Hey, 2012! Hit us with your best shot.

Okay, fair warning. I think I’m about to sound like a late-night infomercial. I don’t know for sure, because I don’t own a TV anymore — so when I can’t sleep, I do productive things like play Words with Friends, order shoes online, or obsess over whether that face that that lady at Whole Foods made at me was totally freakin’ bitchy or just super-bitchy. Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m about to sound like an infomercial. But here goes.

How would you like to:

  • Lose weight without really trying
  • Never be confused or misled by dumb-ass fad diets again
  • Be fitter than you’ve ever been, regardless of your age
  • Wake up feeling awesome
  • Rarely get sick
  • Really, truly prevent — or even reverse — heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and a wide variety of other diseases
  • Look all gorgeous and glowy and practically famous
  • Feel slightly superior to others (no, just kidding…not kidding…kidding…not kidding)
  • Be in control of your life again

I know, right?

And what if I told you that pretty much all you need to reap those amazing benefits is a shopping cart and a pair of legs? And that a smallish handful of smart, free-thinking people (probably the ones you already know you half-hate and half want to be) have been living this way, with extreme success, for decades? And that I’m totally not just talking to those other schmucks who eat at McDonalds every day and take 85 prescription pills every morning, but to clever, above-average, pretty darn with-it people like yourself?

Well, hey, guess what? All that and more can be yours in 2012. If you want it, I plan to help you get it. No, really. I do.

I’ll help you in lots of ways, big and small. The first one couldn’t be easier. And we can get on it right now.

Because it is such an amazing book, and because I want you know know everything you can about how to be amazing, I’ve decided to give away ten copies of The China Study, all of which I’ve bought and paid for on my own. Because I wanted my money to go as far as possible, I’ll be giving away Kindle editions, which you can read on any Kindle device, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Mac or Windows computer, Android…you name it. Amazon lets each person share a book with up to five additional people, so if you win a copy and love it, I’d be psyched if you’d consider passing it on to a few friends or family members.

You may already be familiar with The China Study, written by Cornell University professor emeritus (and all-around rockstar) T. Colin Campbell. The book translates into plain English many important findings from the seminal China study itself as well as Campbell’s decades of nutrition, health, and disease research and policy advisory. It’s part How-to-Save-a-Life manual, part riveting conspiracy exposé, and part fascinating facts that you’ll want to shout out to your closest housemates or neighbors on the subway while you’re reading. If you care about your health and you love food, you really owe it to yourself to read this book. It just might make 2012 the most important year of your life.

See? I told you this would be an infomercial.

But I’m serious. This shiz is fo’ reals.

To enter to win a copy of The China Study, leave a comment on this post that answers the question: If you could choose just one realistic goal to accomplish in 2012 to make the world a better place, what would it be? (It would be great if you’d go out and do it, too — but you can win the book for just raising the idea, because I’m classy like that.) For up to two additional chances to win, you can blog, tweet, or facebook about this contest and leave a link to your post in a separate comment. I’ll accept entries until noon Eastern time on Friday, January 13 (ooh, Friday the 13th!) and then choose winners at random and notify them directly.

Good luck, and Happy New Year! If you couldn’t tell, I plan to take 2012 by storm. See you there.

P.S. Here are the recipes and stories pictured above, starting from the top left corner:

  • Deborah Bach

    “Realistic” goal – that’s the hard part. I can think of some very unrealistic things, like “I’d make the world a better place by infusing empathy into all human beings, even the jackasses,” but that’s a little far-fetched.
    As for a realistic goal I could accomplish in 2012 to make the world a better place, I’d say … donate more to local charities that are helping people in the community where I live. I think any efforts we make to take care of our neighbors and lend a and to those less fortunate makes the world a better place.ReplyCancel

  • Dina

    Very excited to see that you are continuing to roll with the whole foods. I have been a bad girl diet-wise lately. Look forward to getting back on track and staying there in 2012. See you soon!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Good question…looking forward to spending more connected time with my family this year, and also working with other women to help them find success and joy in their own small businesses.

    Thanks, Carolyn!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea

    I would really like to buy food that is in season and local. It really just makes so much sense! It’s a challenge in winter with my picky kids but at least I could do it MORE.
    Thanks for your great blog! I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea

    I shared the link on fb and tagged a friend I thought would like it but I have no idea how to put that link here. :(ReplyCancel

  • Henry Doll

    I’m shooting for shepherding my early twenty-something son and daughter to self-sustainable independence in 2012.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren Doherty

    I would like to get back to volunteering. Since I still have young children, that may mean helping out at my son’s school, but wherever it ends up being, I hope I can make a small impact in my community.ReplyCancel

  • erica

    To make my world a better place in 2012, I’m hoping to become a more consistent exerciser. So that I can eat more! To help move the world in the right direction, it’s going to be a year of reductions: in the amount of stuff I have and the amount I rely on, in the number of times a month or year I fill my gas tank or get on a plane, in the amount of time I devote to things that benefit no one. Even if I don’t get “picked” by random.org!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten

    My friend was just telling me about this book last night. My realistic (hopefully) goal is to cook for myself more. Happy New Year to you and your family, Carolyn!ReplyCancel

  • Leslie

    I think my realistic thing to make the world better would be to consume less. I’m already a vegan, but I want to make more of my own things, use the things I have and I want to declutter and when I move, move to a smaller home.ReplyCancel

  • Anu Chathampally

    I am trying to be kinder to others and have more gratitude everyday.ReplyCancel

  • Zenetta

    Wow, making us think so early in the year? Definitely want to do a new volunteer stint. Last time was with young children and was very rewarding. This time I am thinking about an organization that helps families get back on their feet. We all can make a difference to someone.ReplyCancel

  • Jeannine

    My realistic goal is to read more (including the China Study) and spend less unless the money goes towards a good cause.ReplyCancel

  • Veronica

    I think kindness goes a long way, through spoke and unspoken words. In 2012, I would like to share my kindness with everyone around me and to encourage them to do the same, while keeping all negativity to myself. I want to be people’s source of inspiration to live by the Golden Rule. Though I certainly can’t make the world do this, as long as I can do this through all of my interactions with others, I think it is a realistic goal to strive toward.
    Happy New Year!ReplyCancel

    • Zsuzsi

      I really like your perspective Veronica !ReplyCancel

  • Sandi

    I plan on growing more of my own food, and what I can’t grow I will purchase locally. Thank you for the opportunity to win this book.ReplyCancel

  • Have read this book by Colin and his son. Brilliant book. A real eye opener. Even if you don’t win it, you should get hold of a copy. Go to Amazon and pick one up as they are not so expensive now.ReplyCancel

  • Joanna

    I’m going to start volunteering at the local library–they have a homework help center for kids after school, and I really think I could be useful there!ReplyCancel

  • Cindy Murray

    The one thing I would do for ‘2012’ would be:
    To be a better person an d give to the needy more when I am able to.ReplyCancel

  • Mary A

    Visit people in nursing homes who rarely have visitors.ReplyCancel

  • Linda D

    Realistic – eat better, eat more local, less meat more veggies & fruits and get my parents to recycle more.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    My goal for 2012 is to be kinder, more understanding and to help people when the opportunity presents itself… I love making these kinds of goals, great idea! :)ReplyCancel

  • jen w

    I’m going to try to recycle moreReplyCancel

  • Lee

    I’m going to keep growing more of my own food.ReplyCancel

  • Emily

    For my realistic resolution.. I am going to try to help those in need, whenever I can. There have been a few times when I’m out shopping that people have been unable to pay for things, this year I want to take care of that.ReplyCancel

  • Erika

    I am going to reduce the amount of garbage my household throws out. Reducing the amount of over-packaged items I buy is the first step. There is a fairly extensive recycle program in my city which I will use more. I also plan on starting to compost organics.ReplyCancel

  • Jordan

    We’re going to continue eating less industrial meat as a family, which includes eating vegetarian pretty much always when eating out. Sigh. Sayonara, pub burgers. But hellooooo healthy planet!

    Motivational website: http://www.occupyforanimals.org/meat-consumption-and-the-destruction-of-our-planet.htmlReplyCancel

  • I would like to learn to grow some of our own food. We already purchase a CSA share, but if the vegetables were in our own backyard we wouldn’t have to drive to pick them up! (So as a secondary goal, I’d also like to drive less!)ReplyCancel

  • diane

    I plan to consume less.ReplyCancel

  • LB

    I’d love to win this book! I own a house in a very poor neighborhood that was clobbered by a tornado this year. People are barely able to get their homes repaired, let alone deal with yards. So I’m hoping to get a group of volunteers together, maybe get some supplies donated, and tackle a block’s worth of yards!ReplyCancel

  • I don’t know Carolyn… last year you reeled me in with that great idea for a handmade giveaway and what happened there? Yeah, I blew it. Against that measure, I’ll end up surrounded by a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano and 4 pints of Ben & Jerry’s next New Year’s Eve. But I’m in!. My plan to make the world a better place this year: teach at least one self-proclaimed terrible cook to stand on his/her own two feet in the kitchen.ReplyCancel

  • Hi,
    Lovely blog…lovely ideas.

    One “realistic” goal of 2012:
    Would like to put in more effort in my sons development…
    more patience, more involvement, more exposure.


  • Kadie

    Despite my daily workout routine (which, let’s be honest, since Baby 2.0 arrived, has become more of an ad hoc at best routine), I would count sitting down as one of my favorite activities. So much so that when I was pregnant, I was annoyed twice a day, everyday that I wasn’t visibly pregnant enough for someone to offer me their seat on the subway. I wasn’t uncomfortable in the slightest, but I can think of no greater euphoria than getting a coveted seat on a crowded train. So, as a way to make the world a better place (and myself a bit less sedentary), I’m giving up my seat everyday to someone who looks like they could the relief.ReplyCancel

  • Henry Doll

    I love your response; who knows, maybe it’ll go viral!

    I now love letting people ‘in’ in traffic. Keeps me and the other person calm. (of course in NY, not everyone feels that way lol)ReplyCancel

  • Mary

    My goal is to encourage my friends to recycle more and be less wasteful in general.ReplyCancel

  • Kristin

    I’m going to extend my “vegan before 6” habits (borrowed from Mark Bittman) to extend to weekends as well as weekdays. I always intended to do it that way, but somehow I’ve only been following it on weekdays.ReplyCancel

  • I know I’m a few years late to the party, but I plan to be more mindful of our household’s “footprint”. Using fewer zip top bags, eliminating the use of plastic bags for fruits and veggies at the grocery store, cutting back on paper towel usage, more recycling and just paying more attention to what comes in and out of our house.ReplyCancel

  • Denise Klay

    I would like to make the world better for everyone and I most want to effect the health care for the people are suffering for lack of it while the goverment is trying to cut back on the care they are giving the few who are managing some communication with the doctors….i would like to get the goverment to start making the doctors to pay for additional schooling every year in quality pain management classes and quit taking the ability to prescribe it away from them so the people do not have to suffer…I would like to work on my health so it helps others later and people do not have to share medication to help there friends and family…sure there are better ways for me to feed my family I will do that too.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Harris

    I will be an ambassador for homemade, home grown, and home cooked foods. Good ingredients, good energy,a warm kitchen and an open heart can bridge any gap and foster relationships.ReplyCancel

  • SueSueper

    One realistic goal for me is to remember to always take the re-usable bags when doing all kinds of shopping.ReplyCancel

  • Vee

    I want to be more confident and act/do more rather than just sympathizeReplyCancel

  • My realistic goal is to get my family to only use re-usable bags for grocery shopping instant of plastic.ReplyCancel

  • Thanks Carolyn! My goal for 2012 is to meditate 3 mornings every week.ReplyCancel

  • Zsuzsi

    Such lovely inspirations here! I want to be/do them all! I think for the most part, my most realistic expectation from myself to help make the world a better place in 2012 (and beyond) would be to continuously reset my intent toward others by approaching with love and gratitude – and finding ways to reflect that through many many ways of giving. Big and small giving. Giving of time, giving of food, giving of empathy, giving of support…of labor, money, humor, soft comforting words, guidance, compassion, freedom…of anything I can spare and then sometimes more. I think if I can train myself to find at least one thing every day– something, anything, to consciously
    give where it’s needed- then the universe will respond in miraculous ways.ReplyCancel

  • Marlene V

    If you could choose just one realistic goal to accomplish in 2012 to make the world a better place, what would it be? I would like to become more GREEN and reduce my footprint.ReplyCancel

  • My realistic goal this year to make the world a better place is… to…. continue with my “new to this year” Vegan diet, and grow a garden in the backyard. Any extra produce that I grow I plan to donate to a food pantry. Even if that means they get a bumper crop of cilantro…. Hey, who doesn’t love cilantro?ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    I would encourage more people to eat less meat. Just this one change (like cutting meat out of one meal a day and then building out from there) would have significant impact on our environment as well as our waistlines. As a vegetarian, I do my part but I wish more people would get off the meat wagon — and restaurants would realize that it’s okay to offer entrees without meat!!ReplyCancel

  • tricia

    Not sure how I can make the world better in 2012 but I know I can do my part for the environment. I have a 2012 goal to compost.ReplyCancel

  • Leigh Ann

    My realistic goal this year will be to show compassion and gratitude to others.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy J. D.

    Feeling some odd flutters in my chest, it’s past time for me to change my entire lifestlye. Dropping 30 pounds is the first step and urgent. Eating for health is second. I began January the first.ReplyCancel

  • Teresa Johnston

    Learn more meatless recipes to help me & my family move away from meat at every meal.ReplyCancel

  • aloha umami girl- my goal this year is to create a health-based, nurturing business to encourage people to practice healthy, wholesome (vegetarian) kitchen habits. i’ve been teaching cooking classes for a year now, but i want to take the next step and work with people on a more direct level. maybe it’s not changing the world… but it could change many individual lives here on oahu!ReplyCancel

  • Stephen Taylor

    My realistic goal is to develop the habit of chewing each bite until the food is entirely broken down. My family doctor suggests that this habit helps people to eat in a way that doesn’t stretch out the stomach and encourages us to eat less. For me this has already translated to a big decrease in the amount of meat that I ear and more attention to a balanced diet.

    And to treat everyone with more respect and love.ReplyCancel

  • Sara Menashe

    For me, to make the most of this year, I want to try connecting and/or re-connecting with people in only positive ways! I want to get rid of negative language and actions in regards to my interactions with others, as well as in working on my self. I want to “pay-it-forward” by encouraging others to enjoy the day and the gifts we all have. These are some things I hope to work on and work towards accomplishing this year! B”H!ReplyCancel

  • Debbi

    My realistic goal for 2012 is to get more involved in education. I’m already heavily involved in my kids’ school, but I’d like to explore establishing a charter school in my town (we have none, and the school system is not terrible, but it doesn’t live up to my standards. I believe every child deserves the best education possible, and I want to do something to improve it within my community.ReplyCancel

  • Athena

    I’m doing my best to reduce my carbon footprint in this great planet of ours.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle

    I don’t know how realistic my goal is but what I’d really love to do is volunteer for the EDF to see what I could do to educate people about global warming and just maybe through that help save a polar bear or two. I also want to commit to reducing my carbon foot print by riding my bike into work whenever I can.ReplyCancel

  • Barb K.

    I would like to help build schools in places where there are no schools and where there are school’s most children can not reach them. This would help to lift a lot of people out of poverty. The schools would be for both boy;s and girls.ReplyCancel

  • Brooke

    I have been interested in nutrition and holistic health for a long time (which is how I came across your blog). I’ve considered grad school in the field but have delayed the decision thinking I’m too old, too set in my current career path, etc. to do it. This is the year I want to start taking steps toward that goal and by doing so eventually help others realize that better health can be achieved by relatively simple lifestyle changes.ReplyCancel

  • ale

    I’m psyched for 2012 and I hope to contribute to the ‘world’ around me by not only continuing my work facilitating workshops for immigrant parents but also to launch an educational cooperative that focuses on out-of-school youth and helps them earn their high school credentials while using a very person-centered and holistic approach. We spent all last year getting everything ready and I’m excited about beginning our program in February! So my goal is to see that project through and stick with it- even though funding is iffy and recruitment even more so!ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine Murphy

    Starting next week when we get our recipe books and can go shopping, we will be changing to a plant based whole food diet! Cannot wait to move our family in the direction of a healthy lifestyle.ReplyCancel

  • Angela

    I would like to see that everyone can donate winter clothing for the homeless.ReplyCancel

  • Annnndddd….thank you all so much for your heartfelt, inspiring comments. It’s so cool to peek in on your wonderful, varied visions of a better world. Comments are now closed. I’ll announce the winners, and a few balanced, non-infomercial-style thoughts on The China Study, very soon. xxReplyCancel

  • […] on screen or anything.) It’s because I got a little crazy about The China Study there for a minute or three — all ZOMG Kate Hudon’s leg, if you will — and I think I owe you a quick […]ReplyCancel