With the start of the New Year comes the chance for new beginnings. We often feel renewed energy for change in the air; most of us experience opening to new ideas, and from this find motivation and inspiration to make better choices.

Eating periodically throughout the day is a healthier option than waiting until the end of the day to eat a large meal. Snacking on healthy foods during the day, or eating small meals with snacks in-between, is a great improvement for many. Choose snacks that combine protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, whenever possible. This combination assists us in keeping our energy levels high, our blood sugar levels stable, and our mental and emotional outlook brighter.

You may wonder, “What is the size of a snack”? An apple and a handful of almonds, or 2-3 celery stalks dipped in a tablespoon of almond butter or tahini, or a half a cup of plain yogurt, is a snack. A slice of raw milk cheese with one 100% rye cracker topped with a handful of sprouts, or a piece of lettuce, is a snack.

Be careful not to overeat dry foods such as energy bars, or trail mix made from nuts and dried fruit. Easy portability makes these snacks a first choice for many; but, in actuality, without being carefully proportioned, it is common to overeat these dense foods. If you eat trail mix, choose raw organic mixes, and limit your portion to a handful. With bars and trail mixes, it is best to eat them with a cup of plain yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit than as a solo snack; or, at least a cup of warming herb tea which will balance the drying effects of such foods.