You’ve probably heard that popular old phrase, "you are what you eat." The food you eat has a massive impact on the way your body feels, not only in the day to day, but also over time. You’ve probably also experienced a sugar buzz or struggled to recover from a food coma at one time or another in your life. I think we are all probably very familiar with the effects that certain types of foods have on us. If you’re regularly feeling sluggish, have low energy or have energy levels that are constantly up and down, there are a few easy and effective changes you can incorporate into your everyday routine that will quickly give you those health benefits you so deserve. One simple change you can make right away is to focus the majority of your meals around whole food, emphasizing plants -- both dry and fresh. Yes, this means eliminating processed foods, which is a huge feat for many people. Whole plant food is food that is free of added ingredients and is intact as a single ingredient – this includes fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If your daily meals include lots of highly processed and refined foods and you’re ready to make a few simple changes, start by getting familiar with our Health Starts Here™ program. Then, begin to eliminate processed foods from your diet, replacing them with more whole plant goodness. Learn to stock a healthier pantry filled with primarily whole and minimally processed foods. Having the right ingredients on hand makes creating healthy meals much easier, and, trust me, you will rarely feel sluggish after a good hearty meal if it does not contain refined carbs, sugars or oils. Another simple change you can make is rethinking the way you prepare food. Explore your creativity and let the beauty of whole seasonal plant foods guide your meals. To help you along the way, get familiar with cooking methods for healthy eating. Consider challenging yourself to try one new type of whole grain and one new type of legume each week. If you’re not sure how to cook grains and legumes, we’ve got you covered with our guide to cooking with whole grains. And, if you need even more inspiration, we’ve got over 100 Health Starts Here recipes covering breakfast, lunch, snacks, sides, salads and suppers. You’ll be amazed at how making just a few simple changes each month can really add up over the course of a year. Before you know it, the simple changes you’ve made will feel like second nature. Sound good? Okay, so join me in making a New Year’s pledge to incorporate more whole plant foods while replacing the refined processed foods. Think of it as shaping your health one bite at a time! If you’re game, check out more simple changes for lifelong health. Have you made some changes in the past that have shaped your health for the better? We want to hear about them!