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Finally. This is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons, but certainly food is one of them. So much will begin to come into season, it's time for planting herbs, and picnics aren't far around the corner.
I always try to convince my patients that this is the time of year to make resolutions. Of course it's customary to do this at New Year's, but if you've not kept those (or didn't really make any to begin with), now's the time.
If you're having trouble coming up with a resolution that seems reasonable, here are a few simple ideas that can go a long way to making you a lot healthier.
1. Begin planning. This is the single most important way to get healthier. Take a few minutes each Saturday or Sunday to plan your meals for the week. Whether you use meal planning software like The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan, or make up your own menus, there's so much evidence that shows that having a weekly meal plan is the key to staying on track.
2. Go to the farmer's market each week. Almost every city and small town now has at least a weekly farmer's market. This is not only a great way to find the freshest food that's been grown locally, but it's also one of the best ways to find inspiration for your healthy meals. (They'll have fresh herbs for you to plant, too.)
3. Cook one new dish each week. Expand your horizons. One great way to do this is when you go to the farmer's market. Purchase what looks good and fresh and new to you. There are so many resources for finding great healthy recipes with your new ingredients, that you'll be cooking better and better each week.
4. Exercise. While I do it myself, it's not my area of expertise. That's why I invited my colleague, Dr. Jacques Courseault, to share his expertise with you: tons of information, tips and exercise videos are right here at DrGourmet.com/exercise.
Spring is the perfect time to begin an exercise program (certainly better than New Year's). The weather's better and there's more daylight. We know that any exercise will do - walk, jog, swim, bike - simply choose something that you like to do and put it in your plan for at least three days a week for at least 30 minutes.
There's no better time for resolutions than when the sun is beginning to shine more, flowers are blooming and the trees are beginning to turn green. Instead of the dark and gloomy New Year's, make the bright beginning of spring your time of change.
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.