Sunday, November 22

Thanksgiving and Christmas eating without the weight

By Celia Jackson
Nutrition Educator

A study conducted by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shows that Americans gain about one pound during the winter holiday season, this is big differences from the previously belief of five to ten pounds.  However, this does not mean we can have more to eat this Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday.   A weight gain of one pound during the winter holiday season can accumulate and eventually lead to obesity.  Remember, it is always easier to gain weight than to lose weight. 

The average holiday dinner equals to about 3,000 calories and 230 grams of fat and this is only one trip to the dinner table. Therefore, if you eat twice on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day you have potentially consumed 6,000 calories and 460 grams of fat. To avoid consuming so many calories try some of these Holiday Survival Tips:

  • Eat a light, healthy snack before dinner.  This will help curb you hunger.
  • Use smaller dishes to serve your dinner.  This will help control portions.
  • Limit alcohol and only drink diet sodas or water.  This will help eliminate some calories.
  • Try using healthier recipe substitutions, such as Splenda instead of regular sugar. (Healthy Ingredient Substitutions will be in next week tips)
  • Remember to celebrate and focus on what the holidays are really about, spending time with family and friends.

* Sources: American Dietetic Association and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Contact Celia Jackson, MPA, LDN, RD, FF-NEWS Nutrition Educator, East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana Parishes, (225) 389-3055 or

Wednesday, November 18

Enjoy Healthy Holiday parties

By Celia Jackson

Nutrition Educator

The holiday season is here, and with the holiday season comes the joyful holiday parties.  If you are like many people, you will attend a holiday party or two during the months of November and December where the menus at these parties ordinarily will not include the most figure-friendly foods.  So here are some tips to enjoying the party without throwing your healthy diet out the window:

  • Go easy on the alcoholic drinks. Remember alcoholic beverages provide calories.
  • Eat a snack or a salad before attending the party, this will curb your appetite.
  • Remember your portion sizes.
  • Try only one dessert, if several choices are available.
  • Avoid overeating by doing activities such as socializing and dancing.

 Keeping these simple and easy tips in mind will help you to enjoy your holiday parties without regret.  Remember to keep up with your exercise routine during the holiday season.  

To avoid a break in your routine, plan ahead.  Develop a workout plan specifically for the holiday season and avoid making excuses for not exercising.  

When developing a workout plan consider your family’s holiday arrangements. Try to make adjustments to your workout plan to accommodate these arrangements. 

Use this time to experiment with new activities, such as dancing, Pilates, yoga, jump roping, or mall walking.  Invest in some dumbbells and a stash of fitness DVDs to create a at home gym.    

You can also exercise throughout the day.  Try exercising for 15-minute intervals at least 2-4 times throughout the day.  Also, don’t count out the family! Build your exercise routine around family time.  Exercise as a family. This allows you to spend time with your family while becoming physically fit and showing your children model behavior.  Remember, some physical activity is better than none. Continue to motivate yourself by thinking of all the benefits you will enjoy from exercising on a regular basis.

For more tips, contact  Celia Jackson, MPA, LDN, RD, FF-NEWS Nutrition Educator, East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana parishes, (225) 389-3055 or

Tuesday, November 17

Harrell takes Smoke Out, CoC Network message to airwaves

Communities of Color Network Region 6 coordinator Shawntell Lewis Harrell joined local radio station personalities in promoting this week's Great American Smokeout challenge. Harrell also shared the  information on the CoC Network and its 100% Tobacco Free Church initiative. Hear the interview here. For more information on the Great American Smokeout, visit 

Monday, November 16

Take better digital photographs

The Southern University Ag Center professional development speakers series brings the second "How to Use a Digital Still Camera" lesson on Thursday, November 19, at 3:30pm in Room 191 of the Ag Center. Chris Rogers, director of technology services, will teach the Rule of 3s; how to set the computer, download, save and email pictures; and proper camera care. This is a hands-on training, come with your camera and all accessories.

Parish seminar to address community needs

Map of Louisiana highlighting Calcasieu ParishTo answer requests from Calcasieu parish residents, the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center will host a free parish seminar on Thursday, December 10.

partnerships among business leaders, policy makers, and residents.This seminar will address specific needs of Calcasieu parish and identify various resources available within the parish and state. Participants will also establish ways to develop 

“Public dialogues like this enables communities to bring about specific changes and improvements that are needed within Calcasieu,” said Kenyetta Smith, Ph.D., community and economic development assistant specialist, Southern University Ag Center. “It also allows the residents to develop businesses, gain more money from taxes, improve their health, and locate resources for community needs,” she said.

Speakers will discuss the Diabetes Education Empowerment Program, 
Earned Income Tax Credit, healthcare and the community, 
grant opportunities for non-profit organizations.

The seminar begins at 8:45am at the Living Word Dream Center, 1639 Ryan St.
 in Lake Charles. To register, contact Carol Sensley, assistant area agent, Southern University Ag Center, at (337) 475-8812 ext. 15

Friday, November 13

What TI won't tell you

watch.jpgSU Ag Center and Communities of Color Network supporter Dr. Victor DeNoble candidly reveals how the tobacco industry targets African Americans for its poisonous cigarette sales. DeNoble is the famed whistleblower against the tobacco industry (TI). His lawsuit resulted in the industry being fined billions of dollars. View it at The Truth about Menthol. For more information on CoC Network, read

Thursday, November 12

Tree planting honors plasticulturalist, entomologist

Elementary and middle school students will join researchers at the Biosecurity Symposium in planting a Bald Cypress tree in front of Southern University’s horticulture building, at noon today, near the Southern University Ag Center.
The tree planting honors the life and research of plasticulturalist Clauzell Stevens II (pictured at top) and entomologist Lincoln Moore (pictured at bottom).

“We are recognizing these gentlemen’s outstanding research and contributions to research education and outreach, ” said Daniel Collins, symposium organizer and urban forestry professor at Southern University. “They have been dedicated mentors who have encouraged so many young, African Americans to go into entomology and plant pathology as careers.”

Stevens’  research in plasticulture and post harvest pathological studies became legendary. He pioneered the application of low dose UV-S to control decay and spoilage, while improving shelf life of fruits and vegetables. His research spearheaded a new nonchemical technology that are now practiced in Italy, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Mexico, Spain, Isreal, Canada and Turkey.

Moore was a survey entomologist for the US Forest Service and the Plant Data Center on Southern’s campus. His research focused on plant protection and designing strategies for insect control.

The Stevens and Moore families, researcher mentees including Jimmie Alphine with the United States Department of Agriculture, and current graduate students will also attend the ceremony.

For more information, contact Daniel Collins, Ph.D., (225) 771-2242 or

Wednesday, November 11

Annual Livestock & Poultry Quiz Bowl scheduled

The 3rd Annual Livestock & Poultry Quiz Bowl will be held Friday, November 13, 2009 at 9am in the Southern University Ag center studio. Teams will travel from North Central High, Church Point High, Clinton High, Northwest High, Port Barre High, and West Feliciana High schools. Contact Renita Marshall DVM, livestock show programs director, (225) 771-2242 ext. 330 or

Friday, November 6

Fall Horse Clinic scheduled for Nov. 14

Area horsemen are invited to bring their herd to the Southern University Ag Center's Fall Horse Clinic on Saturday, November 14, 8 am -  noon, at the M.A Edmond Livestock Arena in Alsen, Louisiana.

Staff from the Livestock Show Programs Office and Center veterinarian Renita Marshall will administer vaccinations, Tetnus shots, micro-clipping, and Coggins exams.

"This is an affordable opportunity for our herdsmen to take care of their horses and to insure that the herd stays healthy this winter," said Christie Monroe, assistant director, livestock show programs.

Contact Monroe at (225) 771-2242 ext. 328 or for more information on registration and fees.

Wednesday, November 4

Chancellor's Wellness Challenge Tip 1: Portion Control

By Celia Jackson
Nutrition Educator

Practicing portion control can be the start of developing healthy lifestyle habits.  You have all heard the saying, “no food is bad food, as long as you practice moderation.”  This statement is true when practicing portion control.  Controlling your food portions involves being knowledgeable of what the correct food portions are.    However, knowing correct portions and actually observing correct portions on your dinner plate can seem distorted.  In the nutrition education community this is referred to as “portion distortion.”  Do not become a victim of portion distortion.  Use the following links as simple on the go guides of correct portion sizes:

To prevent portion distortion follow these tips:

  • ·       Practice using measuring cups and spoons to portion out your food.  This will allow you to actually visualize the correct food portions.
  • ·       Weigh your portions (if you have a scale available).  If you do not have a scale compare your food portions to common items such as a standard deck of playing cards, which represents a 3oz serving of meat.   Other examples are available in the guides referenced above.
  • ·       Use a smaller plate.  The standard dinner plate is too large.  The smaller plate provides less space to add more food.
  • ·       Use plastic snack size bags to pack snacks for school or work.  Having the entire package of snack crackers may tempt you to eat more.  Leave the box at home and pack a 1-2 oz portion in a plastic snack bag.
  • ·       Continue to use measuring cups and spoons to portion out your food occasionally.  As we discontinue this practice our portions tend to get larger.  Using the measuring cups and spoons will serve as a reminder of the correct portion.
  • ·       When eating out request a take-out box when your entrĂ©e is served.  Removing half of the large restaurant portions before you start eating will prevent you from overeating.
  • ·       At fast food restaurants stay away from the Biggie and Supersize options.  Avoiding these options will prevent consumption of extra calories and will save you money.
  • ·       Prepare a healthy plate.  A healthy plate consists of ½ vegetables and/or fruits, ¼ starches, and ¼ meats or other protein.

Contact Celia Jackson, MPA, LDN, RD, FF-NEWS Nutrition Educator, East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana Parishes, (225) 389-3055 or