My New Year, like many women, used to begin with me vowing to lose weight. I would follow the new fad diet of the moment and yo-yo from my skinny jeans to my fat jeans and back again. But when I hit my 30s, I decided that if I was going to be successful I needed to try a new approach. Therefore, instead of trying to be “skinny,” I dedicated myself to developing a healthy lifestyle by consuming my recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily.

As this number can vary, I decided to follow Dr. Andrew Weil’s recommendations as he is one of my all-time favorite health gurus. My goal was then to eat four to five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit daily. Over time, this approach literally transformed my life!

green smoothieI started my day by routinely making a green smoothie, which took care of both one fruit and one vegetable serving. And if I was craving eggs, I had a vegetable omelet with a side of fruit. My daily lunch included a salad with lots of colorful vegetables and a side of fruit for dessert. In addition, I included a serving (or two) of vegetables at dinnertime and was able to sneak in an additional serving of fruit as part of my afternoon snack. Basically, instead of focusing on giving up excess carbs and sweets, I simply crowded them out of my diet little by little. For instance, I could easily consume only one cup of pasta (not the entire box!) without feeling deprived, if I added a serving of vegetables, protein and healthy fat.

Over time this has become my go-to lifestyle.

Not diet!

Now I actually crave my greens and colorful fruits and vegetables.

Even my golden retriever Gatsby loves to share sliced carrots and bell peppers with me as his treats.

I have an abundance of energy, my skin glows, and I have been able to maintain a healthy weight.

Plus I know if I overdo it one night out gossiping with the girls over pizza and wine, I can balance it out the next day with an extra serving of veggies in my morning smoothie!

At the end of the day it’s about progress not perfection.

It’s about finding balance and creating a lifestyle that works for you.

Here’s to a happy, HEALTHY new year with you and your doggy!

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