Say Yes to More in the New Year

What’s the New Year’s equivalent of the Grinch? The Teetotaler of 2013? The Naysayer of Next Year? The Resolution Wraith? Well, whatever that guy is called, he’s not welcome at my table and I think you should also dis-invite him.

Too many New Year’s resolutions focus on NO when it comes to food: no normal-human-sized portions, no snacks, no sweets, no carbs, no fat, no eating after 7:42 pm, no NO NO. And I know I’m playing Captain Obvious here, but clinging to NO is just setting yourself up to fail.

So let’s try something a little different, and talk about what we should resolve to eat more of in 2013 (and the years after that). To help out, I’ve pulled a week’s worth of related recipes from several “Best of 2012” collections.

Focus on fruits and veggies. Nearly all of us are in this boat, because only 10% of Western-diet eaters meet the recommend daily intakes for fruits and veggies. One of the best ways to tackle this is to focus on the two-fers: dishes that include both fruits and veggies. Some examples include fried cauliflower with tahini and pomegranate arils from Cooking Light’s best of 2012, and the citrus, olives and radicchio salad from Eating Well’s 2012 round-up.

(See more about MORE after the jump)

Eat more potassium. The top Eating The Week recipe this year was actually one I posted in 2011, but you people still love you some potassium talk, apparently. Most Western-diet eaters don’t get enough potassium, which may be one of the reasons we’ve got rampant high blood pressure. So get more plants, fish and dairy in your diet, and try out my pasta with clams, chard and tomatoes recipe.

Give legumes some love.These beany little superheroes are good sources of darn near every nutrient, but most of us don’t work a serving or two into our daily menus. Try this colorful “cowboy caviar” – one of InspiredRD’s top 2012 recipes – or this summer barley risotto with white beans from PreventionRD.

Fill up on fiber. Instead of trying some cayenne/horse spit/huckleberry/algae spore detox regimen, give your natural detoxers one of the key ingredients they need to do their thing: fiber. The liver and intestines use fiber to trap carcinogens and metabolic waste in stool, so it can be removed from the body. Now for a rough segue from that to eating: along with eating beans, fruits and veggies, make sure you’re picking whole grains and other fiber-rich options when making recipes like curried scallops with (brown) cilantro rice from Eating Well.

Make space for sweets. All fiber and no cake makes Homer something something, so I think there should always be room for reasonably portioned treats now and then. Heck, chocolate peanut butter spread is among my top 5 reasons for running, if I’m being honest. So go ahead and make things like grapefruit poundcake from Cooking Light – just pay attention to the size of the slice.

Enjoy the new year full of more!

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