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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

A New Year and a New You!

Posted by Jenna Smith -

Another year has come and gone, and 2013 offers us a fresh start. Many of us begin the new year with a New Year's resolution.  Most surveys conclude that the majority of resolutions pertain to weight, diet, and exercise. But unfortunately, they don't seem to last long. So how can we change that?

Make your goals SMART goals. This means to make your goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. It's easy to say our goal is to lose weight, but that goal is not at all specific. Just how exactly are you going to lose weight? Will you use smaller portion sizes, eat more fruits and vegetables, or increase time exercising? But wait;  these are still not specific enough! Try this:

  • I will use a salad plate instead of a regular dinner plate for all meals and will only go back for seconds for fruits or vegetables.
  • I will eat at least 1 vegetable serving with lunch and dinner at least 5 days a week, and I will eat at least 1 serving of fruit with breakfast, lunch and dinner at least 5 days a week.
  • I will do Zumba® for 1 hour 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Setting specific and realistic goals like these will help you achieve your overarching goal of weight loss. Now it's time for you to give it a try. Write them down, and put it in a place where you see it each day! (For more information on SMART goals, read "Set SMART Goals for a Healthy New Year" written by fellow Extension Educator, Marilyn Csernus.)

And try this easy slow cooker recipe. It offers a different spin to the traditional ground beef chili.


White Bean and Chicken Chili

1 lb. chicken breast, chopped

2 (15.5 oz) cans Great Northern beans,

drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Nutrition analysis per serving: 140 calories, 1g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 420mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 16g protein.

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