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Begin new year making healthier food choices

January 1, 2013

By MATT CRANE
life@starkvilledailynews.com

Every new year brings with it exciting possibilities, uncertainties and the requisite personal promise to do better when it comes to eating and exercise.

While diet and exercise are important to maintain throughout the year, getting a head start at the beginning of January is never a bad idea. However, those looking to lose some extra pounds at the beginning of the year often overextend themselves with their New Year's resolution to eat healthier. Before any diet or exercise plan is put in place, consult a doctor about where you stand and where you want to end up, physically speaking. Talking with nutritionists can offer those seeking a help a good baseline to start when it comes to everyday meals.

Although salads are not the answer to every meal substitute, this refreshing concoction is a light, healthy alternative that is bursting with flavor and filled with ingredients that are smart, delicious and healthy.

Salad dressing can often times deter the healthy alternatives salads offer when too much is used. The seasoned chicken combined with the creamy texture of the feta cheese allow for only a light drizzle of dressing to be used. The secret ingredient of using pomegranate seeds adds bursts of wonderful flavor and texture into every bite. Substitute another fruit if pomegranates are not desired, but the tartness and sweetness fruits add to a salad are a delicious alternative to adding more dressing or unwanted calories.

If pomegranate is being used, there are some steps to retrieving the fruit's delectable seeds.

— Cut off the top — or crown — of the pomegranate.
— Slice the rind into several places without going all the way through.
— Fill up a large bowl with cold water and soak the pomegranate for 5-10 minutes.
— Once the fruit has had time to soak, carefully break away the rind and membrane of the pomegranate.
— Once the seeds have been removed — they will sink toward the bottom of the bowl — sift or drain the water to retrieve the seeds.

Mix the spinach, chicken and feta cheese together in a large and plate. Drizzle with the Italian dressing and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds before serving.

It may be hard to adjust to healthier food choices for the new year, but the road to healthier lifestyle starts in the kitchen.

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