Senior Fitness Title being stretched by an exercise band all under a dumbbell

Fitness Goes Online


Our Health & Wellness/Fitness Educators at CCE Clinton are working hard to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. In an effort to keep engagement and continue programming via the web, they will be sharing health and wellness information as well as creating video content. This page will serve as a blog of sorts, updating frequently and listing information by most recent at the top with older posts further down the page.

Note: CCE Clinton is now offering online fitness programs. These live classes will be streamed using Zoom. Please notice the schedule below. For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at

Notice: New Class Schedule Beginning 1/18/21

Range of Motion: Monday from 9:00am-10am (offered by CCE) 

Growing Stronger-Strong Bones: Tuesday from 9:00am-10:00am (offered by Senior Planet)

Chair Chi: Wednesday from 9:00am - 10:00am (offered by CCE)

Growing Stronger/Balance: Thursday from 9:00am - 10:00am (offered by Senior Planet)

Range of Motion: Friday from 9:00am to 10:00am (offered by CCE) 

CCE offered Class Link: (Monday, Wednesday & Friday) 

Meeting ID: 974 2399 6299            Passcode: 284649

Live Stream Fitness Class Schedule:

Range of Motion: Monday from 9:00-10 a.m.

Growing Stronger-Strong Bones: Tuesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Chair Chi: Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Growing Stronger/Balance: Thursday from 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Sponsored by Clinton County Office of Aging, collaborating with Senior Planet and Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County

For information on how to join any of these classes contact Mary P. Breyette at

Detailed class information can be found at the following link:

2020-2021 Demographics Form

Benefits of Tai Chi

If you are wondering what Tai Chi is or what benefits it can provide, please visit the links below.

Philips Lifeline: Fitness: Benefits of Tai Chi for Seniors

Harvard Health Publishing: The Health Benefits of Tai Chi:

Chair Chi with Mary P. Breyette

In this video, CCE Clinton's Executive Director/Health & Wellness Educator Mary P. Breyette, instructs a virtual Chair-Chi class.

September: Fall Prevention Month

Falls are the leading cause of injury for those over 65 and the goal of Fall Prevention Month is to get the word out about the prevalence of falling, while acknowledging the importance of prevention. Most falls can be prevented! In an effort to reduce risk, the National Safety Council and Center of Disease Control and Prevention, among others, have provided informational flyers with tips on fall-proofing your home, exercises to help with balance, proper equipment/clothes and more.

To read the complete flyers, please visit the links below.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

Stay Independent:

National Safety Council:

Older Adult Fall Prevention Checklist:

Fall-Proofing Your Home:

April Recipes/Facts Sheets:

April 5th:

Fact Sheet: EFNEP_Newsletter_April-compressed.pdf

Recipe: Brocolli_Strawberry_Orzo_Salad-compressed.pdf

April 12th:

Fact Sheet: Vegetales_the_cornerstone_of_a_healthy_diet-compressed.pdf

Recipe: Asian_Carrot_Salad-compressed.pdf

April 19th:

Fact Sheet: Fiber_Something_More_to_Chew_On-compressed.pdf

Recipe: Carrot_Raisin_Salad-compressed.pdf

April 26th:

Fact Sheet: Pride_from_Apples_to_Zucchini-compressed.pdf

Recipe: Colorful_Coleslaw-compressed.pdf

March Recipes/Fact Sheets:

March 1st: 

Fact Sheet: EFNEP Newsletter March 2021

Recipe: Apple Bars

March 8th:

Fact Sheet: Meal Planning for One

Recipe: Fruit Pizza

March 15th:

Fact Sheet: National Nutrition Month

Recipe: Chewy Granola Bars

March 22nd:

Fact Sheet: Eating Almonds & Dark Chocolate Lowers Bad Cholesterol

Recipe: Not Your Everyday Apples

March 29th:

Fact Sheet: Fiber: More than Something to Chew on

Recipe: Granola

February Recipes/Fact Sheets:

February 1st:

Fact Sheet: EFNEP_Newsletter_Feb_2021.pdf

Recipe: Broccoli_Cheddar_Frittata_Recipe.pdf

February 8th:

Fact Sheet: Desk_Exercises.pdf

Recipe: Tips_to_Increase_Protein_Intake.pdf

February 15th: 

Fact Sheet: Every_Day_Stretches.pdf

Recipe: White_Bean_Yellow_Sqush_and_Tomato_Stew_Recipe.pdf

February 22nd:

Fact Sheet: Walking_Exercise_Log.pdf

Recipe: Pasta_with_Red_Peppers_Greens_and_Beans.pdf

January Recipes/Fact Sheets:

January 4th:


Recipe: Slow_Cooker_Chicken_Tortilla_Soup.pdf

January 11th:

Fact Sheet: Exercises_from_a_Sitting_Position.pdf

Recipe: Spinach_and_Meat_Cakes.pdf

January 18th:

Fact Sheet: Exercises_from_a_Standing_Position.pdf

Recipe: Macaroni_and_Cheese.pdf

January 25th:

Fact Sheet: Baked_Fish_with_Creole_Sauce.pdf

Recipe: Sugar_Substitutes.pdf

December Recipes/Fact Sheets: 

December 7th:


Recipe: Roasted-Butternut-Squash.pdf

December 14th:

Fact Sheet: Season-Affective-Disorder.pdf

Recipe: Potato-Soup.pdf

December 21st:


Recipe: Spaghetti-Squash.pdf

November Recipes/Fact Sheets:

October Recipes/Fact Sheets:

September Recipes/Fact Sheets:

August Recipes/Fact Sheets:

July Recipes/Fact Sheets:

June Recipes & Fact Sheets

July 13th: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

This post is a resource list to various types of materials, both digital and print, to assist you on your health and fitness journey.

Fitness: This National Institute on Aging page is full of tips for beginning exercise, keeping motivations, and safety tips for a variety of fitness activities. The Arthritis Foundation has great resources for physical activity, from tip sheets on being active with chronic pain to actual free videos that offer exercises with chronic pain management in mind. There is even a YES app that allows you to personalize fitness recommendations based on your own specific condition and areas of pain. This is Leslie Sansone’s site, promoting walking/stepping as a way to stay fit and lose weight. It offers links to purchase various support materials, an app for a smart phone that has workouts to choose from and blog posts with various topics. The workouts here are $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Many are offered for free via Youtube, see next link. Leslie Sansone’s “Walk at Home” Youtube channel. These videos are free to watch. The page offers a variety of intensities and types of workouts, but most feature simply walking, great to do indoors.

Nutrition: This National Institute on Aging page has current information on dietary needs for older adults, as well as links to sample menus and shopping tips. The Arthritis Foundation has excellent resources for diet, including evidence based information to help you sort through claims about certain foods you may have seen or heard from less reliable sources. It also has recipes that suit anyone and specifically those with chronic pain. Gardening? Canning? This site has the latest information on home food preservation, including tested recipes and how to’s on everything from pressure canning to drying herbs. Not only is using a resource like this important for safety, but also will help you get the best quality preserved food. For a print edition, check out “So Easy to Preserve” on the store link. Also- check your local library for preservation books published either by the National Center for Home Food Preservation or canning companies, like Ball. The American Diabetes Association publishes many books on diabetes management including a number of cookbooks, specific to cuisine and dietary preferences. Their website offers discounts on some of the books, including a “Christmas in July” sale. Also, check your local library- they are likely to have some of these publications for you to borrow.

Additional: The CDC site has up-to-date information on a variety of topics, but particularly right now is a great resource for COVID-19 recommendations. This is one of the best places to find science based information on keeping yourself safe during the current pandemic. Also, check out your county health department for locally specific information. This guide has types of renovations that can be done to a living space to make aging at home safer- and includes both minor, inexpensive ideas as well as larger renovations you may want to consider.


July 6th: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

Fruit is important year round- but this is one of my favorite seasons to enjoy fruit. Local strawberries are readily available- we were fortunate enough to not only go picking, but also to have two quarts delivered! They are so delicious. Along with berries, this is a great season for stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries. You may have noticed they are less expensive right now- good news for consumers when produce cost less it is usually because it is in season and taste better.

Fruit is a very nutritious choice. Most adults need 1 ½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and should most often seek whole fruit versus juice. Fruit is naturally sweet and has a lot of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water. It is a great choice on a warm day and can easily replace a sweet snack with added sugar.

Consider: a chewy granola bar has added sugar (that is how they stick with granola together), about 100-150 calories, and most of the nutrition comes from oats- which are healthy, but from a food group we usually eat in greater quantities than recommended. A peach on the other hand has only 65 calories, no added sugar, and many antioxidants. Right now both a single chewy granola bar or a peach cost about $0.50.

Fruit is a sweet snack you can feel good about. Don’t wait or you’ll miss the berry and stone fruit season! Below is a recipe for peach salsa- but you can substitute strawberries if you have them- the sweetness of the fruit is a nice compliment to the tang of the tomatoes in salsa.


June 29th: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

As the holiday weekend approaches, here is a set of guidelines from the CDC on hosting gatherings and cook-outs. I have found it easiest to discuss everyone’s expectations and comfort level before the gathering. This is easiest when only gathering with limited numbers of people. Have fun, but be safe. If you decide to skip any gatherings, remember that many of us are doing the same and try to find a special way to celebrate.

Hosting gatherings or cook-outs

Remind guests to stay home if they are sick

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.
  • Consider keeping a list of guests who attended for potential future contract tracing needs.

Encourage social distancing

  • Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.
  • If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.

Wear cloth face coverings

  • Wear cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.
  • Consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.

Clean hands often

  • Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.

Limit the number of people handling or serving food

  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
  • Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
  • If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve shareable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.

Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items

  • Use touch-less garbage cans or pails.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.


Recipe: Dilly Cucumber Salad.pdf

Have a great weekend and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments:


June 22nd: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

Now that the weather is heating up and our region is opening up a little, maybe you have been tempted to go through the drive through for a refreshing beverage (I know I have been tempted!). I think the message of the health risk that consuming sweetened beverages regularly has gotten through to many of us in regards to soda (though quitting that habit can be very difficult and behavior change is challenging!)but not many people think of sweetened beverages beyond soft drinks. Many people I know who never drink soda, will drink coffee or tea based beverages regularly with little thought to their nutrition.

Consider that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend that we consume no more than 10% of our total calories from added sugar. In a 2,000 calorie diet, that would be 12 tsps of sugar per day. The reason for this recommendation is that more added sugar (added sugar is not naturally occurring amounts of sugar, like we would experience in fruit or plain milk) is a major contributor not only to diabetes, but also heart disease and certain types of cancer. Added sugar is bad for our health and regularly consuming excessive amounts puts us at risk.

Since it is hot out- let’s take a minute to think of frozen coffee drinks and iced teas. These can be healthy choices, neither contains sugar, fat, or really many calories on their own, but often the drinks we see advertised in fast food places are shockingly full of added sugar and even saturated fat. Here are a few examples- and I do not mean to pick on any one establishment- these can be found all over!

-A large butter pecan frozen coffee with cream=1,160 calories, over 100% DV saturated fat, and 42 tsp of sugar.

-A Trenta smores Frappuccino= over 900 calories, over 100% DV saturated fat, and 30 tsp of sugar

So a few things to note-

These are the big drinks! Getting a small drink dramatically reduces all of sugar, fat and calories. Get a small, then drink water!

Ask for less- the sugar is added to each drink individually, often pumps of syrup- ask your server what the typical amount is and reduce from there, you may find you like it better with less sugar as you can taste the coffee more.

Reduce the fat- most places offering these sorts of drinks can substitute in lower fat and even skim milk- which not only makes a big difference in saturated fat, but also in calories.

Iced tea and other fruity cold drinks can have a lot of added sugar- ask if it is possible to get your favorite drink with less.

Staying home, but miss your favorites? Would love to treat yourself, but feel these drinks cost too much? Try making your own! There are a lot of copycat recipes on the internet, complete with healthy modifications that can fit your dietary needs and tastes. Try it out!

As always- feel free to reach out with questions and comments, I would love to hear from you!

June 15th: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

It is grilling season! I think we often think of protein when we think of the grill, but the grill can add a lot of flavor to vegetables (even fruit) and be a great way to work towards the recommended 2 ½ to 3 cups per day recommended. Vegetables are considered a nutrient dense food- a food that has a lot of nutrition per calorie. Eating a variety of produce is a great way to ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, as well as enough fiber. Making half of the food we consume vegetables and fruit is a good way to reduce our risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Wrapping vegetables in foil is a good way to grill them, but you get a steamed vegetable packet; a decent side dish, but missing that grilled smoky flavor. I often cook vegetables on a cooler part of the grill. Keep in mind how long vegetables will take to cook in the oven- a slab of sweet potato will take a lot longer than a sliced zucchini. Here are a few ways to try other vegetables on the grill:

  • Use a grill basket.
  • Cut slabs of vegetables and brush with oil and cook directly on the grill- try cauliflower, onions, sweet potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, or cabbage.
  • Leave some vegetables whole- see above, also green onions, asparagus, endive, corn on the cob, or cherry tomatoes still attached to stem.
  • Try grilling non-meat proteins, like tempeh or veggie burgers.

Another thing to try is grilling your dessert- slices of fresh pineapple, halves of peaches, or citrus fruit. You may want to omit oil and a sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of honey can enhance the caramelization on the fruit.

Keep food safety in mind while grilling- if you are grilling meat- do not use marinade used for meat on the vegetables (keep them separate as vegetables cook much quicker and may not come to safe temperature for bacteria found in meat). Also wash anything that has come in contact with raw meat or seafood in hot soapy water prior to using again.

Here is a link to black bean burgers from the MyPlate Kitchen:

Do you have a favorite grill recipe? Questions about grilling or food safety? Feel free to reach out to me, Jordy, Nutrition Educator, by email at I would love to hear from you!


June 8th: (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All!

I hope all is well! This week’s topic: hydration!

Being sufficiently hydrated is really important. Water is vital for our bodies in all of its functions. In a 2009 study, even mild dehydration (a 1-2% loss of body weight, which is typical of water loss during a modest amount of exercise, without regular rehydration, or just typical of one who does not drink enough water daily) participants demonstrated cognitive impacts, like negative mood, fatigue and confusion*.

The CDC lists these important functions the hydration plays in our bodies:

  • Keep your temperature normal
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
  • Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements

As a nutrition educator, I often hear people cite the “8 glasses of water a day” amount for being sufficiently hydrated, but the good news is that is not exactly correct, so do not feel overwhelmed if have had a hard time reaching that mark. The CDC does not actually recommend an amount- but recommends that everyone drink water daily. It is also recommended that you should intentionally consume additional water if you are physical exerting yourself, are in a very warm environment, or experiencing a fever or vomiting/diarrhea.

There is water in many foods that we consume- which is why there is probably not a specific guideline- diet plays a role in hydration. So while you should consume water regularly- also choosing foods like fruits and vegetables- will also help you to stay hydrated. Apples are 84% water!

Here are a few ideas to help you to consume extra water:

  • Carry a water bottle with you or keep a glass of water nearby.
  • Freeze a safe water bottle or add ice to an insulated water bottle for cold water when you are out and about.
  • Order water at restaurants to save money and calories.
  • Swap water for at least one sweetened beverage if you consume these regularly. One tall glass of water instead of a 20 oz. soda will save you around 240 calories a day!
  • Try seltzer water for something different.
  • Try adding lemon or lime (or other fruits, herbs and even veggies- see recipe) to your water to give it flavor without any added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Feel free to get in touch with questions or comments- Jordy at

Have a great week!


Fact Sheet:


Water With a Twist


Though there is not much variety of local food available yet- it is asparagus time! This is my first year getting actual stalks of asparagus in my garden- but I think we will only have a few. Here is a recipe in hopes you have more of it than I do, or pick some up from a farmer or at the grocery store.

Have a great week!

May 18th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All!

Between the beautiful weather and entering phase 1 of reopening, I think we are all pretty anxious to get out of the house. Many of us in the North Country are fortunate enough to have at least a small outdoor space, our own yards. If you are going into a public space- social distancing guidelines are still in place and there is still an individual and community risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. Here are a few guidelines from the CDC regarding how to reduce your risk for infection in public.

Shopping for food and other household essentials

Stay home if sick

Order online or use curbside pickup

  • Order food and other items online for home delivery or curbside pickup (if possible).
  • Only visit the grocery store, or other stores selling household essentials, in person when you absolutely need to. This will limit your potential exposure to others and the virus that causes COVID-19.

Protect yourself while shopping

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
  • When you do have to visit in person, go during hours when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late night).
  • If you are at higher risk for severe illness, find out if the store has special hours for people at higher risk. If they do, try to shop during those hours. People at higher risk for severe illness include adults 65 or older and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions.
  • Disinfect the shopping cart, use disinfecting wipes if available.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad). If you must handle money, a card, or use a keypad, use hand sanitizer right after paying.

Use hand sanitizer

  • After leaving the store, use hand sanitizer.

At home

  • When you get home, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Accepting deliveries and takeout orders

Limit in person contact if possible

  • Pay online or on the phone when you order (if possible).
  • Accept deliveries without in-person contact whenever possible. Ask for deliveries to be left in a safe spot outside your house (such as your front porch or lobby), with no person-to-person interaction. Otherwise, stay at least 6 feet away from the delivery person.

Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after accepting deliveries or collecting mail

  • After receiving your delivery or bringing home your takeout food, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • After collecting mail from a post office or home mailbox, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.


Bank online whenever possible

  • If you must visit the bank, use the drive-through ATM if one is available. Clean the ATM keyboard with a disinfecting wipe, if available, before you use it.
  • When you are done, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Getting gasoline

Use disinfecting wipes on handles or buttons before you touch them

  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons before you touch them (if available).
  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you get home or somewhere with soap and water.

Going to the doctor or getting medicine

Talk to your doctor online, by phone, or e-mail

  • Use telemedicine, if available, or communicate with your doctor or nurse by phone or e-mail.
  • Talk to your doctor about rescheduling procedures that are not urgently needed.

If you must visit in-person, protect yourself and others

  • If you think you have COVID-19, notify the doctor or healthcare provider before your visit and follow their instructions.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others while inside and in lines.
  • When paying, use touchless payment methods if possible. If you cannot use touchless payment, sanitize your hands after paying with card, cash, or check. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

Limit in-person visits to the pharmacy

  • Plan to order and pick up all your prescriptions at the same time.
  • If possible, call prescription orders in ahead of time. Use drive-thru windows, curbside services (wait in your car until the prescription is ready), mail-order, or other delivery services. Do the same for pet medicine.
  • Check with your doctor and pharmacist to see if you can get a larger supply of your medicines so you do not have to visit the pharmacy as often.

If you or a member of your household has signs of COVID-19, call your doctor first, instead of going to the office or the emergency department.

Call 911 if you believe it is an emergency.


Here are the recipes of the week: Red Potato and Asparagus Salad/Baked Rhubarb Recipes

Stay well! And as always, reach out to us at Extension with any questions or comments. I would love to hear what you have been cooking or answer questions about substitutions, food preservation, or ideas for random pantry items!


May 11th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all well! This week I would like to focus on the basics of label reading- largely because I have felt a little more relaxed in the kitchen (bedtimes have officially shifted with school out for the foreseeable future), meaning I have been looking at packaging more and taking note of the nutrition facts on the foods we eat.

Recently, all food manufacturers had to update their product nutrition labels to comply with new FDA guidelines. The “New” label looks a lot like the previous nutrition facts label, as you can see below. The changes are all meant to benefit the consumer by being easier to read and more reflective of consumer choices (some serving sizes changed) and consumer interest and needs (now includes more information, such as added sugar).

A few pointers for using the nutrition facts label:

  • Check the serving size! If you eat two servings, everything else on the label must be doubled. Many new labels will have a more reasonable serving size and also nutrition facts for eating an entire package of some foods.
  • Use the Daily Values! Instead of trying to remember how many grams of fiber you are aiming for or what your saturated fat limit is in grams- just look at the daily value- it’s an easy comparison tool. As a general rule of thumb: anything with 5% or less is low in that nutrient and anything with 20% or more is high. Do not forget to adjust the daily value to reflect your serving size.
  • Generally speaking, less saturated fat, sodium and added sugar is healthier- look for products low in those, while you want more, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Keep in mind that a label does not include every vitamin and mineral- but generally fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great choices.

For more information, check out this publication:

Here is a recipe:


May 4th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Seniors!

With a little extra time at home, this could be a great time to set some goals and work towards them with fewer distractions. Many of us want to make changes in our diet, but often get distracted by the hurdles life throws our way. This is a good time to focus on yourself and a goal and make steps towards that goal.

To goal set- first try to think about a positive change you would like to see. It is very helpful to frame a goal in a positive way, vs. a negative way. Often the outcome of a negative goal is positive, so it is the same idea, just framed differently.

For example: I would like to stop eating so many sweets.

This is negative; I am identifying what I want to stop doing. I happen to snack on sweets at night, before bed. To reflect a positive goal I could say:

I would like to choose healthier evening snacks.

Next make sure your goal is specific, both in the “what” and “when”. My goal: I would like to choose healthier evening snacks, is positive but could be more specific in both areas. The what here: healthier snacks, is not that specific. I know that I often eat less fruit than is recommended. So to make the what more specific: I would like to choose fruit as part of my evening snack. Now the when. It is evening, but realistically, I should start with a few days per week, work in more if I can. New specific goal:

I would like to choose fruit as my evening snack, Monday-Thursday, this week.

To make you goal successful, a few more tips:

  • Choose a goal that you enjoy (do not try to eat a food that disgusts you, or do an exercise that you despise).
  • Start small!
  • Pencil it in and share it! Post your goal where you can see it regularly and share it with a supportive friend.
  • Reward yourself- plan a time to reward yourself if you are having success and try to relate it to your goal. Examples: if you quit smoking, buy yourself a treat with the money you save, if you start taking a daily walk, get a new pair of sneakers.

Looking for some help to get that specific goal? You can always email myself, I have years of nutrition experience, especially in behavior change and would love to hear from you! You can also check out the USDA’s Choose My Plate Plan to get an individualized plan with targets for each food group and physical activity recommendations.

And a recipe:

Video and recipe. Feel free to substitute any vegetables that you see on this or add a little grated cheese, like mozzarella, if you do not have feta. This is an easy meal for 1 or 2 or for a whole family.


April 29th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

I hope everyone is well and staying safe. Remember we should continue to practice social distancing. That said, the weather is getting nicer- this is a great time to get started on yard work and maybe even a little gardening (I am still expecting frost). Yard work can be a great form of physical activity. Here are a few tips to stay safe and comfortable.

  • Use sunscreen.
  • Protect yourself from pests. For tick safety: Use an approved repellent on yourself and clothing. Tuck in clothing, including pants into socks. Wear light colors, so you can see ticks on you. Do a thorough tick check when you go inside. See Jolene’s tick talk for more information:
  • Stretch. After you warm up, do not forget to stretch. You may find stretching at regular intervals and switching activities periodically are useful to feeling good the following day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Bring a water bottle outdoors with you and drink often. It is easy to become dehydrated when working outdoors for long periods.
  • Use the proper tools. For safety and comfort, use the right tool for the job. Consider tools with easy to grip or ergonomically shaped handles and pads or stools if you are working on the ground or low levels. If you have trouble getting up, let someone know what you are planning to do and use any assistive device while outdoors, like a walker, which can help you to get back up.
  • If you have a family member or a friend coming to help- stay distant and use a mask if you will not be at least 6’ apart.

For nutrition this week: Peaches! It is almost time for fresh peaches to be in season, but keeping fresh, frozen and canned fruit is a great way to ensure you have fruit to eat every day.



April 20th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all well and continuing to practice social distancing. Keep in mind that distancing does not mean isolation. Most of us are feeling more isolated than usual with the disruption to our routines and limited contact with others, but here are a few safe ways to connect:

  • Write a letter. This is a great time to write to a friend of family member, even if you might interact via social media or other means. A written note, or even an email, can be a great way to spend a little time distracted from the larger world and focused on a loved one. Even if you are in regular contact, I am sure they will enjoy a surprise in their mailbox or inbox.
  • Have a distant meal. If you have the capacity to video chat, plan a time to sit down “with” someone you typically get together with. Chat as you enjoy your meal, or whatever you may typically do. Can’t video chat? Maybe have a driveway meal- get a good to go meal ready or even a cup of coffee on a nice day and hang out in your car, windows down in a friends driveway and chat.
  • Share. Have you been busy baking or crafting? Surprise your neighbors by dropping off a little treat. Make sure you do not get too close, but wearing a mask, you can knock on a neighbor’s door and back away allowing them to open and step out.
  • Join an online club or group. There are a variety of ways to connect online- don’t be afraid to try out a new way of connecting. Check in with your previous groups- they may be offering similar engagement online- like Mary’s fitness classes or the library’s book club.

Please remember while doing any of these, stay safe- keep 6 feet away, use a mask when in public, wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. But please, connect! It is very important for our wellness to do so and I bet whomever you are connecting with will be encouraged by hearing from/seeing you!

Food Tip: Broccoli 5 Ways


Have a great week! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello-


April 13th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you all are well. Today I thought I would talk a little about mental health and its impact on our physical health. I had the opportunity to take a whole health training while working at a mental health facility and the thing that struck me most as we learned about various ways to manage one’s whole health (and guiding those techniques in others) was how often cardiologist and cardiovascular studies were cited as evidence for the importance of managing mental health. Meditation and mindfulness were cited again and again as a healthy, safe ways to manage stress.

According to the American Heart Association, “Meditation and mindfulness are practices — often using breathing, quiet contemplation or sustained focus on something, such as an image, phrase or sound — that help you let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful.” Stress is something we all face, in varying degrees, every day. These days, the disruption to our regular schedules, anxiety about illness, lack of control and so many unanswered questions, we are all facing an additional load of stress. This manifests itself in a variety of ways mentally, but also impacts us physically, both in the short term and long term. This is a great time to try meditation and mindfulness.

When you begin these practices it can help to have guidance. Keep in mind it is a practice, which means you should do it regularly and will improve over time. As a response to Covid-19, NYS has made a portion of Headspace’s content available for free. Headspace is an online source for guided meditation and mindfulness activities. To try this, go to . There are a variety of formats, these recordings are just one way to start. Another great way to reduce stress is with mindful movement- like Mary’s Chair Chi class, now broadcast on Thursday mornings, from 9-10. Email Mary, to participate!

Food Tip:

Mindfulness can help you to make better food choices as well. Check out this info-graphic from The American Heart Association:


If you want to put healthier eating habits on the menu, mindfulness may be a simple and effective place to start! It's not about dieting or restriction- it's about taking a moment to take it in.

Try these easy ways to incorporate mindful eating into your day, so you can Eat Smart at every meal:

Ponder: Check in with yourself about your hunger before you eat- you may actually be thirsty, bored or stressed/

Appraise: Take a moment to take it in. How does it smell? Do you really want it? IS it more than you need?

Slow: Slow down so your brain can keep up with your stomach. Put your fork down between bites and focus on the flavor.

Savor: Enjoy your food. Take a moment to savor the satisfaction of each bite- the taste, texture, everything!

Stop: Stop when you're full- there's no need to join the clean plate club if it means overeating/

Try one or more of these tactics to help you eat more mindfully. And for more ways to be Healthy for Good, visit

April 6th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All,

I hope everyone is doing well. As always, feel free to reach out to me: with any questions or topics you would like to hear more about.

Food Tip:

Substitutions- Now is a good time to get creative in the kitchen. We should all being trying hard to limit our trips into public spaces, even essential ones, like grocery stores. So what can you do if you run out of a kitchen staple before you need to do a big shop? Substitute! Here are a few ideas (keep in mind, the substitution may not be perfect, but every trip out means potential exposure or potentially exposing others).

Eggs: here are a few ideas for baking without eggs. I have tried the first two and they work best in a recipe with only 1-2 eggs. The last idea can be whipped and used in a variety of ways.

  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed combined with 3 tbsp of warm water (let stand 1 minute before using)
  • ¼ applesauce or ½ mashed banana
  • Aquafaba- though you may not have heard of this, it is the liquid in a can of chickpeas or from cooking dried chickpeas. I plan on trying this next week (when my remaining fresh eggs will indubitably be hardboiled and decorated).

Dairy: Here are a few ideas for different dairy items.

  • Sour cream- try equal amount of plain yogurt (this will also add calcium!)
  • Milk- 1 cup = ½ cup of evaporated milk + ½ cup of water = 1 cup of water + 1 ½ tsp of butter
  • Butter- 1 cup = 7/8 cup oil + ½ tsp salt = 1 cup of coconut oil – I prefer this, because it is solid at room temperature like butter and gives the best texture result.

There are so many ways to substitute- check out this Extension publication for a very thorough list!

Physical Activity Tip:

Stay regular!

Hopefully we are all building a new routine by now. If you attended fitness class regularly prior to this period, you might want to schedule in regular physical activity alternatives to these. And yes, schedule them! Write down what you plan to do during the week and when. It is easy to come up with excuses to not exercise or simply let it slip your mind until another day has passed. Plan on being active regularly throughout the week, schedule it and stay committed. Actually have a day of the week and time of day, just like other important things we schedule. For example: M, W,F take a 30 minute afternoon walk, T, Th do the Chair Chi video posted below, also before dinner.

Stay well!


March 30th (Jordy Kivett)

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. Remember that social distancing is still in effect and it is very important for all of us to avoid contact with people outside of our households and limit our trips to public places. Again, please feel free to email me or call (518) 561-7450 to leave a message for me (I will receive the message remotely and be able to return your call). I would love to hear from you, either a hello, a question, or a topic you would like covered.

Food Tip:

Social distancing means less trips to the grocery store. If you do not make a shopping list- this is the time to start! Here are a few tips to consider when making a list:

  • Take inventory- see what you already have and make a plan to use those foods. This will help you to reduce food waste, make the best use of your storage space, and save money. For example, if you have some potatoes and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, you could add ground meat to your grocery list and make shepard’s pie.
  • Consider storage- if you are planning to shop infrequently, add fresh, frozen and canned foods to your list. Keep in mind what space you have in your freezer- do not buy more than it can hold. For example- green salad ingredients for the first few days, root vegetables and others that store well, like potatoes, carrots, beets, and squash, then frozen or canned vegetables for the following week(s). Fruits like apples and oranges keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Get out some favorite recipes and list the ingredients you will need, cross out things that you already have and add quantities to items you need- not only are you creating your grocery list but also a menu plan!

Health Tip:

Take a walk! Walking is a wonderful form of exercise and a good way to not only stay in shape, but also to relieve stress. Consider safety while walking- use any assistive devices you may need- remember a fall can be devastating to your health. A walker can be a real asset when you need a rest, as most have built in seats. Also- walk in well-lit area with highly visible attire- bright colors/reflective gear/lights if needed. If your street is not safe for walking, drive to a quiet place with a walking trail or sidewalk; just keep your distance if you cross paths with others. I find it nice to be out and wave and say hello, not to mention the exercise is important.


March 23rd (Jordy Kivett)

Hello All!

It is quite bizarre not seeing each other during this time. I hope everyone is well! I will be reaching out weekly with a brief post, a recipe idea and a wellness tip- similar to the handouts offered at our fitness classes. Feel free to share with anyone who may be interested and please reach out to me with any questions, concerns, or just to say hello! My email is I would love to hear your ideas, coping strategies, and questions (especially food related- I am a nutrition educator as well and love a good kitchen question!).

For this week- I would like to remind everyone to stretch. Often tension will display itself physically, as well as emotionally. So everyone reading this, try a few rounds of gentle shoulder rolls and some gentle neck stretches, remember look over the shoulder, hold and switch and then gently tilt your head/ear towards your shoulder, hold and switch. We often hold tension in our neck and upper back and these stretches will help with that.

Food Tip:

Take stock of your refrigerator! Now is a great time to reduce waste. If you have any fresh produce or other products that need to be consumed soon plan on using them soon. Many things can be frozen- remember to blanch your vegetables, fruit can be frozen once washed and trimmed, and many other products can be frozen as well. Email me with specific questions! Also stay tuned to the Nutrition Educators of CCE Clinton County on Facebook for a blanching video this week!

Health Tip:

Breathing! Try this as a way to relax and get better breathing habits, from the American Lung Association. Check out the video:

Pursed Lip Breathing:

This exercise reduces the number of breaths you take and keeps your airways open longer. More air is able to flow in and out of your lungs so you can be more physically active. To practice it, simply breathe in through your nose and breathe out at least twice as long through your mouth, with pursed lips.

Belly Breathing, aka D iaphragmatic Breathing:

As with pursed lip breathing, start by breathing in through your nose. Pay attention to how your belly fills up with air. You can put your hands lightly on your stomach, or place a tissue box on it, so you can be aware of your belly rising and falling. Breathe out through your mouth at least two to three times as long as your inhale. Be sure to relax your neck and shoulders as you retrain your diaphragm to take on the work of helping to fill and empty your lungs.


Last updated April 2, 2021