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New Year, New You! Tanisha Harper

What is your general approach to nutrition? “I eat rather healthy. Don’t get me wrong — I love a sweet treat! — but I’m all about portion control. I don’t ever eat a giant plate of food; I’ll have small portions of whatever I’m eating just to maintain some sort of control and balance and so that I don’t overeat.”

What do your meals look like, typically? “I start my morning, every morning, with a lemon/apple cider/ginger tea. I add turmeric, which is great for inflammation in the body and I also make my own green juices for breakfast. If I’m working out, I’ll have a shake with protein powder, bananas and almond milk when I get home. I do most of my eating at lunch and dinner. For lunch, I love free-range chicken with a mixed green salad with peppers and olives and a simple dressing, or I’ll do a tuna salad with mustard, cornichons, jalapeños and olive oil on a bed of greens. For dinner, I love a Greek salad — tomatoes, cucumbers, feta — with some sort of protein. I kind of keep it [in the vein of] a Mediterranean diet.”

How does exercise fit into your life? “When I was younger, I ran track, I was in gymnastics — I was always doing something active. I still love working out. My typical routine at the current moment is a lot of Pilates; I go to a place called Natural Pilates that uses the Reformer machine. I do that about three days a week. I also incorporate yoga at least once a week, and occasionally, I will work out with a trainer, lifting weights, which is really great for the body and helps you be strong. I hike about two days a week, but I don’t even really consider that exercise; it’s more about being out in nature. Maybe once a month, I play tennis just to stay active and keep my body moving, and occasionally I do boxing, which is great for strength conditioning and keeping my stamina up. I get that it can be very hard to start working out if you’re not in that habit, and listen, I have those days or weeks where I’ve been busy and haven’t been in my routine and it’s hard to get back into it. I say, always just start with walking. Get outside, walk in your neighborhood or go to a park and just get your body moving.”

Tanisha’s Top Three Tips

•“I think the most important thing is to stay away from refined sugar, as much as you can. Don’t get me wrong — over Thanksgiving, I probably ate an entire sweet potato pie! But on a regular basis, stay away from candy and refined sugar. The sugar in fruits is okay!”

•“Make sure you’re having enough vegetables. Our bodies really need them and there are so many ways to make them taste good! I was never a big salad person, but I’d found creative ways to make them flavorful and tasty.”

•“Try to finish dinner by 8 p.m. at the latest; I try to eat mine between 6 and 7. It helps with digestion as well as having a better overall sleep, and it’s a great way to start to train the body to have a healthier lifestyle.”