5 Essential foods to jump-start your diet

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX --  Now that the holidays are over, are you ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle? One expert says there are five essential foods to have in your kitchen to help jump-start your diet and make this year the healthiest one yet.

Jolene Goring is a holistic nutritionist, as well as the fitness director at TriVita Wellness Center. She specializes in helping people to be healthier while having fun. Here are her top five essential foods to have on hand when you want to shed a couple pounds, have more energy, and improve your health.

1. Good-quality protein shake
Replace one meal daily with the shake to get rid of extra holiday pounds and bloat. A bonus is that the protein will keep you full longer, and the amino acids in protein actually help your skin to look younger. "You want to make sure you have a really, really clean protein," says Goring. "No chemicals, no words you can't pronounce."

2. Fiber
You should get at least 25g of fiber per day, most Americans get less than 15g daily. Try: Flax, chia seeds, even natural fiber supplements. This helps to clean our your insides and get rid of the effects of holiday indulgences. "Fiber is like a little sponge," she says. "It goes into your body and cleans everything out."

3. Green Veggies
These help to detox and cleanse your body, along with providing lots of fiber and nutrients. The more the better! Try to eat at least 3 cups daily.

4. Coconut Anything!
Coconut is a medium chain fatty acid, which means that it gives the body energy, but it won't get stored as fat. It is also anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal which is perfect for the flu season protection.

5. Drink more water.
Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. "If you weigh 100 pounds, you should drink at about 50 ounces of water a day," says Goring. "It's going to hydrate your body from the inside out."
TriVita Wellness Center
16100 N Greenway Hayden Loop
Scottsdale, AZ 85260