By Jessica Domel

I love the beginning of a new year. Realistically I realize that there’s probably not that much difference between Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014, but on a psychological level, it’s really nice to feel like there’s this huge blank canvas of a new year just waiting for us to make our impressions.

Of course, with every new year comes the New Year’s resolutions. I’m not going to lie, I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. So many people dream so big about what they’ll change about themselves in the new year that they’re only let down when they realize you can’t lose 50 pounds in a month. Well, you might be able to, but it probably isn’t healthy.

I saw on my Facebook feed the other day that a friend of mine from high school is giving up all meat in order to lose weight. I even have a friend who tried a diet that involves only drinking foods. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of eating my steak on a plate.

While I support any effort to become healthier–I’m working on that a bit myself–I don’t think drastic or crash diets are really the way to go about it.

Did you know that lean proteins like beef, chicken and pork can be part of a healthy diet? Carbohydrates like potatoes, corn and peas can also be part of your healthy eating plan, provided you eat them in moderation.

Moderation is the key here folks. You don’t need to entirely give up on everything you love. Crash dieting, for many people, only leads to rebounding to the way you ate before, which can lead to feeling pretty bad when you realize your diet has gone the way of the Dodo.

Don’t give up all the things you love, folks. If we eat in moderation and become a little bit more active, that New Year’s resolution may be just within our grasp. We can do it!