Prioritizing Me in 2023

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During this time of year, many people make resolutions to improve their health but they often fail because they are either too broad or too restrictive. The Extension Office recommends that your only goal this year should be “Prioritizing Me in 2023”. It can mean a variety of things to different people whether focusing on your health, your finances, your weight, your mental health, your stress, your family life, etc. Instead of tackling a huge goal, break it down into smaller, achievable goals. If you want to be healthier, ask yourself what that means and why that is your goal. Maybe you want to be healthier so you can be more active with your family. Then your family can help provide the motivation and the support you need to stick to your goals. Being healthier could mean you need to eat less so you start focusing on your portion size or being more mindful and only eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, instead of worrying about being a member of the Clean Plate Club. It could be you need to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables or drinking less sugar-sweetened beverages. Whatever it is, choose one of these smaller goals and focus on it for a week. Start small maybe only focusing on 2-3 days that week. Continue that over and over, increasing your time or intensity until you have created a new habit. Then, and only then, you can pick another thing to focus on and improve.

Try the following recipe courtesy of the Illinois Extension. For more information on Food for Thought programs, check us out online at Facebook or email

Chicken Parmesan – serves 6

6 boneless chicken breasts

1 ½ cup spaghetti sauce, low sodium

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

12 oz box whole-grain pasta, cooked according to directions

Grease a 9×13” glass baking dish. Lay chicken in pan and pour spaghetti sauce over top. Turn chicken to coat in sauce. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees. Sprinkle with cheese and continue to cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve over pasta.

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