Amelia Freidline, Copy Editor
Amelia Freidline, Copy Editor

So here we are, already halfway through the first month of 2013.

Some of us are probably gung-ho and hard at work accomplishing a list of worthy New Year’s resolutions.

For those of us still undecided about our goals for the year, just about every media outlet has its own helpful list of suggestions — a lot of them revolving around eating and exercise.

The suggestions in my local newspaper, culled from the Cleveland Clinic’s website, include resolutions to dance, laugh, drink coffee and eat more chocolate.

Those sound right up my alley.

For those looking for a more serious lifestyle change, however, there are numerous dieting books promising readers the solution to lose weight, get in shape and stay that way forever.

Forgive me if I sound cynical, but the plans emblazoned with “lose weight eating foods you love!” make me laugh a little.

I love brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and cabbage, but I’m also fond of cake, cookies and cobbler.

I’ll bet a lot of us are this way. Of course, the key is balancing the need for vegetables and fruit with the desire for dessert.

Hey, even Cookie Monster had to make his favorite treat a “sometimes food.”

Entering the weight-loss fray is a book called “Thinner This Year,” recently reviewed in The Wall Street Journal.

This plan, by Chris Crowley and Jen Sacheck, targets folks in the 40-60 age range and warns about the dangers of eating too much fast food and other processed food.

It also recommends six days a week of vigorous exercise, according to the Journal, along with cutting out fried foods, sweets, butter and other fatty condiments, cured or processed meats and sugary or sweet drinks.

Wait — no butter?

What they do advise eating, however, is spot on in terms of produce industry nutritional messages.

According to the Journal, Crowley and Sacheck suggest people make half their plates fruits and vegetables, with 20% each of whole grains and lean meat, and 10% low-fat dairy.

I’m not in the target market for this book, but I’d be interested to see year-end statistics about success rates with weight loss and fitness plans.

It sounds like the authors have some sound advice to offer, although I wonder about the sustainability of programs that suggest substituting “healthy” manufactured products for a minimally processed food that’s higher in something “bad” for you.

But I’m glad to see a diet plan emphasizing fresh produce and exercise. It’s the way we should all be living anyway, regardless of our age or whether we need to lose any weight.

As the produce industry continues its work to educate consumers and promote research about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, I hope we see more diet plans like this one and fewer that rely on gimmicky foods like canned shakes, vitamin pills and snake-oil extracts.

Don’t ask me to spread something made out of plant stanol esters on my toast instead of butter is all I’m saying.

What's your take? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.