Small Tweaks can equal Big Results when Changing to a Healthy Lifestyle, plus a recipe for Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Chicken Salad.

January 18, 2019

Really good things happen when you make small changes that you can stick with!  I have been working with South Carolina Hospital Association for a few years on a project at the State House, A Healthier State House, and my role has been to help with the screenings. 

Of course, my station is the BMI (body mass index), waist circumference and the dreaded scale.  Most people don’t want to weigh….I have even had people not like to weigh because they are trying to gain weight and the scale doesn’t increase like they want.  That rarely happens, most of us want to avoid the scale, especially this close to the holidays where you see that those extra calories have  added up to extra pounds.  Now during these screenings we encourage lifestyle changes.  Usually just a few small suggestions that can impact the numbers. It has been really cool to watch their numbers improve as a result of small lifestyle changes.

Try to figure out a few small changes that you can make in your eating habits and stick with them.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Drink water when you are away from home or when you are eating out.
  • Only eat dessert once a week.
  • Eat a salad every day.
  • Eat the most colorful veggies you can find.
  • Add a new vegetable into your diet.
  • Use mustard instead of mayo.
  • Skip the ketchup and other condiments.
  • Have your tea ½ sweet and ½ unsweet.
  • Decrease the amount of sugar you put in coffee.
  • Choose crunchy snacks.
  • Eat at the dinner table.
  • Cook at home more often.
  • Use a smaller plate.
  • Keep fresh or frozen fruit for a sweet treat.

There are lots of ways to make small changes in your eating habits each day that will an impact over time.  Be patient and stay the course!  Getting healthy and being well takes a minute.  Try this salad!  Gotta love anything with rosemary and lemon!

Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Chicken Salad


  • 2 meyer lemons
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 8-10 oz chicken breast, halved horizontally
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 4 cups escarole, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 head Belgian endive, trimmed and chopped
  • 4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For dressing:

  1. Juice 1 lemon into a small bowl; stir in shallot and a pinch of salt. 
  2. Drizzle 3 tbsp. olive oil into lemon shallot mixture, whisking constantly until emulsified. 
  3. Season with black pepper.

For chicken:

  1. Preheat a grill over medium –high heat; brush with olive oil. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and black pepper. 
  3. Sprinkle with rosemary. 
  4. Rub lightly with olive oil. 
  5. Grill 5 minutes or until golden on one side. 
  6. Turn; cook 5 to 6 minutes more or until done (165F).

For salad:

  1. Thinly slice and quarter remaining lemon;
  2. Transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Add escarole, endive and radishes. 
  4. Top chicken with dressed greens.

Nutrition Information: 156 calories, 3 gm fat, 83 mg chol, 196 mg sodium, 5 gm carbohydrate, 27 gm protein

Recipe from: Better Homes & Gardens, February 2019.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.