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Spruce Up Motivation for Old Goals

During this season of renewal, it's a good time to take stock with your health goals. Even if you've been successful in the past, a healthy lifestyle has ups and downs. The phrase "what's old is new again" can apply to food and exercise just as much as fashion trends.

We have an insatiable appetite for novelty – hence why there's always room for dessert. But I'm not sure the phrase gives the whole picture. It might be more accurate to say "what's old is new and then gets old again."

Have you ever had a food jag (you know, when you get obsessed with a specific food or dish for a while)? If yes, you know that it doesn't last forever. That food jag turns into a food rut. Eventually, we tire of the familiar. We get bored.

This is especially true of living a healthy lifestyle. Although diet and exercise are hard, it can actually get harder when you've been at it for a long time. When you lose weight or are working toward a specific health goal, there's an inherent reward in seeing lower numbers on the scale or notching your belt tighter.

You may be developing new habits, but it takes effort to stop from slipping back into the old ones. That's where novelty comes into play. Here are some easy ways to bust out of a food rut:

  • Try new recipes for ethnic cuisine
  • Type specific ingredients into a recipe search engine and you can find new ways to put them to use
  • Get a subscription to a cooking magazine for fresh, seasonal ideas
  • Organize a potluck or recipe swap with neighbors on your block
  • Social media sites like Pinterest are hubs for new content, including recipes from up-and-coming bloggers
  • Don't forget about the local library, where you can find scores of cookbooks and magazines!
If you're in the Champaign area and looking for fun, fresh, community-based gatherings to support your healthy lifestyle, join me and Elsie Hedgspeth, Urbana Park District Fitness & Wellness Coordinator, for Commit to Fit Club starting in May. Each monthly meeting will generally include a guest speaker presentation with Q&A, recipe demonstrations and sampling, raffles, and more. Let us give you the information and inspiration you need to keep working toward your goals.

You do not need to live in Urbana to participate and there is a flat rate of $5 per meeting. For more information, call the Urbana Park District at 217-367-1544 or visit their website at

I'll also be presenting "Family-Friendly Freezer Meals" in both Champaign and Danville during Money Smart Week (April 18-25). In this free program, we'll simulate the process of weekly meal planning and talk about how to eat healthy, even on your busiest days. Everyone will get food samples, recipes, and information to take home.

The program will be held on two dates. Attend at 6:30 pm on April 20, 2015 at the Danville Public Library, located at 319 N. Vermilion Street in Danville. Or, join us at 6:30 pm on April 23, 2015 at the Farm Bureau Auditorium, located at 801 N. Country Fair Drive in Champaign. All are welcome to attend and this program is free.

Pre-registration is required as spaces are limited. To register, contact the Champaign County Extension office at 217-333-7672 or visit our website at

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please call the office by April 15, 2015.

Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.