THE KITCHEN DIVA

Many people make New Year's resolutions to include eating healthy, exercise and/or lose weight.

It's that time of year when we think about changes we want to make in our lives. For many people, those resolutions include a vow to eat healthy, exercise and/or lose weight.

Before you start thinking about how to make your change and assure it happens, you have to figure out what changes you want to make. Be realistic. People who set a specific goal (I will walk 30 minutes most days) have a much better chance at being successful than people who set a more general goal (I'm going to get in shape). People who make one or two changes at a time also are more likely to be successful than those who try to change everything all at once.

Here are some suggestions for habits that can make a positive impact on your health:

• Eat breakfast.

• Drink three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk every day.

• Decrease sodium to no more than 2,400 milligrams per day.

• Decrease fat to no more than 30% of your total calories (around 67 milligrams).

• Drink 6-8 cups of water per day.

• Eliminate or decrease soda.

New Year's resolutions can be beneficial because the name itself sets a date for you to make a change. It's good to have a date in mind for changing a habit because that commitment helps you follow through.

It takes at least 21 days to change a habit. Some things that will help you stay on target with making positive changes include writing down your goal and listing reasons why you want to meet that goal. Encouragement from others also helps us to reach our goals. Tell relatives and close friends about your goals so they can offer encouragement.

It may take as little as 21 days to establish a new habit, but it can take much longer to assure that you will sustain it. Prepare yourself now for that time in late January or mid-February when your motivation wanes. When that happens, have a reward in mind for establishing your goal. Knowing there is a reward in sight can get you through rough times.

Think about how it will be when you establish your goal. If it's walking 30 minutes per day, think about how much more energy you'll have and how much better you'll feel consistently because you have been active.

There are very few people who can say making these types of changes is easy. One very important thing to remember is that if the day comes when you have been unable to sustain your new habit, don't count it as a failure. Just know some days are better than others and vow to re-establish your desired habit.

If you've resolved to eat healthier, starting with breakfast, try this recipe for breakfast muffins, and have a happy and healthy 2020!

QUICK AND EASY EGG MUFFINS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup onion, finely diced

2 cups fresh spinach

2 tablespoons poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

6 eggs

1 tablespoon mild or medium salsa

3/4 cup reduced fat cheddar or pepper jack cheese (or a combination of both), shredded

3 slices turkey bacon, cooked and chopped

Heat oven to 350 F. In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add spinach, 1 tablespoon of the poultry seasoning, and the salt and pepper, and cook until wilted, about 2-3 more minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining poultry seasoning, salsa and cheese. Add the spinach mixture and the bacon, and stir until well-combined.

Either use a silicone muffin pan or spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Evenly distribute the egg mixture about 3/4 of the way in each muffin cup. If using a 12-cup muffin tin, fill the empty areas about 1/4 of the way with water. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the muffins have turned a light golden brown around the edges.

Store leftover muffins in the refrigerator in an airtight container. To reheat, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Makes 6 muffins.

Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children's author, culinary historian and the author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is "The Kitchen Diva's Diabetic Cookbook." Her website is www.divapro.com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva! on Facebook. Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis.  (c) 2019 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

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