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Live Mindfully

Both the amount and types of food we consume contribute to whether our way of eating is healthy. Check out this great handout from our colleagues at NC EFNEP with tips for how to smart-size your portions. A portion is what you serve yourself or what a restaurant gives you–you can also think of this as a “helping.” The reality is that a portion is sometimes larger than it should be. Use your hand as a guide to estimate a… Continue reading »

Not being able to spend time with friends and family can be difficult. Fortunately, these days there are a number of great ways to connect virtually. One of my favorites is a virtual game night. I used to love having game nights with my friends. Now that social distancing is the new normal, we still have game night, but on the computer.  There are a lot of free websites that have converted classic board games into online play. Schedule a… Continue reading »

Let’s face it, the holidays often revolve around activities and gatherings that include food. It can be difficult for those of us who are trying to make smarter, healthier food choices to be in environments where unhealthy sweets and treats are everywhere, especially when people we love are the ones offering us these foods.  Family food pushers are even trickier to deal with than co-workers or friends. Luckily, there are ways to avoid giving in to food pushers without causing… Continue reading »

COVID-19 has caused some of our favorite events to be either placed on hold or canceled completely. The NC State Fair is a longstanding North Carolina tradition that has been canceled this year for the first time since 1945.  Some people will miss the rides and the exhibits, but many people visit the fair just for its unique food offerings. Unfortunately, many times these highly sought-after foods are packed full of fats and sugars that are not our healthiest options.… Continue reading »

What’s up with vegetarianism? This year, vegetarian awareness week will mark me being vegetarian for 6 years. There are many reasons that people decide to stop eating meat – for me it was to lower my environmental footprint. For others, it can be a religious or cultural practice, a strategy to lower their grocery budget, an eating pattern to improve their health, or a way to avoid the harming of animals. There are a lot of subcategories of vegetarianism and… Continue reading »

September 12th is Mindfulness Day. Mindfulness is a key component of the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less and Eat Smart, Move More, Prevent Diabetes programs. Take a moment today or this week to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply defined as being present in any particular moment. To go deeper, it involves being conscious and accepting of one’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions during the moment. Mindfulness has been studied and practiced around the world to show the benefits in everyday… Continue reading »

Back to school season can be stressful in a normal year, but with COVID-19 and switching to virtual or hybrid schooling plans this year is bringing extra challenges. In our programs, we discuss the importance of mindfulness and managing stress as strategies to reach our health goals. Here are a few strategies that may help you manage stress and stay on track through this difficult time. Regular Exercise We know that exercise helps improve our physical health, but did you… Continue reading »

August 19th is National Potato Day and I could not be more excited. I love potatoes! They come in so many different sizes, colors, and shapes. You can cook and bake them in so many ways. I taught ESL classes in Washington, DC and I found that almost every culture has some version of a potato or potato-like food. Idaho has always been on my list of places to visit because it grows the most potatoes in the US. I… Continue reading »

Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to disconnect from your social support systems. It has, however, challenged us to become more creative in our communications with friends and loved ones. Feeling the distance can be difficult at times, but there are plenty of ways to help the distance feel shorter, and social support systems feel stronger during times of social distancing. Shorten the distance by hosting a virtual cooking party with friends/family. Scheduling a virtual meeting with friends/family is a… Continue reading »

This is the final blog in a three-part series. My last two blogs focused on nutrition and self-care, check them out if you’re interested. “I can’t stop eating….I’m always eating.“ I am continuing to unpack the common situation of always eating. To do this, we have to look at the interplay between nutrition, self-care, and coping with emotions. Today I will look at my favorite topic which is coping with emotions without using food. Eating has an emotional component. Much… Continue reading »