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Baltimore County News

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Keyword: holidays

photos of four helathy plattersPractical Tips for Eating Healthy

As we approach this holiday season enjoying friends, family, and food, we no longer have to dread succumbing to the anchor of overindulgence. Though it’s common for weight gain to occur over the holidays, a few simple strategies can help avoid this.

Start with Breakfast

While our minds may be focused on preparing for a big holiday feast, try not to skip meals throughout the day as this can lead to overeating. Individuals who consume breakfast tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Breakfast is especially important, because it has been shown that individuals who eat breakfast tend to consumer fewer calories throughout the day.

Including fiber in the holiday meals is also a great way to satisfy your hunger. The high fiber foods also tend to be lower in calories. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains naturally contain substantial amounts of fiber.


Since holiday meals tend to be large, it’s a common mistake to eat large portions of foods that are perceived as healthy. Though some are nutrient-rich, they also have calories and should be eaten in moderation. An example would be sweet potatoes. They are nutrient-rich, yet also are equal in calories to a white potato. Moderating  portions will allow you to also include dessert.

To avoid overeating, try using smaller plates. This allows you to put less food on your plate and encourages you to pay attention to your portion sizes. It’s also helpful to fill your plate with vegetables and salad before the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall.

Most importantly, try to savor every bite and eat slowly. This is called mindful eating. It helps you pay closer attention to your hunger and satiety cues before, during, and after your meal. When desiring seconds, try to wait a few minutes to see if you are truly still hungry. If it’s a mental urge and not a physical one, the feeling may pass.

After dinner, see if you can gather people to go for a walk or play an easy sport with kids.

Stay Balanced

Every effort to stay balanced through this holiday season will allow you to ease into a healthy new year! Instead of resolving to punish yourself with intensive dieting and exercise come January, begin to aim for moderation now. Then, you can enter the New Year maintaining that balance and gradually pursuing additional health goals.

By Ingrid Beardsley, RD, LDN, Nutrition Program Manager
Baltimore County Department of Aging

County Christmas treeFeatures Santa, Towson U. Marching Band, Holiday Musical Performers

Baltimore County's Annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony will take place next Friday, November 20, at 6 p.m.

It will be held in the downtown Towson shopping district at Olympian Park, located at the corner of Allegheny Avenue and the traffic circle. This year’s festivities will include a holiday performance by the 250-member Towson University Marching Band, Santa and Mrs. Claus arriving on a fire truck, free hot chocolate and pastries, and holiday musical performances.

Musical performers include the Perry Hall Middle School Choir and the  Anna Apicella School of Dance.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will preside over the official lighting of the Baltimore County Christmas tree at approximately 6:20 p.m.

Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Immediately following the tree lighting, the Towson Chamber of Commerce will host a Santa's Workshop featuring free visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as holiday musical performances. Santa's Workshop is located across York Road from Olympian Park at 1 E. Joppa Road (next to Barnes and Noble). Parents should bring their own cameras if they'd like photos of their children with Santa

Temporary Road Closure and Free Parking

To accommodate the event, Allegheny Avenue will be closed to traffic from Washington Avenue to the traffic circle from 4 until approximately 8:30 p.m., that evening.

Mid-Atlantic Properties will offer free parking from 5 to 9 p.m., at 111 Allegheny Avenue.

Thank You to Event Sponsors

The event is organized by the Towson Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and Baltimore County Government. Sponsors include 101.9 Lite FM, Mid-Atlantic Properties, Zerodraft, Trends, the Baltimore Sun Media Group and Towson Circle. Refreshments are being provided by the Towson University Marriott Conference Hotel, Sheraton Baltimore North, La Cakerie and Cunningham’s Kitchen. 

A Season of Celebrations in Towson

The Christmas tree lighting event kicks off the Towson Chamber of Commerce’s WinterFest 2015 – a series of holiday-themed events that serves as an open invitation for families to visit restaurants and shops while seeing the new developments around the Towson community. Members of the community are encouraged to come down and get acquainted with the talking reindeer Beau and Tinsel, visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, have breakfast with Frosty and the Grinch, create holiday gifts in Santa’s Workshop, and participate in many other festive activities!

More Information

For more information about this event and Towson Winterfest, a month-long series of holiday events, contact the Towson Chamber of Commerce online or call them at 410-825-1144.

Image of boy holding a plastic jug and tin can

Tyler McCafferty
Bureau of Solid Waste Management, Recycling Division Intern

With 2014 just around the corner, it’s time to start brainstorming some New Year’s resolutions! This year, why not make a resolution that will not only benefit you, but also the world around you? We would like to encourage you and your loved ones to make a resolution to recycle more in the upcoming year. Up to 50 percent of the material the average household throws away is recyclable, but the county’s residential recycling rate for 2012 was only 14 percent.

Recycling benefits the environment in a multitude of ways. Recycling used materials allows us to preserve natural resources for the future. It also curtails pollution by reducing the demand to extract, transport, and process raw materials, saving valuable time and energy. Choosing to recycle materials rather than disposing of them relieves pressure on the County’s only active landfill, which is already half full. The more material residents recycle, the longer we will be able to delay the need for the construction of a new County landfill.

If you’re still not convinced, you may be interested to know that with the recent opening of the county’s new single stream Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Cockeysville, recycling has become even better for the county’s bottom line. Now that Baltimore County can sort its own recyclables internally, the county not only avoids a hefty disposal cost for this material, but is now able to earn revenue from the sale of these recyclables. Recycling also prompts the development of “green technology,” stimulating innovation and spurring the creation of more “green” jobs.

Given the ease of the single stream recycling system and the countless benefits of recycling, we hope that you will resolve to recycle more in 2014 and help boost Baltimore County’s residential recycling rate! From the Recycling Division of the Bureau of Solid Waste Management, we hope you have a happy, healthy and sustainable New Year!


Revised April 6, 2016