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Now that the holidays are over and as we step on the scale ... surprise! We now find an extra 5 to 10 pounds have magically appeared! Guess what?! The time to make a move is NOW! It is much easier to get rid of 5 pounds rather than waiting till it has crept up to 10! ‘Tis the season to plan your New Year Resolutions and goals for the year ahead! Many look for a “new fad diet” or quick fix, but unfortunately, there isn’t a magic potion. It starts with making a few solid commitments for change.

Here are some tips for you consider as you enter the new year: 

  • For beginners, watch your portion sizes. A heaping cup rather than a level one could add an extra 50 calories.  100 extra calories a day can add up to 10 pounds of extra weight in a year.
  • Half of your plate should be vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans—they are low in calories but can help us feel full. Be careful not to add butter to your low-cal vegetables or dressing to your salad as fats provide us with 9 calories/gram, while proteins and carbohydrates contain only four.
  • Even though nuts are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, they are still a fat. Ten peanuts is a serving while almonds and cashews are only six.
  • Don’t forget to eat breakfast. It helps get your metabolism rolling. We find that if you eat breakfast, you will not be so inclined to eat junk food late in the day.
  • Be careful what you drink. Sugary beverages like soda will provide calories without any other nutrients.
  • Don’t skip meals. We tend to overeat at the next meal if we skip one.
  • It takes our tummy 20 minutes to tell our heads that we are full. Think how much food we can devour in that length of time. Try to eat slower and savor each bite!
  • It is best to lose only two pounds per week or less. We didn’t put it on overnight and we cannot take it off that fast.
  • Don’t go on strict diets. It is too hard to sustain. Just cut back on the amounts of food you eat—it will work better than trying to eat a very caloric strict diet.

To help in your journey to lose weight, you might consider our “Simple Solutions” class that will be starting in January. It is a year-long program that is centered around losing weight and encouraging exercise to become more healthy. If interested, call Jenny Spaulding at 995-2848 or myself at 995-2881. 

Karen Bunnell, RD, LMNT

Phelps Memorial Health Center



Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Meal

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 carrots, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water, sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 4 bell peppers, gently rubbed under cold running water, sliced into chunks
  • 8 stalks celery, scrubbed with clean vegetable brush under running water, chopped
  • 8 green onions, gently rubbed under cold running water, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, gently rubbed under cold running water, chopped OR 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Arrange chicken breast pieces on a baking sheet. Wash hands after handling uncooked chicken. Spread carrots, bell peppers, celery and green onion, if desired, around chicken.
  4. Combine parsley and olive oil. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and vegetables
  5. In a small bowl, combine black pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and chili powder. Sprinkle over chicken and vegetables.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken pieces are no longer pink in the center, juices run clear and until internal temperature reaches 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
  7. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to four days.


Other combinations of vegetables work well with this recipe too!

Nutrition Information (Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe):

  • Calories 390
  • Total Fat 17g
  • Saturated Fat 2.5g
  • Cholesterol 85mg
  • Sodium 220mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 29g
  • Fiber 9g
  • Total Sugars 16g, includes 0g Added Sugars
  • Protein 31g
  • Vitamin D 0%
  • Calcium 10%
  • Iron 10%
  • Potassium 20%

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension at