Before I began eating the whole foods, plant-based way, and thus before I discovered how easily I could lose weight and keep it off, I had a standard resolution that I made every Jan. 1.

I would resolve to gain more weight.

That’s because eventually we all break our resolutions, or so I thought. Therefore, by resolving to gain weight, I figured I would eventually break that resolution and lose weight instead.

But that never seemed to work out as planned. Or I should say, it never worked as planned until 2013. But then later that year, I broke my resolution by going whole foods, plant-based and everything changed.

Everything changed, not just in terms of the weight that I lost (150 pounds) but also in terms of my health. I was able to get off all three of the prescription medicines that I was taking. My blood work started coming back with stellar numbers. And several health-related issues disappeared.

And I did it all by going whole foods, plant-based in 2013.

Here are some suggested resolutions that might help you to achieve some of the kinds of successes that I have seen over the last several years:

Resolve to eat more plants: Before 2013, I had no real appreciation for the powerhouses that plants are when it comes to our nutrition. Yes, I knew that it was important to eat some vegetables and fruits every day. But I never really gave them the credit they deserved.

To put it simply, plant foods are phenomenal sources of vitamins and nutrients. And studies have shown that the nutrients in plant foods are better absorbed by the body than are nutrients received from pills and supplements.

Read more about plant-based foods: The more I read, the more convinced I become that eating plant-based is really the healthiest way to eat. There are many, many books out there on the subject.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell offers the best scientific explanations. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn offers the best information on heart disease and diet. And Dr. Michael Greger provides probably the most comprehensive and practical information when it comes to eating whole, plant-based foods.

Learn to cook whole, plant-based foods: Last month, I provided information on some excellent cooking classes to consider for 2017. There are also many excellent cookbooks. A few cookbook authors to consider are Lindsay Nixon, Kim Campbell, Del Sroufe, Danielle Bussone and LeAnne Campbell.

So start the year off right. Resolve to eat more plants, read more and learn to cook healthy foods. By 2018, it will be second nature to you, and you will be feeling so much healthier for having done so.

J Lanning Smith is a local freelance writer and photographer.