Do you think of the New Year as a blank slate? Then let's start off the year by filling in that blank. Yep, get those brain cells working and churning and decide what special things you are going to accomplish this year. And guess what? We've got some sample mantras and ways to help you meet them - your one-stop shop for improving your life. What more could you ask for?! In this first post, we'll share some ideas for healthy eating choices. Tune in throughout the month of January for more ideas and don't forget to declare your food-related mantra on our Facebook This is My Year to... app. By voting (daily through January), your support could earn the Non-GMO Project, The Organic Center's Mission Organic 2010 or Growing Power an extra $10,000 donation above the $10k we are already donating to each of these three small organizations who are working to make big changes. And now to those changes: Avoid the Artificial Whole Foods Market Quality Standards prohibit artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. As you can tell from our fully stocked shelves and wide selection, these additives are unnecessary to the production of fantastic food! Forget the Bad Fats You won't find any hydrogenated fats at Whole Foods Market. Note that while there are small amounts of naturally occurring "trans fats" in some meat and dairy foods, these are different than the man-made hydrogenated fats that are linked to health problems. Make a Colorful Plate Including a naturally colorful variety of foods in every meal, or at least throughout the day, helps you get much of what your body needs for optimal health-nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Switch to Whole Grains Whole grains help you to feel full (and not overeat) as well as keep your digestion moving smoothly. How do they do it? They are loaded with fiber and a wide variety of nutrients that can assist your body with weight management and general wellness. Begin with Beans Beans are the most important plant-based source of protein. They're also rich in fiber and virtually fat free. If you have trouble digesting them, add to your diet gradually and always cook thoroughly, even cooking canned beans beyond simply reheating them. Eat My Greens Dark, leafy greens contain more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Nutrients include B vitamins, beta carotene, calcium, iron, vitamin C and more. Some even have omega-3s! Mix it Up with Nuts and Seeds The high caloric count of nuts and seeds may have scared you away in the past, but the truth is, most contain a variety of nutrients that support digestion and metabolism, key to healthy weight. Enjoy in moderation, but do enjoy! Say No to Sulfites Used to prevent discoloration and retain moisture in dried fruit, sulfites can also cause allergic reactions in many people. Fortunately, our standards do not permit sulfites in dried fruit and you'll find them equally flavorful for snacking or cooking. Give Soy a Chance Soybeans are a complete protein, and a healthy choice in moderation. The beans themselves, as well as the foods made from them-soymilk, tofu, tempeh, miso-also contain beneficial vitamins, minerals, polyunsaturated fats, phytonutrients and fiber.