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Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, Don’t Gain



Article Published: Nov. 17, 2011 | Modified: Nov. 17, 2011

Most Americans gain a few pounds every year, with half of the weight gain occurring from mid to late November until early January.

The vast majority of people 60 and older are overweight, including 78 percent of men and 69 percent of women.

This year, don’t let your body accumulate unwanted pounds. The statewide Eat Smart, Move More NC movement is gearing up for the sixth annual “Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge.” This free, six-week challenge provides participants with tips, tricks and ideas to help them maintain their weight throughout the holiday season.

Free online sign-up is open at http://www.MyEatSmartMoveMore.com. Only an email address is needed to join. All participant information is kept confidential.

The challenge will begin on Nov. 21 and run through Dec. 31. Those who sign up early and complete the pre-survey will receive bonus healthy Thanksgiving recipes and a shopping list.

Each week, participants will receive free weekly emailed newsletters containing tips to manage holiday stress, ideas for fitting in physical activity during the busy season and resources for cooking quick and easy meals when time is in short supply.

A calorie counter, food log and activity log are also available for download to help people track their progress. Participants can connect with fellow challenge takers to gain extra support and encouragement on the Holiday Challenge blog.

Worksites can promote the challenge by downloading a free step-by-step Holiday Challenge Worksite Guide available at http://www.myeatsmartmovemore.com/HolidayChallenge/Promote.html.

In 2010, more than 4,900 people from 99 North Carolina counties and 40 other states took part in the challenge. At the end of the program, 80 percent reported maintaining their weight.

The “Eat Smart, Move More…Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge” is a part of the Eat Smart, Move More NC movement to increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities wherever North Carolinians live, learn, earn, play and pray.

Find out more at http://www.eatsmartmovemorenc.com.

One way to have healthy, home-cooked meals during this busy season is to prepare large batches of soup and either freeze for later or have available in the refrigerator for a quick meal within a few days. This cool weather chili recipe is a favorite that freezes well.

Chicken Chili MoleIngredients:Chicken and broth(Choose one of these two methods: When making soup with a chicken broth base, I like to boil a whole chicken the evening before I plan to make the recipe. I simply cover a whole chicken with water in a large pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer an hour. I separate the chicken from the broth and refrigerate overnight. When I’m ready to make the recipe, I take the chicken off the bones to chop and skim hardened fat off the broth.
If that process doesn’t fit into your schedule, you may purchase 3 pounds boneless chicken breast and cut into chunks and 4 cans of chicken stock.)

1 medium butternut squash2 chopped onions3 tablespoons minced garlic2 bell peppers, diced2, 15 oz. cans white beans, such as navy or great northern1, 15 oz. can garbanzo beans1 can chopped tomatoes1 small can chopped green chilies¼ cup olive oil4 tablespoons chili powderBig pinch cinnamon1 tablespoon powered cocoa1 teaspoon salt, optional and only if using homemade broth3 tablespoons white raisins

Peel butternut squash with a vegetable peeler and cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Add bell peppers and butternut squash, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. If you are cooking chicken breast instead of whole chicken, add to pot and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and turn heat up to high until it boils. Add the rest of ingredients and seasonings, including the cooked chicken, if you choose to use homemade broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.Great topped with cheddar cheese.

Margie Mansure, M.S., R.D,. is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. She offers personalized classes to improve the health of citizens in Watauga County through worksites, schools and community groups. You can email her at margie_mansure@ncsu.edu or call (828)264-3061.

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