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New Year Plans

Here is some information to help you achieve New Years Resolutions about eating healthy, exercising more and getting and staying out of debit.

Drinking more water

  • About 30 percent of your water intake comes from food. Most diets limit your caloric intake, so remember to drink plenty of water when you are trying to lose weight.
  • According to Nutrition Today, dehydration impairs cognitive function and mood. Drinking more water can help you feel more energized.
  • Swap out sugar, substituting water for soft drinks will cut back on your calories.

Salt is Good?
In 2011, half a dozen medical studies showed the health benefits of salt or revealed the significant risks of low-sodium diets — providing vindication for this essential nutrient. The studies are cited in the Scientific American.

Snack Smart

  1. Raisins – One ounce equals 85 calories. You could even cover them with chocolate. Chocolate can be healthy when consumed in small portions.
  2. Graham crackers – Eight small rectangles is equal to 100 calories.
  3. Celery with peanut butter – Five pieces of celery with 1 tablespoon peanut butter is equal to 100 calories. This is a very satisfying snack packed with protein and is also gluten-free.
  4. Dried fruits and nuts
  5. Pretzels – One ounce equals 100 calories.
  6. Air-popped popcorn – Three cups or 1 ounce equals 95 calories.
  7. All types of fruit
  8. Baked corn tortillas with dip – Corn tortillas are a great alternative to potato chips. You can eat them with salsa and/or guacamole for a healthy treat.
  9. Rice cakes – Rice cakes by themselves aren’t really nutritious, but they are gluten-free. Try topping them with cottage cheese and fruit, peanut butter with banana slices, or cheese and tomatoes for a more nutritious snack.
  10. Fat-free sugar-free pudding – One serving contains approximately 80 calories.
  11. Lettuce wraps – Fill a big lettuce leaf with tuna, hummus and your favorite vegetables and roll it up. You could even use a ham slice with hummus and vegetables for a change in variety.


Involve supportive friends and family in your goals and work out together when possible. Walking and talking may slow you down, and if others back out don’t be tempted to do so as well. One of the best companions for regular exercise is a dog. Many dogs are eager to get out and will help you form a habit. For other health related news visit’s health section.

Financial Goals

Only 12 percent of consumers reached their financial goals in 2011, according to a recent Zogby IBOPE survey commissioned by TransUnion, one of the three major credit reporting companies. They offer tips for planning and achieving your goals:

  • Check your credit reports every three months. You can see if you are making late payments, which can affect credit score.
  • Make sure the information on your credit reports is up-to-date and reflects your current credit history. Give yourself at least 30 days to resolve any issues. Online dispute forms are available at
  • A healthy credit score can help you receive the best interest rate, ultimately putting more money in your pocket as your work toward achieving your financial goals.
  • Create a monthly spending plan and stick to it. Breaking down your spending habits into smaller and more manageable increments can help you achieve your financial goals. Set aside a fixed amount each month to deal with unexpected financial emergencies that may come up later in the year. If you don’t have to spend this reserve fund, you can treat it as a year-end bonus, or, even better – put it toward next year’s goals.
  • If you ever run into a situation where you suspect identity theft, TransUnion provides a guide for what to do next.

Additional planning tools to help you understand your credit information, manage your debt load, protect your identity and help you achieve your financial goals can be found

Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just happen overnight but the process shouldn’t be overwhelming either. Setting small goals, to limit spending or snack on vegetables for a week, can develop into long term habits. And it’s best to set goals that are obtainable so you see your success early on and you’re motivated to continue.

Hopefully these tips will help motivate you to a healthier 2012!