Online tips offered through Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge

Article Published: Nov. 29, 2012 | Modified: Nov. 29, 2012
Online tips offered through Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge

Judging from the number of swimmers in the pool at 7 a.m. Monday morning, I must not be the only one feeling a bit bloated after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Inadvertent weight gain is common over the holidays. To help people avoid this experience, the statewide Eat Smart, Move More NC movement offers the “Maintain, Don’t Gain! Holiday Challenge” annually.

Each week, participants 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. Participants may connect with fellow challenge-takers to gain extra support and encouragement on the Holiday Challenge blog.
Free online sign-up is open at Only an email address is needed to join. All participant information is kept confidential. The Holiday Challenge began Nov. 19 and runs through Dec. 31.

In 2011, more than 3,000 people from 95 North Carolina counties took part in the challenge, and more than half were first-time participants. At the end of the program, 89 percent reported maintaining their weight.

This recipe is featured on the website site this week. Adding tofu or cooked chicken and rice or potatoes after blending would make this a one dish meal.

Curried Carrot Soup

3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
8 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat oil and curry powder in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in carrots, celery and onion; toss to coat in oil. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; let stand 10 minutes. Blend in saucepan with an emersion blender. If you don’t have an emersion blender, working in batches of no more than 2 cups at a time, transfer the soup to a blender and puree (use caution when pureeing hot liquids). Return the pureed soup to the pan, place over medium heat and heat through. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information
Per serving: 133 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat); 4 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 389 mg sodium; 383 mg potassium.
Makes 6 servings.

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. For more information, email or call (828) 264-3061

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