Jan 28
January 28, 2014

Three Steps for a Healthier 2014


Following our 2014 Health Matters conference in La Quinta, California, we continued to highlight the Clinton Health Matters Initiative and our work to promote health and well-being at the 2014 Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Throughout the Humana Challenge, we hosted healthy cooking demos and wellness lecturers. Chef Nathan Lyon, who joined us during the Humana Challenge for a cooking demo, shares three tips on how to live healthier in 2014.

“This year, I’m going to eat healthier and lose weight!” Sound familiar? Well, good news, you’re not alone. According to a University of Scranton study, the number one New Year’s resolution for 2014 is to lose weight. But here’s a sobering fact, the University of Scranton also reports that only 8% of people keep their resolutions.

So, what’s the key to sticking to your goal?

Make your resolution specific and attainable. For example, if you’re like most people and your resolution is to lose weight, focus on how you will do that, for example: I will walk for 20 minutes 5 times a week after dinner.

The more specific the better. Fulfilling a New Year’s resolution involves creating new habits which, in turn, creates new neural pathways in the brain—something that is made easier when the change you are bringing about is specific, attainable and repeated. Your rate of success will also increase if you share your resolution with a friend making you accountable to someone else for extra encouragement. A few years ago, I made a pact with my best friend Scott to workout 5 mornings a week at the gym. Whoever skipped, owed the other person $20 per day. At the end of the year, only $20 was lost (someone pressed the snooze button far too many times) but we both gained a lot of muscle, strength and endurance!

As a fresh foods Chef with a Health Science degree, here are few specific and attainable health-related resolutions that you can use, should your resolution need some fine tuning.

Replace all soda and fruit juice with water.
According to the CDC, 13% of adult’s calories come from added sugars and 1/3 of that is attributed to beverage consumption. A regular soda contains around 110 calories per can and 30 grams of sugar. Ouch. Like orange juice? How about eating an orange instead? One small orange contains 45 calories and has 9 grams of sugar. One 8-ounce glass of orange juice has 111 calories and 21 grams of sugar. Thirsty? How about a tall refreshing glass of water?

Cook fresh foods at home instead of eating processed foods from grocery stores and restaurants.
How many meals or snacks do you eat out, take out, drive through, vend, and/or grab-and-go per week? Challenge yourself to reduce it by 50%. You’ll not only save money, you’ll reduce your fat, sugar and sodium intake and improve your nutrition.

Replace screen time with physical activity.
A recent study shows that kids between the ages of 8-18 sit in front of a screen 7 & ½ hours a day. How much time do you spend? Cut your screen time in half and add some type of physical activity. Be specific. Choose one or a combination of activities and schedule when and where you will get physically active each day of the week.

Choose one, invite a friend to join you and enjoy your healthier 2014!


Try the recipe that Chef Nathan shared with us during the Humana Challenge!

Apple Fennel Salad with Shaved Parmigiano and Black Currants


1 large apple, unpeeled (preferably Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp) 

1 large fennel bulb 

1 medium shallot, peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons) 

1/4 cup black currants 

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1/2 cup toasted, unsalted walnut pieces 

1/2 cup (packed) hand torn flat-leaf Italian parsley 

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 

Kosher salt, to taste 

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated, for serving 


Slice the apple and fennel bulb into French fry strips on a mandoline, for approximately two cups apple and two cups fennel. 

Toss together the apple, fennel, shallot, currants, vinegar, lemon juice, walnuts, and parsley in a medium bowl. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and gently fold to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and additional olive oil as needed. 

To serve, divide the salad among 4 large plates and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over each salad. Lastly, using a vegetable peeler, top each serving with shavings of Parmigiano- Reggiano.