Holiday Health Challenge Preview

Have you had a moment to check out the Holiday Wellness Challenge?

The Holiday Wellness Challenge offers a fun way keep your clients on track during the holiday season. After all, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Americans gain an average of .4 to 1.8 pounds each year during the holidays. With a little know-how and some fun strategies, this weight gain can be avoided.

To get the details about the Holiday Wellness Challenge, check out the post Holiday Wellness Challenge over in the Food and Health blog.

And for an even closer look, I want to offer a preview of one of the chapters today!

Here’s the first handout from Chapter Five: Jump Start Your Breakfast. Feel free to download it and distribute as you see fit!

Jump Start Breakfast

Why Care About Breakfast?

Life is busy, and busy often ups its game during the holidays. Between parties, family projects, decorations, and shopping, something has to give. Breakfast should not be it.

Why? Here are some top reasons to care about breakfast…

  • Breakfast offers key nutrients that will give you energy. Plus, with the right foods, you won’t get hungry on your way to holiday activities and errands.
  • Furthermore, when you make healthful choices at breakfast, you start the day on the right foot. It’s easier to stick to good habits that way.

Breakfast Facts:

Having breakfast every morning kick-starts your metabolism.

Studies indicate that people who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to get diabetes.

78% of the people in the National Weight Control Registry make a healthful breakfast part of their daily routine.

Breakfast is associated with a lower BMI, fewer calories consumed during the day, and a better diet.

Breakfast is a great opportunity to increase your consumption of fiber, whole grains, fruit, and low-fat dairy.

A healthful breakfast not only gives you energy, but also increases cognitive function.

A New Path to More Fruits and Vegetables

Star fruitHave you ever seen the book 1001 Foods to Die For (2007 Madison Press Books)? A friend gave me this book, which features a collection of unique foods, rare ingredients, and exquisite recipes. We’ve had a lot of fun looking at the pictures and counting how many of these foods we’ve eaten. I’m only on 276 of the 1,001, so I’d better get busy.

Fruits and vegetables make up most of the items in this book. Some are exotic and others are more common, but all are considered special by the authors. I consider myself a “foodie” and even I have barely heard of many of these!

This got me thinking about what fruits and vegetables we do eat regularly.

Like most Americans, my grocery cart usually has bananas, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and the occasional bundle of asparagus, avocados, or peppers. Over time, I’ve found myself in a bit of a shopping and cooking rut. No wonder people have trouble filling half their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal! As much as I like these foods, eating them over and over again can get boring.

So how can we encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables?

How about with a new checklist or quiz? The book 1001 Foods to Die For has over 75 entries in the Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables chapter, and I’ve narrowed the list down to 30. How many of these foods have you tried? How many have your clients tried?

New Food Checklist

You can also use this list to inspire your clients. Have your students make their own lists of 12 foods they’d like to try this year. That could be just one new food each month!

The “I want to try list” doesn’t have to be from this list, feel free to let them add some of their own foods and leave space for “surprises” or yet-unknown foods.

Who knows, they might just add a new favorite to their you see something you haven’t tried before, buy it and try. Who knows, you might just add a new favorite to your fruits and vegetable repertoire of foods they like.

By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University

We’re here to help you look your very best, right now. Here are some other fun resources to help your clients try new fruits and vegetables…

Fruit and vegetable posters

New products:

Fruit and Vegetable Challenge