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Hicks: Preparing for Holiday Gatherings and Upcoming Programs in January

By Johanna HicksTexas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County

Johanna Hicks

Five Ways to Prepare for Holiday Gatherings

The holiday season is here, along with fun, family, and or course, delicious foods. Food play a big role during the holidays as it bring traditions, comfort, and a sense of togetherness. It’s okay to enjoy your holiday foods, but keep in mind moderations is key. Aside from a well-balanced meal and eating in moderation, physical activity can also help us stay healthy during this time of year.

A few small changes can really make a big difference. Try these tips:

  • Try healthier dessert options – Include healthier ingredient alternatives. Try zests or spices for more flavor instead of added sugars or salt. Reduce the fat content in recipes by using applesauce or Greek yogurt in place of butter.
  • Eat well-balanced meals – Include dairy, grains, protein, vegetables, and fruits. Try to keep your eating balanced but still include those holiday favorites, as well.
  • Savor holiday foods – Instead of overconsuming them, eat slowly and make sure to eat these in moderation.
  • Include fun holiday activities to get moving – Get the family up and moving. Try an outdoor sport or turn on some tunes to get the dance party started.
  • Visit Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight program – Dinner Tonight offer delicious and budget-friendly recipes that are great to include in your holiday meals.

Check out some delicious recipes at

So, enjoy those traditional holiday foods and remember to get outside, stay active, and have a healthy and happy holiday season!

Two Exciting Programs in January

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension prides itself in offering quality workshops, program series, and other educational opportunities. Two exciting programs are currently open for registration, so I wanted to share these with you:

  1. “Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes” is a 4-lesson series targeted toward individuals with Type 2 Diabetes. Sessions will take place on Wednesdays, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. via Zoom. Spouses, caregivers, and family members are also welcome to participate. The series will be held virtually via Zoom, but please don’t let that keep you from participating! Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome to come to our office where I’ll be connected for the sessions. Topics and dates are:
  • January 6: How Food Affects Your Blook Glucose, Alicia Fowler, PA-C, Bonham Specialty Clinic
  • January 13: Eating the Right Amount of Carbs & Getting Active, Christian Graham, RDN, LD, CDES, Titus Regional Medical Center
  • January 20: Medications, Alicia Fowler
  • January 27: Complications & Celebrations, Sue Potts, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator, Hopkins County Health/Wellness Alliance

To register, please contact my office at 903-885-3443. Deadline to register is December 30.

  1. The 2021 Master Wellness Volunteer Initiative allows those who have a passion about health and wellness to share that passion with others via worksite wellness programs, community events, and more! The statewide cohort training will be presented in a hybrid manner. The first face-to-face session will be Tuesday, January 19, at the Hopkins County Extension Office, 1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs. The month of February will be individual online study. The final session will be face-to-face on Wednesday, March 3. To learn more about the Master Wellness Volunteer program, go to Hopkins County currently has some very active Master Wellness Volunteers who have contributed over 700 hours during 2020. We would love to have you join the ranks!

Comparison is the thief of joy

Theodore roosevelt

Contact Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, P.O. Box 518, 1200-B W. Houston St, Sulphur Springs, TX, 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected]

Author: Ross LaBenske

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