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Living Well in Yalobusha County

Food For Families Drive Ends Thursday

On Friday, December 1, the 4-H FCS Club visited The Ford Center on the Ole Miss campus to tour the Gingerbread Village.  The club has made Gingerbread Houses during their December meetings in past years, so this was a fun opportunity for the members to look at house designs, items used to construct the house and accessories used with the house.  Maybe next year the FCS 4-H club can enter their own house in the Gingerbread Tour.  

Food for Families Food Drive is still going on until December 8.  You can continue to drop non-perishable food off at the Extension Office, Coffeeville Public Library, Coffeeville Piggly Wiggly, Larson’s Piggly Wiggly and Blackmur Library. This project is sponsored by the United Yalobusha Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer (United Y.C. MHV) Club.

Healthy You exercise classes are free and meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 until 9:45 a.m. The nurse will be here Wednesday, December 14th at 8:45 a.m.  

The FCS 4-H Club members are selling stuffed Christmas tree ornaments that they made.  The price of the ornaments has been reduced.  They are $4 each for one or two ornaments, $3 for three to five ornaments and $2 for six or more ornaments. The ornaments can be seen on our Facebook page at MSU-Yalobusha County Extension Service or come by the Extension Office and pick out your favorite from our wide selection.  

Just because the holidays are here, doesn’t mean that you have to let good nutrition and healthy living take a backseat for a month!  Check out our Facebook page at MSU – Yalobusha County Extension Service for our “Maintain Don’t Gain” daily tips.   

Don’t forget we have a new program starting in January! Walk a Weigh is a nine-week nutrition education and physical activity program designed to promote healthy nutrition practices and increased physical activity through educational lessons and the creation of walking groups.  

The program will monitor participant’s weight each week and monitor participant’s glucose and blood pressure twice during the program.  The cost is $5 and the program is open to the public.  For more information contact me at the Extension office at 675-2730 or email me at  

Trim the Treats!

The holidays come upon us fast, and so can holiday weight gain… if you’re not careful. Below are some simple swaps to prevent “a little round belly that shakes when you laugh like a bowl full of jelly.”

1. Serve veggies and dip for appetizers. Pepper strips, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers look beautiful when arranged around a bowl of hummus or dip.

2. Swap plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in your favorite dips. Your guests likely won’t notice the change and they’ll get a nice dose of protein and calcium.

3. Sauté onions and garlic for stuffing in non-stick spray or low sodium broth in place of oil, butter, or margarine.

4. Try mashed sweet potatoes with orange juice, ginger, and cinnamon in place of marshmallows, brown sugar, and butter.

5. Use 1% or 2% milk in mashed potatoes in place of whole milk or heavy cream. This cuts calories and fat from the dish.

6. Keep seltzer water on hand for “mocktails”. Pour over ice and add a twist of lime. Voila! No hangover.

7. Use whipped butter or light margarine in place of stick butter. This reduces fat and calories.

8. Use reduced-fat mayonnaise in place of full-fat mayonnaise in dips and dressings. Olive oil varieties provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

9. Try a salad dressing spritzer in place of bottled dressings. Blend olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard together for your own dressing.

10. Substitute jarred baby prunes, mashed bananas, applesauce, or plain yogurt for the fat in baked goods (such as quick breads).

11. Split desserts with your spouse, a friend, or other party guests. You may not be hungry for a full piece of pie, anyway.

12. Chop vegetables and add them to soups, stews, salads, and casseroles. This boosts the fiber and nutrient content, and also adds color to your dish.

13. Add seasonal fruit such as apples, pears, or pomegranates to salads in place of dried fruit. This adds texture and taste to your salad while reducing added sugar.

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