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Because our foods are becoming laced with synthetic ingredients more and more, take this advice when attempting to detoxify your foods and reduce your exposure to these unwanted ingredients.

Clean Your Produce: Before eating or cooking with any fruits or vegetables be sure to wash them very well. Washing your fruits and veggies eliminates the chemicals and pathogens from your food's surface and help to eliminate any harmful ingredients.

Watch Your Animal Fat Intake: Do you know what's in your animal fats? They are loaded with synthetic hormones, antibiotics, organochlorine chemicals, and other harmful pesticides. Look for low-fat options when buying your foods and be sure to trim all of the fat off of poultry and meats when you buy them.

Avoid Cans: Cans are lined with a resin that contains bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical. While many companies are working to eliminate these chemicals in their products, in the mean time you can avoid these chemicals by choosing frozen, fresh or dried foods.

Think Organic: According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, your pesticide exposure can be eliminated by 90 percent by avoiding the most contaminated conventionally grown produce including: peaches, apples, bell peppers, nectarines, celery, cherries, lettuce, strawberries, grapes, carrots and pears.

Choose Whole Foods: Whole foods are not processed, therefore they have their own natural ingredients. Choose whole grains and look for food items that say “whole” on them , but be sure to check the labels, just to be sure.

Safer Seafood: We are exposed to a number of chemicals when we eat seafood, particularly methylmercury. Do your homework when shopping for seafood and choose seafood that has the lowest chemical and heavy metal amounts. Try choosing fish that are also caught without causing harm to the oceans.

Tired of your same old treadmill routine? Why not spice things up this week and try this easy treadmill work out that will help you burn a quick 2,000 calories in just seven days.

Day One: Power walk : 30 minutes Strength train : 20 minutes

Day Two: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 10 times Cool down (walk easily) : 2 minutes

Day Three: Warm-up (walk easily) : 5 minutes Do your favorite strength-training move : 12 reps Power walk (4-6% incline) : 3 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 5 minutes

Day Four: Warm-up (walk easily, then briskly) : 3 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 2 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 3 minutes

Day Five: Repeat Day One's Routine

Day Six: Warm-up (Walk easily, then briskly) : 5 minutes Power walk : 2 minutes Run fast (don't sprint) : 4 minutes Repeat steps 1 and 2 : 6 times Cool down (walk easily) : 4 minutes

Day Seven: Rest

Try these quick, easy exercises and fitness tips to jump start your workout in 2012

Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day. Shoot for 10,000 steps per day. If you aren't reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.

Add jumping to your exercise routine : also known as plyometric moves : to build muscle and improve your bone density. Try jump squats or scissor lunges in your next routine.

Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities : clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc. Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.

Don't spread germs. Always wipe down gym equipment before and after using them to protect yourself and others from germs and bacteria that can be passed from unclean gym equipment.

Don't be a creature of habit. Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.

Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying : clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.

Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise. Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.

Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.

Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind. Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.

Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member. This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2012 and success in your health and fitness plans!

Studies have shown that during the months of December and January, many people gain at least one pound , every year. Why? One main reason is that besides being less active during the winter months, we also turn to comfort foods to get us through those dark, dreary winter days.

In order to prevent that one pound per year weight gain that can be so hard to come off, the following foods should be avoided or at least eaten in extreme moderation:

Macaroni and cheese Cream based soups and bisques Cream and cheese based casseroles Cheesecake Pies with whipped cream and/or ice cream Cookies French fries, chili cheese fries, onion rings Creamy pot pies (with pastry top and bottom)

Just by making some slight alterations and by avoiding these fattening foods you will see that you will not only feel better but you can prevent packing on those unwanted pounds, too.

Once again we are about to welcome in a New Year. If your New Year's Resolution is to maintain your health and eat better in 2012, then these foods (and drinks) should be high on your grocery list!

Grains: Dieticians suggest that you increase your intake of oats, barley and rye in 2012. For years, doctors have been telling patients that eating oats can bring down your cholesterol and recent studies show that rye can, too. The American Diabetes Association has also noted that eating a diet high in fiber and grains, like rye, can help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. Adding barley to your diet, whether it is as a side dish or inside a soup or casserole, can also lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Salmon and other oily fish: If the diagnosis is to get more vitamin D this year, then get your fill with salmon and other oily fish : such as, mackerel, sardines, herring, fresh tuna, trout and anchovies. Oily fish are some of the only food sources of vitamin D. These fish are also good for curbing cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of oily fish per week, but warns against eating too much more than that because some oily fish contain mercury, which can affect your brain and nervous system.

Soy: If 2012 is your year to help reduce your risk of cancer, then soy may be your answer. Research has shown that soy can ward off certain cancers as well as have an impact on your heart. The Food and Drug Administration states that 25 grams of soy protein a day can reduce heart problems by helping to lower cholesterol levels. To add soy to your diet, you can find it in soy burgers, tofu and soy milk.

Red Wine: While you will rarely hear any doctor advising that you drink any alcohol, red wine may just be the exception. Research shows that antioxidants in red wine, polyphenols, aid in protecting the lining of blood vessels in the heart. These antioxidants come in the form of flavonoids and nonflavonoids, which red wine has more than any other food or drink. Experts advise that you should stick to red over white wine because red grapes have 10 times more benefit to your health than white grapes. But, as with any alcohol, red wine should be enjoyed in moderation : approximately 5 ounces a day for women and 10 ounces a day for men.