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Living Well In Yalobusha County

My guest writer this week is my good friend, Alice Anne Lee- MS, RDN, LD.  Alice Anne is the Registered Dietitian for Yalobusha Health Services and a member of The Coalition for a Healthy Yalobusha County. Her insight comes just in time for the holiday week, hope you enjoy:


The holiday season is a time to enjoy friends and family and to engage in giving and sharing; however, it is also the time of year when we have a tendency to overeat.  

Food is EVERYWHERE during this time of year, making it tough to stick to your healthful eating and exercise habits. Weight gain over the holidays is typically an accepted consequence for most of us because it is often accompanied by a New Year’s resolution to lose weight.  It is possible to limit this “predicted” weight gain by implementing some healthy eating techniques.

The holidays are a time for enjoyment, and indulging in those homemade treats that only come once a year, something we DO NOT want to miss.  Therefore, the goal will be to develop and follow a simple strategy to make the most of the calories you consume without feeling guilty or deprived.  By planning, budgeting, and managing portions of your favorite Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s foods, you can make it through the holidays without putting on extra pounds.  The following tips will help you manage your holiday eating:

1) BANK YOUR CALORIES – Eat a light breakfast and lunch to save more calories for the planned event that evening.  DO NOT skip meals or fast all day.  This may cause you to overeat later and skipping meals or going longer than 3-4 hours without eating can slow down your metabolism.

2) MANAGE YOUR PORTIONS – Choose smaller portions of high calorie dishes such as mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, casseroles and desserts.  Avoid second helpings if at all possible.  At special events, limit appetizers to one or two pieces, and skip the chips and nuts completely if you cannot stop at a single handful (This is a hard one for sure!).

3) BE MINDFUL OF HIGH CALORIE BEVERAGES – Just because the sugar is dissolved and not visible, does NOT mean it goes away.  The sugar is still in there so limit yourself or sip on water instead!

4) KEEP A FOOD DIARY – Writing down everything you eat and drink helps you keep track of your intake and helps keep you accountable, which may help you to eat or drink less.

5) BE SENSIBLE – If you only have the opportunity to sample Aunt Molly’s famous “Heavenly Hash Brownies” once each year, then go ahead and sample it!  Just remember a sample is a small piece, not two or three large ones.

6) BE HAPPY – Celebration is the reason for the season, so enjoy time with your family and friends and do not make it an opportunity to eat unlimited amounts of calories.  Plan celebrations that do not focus around food: a walk around town to view the decorations, an evening hayride, a “deck the halls” get together (it’s tough to overeat when you are busy decorating), etc.  Food and drink can be secondary to the main activity.  You will be having so much fun you will not have to worry about overeating!

Try these tips and start planning now to make this your most rewarding holiday season ever!

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving and a very merry Christmas!


• The next 4-H Family & Consumer Science Club meeting is scheduled Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Extension Office at 4 p.m.  Participants will be going to the nursing home in Water Valley at 4:30 p.m. to sing Christmas carols and pass out handmade Christmas cards.  All members, parents and volunteers are encouraged to come. 

Food for Families Food Drive is going on now thru Dec. 7.  Collection boxes will be located at the following locations: MSU Extension Office- Yalobusha County, Larson’s Piggly Wiggly, Blackmur Library, Swann’s Piggly Wiggly, and Coffeeville Public Library.  All food collected will stay in this area.  We will be using local food pantries as well as Compassion Ministry to distribute the food.

• Sewing for Service will meet on Monday, Nov. 26th at 10 a.m. at the Extension  Office.  We have the material and equipment we just need volunteers to help us sew.

• The Renasant Travel Program will be offered by the United Y.C. MHV Club and Renasant Bank on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. at the Multi-Purpose Building. This program is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

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