Every New Year many of us analyze what we must change to improve our life quality.  The two categories that almost always top the list for health reasons are increasing physical activity and eating healthier.

Focusing on lifestyle rather than on exercising and dieting, is often times more effective and everlasting because lifestyle has a positive effect as it implies a change for life.  The diet of the Latin cultures includes many alternatives that include all food groups that makes tweaking your diet in a wholesome direction easier.

You may ask, how do I begin?  A simple way recommended by dietstrict.com is by steps.  Making small gradual changes is easier than changing a whole system.  For instance, making an effort to switch from whole milk to skim milk and drinking water instead of soda contributes to consuming lesser calories.  Every step counts.

If you like salads, a quick way to dress them is using just lime or lemon juice and pepper plus a little salt, if desired, or using a seasoned vinegar instead of a processed bottled dressing.  Grilled, griddled, or roasted vegetables simply drizzled with olive oil and topped with fresh chopped herbs and a few chile flakes or fresh chiles are exquisite and acquire a gourmet touch.

Focusing on leaner cuts of animal proteins and removing the skin of chicken and fish and the visible fat of chicken, pork and beef, has compounding benefits as fattier foods contain three times the calories of regular foods. Venturing into vegetable proteins and learning to pair them with other foods to make them whole can lead you to discover new ways of eating healthier too.

For a delicious treat after a heavy meal, fruit instead of a decadent dessert is also a better option with lesser calories and better nutrition.  To celebrate the New Year below is a recipe for a quick and easy Fruit Cocktail.

And lastly, eating fresh and artisan foods and food free of hormones, chemicals, preservatives, and mysterious ingredients will make your heart and taste buds dance too!