Top New Years Resolutions 

Once again we are reviewing the top New Years resolutions. Most of the resolutions are the same ones year after year. Most of them are or can be directly related to food; right up my alley. I can give you some tips on how to accomplish these but granted I have as many problems conquering them as any of you. Because I cook every day it is hard for me to follow some of my own tips. These are not in order as they were listed but here is my take on the top New Years resolutions for 2012.

One of the top New Years resolutions is to GET ORGANIZED. I am covering this one first because without this one, it will be impossible to succeed with the rest of them. As I have stressed many times before when planning a party, a dinner, a menu or grocery shopping, you must be organized. Sit down and make your plan; write it out on paper so you can refer to it. This plan must include all your resolutions and how you plan to conquer them.

Two more of the top New Years resolutions are TO LOSE WEIGHT AND TO EAT HEALTHIER. Losing weight is always at the top of the list every year; it is so hard to do. I am not a nutritionist or health professional; I can only offer from my experience. I have had many family members with serious health problems and my experience comes from what has worked for some of them. I learned many years ago to avoid processed foods; read the labels and see they are loaded with many added calories, fats and sodium plus extreme amounts of chemicals. Check it out!

A very high percentage of adults over the age of 20, today are overweight; American Heart Association states between 60 and 70 percent. This is a strong reason for being one of the top New Years resolutions. Just look around when you go shopping; the facts speak out loud when you look around at the people. How did we ever get to this point? Although complex to solve, the reason is simple; we eat too much and exercise too little. If we eat to stay within the calories our bodies need and get all the nutrients our body needs, we do not have any wasted room for unhealthy foods which I call fillers because they have no nutritional value.

Our children are also getting much heavier; some research says 1 out of 3 children are overweight. This is a very dangerous problem and as parents we need to take it seriously. This epidemic is taking a toll on the children in the forms of many diseases. The one observation I have made is that snacks are made available to children every hour of every day. These non nutritional foods (or filler foods) offer no benefits but are laden with fat, sodium and calories. This is where “organization” comes into losing weight; write out a grocery list before shopping. Do not buy anything but healthy foods.

This brings me to another one of the top New Years resolutions for 2012. Many people say they want to be able to HELP OTHERS. Start with your own family and friends. What better way to help them than to help them be healthier. Another one of the top New Years resolutions is to LEARN SOMETHING NEW. Organize and set a few minutes in your schedule each day to read about nutrition in the diet. Share this information with your family and friends along with healthy recipes you might find while reading.


  • Buy a small calorie book to carry with you; eat more of the low calorie foods.

  • Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables; 2 servings of fruit and three or more of vegetables daily. Make selections from a variety of colors. Limit the amount of starchy vegetables.

  • Add whole grains over processed grains in the diet; brown rice and whole grain pastas.

  • Include dried beans in your meals.

  • Try to work fish in the diet 2 to 3 times weekly (Fishing would be good family activity.)

  • Limit the amount of meat to each meal and choose lean meats.

  • Remove skin when serving chicken.

  • Use non fat dairy products.

  • Drink more water instead of sodas and sweet drinks; a little lemon juice is good in water.

  • Choose liquid oils instead of solid fats for cooking; because of calories limit the amount used.

  • Limit high calorie snacks; cakes, cookies, chips and ice cream.
  • Watch portion sizes, even low calorie ones.

Organize your schedule to spend MORE TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY; another one of the top New Years resolutions. For me the next resolution, TO ENJOY LIFE goes along with sharing time with family and friends. How about making an activity time to learn to cook. If everyone knows how to cook then experiment with new recipes; healthy ones. Have a family cooking time on Saturday and prepare the foods for the whole week. Kids love to cook and they love to eat when they help with the cooking. This is a great way to initiate new vegetables in their diet.


  • 12 Ounces Farmers cheese
  • 8 Ounces fat free ricotta cheese
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon snipped fresh chives
  • 1 Tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 Ounces whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • ¼ Cup dry red wine
  • 1 ½ Pounds fresh mushrooms sliced
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh zucchini
  • 4 Cups reduced sodium spaghetti sauce

Combine and blend until smooth farmers cheese, ricotta cheese, egg whites and Parmesan cheese.

Stir into mixture chives, parsley and black pepper.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; dip each noodle under cold water and lay on clean cloth towel to dry.

Combine and cook in large skillet the onion and wine about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

Add mushrooms and zucchini and cook 5 more minutes or until vegetables are tender; drain vegetables.

Set aside ¼ cup of mushroom mixture; combine remaining mushroom mixture with cheese mixture.

Spread 2 cups of spaghetti sauce in bottom of casserole baking dish; layer 1/3 of noodles on top of sauce.

Spread half of cheese mixture; repeat layers of noodles, cheese and top with remaining noodles.

Cover top with remaining spaghetti sauce and spread reserved ¼ cup mushrooms on top.

Bake for 1 hour at 375F degrees; cool 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT is also one of the top New Years resolutions. The rising cost of food now consumes a very large percentage of the monthly budget. One of these ways is to cook and eat at home rather than eating in restaurants. Not only is cooking at home healthier but it is much cheaper. You will be surprised at how much can be saved by organizing your shopping, eliminating junk foods and learning to buy and cook more economically.

I put together three more of the New Years resolutions; GETTING FIT, MANAGING STRESS AND PLANNING A TRIP. When you exercise to get fit, it also helps to relieve stress. Stress is the biggest reason for overeating and feeling unhealthy. In organizing set a time for exercise and a time for you to relax (a down time or quiet time to meditate). To keep life more interesting, plan a trip for the family every once in a while. It doesn’t need to be elaborate; definitely do not plan something that you cannot afford. That would add more stress to your life. Just keep it simple; maybe a hiking trip; combine the trip with exercise for the whole family.

Two more of the New Years resolutions were TO QUIT SMOKING AND TO QUIT DRINKING. I do not know a lot about these two. I do know if you set only certain times to have a cigarette or a drink, this sets boundaries and limits you. Some people have told me this is how they cut back on both and were finally able to quit altogether. Remember that alcohol has a lot of calories and is bad for a diet.