FRESNO, Calif., Dec. 17 -- It's customary for the holidays to wreak havoc on healthy habits. Just like any busy time
of year, workouts often get short-changed and nutrition is left to chance. But according to celebrity fitness trainer Valerie Waters
, it is not impossible to enjoy the holidays without throwing wellbeing out the window. That's why California Raisins and Waters have teamed up to offer advice on how to make wise choices during the holiday season and get a jump start on New Year's
fitness and healthy-eating resolutions.
"California Raisins are fat free, contain antioxidants and offer energy for busy families, making them an ideal ingredient for holiday dishes or a convenient on-the-go snack," says Waters. "With the many benefits of California Raisins, we hope families will enjoy a healthy holiday season and jump start 2010 on a nutritious track."
With a motto of, "You're only one nutritious meal away from a healthy diet" and "You're only one workout away from getting back on track," Waters believes there is no better time to begin making wise choices than the present.
"The hustle and bustle of the holidays, or any busy time of year, is no excuse for abandoning healthy habits," says Waters. "Instead, it's time to modify. Be realistic and know that some exercise is better than none and you can still enjoy seasonal treats – in moderation – with a few simple guiding principles."
Following are some tips from Waters on how to begin making wise choices right now:
- Eat First! Fit people know that if they want to avoid party-food binging, they better eat before they partake in holiday festivities. One of the biggest holiday mistakes you can make is to "save calories" during the day in order to feel okay about abandoning your diet at a cocktail party. One simple snack Waters recommends to her clients is a snack of a small baggie of California Raisins and almonds. The sweet snack contains both fiber and protein which will promote fullness and keep them from over-indulging.
- Know Your Food. A good rule of thumb when navigating those holiday buffet tables (or party platters in general) is to avoid foods that include ingredients that aren't easily identifiable. Instead, opt for simple foods like lean meats and veggies. You can enjoy a glass of champagne, a few shrimp cocktails and a handful of veggies for a lot less calories than a gin and tonic, a serving of calorie-laden dip or a dunk into the fondue. With just a few bites, the wrong foods can easily undo your diet or workout for the day.
- Stick to the Plan (or at least plan B). During the holidays, and other busy times of the year, workouts often get short changed – or sacrificed all together. A short workout is better than no workout at all, and consistency is key. So even if you only have ten minutes to spare, move your coffee table to the side and make some space to do an at-home workout.
- And, keep in mind – no workout in the world can compensate for consistently unhealthy eating choices. Food and fitness go hand in hand and that is why Waters encourages her clients to make wise choices, such as selecting plenty of veggies, whole grains and fruits, like California Raisins; just 1/4 cup equals a full serving of fruit.
- Max on the Muscle. When time is limited, the tendency is to only work out problem areas like our stomachs or hips. Instead of doing crunches, which burns very little calories, a more important objective is to work as many muscle groups as you can in the time you have available. Following are two workouts that can be completed in 15 minutes while working out all of the main muscles groups. To watch a video of these workouts, visit LoveYourRaisins.com:
- Squat & Row – This exercise works out your legs, glutes, abdominals, back, and arms. Anchor a stretch band with handles around a heavy object or use a door attachment. Hold the handles of the band as you sit back into a squat position, with arms extended on front of you. When you stand up (come up from your squat) pull your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- "T" Push up – This exercise will work out your chest, shoulders and core. Get into push up position. Lower yourself until your chest is 2" from the floor, and push back up. Make sure to keep your head in a neutral position. As you push back up, bring your right arm off the floor and turn your body in order to extend that right arm straight toward the ceiling. Lower arm back down to the floor, and back down into a push up. As you come up bring your left arm off the floor and turn your body in order to extend that left arm straight toward the ceiling. Continue to alternate between sides for remaining reps.
For more healthy living tips from Waters, at-home fitness videos and nutritious recipe ideas, visit LoveYourRaisins.com.
About the California Raisin Marketing Board
A State Marketing Order in 1998 created the California Raisin Marketing Board and it is 100 percent grower funded. Its mission is to support and promote the increased use of California-grown raisins and sponsor crop production, nutrition and market research. For more information about the California Raisin Marketing Board and to browse delicious recipes, visit LoveYourRaisins.com.
SOURCE California Raisin Marketing Board