As the new year begins, the time has come to start making those resolutions. What if your resolution is to get healthier or eat healthier? There have been a lot of changes in what is suppose to be healthy for a person.
"I want to look better, I'm guessing I'm going to have to eat better and not order pizza too much," Christina Johnson, Alta, said of her resolution.
But where to start? Who to call for information? Which diet is the right diet? All these questions might intimidate or confuse.
"I usually listen to what my friends try and then try it myself but nothing has stuck," Johnson said.
If you are wanting to make major changes in your eating habits or have a medical condition requiring a change of diet, local experts suggest you should contact your health care provider to the find out the best way to change your habits.
If you just need a healthier approach, then here are some tips and places you might want to consider. Many people might not know it, but the familiar "food pyramid" itself has recently changed with the new USDA standards.
At the website www.mypyramid.gov you will be able to put in your information and get an idea of a good balance of nutrition you should have per day. The information will vary from person to person depending on age, sex and how much physical activity is done over the day. The web site will also offer tips on how to fill the needs of the different categories.
"Eating food in moderation is one thing that is always going to be around," Rhonda Christensen, County Extension Education Director with Iowa State University University Extension.
Some other tips offered by Dee Murphy of Nutrition, Etc. is that eating a variety of foods will help fight off diseases.
"You have to eat a variety of different foods to get all the nutrients your body needs to keep you healthy. By eating the same thing day after day you won't get these protective nutrients," Murphy said.
Another change that help people feel better is drinking eight glasses of water per day. It not only helps remove waste products from your body it can also help the body feel better.
"Many people who switch from drinking coffee or soda to drinking water say they feel better," Murphy said.
The final tip Murphy offers is to not skip meals. "In the end, it doesn't work and it deprives your body of the nutrients needed to keep you healthy," Murphy said.
There is another option if you need help getting motivated in to eating right and exercise.
Lighten-Up Iowa is a state wide program going into it's fifth year. According to Rhonda Christensen, this program is making a big push and Iowa just made the top 10 percent.
Lighten-Up Iowa is set for people to form 10 member teams to help each other with motivation to eat healthier and get active. The program runs from Jan. 18- May 30. For more information or to register for the program, go to www.lightenupiowa.org.
Eating healthy does not mean that you are locked into a life of carrot sticks and wheat bread. There are plenty of options out there for people to try. Www.foodnetwork.com has a number of recipes available, set for the different levels of cooking ability. There is the easy to cook to the expert level.
Here is a sample entree from foodnetwork.com:
Molasses-glazed pork with sweet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoon molasses
3 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 3/4 lbs pork tenderloins, trimmed of fat
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium red onions, cut into 8 wedges each
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices
1 10-oz. package frozen whole okra
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1.With the side of a chef's knife, mash garlic and salt into a paste. Transfer to a large shallow dish. Stir in 2 table spoons molasses, 2 tablespoons lime juice, cumin and pepper to taste. Add pork and coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
3. In a 10 by 14 inch roasting pan, swish chicken broth, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon molasses remain 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice and oil. add onions, sweet potatoes. okra, and thyme; season with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. cover tightly with foil.
4.Bake vegetables for 25 to 3 minutes, or until sweet potatoes begin to soften.
5 Push vegetables to sides of pan Place in center and put any remaining marinade over it. Roast uncovered until just a trace of pin remains in the center and an instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 155 f 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly on the diagonal. Serve with vegetables.
410 calories per serving; 32 grams protein, 7 grams fat, 54 grams carbohydrate. 335 mg sodium; 88 mg cholesterol 6 grams fiber.
And some dessert idea from Iowa State University Extension (www.extension.iastate. edu/food:
1 small frozen banana, cut in chunks
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup of orange juice
1. Put all ingredients in blender and whirl until smooth. These are fairly thick. Add more liquid if you want them thinner
Per serving 125 calories. 7 grams of protein, 213 mg calcium, 10 mg vitamin C, 160 mg sodium.