Kick Off the Year on a Healthy Note

(NC)—January is a perfect opportunity to take stock and set some healthy goals. It’s a fresh new start to the year, and with that, the opportunity for a fresh new start to a healthier lifestyle. Whether it is picking up a new activity, or digging your fork into a healthier plate, there are plenty of opportunities for you and your family to start 2012 with a healthy spring in your step.

“Don’t let the cold weather fool you,” says Carol Dombrow, a registered dietitian with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “There are still plenty of indoor activities and winter sports you can participate in, and if you always wanted to try out some new recipes, here’s your chance,” Carol adds.

As she explains, the slower pace of January is a great opportunity to take out your recipe book and try out some new healthy recipes that may become favourites over the next few months.

“Go ahead—get adventurous and try out new ingredients. It will make for an exciting personal challenge and a well-fed, happy table of diners,” Carol adds.

Follow Carol’s tips on becoming and staying healthy in 2012:

• Follow Canada’s Food Guide, which can help balance your energy needs with amounts of other nutrients.

• Eating out? Look for restaurants with healthier choices including those that feature the Health Check logo.

• Cook at home as often as possible. Try out new recipes to make your plates more colourful and exciting.

• Make physical activity a regular part of your daily routine. Find a buddy to exercise with.

• Focus on changing behaviours, such as packing a healthy lunch the night before or not snacking after dinner.

• Don’t be afraid to use canned and plain frozen fruits and veggies. They retain most of their nutritional benefits and are a great way to add colour to your plate.

• Make simple substitutions in your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

• Use more herbs and spices in your cooking instead of salt to limit your sodium intake.

• Cook with the whole family to make the experience fun, rather than a chore.

• Use healthy substitutions in your cooking, such as using lower-fat dairy or whole-wheat flour and rice.

• Get a copy of Health Check’s Healthy Living Calendar 2012 at featuring “best of” Anne Lindsay Lighthearted recipes.

More healthy eating information, tips and recipes are available online at You can also follow on Twitter @HSFHealthCheck, or download the free Health Check Recipe Helper app —available in English or French—at the Apple, Android, and BlackBerry app stores or at