By Rainey Daye Holloway

Photo Credit Sun Health/Allen Butler

There is a strong likelihood, like millions of other Americans, that you may have indulged in extra homemade holiday sweets and an extra scooping of potatoes while celebrating the holidays.

And to help make up for that overindulgence, also like millions of others, you’ve added a healthier diet and exercise to your list of New Year’s resolutions in 2022.

The good news is that Sun Health’s Center for Health & Wellbeing is here to help you with these goals. The first step, however, says Sun Health’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Julia Deen is to give yourself a little latitude.

“Be kind to yourself and give yourself grace as you get back to doing things that are beneficial to your heart health,” Julia advises.

“It is also important to understand as you move forward that we all have relapses and slips. It is really important that you get back to healthy eating as soon as possible and make the next meal and next day as healthy as you can.”

You may be thinking, OK, that’s great, but after eating all the homemade goodies and meals that were not as healthy how do you even turn over that leaner and healthier new leaf? Julia says it’s all about adding some color as we look to slim down post holidays.

“One good way to start off is to use the MyPlate method. In using the MyPlate method, you always make sure half of your plate is fruits and vegetables, the other half of the plate is grains and protein,” Julia explains. “What’s great about the MyPlate method is you include all foods that are part of a healthy eating pattern, and you can also use it when eating out, too.”

As shown, the MyPlate method presents an easy way to get a healthy serving of each food group and is a great way to fulfill your New Year’s resolution of eating healthy.

MyPlate Foods: The 5 Main Food Groups

  • 1/2 of your plate = fruits and vegetables
  • 1/4 of your plate = whole grains
  • 1/4 of your plate = lean proteins
  • 1 serving of dairy

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits (ex: berries, banana, apple & pear)


  • 1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 1/2 cup 100% fruit juice

Vegetables (ex: spinach, carrot & broccoli)

  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable juice

For those interested in learning more about the MyPlate program, or if you have specific ailments such as chronic kidney disease, joint inflammation and high blood pressure, Julia – as part of her nutrition services at Sun Health’s Center for Health & Wellbeing – can personalize a plan for you. Visit or email Julia at [email protected].