UNITED STATES—The one resolution that tends to be at the top for most Americans in the New Year is eating healthier and losing weight. In essence, most of us are expected to go on a diet. I hate the word diet because it’s super scary, but at the same time it forces one to determine what foods to eat and what foods that one should perhaps avoid.

One of the biggest things I have decided to do for 2018 is eliminate soda. I really don’t need it, it’s not healthy to consume and I have better choices out there. Water is at the top of the list. However, the biggest adjustment I’m making to my diet is cutting out sweets and excessive sugar. Why? Sugar is bad for you, especially when it overconsumed. This is where my love for fruits come front-and-center. If there is one thing that I love its fruit, all types all varieties. I will admit the winter months are testy because I like tropical fruits, and many of the fruits I enjoy just aren’t in season. I love and I mean love cherries, but they are not sweet in December, January, February, March or April.

I mean I purchased some cherries like 2 weeks ago, and they were so tart I could barely stomach them. I love a sweet cherry because it’s a taste unlike any other. The same applies for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I am ecstatic to see blackberries not really in season right now, but they are turning up a bit more in supermarkets and I adore the tartness of this fruit. It has a great flavor combination when mixed with other fruits. There is nothing more thrilling than a blackberry and banana smoothie. Just think of the color of this purple smoothie which you can’t get with any other fruit.

So you all know I like stone fruits, so while not in season they are still a great substitute to grabbing a cookie, a slice of cake or some other baked good that has more calories and grams of sugar than the body needs. You can grab a banana, an orange, an apple, a pear, a mandarin (which is actually much sweeter and more fulfilling if you ask me), or perhaps grapes.

I adore grapes, green and red; I’m not a fan of black grapes. They just have a weird taste that’s hard to get over. But If I were to recommend any of the three, go with green; they’re sweet, yet tart and mesh well with a variety of dishes. When it comes to apples, I’m really not a fan. I only love Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Pink Pearl and Jazz Apples. The Pink Pearl is unlike any apple you’ve ever seen. It’s green on the outside, but riddled with pink on the inside and has a sweet tartness to them that are difficult to describe in so many words.

We’re told all the time that we’re not implementing enough veggies and fruits in our diet, and with the New Year upon us, it’s a great time to really start eating more fruits. This is especially true for kids and adults. You can’t expect kids to follow your actions if you’re not doing it. Implement a fruit in the morning, at lunch and at dinner. I honestly think the notion of utilizing a fruit in any dish that you make throughout the day is a great idea. It allows you to play with flavor profiles, while also getting your daily does of fruits at the same time. Yes, there are those fruits for diabetics that are a no-no, but at the same time there are still fruits out there that you can indulge in that will not be too harsh on the body. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Written By Kelsey Thomas