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Dieting in 2014

The top New Year’s resolution on Americans minds each year is to lose weight. Everywhere you look this month diet plans, cookbooks, celebrity diets, food deliveries and juice cleanses are all within our reach. Here is a round-up of some very not-so-new ways to stick to your 2014 health goals.

An evolutionary diet

Based upon the idea of eating the foods our bodies were designed for through thousands of years of evolution, the Paleo diet is still very relevant to today. Think hunting and gathering: meats, vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and healthy fats. During modern times, technology has made it easier to create foods for consumption (such as grains, dairy and processed foods), which are harder for our bodies to digest. In general some dietitians say the Paleo diet provides our bodies with more efficient, long-lasting energy that also aids in burning fat.

Paleo consumers are invited to dine locally at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza restaurant The Breeze in Century City. Breeze Sous Chef Ali Parvinjah, an avid Paleo follower, designed the menu along with Executive Chef Felix Nappoly, reflecting grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught seafood, fruit, fungi, roots, nuts and vegetables.

The Autumn/Winter paleo menu consists of a thorough menu including baby organic kale with bacon, pomegranate and preserved lemon vinaigrette, roasted butternut squash bisque, char grilled NY steak in a grainy mustard pan sauce and sautéed winter greens, seared seabass with roasted artichokes, Kalamata olive-tomato ragu, cauliflower “rice” and pinenuts, and a mason jar paleo pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream. Another highlight about The Breeze restaurant is they have a specific vegan menu as well.

Fall in love with fruits and vegetables

The popular Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD and Plant-Powered dietitian, is known for trimming waistlines and reducing risk of chronic diseases.

“Don’t let the idea of a plant-centric diet intimidate you. It’s a common misconception that planning veggie-inspired meals can be laborious and complicated,” says Palmer. Palmer is also known for her book The Plant-Powered Diet, and coming this Spring, check out her second book Plant-Powered For Live, a 52-step plan featuring over 125 recipes.

Palmer’s five easy to follow diet resolutions:

  1. Unleash plant-powered proteins: toss nuts and seeds in salads, snack on edamame before dinnertime, stock your pantry with canned or dried beans and lentils for quick-prep meals. Maybe you have a can of black beans in your cupboard, start by getting them into a big pot on the stove, and get creative by combining them with sweet potatoes, tomatoes and onions, add spices such as cumin and cayenne-pepper to create a super delicious sweet potato chili.
  2. Enjoy whole grain goodness: eat a hearty bowl of oatmeal, thrown half a cup of uncooked whole grains (barley, quinoa or wild rice) into vegetable soup, while it’s simmering, spread peanut butter onto a whole grain pancake.
  3. Go green: mix favorite vegetables into one-pot meals, throw peas into whole grain pasta dishes, and kale into lasagna.
  4. Use nature’s perfect sweetener: pack along apples, pears, oranges, bananas, peaches, nectarines for mid-day snacking – the best part is that fruits already come in single-serve packaging – their outer skins.
  5. Embrace plant fats: turn to whole plant fats such as nuts, seeds and avocados, and reach for extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

At your doorstep

If you need an extra hand to assist you in kick starting the healthy eating plan, you may want to consider investing in a food delivery service for a couple of weeks. Companies such as Freshology, The Fresh Diet, and Paleo Delivers provide fresh food meals geared toward the client’s food preferences and caloric intake goals. Meals are delivered in ice-packed bags with reheating instructions. Meal plan prices vary, and check websites for promotions and specials.

Cleanse me up

Even if you aren’t planning to walk the red carpet with your favorite co-star, looking and feeling your best during award season and beyond is always a great motivation. Pure juice fasts and cleanses aren’t for everybody. But, companies like Red Carpet Cleanses offers a 5-day raw food to jumpstart a newly committed lifestyle. This process helps to flush toxins and also keeps you satisfied throughout the day. Each day the raw food cleanse provides three full, low-fat gourmet meals with fruit, leafy greens, sprouts, raw nuts and sea vegetables, plus nutrient-dense juices and smoothies.

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