up front. You can also make healthy adjustments to your diet such as the ones below. These are easy suggestions because they are delicious and don’t require a big change to your already busy life. Use them as a springboard to make 2013 a great year!

1. Eat more soluble fiber. Managing your cholesterol levels does not mean that you have to eat oatmeal for breakfast every day. Other foods high in soluble fiber include walnuts, beans, apples and pears.

2. Make Carotino Red Palm and Canola Oil your primary cooking oil. Unlike olive oil, Carotino will not alter the flavor of your food, and its smoke point makes it ideal for high-heat cooking. It’s also free of cholesterol and trans fat, contains tocotrienols for heart and brain health, and is high in natural antioxidants (including beta carotene) as well as Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.

3. Get serious about drinking enough water. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, increased heart rate, fatigue and even joint pain. More than two-thirds of your body is made of water, and every body system also requires water to keep functioning, including your brain, skin, kidneys, heart and joints. Water aids in digestion, helps remove waste and toxins from your body, regulates body temperature, supports weight management and carries nutrients to cells. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when exercising. It is recommended that men drink about 13 cups a day, while women need nine cups.

4. Expand your food repertoire. Once a month, go shopping at a farmer’s market and buy some fresh produce. Start small and buy foods you know how to prepare. Also look for familiar supermarket items such as bread, eggs, flour, fish, seeds, coffee, nuts or honey. Maybe purchase ingredients for a salad to eat at dinner throughout the week. Resolve to add at least one new food with each visit. Be sure to ask the grower for recommendations on how to prepare and serve it.

5. Eat more onions. Onions are high in vitamin C, a good fiber source and are believed to help improve circulation and heart health, and support healthier bone density. In the United States, onions have two seasons (spring/summer and fall/winter) which reflect their different flavor profiles. The spring and summer varieties have a higher water content, giving them a mild, sweeter flavor. This means they are perfect for burgers or salads, or other dishes where they can be eaten raw or slightly cooked. The fall and winter varieties have a lower water content, which gives them a stronger, more savory flavor. They are perfect for stews, soups or other longer-cooking dishes. For year-long enjoyment, be sure to freeze plenty of each variety before they go out of season.

Even if you’ve never stuck with a New Year’s resolution beyond February, this year can be different! These suggestions are simple to incorporate into your daily life and don’t require a lot of extra work or time. Get a friend or family member to join your resolution, and keep each other accountable. Bounce new foods or recipe ideas off each other, or drive to the gym together so you’ll have someone to keep you motivated. This year enjoy your New Year’s resolutions for a change!