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Time to reboot your diet toward health

  • Topped with feta, braised kale takes center stage in this easy tartine for a hearty, fast and healthy meal. (Nourish Network)

Now that the fat-and-sugar cravings of the holidays have set in, you may want to reboot your eating habits as a way to re-energize yourself in the new year.

Experts advise tuning into how food is going to make you feel when you eat it, rather than simply trying to lose weight.

“It's really important to figure out why you want to be healthier,” said wellness coach Annette Shafer of Live Well Napa Valley. “Put a vision statement together: 'So what if I eat healthier, what is that going to do for me?'”

One of the big benefits, Shafer said, is that nutritious foods can provide more consistent energy throughout the day.

“A lot of people have that dip in the afternoon,” she said. “It has to do with eating a good breakfast and having your snacks for the day, and then you're not going to be starving by dinner.”

But don't expect your habits, or your palate, to change overnight.

“You take baby steps at the beginning of the year,” she said. “And pretty soon, you'll find yourself on a whole different path.”

Nutrition coach Lia Huber of Nourish Network in Healdsburg suggests giving yourself the entire year to make the shift, whether it's cutting out processed foods or losing 5 pounds.

“It does take time, and there's no silver bullet,” Huber said. “Take a deep breath and say, 'All right, I'm going to give myself some time to make the change.'”

Huber hated vegetables well into her 30s. But when her health started to suffer, the former food writer started talking to experts and writing articles about how to eat right.

“It came down to eating lots of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and smartly sourced proteins,” she said. “Now I know how to eat and why, and that's a really important piece as well ... that makes food an ally.”

Like Shafer, Huber advises people to look at the big picture and create a holistic vision of what they want food to do for their lives.

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