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Simple Steps to Success!

By Mark Mulcahy
Image of Fresh and Dried Fruit
If you’re like many people, you’ve decided to start the New Year off with a commitment to better health. Most likely you’re going to exercise more and start eating better. This new resolve is to be commended and I wish you the best in all your efforts. I would also like to offer a slower and more sustainable approach to reach your goal by slowly replacing foods that may contain too many carbohydrates, fat, and processed foods and loading up the frig with more Melissa’s organic fruits and vegetables. While we all want to see changes immediately, slow and steady may actually win the race to good health.

Take a walk!
Instead of buying that gym membership or those name brand workout clothes- Take a 30-minute walk every day! Studies show that as a regular walker, you establish a regular routine and with routine, you are more likely to continue the behavior and feel better about yourself and your progress with each passing day. And you will see other benefits as well. While you may not see the results on the scale you may notice your favorite pants aren’t so snug. As regular walking can help improve your body's response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat. It has also been shown that walking every day can improve your mood and increase your creativity.

Commit to a couple of months
We all get excited out of the gate and are gung-ho for the first few weeks or month and then we can often get sidetracked or derailed. Start out with the mindset that you are going to do this for 2 to 3 months and track your success, which doesn't always have to be weight loss. How do you feel? How's your energy level? What about your attitude? Is it more positive? These can all be benchmarks to build and show success.
Image of Organic Apples
Pick the right produce partner
Adding more Melissa’s organic produce to your daily diet can be the perfect partner to complement your healthy lifestyle commitment. If you are only eating a few produce items a day, an easy way to get the recommended 5-9 servings is to commit to one item per meal, like fresh berries on your whole grain cereal. Add a Melissa’s organic apple with lunch and a simple salad of organic romaine and carrots with dinner.

This time of year there is a great selection of tasty produce to get you started and all of the many proven health benefits that go along with it. Melissa’s organic citrus is at its peak, greens at their sweetest, so many organic apples to choose from, sweet potatoes in abundance and all at the best prices to fit any budget!,
Image of Organic Mango
Did you know one mango provides 40% RDA of vitamin A and 15% RDA of vitamin C? Or that chard is high in Vitamin A, C, and E, has a wide range of minerals, especially calcium and iron and is as versatile as it is nutritious? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Yes, even crunchy iceberg lettuce contains calcium, potassium, vitamin A and fiber so don't write if off if you like it! Other benefits from adding more fruits and veggies include cancer fighting, immune building, and cholesterol lowering abilities.

So where do you begin?... At the Grocery Store!

When you go to the store:

1. Ask for samples. Most produce departments are happy to let you sample what they have to . Try before you buy. If you usually buy Fuji apples ask to try a Honeycrisp. This will connect you to what you like and what’s in season.
2. Get to know your produce person. In nearly every department there is at least one person who is dying to share their produce joy, which can get you excited, and keep you going when the resolutions are starting to fade at the end of the month.
3. Ask lots of questions. Believe me, no one knows everything about produce. Learning about new things in season may change what you add to your daily diet.
4. Try new things! If you have only had baked winter squash you might like it steamed and mashed with garlic and olive oil. Or sliced delicata coated in coconut oil, roasted and made into chips. Hmmm, hmmm! These will definitely help keep those crackers in the cupboard.
5. Plan a menu for the week. Take steps to change your shopping patterns to make sure you are getting enough produce to keep you satisfied and healthy. One good place to start place is by making sure you include one fruit or veggie with each snack or meal.

The simple pleasures that come when you slow down enough and enjoy a ripe, Bosc pear or a meal of seasonal roasted root vegetables will change your relationship with food to one that goes beyond just filling a void when you are hungry to one where you find joy in eating fresh and healthy. Every little bit goes a long way. While fad diets may show quicker results, slowing down, taking a walk and developing a new relationship with food can be a New Year's resolution that lasts a lifetime.
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