It’s time to wipe the plate clean. Yes, a new decade means a fresh new take on eating in a clean and healthy way. I’m looking at 2010 as a wakeup call when it comes to making nutrition conscious choices. Maybe the goal is to lose 50 pounds or those stubborn last 10. Or perhaps you just want to feel less sluggish and avoid those afternoon slumps. The key is twofold: what’s on your plate and how you move. Today, I’ll focus on what you’re eating.

I have a few great ways to toss Ben and Jerry out of your house and replace them *Hang out in the produce aisle. Think of the produce aisle at your local grocery store as one of your primary shopping areas and really take a good look at what’s offered. The fun part here is to buy a new vegetable each week and then go on the Internet or figure out a recipe to cook it in a healthy way. With most veggies, you can never go wrong stir frying in a little extra virgin olive oil with some fresh herbs or garlic. Once a week make a large pan of roasted veggies in your oven. Cut your veggies, drizzle with olive oil and then toss with some salt and pepper. Bake until brown, eat with your meals and save the leftovers for wraps and salads. When you have them handy, you will eat them.

*Remember your protein choices. Too many people are still doing meals that are just one big carb bomb. Remember that protein is necessary at every meal including breakfast. Don’t just have your steel cut oatmeal, but make sure to add two poached eggs. Make sure to add the whey protein to your shakes. Dinner shouldn’t just be some pasta with cheese. Try some fresh wild salmon with veggies or some great grilled chicken with a wonderful salad. When you eat protein, you will feel full and satisfied.

*Stop eating chemicals. Make a vow this year to take as many food chemicals out of your life as possible. This means nixing the diet sodas and boxed meals. Really read the labels and if you can’t pronounce it then don’t eat it. Remember that many so-called healthy sports drinks are also full of sugar and chemicals. One great benefit of getting rid of these chemicals is your skin will look brighter and glow.

*Don’t do artificial sweeteners – at all! Switch to the only sweetener I use which is xylitol, and just use a little bit. Get rid of all of the rest of the chemical gunk sweeteners. If you have a stash at home or in your bag or purse then get rid of them. Make sure you read labels because many foods are full of these chemicals.

*Make healthy lateral switches when it comes to foods. I don’t want you to just deny yourself, but make conscious lateral shifts. For example, if you love soda then switch over to sparkling water with some Emergen-C in it. It’s a delicious mock-tail that tastes great. Soon, you won’t even miss your soda anymore and may actually come to hate the taste of it. (Believe me, it’s true).

*Modify your coffee habit. Many of us have been kidding ourselves over the years about our little 800 calorie midday or morning coffee pitstops. It’s time to realize that adding sugar, chocolate and whipped cream to coffee turns it into a very high calorie dessert. I’d rather opt for plain coffee and add a little organic Half & Half plus xylitol.

*Realize that fat isn’t the enemy. You should make sure to have the right fat or healthy fats like coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. The fat from nuts is also perfect for good health. Many people rid their lives of fat and then use sugar as a replacement for flavor. Don’t fall into that trap.

*Work on retraining your taste buds. You might think that you can’t live without sugar, but I bet that you can lose your taste for it. The key is to take it out of your diet and then retrain your taste buds to love the taste of spice and a bit sour. You’ll be amazed that suddenly anything sugary will taste too sugary and you won’t like it anymore. That’s the key to freedom from a sugar addiction. Break the habit and then lose your taste for it.

*Finally, don’t live in denial. If you occasionally – and that doesn’t mean every single day – want a special treat then use my three-bite rule. Take three ladylike bites (even if you’re a guy) and then you’re done. You will get your taste and not over indulge in a good thing.