Healthy meal alternatives are part of one of the most common New Years resolutions I hear from people, which is to eat healthier. I understand how time consuming and difficult it could be to make the change to clean eating but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. The thing you DO NOT want to do is to jump into a strict diet without giving yourself a chance to ease into it. You will most likely burn yourself out within a few weeks and give up. The key to success when making a lifestyle change as difficult as this is to be prepared and have a plan. Giving your body a chance to get used to the changes you are making is imperative so that the mental aspect of the change doesn’t cause you to break your resolution. Making small changes in the beginning is what will help get you to your goal of a clean lifestyle. Dieting doesn’t have to be plain, boring, and tasteless. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods either. To make it easier to understand what I am talking about, I have created a list of foods that an average person would typically include in their diet and offered a healthy alternative so that you still get the great flavors of your favorite foods but fewer calories. Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, buttered toast, coffee with creamer. Alternative: Scrambled egg white omelet with ground turkey, spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. Steel cut oatmeal with blueberries, whole wheat toast with real fruit jam, green tea. Mid- Morning: Bagel and cream cheese. Alternative: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. Lunch: Cheeseburger, fries, soda. Alternative: Grilled chicken, black bean, grilled corn, quinoa salad with fresh tomatoes, Iced tea with Splenda. Afternoon Snack: Some sort of convenience food such as a bag of chips, soda. Alternative: Brown rice cake, natural peanut butter, sliced bananas, water. Dinner: Steak, baked potato, garlic bread, green beans, milk. Alternative: Grilled chicken and vegetable skewers, sweet potatoes, fresh green salad, water. Late Night Snack: Ice Cream. Alternative: Protein shake with BEAST Whey protein. As you can see, the “typical” American diet is high in protein and high in fat and very low amounts of vegetables/fruits and complex carbohydrates. Getting your macronutrients in order will help monitor what foods are appropriate and how much of each foods you need to maintain a healthy diet. Making these small changes will eliminate thousands of calories and possible health issues you may have in the future. Making small yet healthy changes will make it easier for your body to adjust to a 100% clean lifestyle. Eating healthy CAN be delicious if you are willing to expand your palette and try new things. Experimenting in the kitchen is a great way to find out what flavor combinations work best for you and reaching your goals will come so much easier. Don’t let 2013 take your resolutions! Elizabeth Brown is 22 years old born and raised in San Jose, California. Sheis a full time student in the process of transferring to San Jose State University to complete her Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology. As Bodybuilding.com’s 2012 Fit USA Winner, Fitness Model, Spokes Model for Bodybuilding.com’s upcoming B-Elite clothing series, NPC Bikini Competitor, and newly Certified Personal Trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, she aspires to build a career in the Health and Fitness industry to further help and inspire others to achieve their fitness goals.