By Dr. Catherine L. Maloof

I'm sure you have thought of a New Year's resolution for the millenium. Usually the most common one is to lose weight and get in shape. Most people gain an average of 8-10 pounds during the holidays. Then you wake up on new year's day and wonder what happened and how you are going to get back in shape. I want to share with you some of my personal health secrets that can create a new you in the year 2000.

Being healthy is not just a short term program, it is a way of life. First you need to create the right mindset and change your attitude. A healthy attitude is so important. Most people dread the whole idea of diet and exercise. We need to make achieving better health motivating and fun.

First write down five goals that you want to achieve in the next year dealing with your health, body, and mind. Next keep a copy on the mirror in your bathroom so you can see it every morning when you wake up and every night before bedtime. This action step will reinforce your goals. Next, don't beat yourself up if you get off track, remember this is a process, and it takes 6 weeks to create a positive habit so just get yourself refocused.

Keep a food journal for the next 7 days and write down every bite that goes in your mouth from the mayonnaise on your sandwich to the potato chip you had for a snack. This step is really important because at the end of each day you are going to analyze what you have eaten and see how you could have made better choices. Also some people suffer from emotional eating where they will eat more if they are stressed, nervous , or depressed. You need to also write down how you were feeling that day especially if you are eating the wrong foods. This food journal should be kept once a month so you can analyze your progress.

Now I am going to share with you some healthy eating tips. I know what you are thinking. I don't have time to eat healthy, my answer to that is how long does it take to eat an apple? Got the message!! The key is to plan ahead so that you have healthy foods available.

Drink plenty of water. Always have a bottle of water nearby whether you are at work or play. At least 8 glasses are recommended.

Plan your eating out. Make better choices. Choose restaurants that offer low fat items. Select grilled, baked, broiled, poached or steamed entrees. Order salad dressing on the side. Ask the waiter to substitute fruit or vegetable serving and leave off potato chips, fries, and other high fat items. Cut down on fast food as much as possible. Choose salads or grilled items, rather than burgers and fries.

Eat fresh fruits in morning. It is best to have fruit before noon. Fruit is the most ideal food you can eat. It gives maximum nourishment, has a high water content and requires the least amount of energy to break down. It allows the body to cleanse.

Eat Plenty of fresh vegetables. Salads are a great source of raw vegetables. Vegetables are low in fat and calories and are high in fiber. Always have fresh cut up vegetables ready for a healthy snack. Steaming is the best method for cooking vegetables; don't boil them because they will lose half of their potassium.

Limit the amount of caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is addictive, a stimulant of the central nervous system and has been linked to a host of maladies. It takes one cup of coffee 24 hours to pass through the kidneys and urinary tract. Some alternatives are herbal tea, lemonade, juices, and water.

Now we need to incorporate exercise into our daily lives. Just remember, if you are too busy to exercise…you may never have time to be healthy until it is too late!! You need to pick an exercise that you enjoy so that you can stick with your program. Walking is the easiest because you can do it anytime and anywhere and it costs you nothing. It is good to have a partner for accountability and encouragement but nevertheless you must keep it up even if you exercise alone. You should walk at least 30 minutes 3 times per week, and you should stretch before and after walking. I myself choose a myriad of exercise incorporating yoga, swimming, kickboxing, tennis and basketball, this way I never get tired because I'm enjoying my exercise. Tips on how you can incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away when going to the store so you can get extra walking. Keep three pound weights by the phone to burn fat while you chat. You can do upper body exercises such as bicep and tricep curls while you are on the phone.

Are you ready to take the millenium challenge and take your health, energy and vitality to the next level. You can make it happen. Apply the tips you have learned today and watch as the results unfold. Good luck I know you can do it!!!

Dr. Catherine is an author, speaker, and practicing chiropractor with more than a decade of health care experience. She specializes in sports injuries, family health care and nutritional therapy. She is the author of Healthy Eating One Bite At A Time, Stretching Made Easy One Day At A Time, and other books and videos pertaining to health and fitness. She can be reached at (949) 581-6543 or at her website,