Don’t stress over diet during holidays

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Getting through the holidays can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You really can have your cake and eat it too. We recommend you focus on the goal of maintaining your weight, instead of struggling to lose weight. The holiday season really is not about depriving yourself or dieting. It’s a time to celebrate with family and friends, and to enjoy the festivities.

The challenge is to do it without gaining more weight. Therefore, the nationwide holiday challenge is a free, fun way to help avoid holiday weight gain. Everyone can participate, whether you are looking to lose a few pounds, maintain your current weight, or pick up new strategies to eat smart and to move more.

During the seven-week program that starts Nov. 18 and ends Dec. 31, participants will receive a weekly newsletter that contains practical tips, strategies, recipes and other information to help them successfully navigate their way through the holiday season.

Participants will also receive daily tips, weekly challenges and extra support through social media. In addition, participants can download and print activity logs, a weight log, and a food journal from esmmweighless.com to help them track their progress. Registration is free and easy with a valid email address. It is not too long to join, and participants can sign up at esmmweighless.com.

Try the following recipe courtesy of University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program at https://extension.umass.edu/nutrition/recipes. For more information on Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/persongranvillefcs or email jennifer_grable@ncsu.edu

Self-Crust Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Pie

Serves 8

2 large (or 3 medium) eggs

1 (15 oz.) can cooked pumpkin or sweet potatoes

1 cup non-fat dry milk powder

2/3 cup brown or white sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup water

Vegetable oil cooking spray

Mix all ingredients, except water, together in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water until well-mixed. Spray a nine-inch pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until knife is inserted 1 inch from the center comes out clean.

Nutrition Information: 180 calories, 2g fat, 180mg sodium, 2g fiber.

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