Sunday, November 23, 2014

‘Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less’

Extension agent: ‘Eat Smart, Move More, Weight Less’ for holidays

By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

As the holiday season approaches, Mary Morris is helping others to enjoy their favorite dishes while not adding on pounds.
Promoting a healthy diet and exercise, it is vital to “incorporate things you enjoy,” said Morris, area extension agent, family and consumer sciences for Chowan and Bertie Counties.
Morris is instructing a Holiday Cooking School in Chowan and Bertie beginning on Nov. 19. The classes will focus on a variety of topics including: cooking on a budget, healthy substitutions for traditional recipes and innovative time saving recipes.
Morris said it is important to manage portion control and use healthy substitutions while planning and consuming meals especially during the holiday season when many people often gain up to five pounds.
To curb added consumption of calories, Morris suggests eating your vegetables first before filling up on breads and stuffing.
“Eat sweets in moderation,” said Morris.
For the last five years Morris has also instructed the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program.
The program is offering a free Holiday Challenge which people may register for online at Morris said people may also call her to sign up for the Holiday Challenge at 482-6585.
“The program’s motto is maintain, don’t gain,” said Morris. Morris said by registering for the Holiday Challenge, people will receive weekly newsletters and tips about healthy living during the holiday season.
The extension agent said the best aspect of her job is “working with people,” and helping them make changes in their lives to become healthier.
Morris lives with her husband and two children in Edenton. Morris said she likes to involve her children in the kitchen exposing them to healthy choices for preparing meals.
“I really enjoy being physically active,” said Morris who attends an adult dance class in Hertford.
Morris said when searching for exercise and sports activities it is helpful to reflect on what you found fun as a child and then find a similar outlet as an adult.
At home Morris enjoys experimenting with cooking and searching online sites like for new recipes.
If you make healthy lifestyle changes in moderation and incorporate the things you enjoy “you will be successful,” said Morris.
For more information about the programs visit

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