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The holidays can be a rough time if healthy eating and an active lifestyle are your goals. It’s getting colder out, and we just aren’t as inclined to get outside and get some exercise. Not to mention the two to three month stint of decadent meals and drinks that are at our fingertips as a means of celebration. Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year. The cakes, the cookies, the pies…there’s nothing wrong with sampling a slice here and there, but if I am going to eat something sweet, I make a conscience effort to eat something sweet. But for a lot of folks, we eat things that have been sweetened with sugar and we aren’t even aware. Coffee and energy drinks, yogurt, frozen pizzas, even salad dressings can have a lot of sugar in them (personally, I would rather have a chocolate chip cookie to top off my meal versus a big spoonful of Ranch dressing as my dessert, how about you?).

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of fall! It is a time to visit with friends and family, the weather is just right, but most importantly you get to enjoy wonderful food! Thanksgiving begins the feasting season and if you’re not careful you may overeat on this day. Since this is a holiday, and it only comes once a year there is no need to deprive yourself. You just need to be conscious and go into the meal with a plan and stick to it. Below are some simple tips to help conquer portion control.

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Halloween is just a few days away and it is estimated that Americans spend approximately two billion dollars on Halloween candy each year. According to a poll conducted by Influenster, America’s favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and North Carolina’s favorite is the Butterfinger.

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It’s that time of year again!  The Fall season is upon us and we start seeing that word everywhere, “Pumpkin.”  It seems that many brand name products believe that everything can use a little bit of spice……that is, Pumpkin Spice.  So far this season I have found pumpkin lattes, pumpkin Oreos, pumpkin protein bars, pumpkin chips, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin Cheerios, pumpkin cookies, and the list goes on. For many consumers it’s all about the pumpkin signaling the beginning of the Fall season.  While many food industries take this ingredient to an extreme, and use it in many sugar filled products, let’s take a closer look at the pumpkin and it’s nutritious side.

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In addition to crisp, cool mornings and mountains painted in beautiful colors, fall brings a harvest of delicious fruits and vegetables. This bounty can bring interest to your meals in terms of colors, textures, and flavors. In addition, they are great sources of vitamins and minerals needed for good health including vitamin c, folate and potassium.  Many fruits also contain a lot of fiber.

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The Autumn season and all its glory is quickly approaching! So, whether you're pumped to get your yearly pumpkin fix (or maybe you would rather pass)  here are some tips and tricks to staying healthy this fall!

Seasonal Foods:

When you walk into a grocery store it's hard to keep in mind what’s in season and what’s not in season. Keeping this in mind is important; picking foods that are currently in season is key to getting the best produce you possibly can. Often times when you buy out of season produce ,the taste and other aspects can be compromised. Below is a list of produce that is in season during fall months and always remember “fresh is best”.

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Are you tired of making a mediocre salad? Salads can be very healthy for you, but we don’t always make them that way. Do you only have one or two colors on your salad or load it with a high calorie dressing or other high calorie foods? Some salads can cost you as many as 1,000 calories or more. Try following these simple steps to a healthier salad.

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