A healthy New Year's diet

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- One way many people look to take more control of their lives every new year is to lose weight. But  it turns out, if that is your only goal, you may be sabotaging yourself right from the start.

“When you say diet, diet has a time frame,” says Dr. David Boyd with Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "It is almost like folks will consider they are restricted for a certain amount of time, and then they can move back to old habits," he says. "And that is not what we want.”

Dr. Boyd says adding exercise and improving your diet are an excellent new years resolutions that can help you prevent disease. But that's only if you stick with it. It's more about a lifestyle change.

Stephanie Paver, manager of nutrition at CTCA, says that change does not have to be all at once. “So as we get back on track for the new year, my recommendation is to avoid diets that are extreme for weight loss," Paver says. Instead, she suggests adding healthful  foods into your current diet, “So you want your snacks to be focused on whole foods.  Examples would be raw vegetables, carrots, celery, peppers, broccoli.”

But she says to turn them into a treat by adding a twist, like hummus or nut butters. “We could always add in nut butters to complement or supplement a snack of an apple or celery," she says. "And that again is going to help us feel full longer and be more satisfied.”

She also says a healthy diet does not mean you have to skip snacks. “Don't be afraid to snack," she advises. "Some people will say, I feel like I am eating all the time, and that is okay; listen to your hunger cues.”

The important thing is adding snacks that are healthier, that aren't processed, or high in preservatives or chemicals.

And it doesn't mean going hungry. Paver whipped up a kale and chicken salad with lots of flavors. “It includes quinoa, which is considered an ancient grain," she says. "It is high in protein. High in fiber.”

And by mixing it up, she says, you can have a healthier and tastier new year. “To help reduce risk of  chronic disease and to enhance longevity is really about the total dietary pattern," she says.

Paver says you want ¾ of your plate to be from plant sources, live vegetables and whole grains, and about a 3-ounce portion of animal protein.

The Cancer Treatment Centers did share their recipe for the Kale, Chicken, and Quinoa salad.

Kale Salad with Citrus, Quinoa, Berries & Almonds Dressing:

Nectar, Agave - 2 fl oz
Lemon juice (fresh) - 1 fl oz
Orange juice (fresh-squeezed) - 1 fl oz
Lime juice (fresh-squeezed) Juice -1 fl oz
Oil, Olive, Extra-Virgin, Italian - 4 fl oz

Water, filtered - 1 cup
Quinoa, dry - 1/2 cup
Almonds, blanched, slivered, toasted - 1/4 cup
Strawberries, fresh, sliced -  1/4 cup
Blueberries, fresh  - 1/4 cup
Blackberries, fresh - 1/4 cup
Raspberry, fresh, red -  1/4 cup
Mint, fresh - 1 tbsp
Kale, fresh, chopped - 1 lb

-Place in bowl and whisk together juices and agave, and slowly drizzle in oil while whisking to
-Rinse quinoa, add to pot with stock and bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 15 minutes.
-Turn off heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff, chill and reserve.
-Chop almonds and reserve.
-Chop kale
-Combine quinoa, berries, mint, kale and almonds, mix salad.
-Dress with dressing to taste, and reserve the rest for another use.

Serving Size:
6 ounces
4 servings

Fat - 9.9 gm
% Cal/Fat - 41.7 %
Chol - 0 mg
Sodium - 41 mg
Fiber/Dtry - 4.0 gm
Calcium - 151 mg
Calories - 202 kcal
Carbs - 24.6 gm
Protein - 6.4 gm