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Health and Nutrition Tips for 2011

1. January: Continue to exercise or start a new program. Exercise helps maintain your weight and keeps your metabolism working. If you need some support consider hiring a personal trainer. Take Vitamin D capsules as we don't get enough natural sunshine in the winter, unless you live in Hawaii!

2. February: Watch how much food you're eating. While it is cold outside and we crave warming foods, the pounds can creep up on you in the winter if you're not careful. Hire a nutritionist or health coach if you need some guidance.

Lightly cooked vegetables such as kale, collard greens and Swiss chard are great at this time of year. They can be stir fried with a little bit of olive oil and some onions and garlic. These dark leafy greens provide our bodies with the vitamins and minerals that we need.

3. March: Get ready for spring, start moving your exercise routine outside. Go for a walk, a jog or a bike ride. Make sure to add whole grains to your diet every day. Whole grains include oats, millet, barley, brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains can be eaten for breakfast, just add fruit or nuts for a complete meal.

4. April: Consider a spring time cleanse to clear your body of all the heavy foods you've eaten during the winter. Cleansing does not have to mean fasting there are a range of options available such as juice & vegetables cleanses and Ayurvedic cleanses that allow you to eat very light meals.

5. May: Add spring vegetables (artichokes, arugula, and peas) to your diet.

6. June: Enjoy the strawberries and other berries that come into season, these are low sugar fruits that are high in antioxidants. Don't forget your sunscreen and make sure you're using ones that have only natural ingredients.

The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the best sunscreens every year; you can find it on their website at: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/

7. July: Enjoy the bounty: basil, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, corn, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Eat lots of raw vegetables, such as salads, which are cooling to your system and easy to digest. Add some avocadoes for a source of health fat.

8. August: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate...Water is so important during the heat of the summer. Add lemon, lime or orange to your water for a twist. Try coconut water which is high in potassium. Coffee and caffeinated tea does not count as water, as they are dehydrating to your body.

9. September: Peaches, pears, plums are ending and its apple season. Applesauce is very easy to make and can be frozen for the winter, see my recipe below. As the weather starts to cool down it's time to prepare for the fall.

10. October: This is great hiking weather, get out there and see the fall foliage or consider a long bike ride. Start eating root vegetables such as parsnip, turnips, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes. Root vegetables keep us feeling grounded as we go from autumn into winter.

11. November: Fall squashes are plentiful try one you haven't had before like delicata or kabocha. Most squashes can be cut into cubes and baked in the oven with a little olive oil for 30-45 minutes. Squash is also great for making soups such as butternut and pumpkin soup.

12. December: You made it through another wonderful year, celebrate your health. Concentrate on you and reducing stress, try a meditation class or yoga. It is easy to gain weight from eating too much at holiday parties. Stick to healthy choices at home and at parties. Healthy snacks include carrots, celery sticks, mixed nuts, fresh or dried fruits, unbuttered popcorn.

Recipe: Home Made Applesauce

Apples are in season but some people have trouble digesting apples due to their acidity levels. Cooking apples may make them easier to digest.

1. 3-5 lbs apples. Mix the variety of apples for the best flavor.
2. Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters.
3. Put the apples in a pot with 1/2 inch of water under a medium flame, cover with lid.
4. When the water starts to boil, remove lid and cook for 30 minutes until apples are tender.
5. Mash apples with a fork.

Add cinnamon to taste.

Keywords:

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