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Maintain Not Gain Weight This Holiday Season

The first day of November marks the start of the holiday season. This means parties, food and fun for the next two months. If you’re like most Americans, you may end up gaining between 1 to 5 pounds. It’s no surprise when many holiday dishes are high in calories, fat, and sugar. This season, strive to maintain not gain weight. Follow these simple strategies to help you be healthy and happy during the holidays:

  • Before your holiday feast, avoid skipping meals, which may result in overeating.
  • When you do eat, be sure to add high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods will fill you without all the calories.
  • Go ahead and enjoy the feast but watch your portions. A sliver of pie tastes just as delicious as a large slice!
  • Use smaller plates and avoid seconds (unless you’re going back for more tossed salad).
  • If you’re in a buffet, start with the salads and fruits.
  • Eat slowly and savor every bite.
  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

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Easy Guacamole

Cut avocado
Although avocados are high in fat, most of the fat is healthy mono-unsaturated fat. They are also cholesterol free, sodium free, and loaded with dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Two tablespoons of mashed avocado provide about 55 calories. Watch this video to learn the best way to cut and peel an avocado

Below is a delicious, healthy and fun recipe for guacamole that your children will enjoy helping you prepare.
 Easy Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1½ Tablespoon lime juice (or juice of 1 fresh lime)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel avocados and remove the pit.
    Peel and mince the onion and the garlic.
    Chop the tomato.
  2. Mash the avocado in a bowl (fun for the kids) and then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve cold with tortillas.

*To check if your avocado is ripe, push on it.  It will be firm on the outside, but there should be a little give when you push on it.

Video resource: How to Make Sanitizing Solution

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Wiping our kitchen surfaces down with a warm, soapy dish cloth removes the visible dirt and grime but doesn’t remove harmful bacteria and viruses. We need to sanitize our surfaces in addition to cleaning them. Watch to see how you can make your own inexpensive sanitizing solution:

“You” as the role model for physical activity

Family being active together
What is a role model? Someone you look up to, someone you want to model your life or actions after.  Many of us do not see ourselves as role models, especially in the area of physical activity.  With Hollywood actors and actresses portraying unrealistic images of attractiveness, and extreme sports being in the spotlight, it is hard to think about leading anyone, including yourself, to be fit. Fortunately, you do not have to spend hours at the gym to set a good example for others.  Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk after dinner, or attending a dance class consistently relays the message that physical activity is not only fun, but a part of daily life.   Influence the ones you love today by getting (and staying) active!

Back to School Snacks

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Check out our latest video, Back to School Snacks, here:

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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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