Archive | November, 2014

The 100-Calorie Workout

22 Nov


The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day!! This Thanksgiving we challenge you to stay active all day long. Try doing this 100-calorie workout five times throughout the day to burn a quick and easy 500 calories!!

The 100-Calorie Workout:

  • 40 Jumping jacks
  • 30 Crunches
  • 20 Squats
  • 10 Push-ups

Start A New Thanksgiving Day Tradition

15 Nov


Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and give thanks while making new memories. This year we challenge you to start a Family Thanksgiving Journal. Grab a blank notebook or start a document virtually and write down everyone’s thanks for this year. Store your notebook or save it in a safe place so you know where to find it when you continue this tradition next year.

  • “I am thankful this year because _____”
  • “This year _____ was the best thing that happened to me because _____”
  • “I love my family because _____”
  • “I love myself because I am _____”
  • “I am extra grateful for _____ because he/she taught me that_____”

10 Tips to Keep off the Holiday Weight

8 Nov


10 Tips to Keep off the Holiday Weight

By: Valerie Bannos, DTR

The holidays are full of family, fun, and immense amounts of decadent food. Around this time we tend to self-indulge and overeat as we get lost in the holiday spirit. However, with these few key tips, you can avoid weight gain all throughout the season and still have a great time.

  • Exercise in the morning. Studies show people who exercise in the morning tend to be more conscious of healthier choices throughout the day. Exercise releases feel-good endorphins and that feeling will stay with you for hours.
  • Do not show up starved! Eat a well-balanced breakfast to hold you over until meal time. Typically, holiday meals are eaten between 2 and 6pm so fuel up ahead of time with your favorite healthy foods to ward of overeating at the table.
  • If asked (or offering) to bring a side or dessert, choose one that is typically made unhealthy and tweak it! Use smaller amounts of processed carbohydrates and replace with either whole grains or vegetables. Cut down on the amount of sugar used and add more spices to let the flavors shine through.  Best yet, bring a fruit or veggie tray so it’s guaranteed there will be one (and eaten by you!).
  • Stop and think before you chew. Scan the entire buffet table for the foods you’re most in the mood for–listen to your stomach, mind, and taste buds. This will help to avoid loading your plate up with empty calorie foods and foods you don’t really want to eat.
  • Try not to graze or sit/stand near the table until dinner is served. If you find yourself picking at the buffet table, there are a few things you can do: choose the fresh vegetables and fruits, drink a glass of water instead to curb your appetite, or simply walk away and help, chat, or play with the kids.  It only takes seconds for your cravings to subside and turning your attention elsewhere will help with this.
  • Watch your alcohol consumption. Many alcoholic drinks provide empty calories and they inhibit your judgement on when to stop eating as well as lead to increased mindless nibbling. A standard drink size is 12 ounces for beer, 5 ounces for wine, and 1.5 ounces for distilled liquors and shots. A good tip to keep in mind is drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages.
  • Eat slowly, savoring every bite. The stomach takes 20 minutes to send the “I’m full” signals to the brain.  Eating slowly and chewing thoroughly helps break down the food and give your brain time to register the intake.
  • You can have your cake, and eat it too.  It is really only necessary to take two bites of a rich, decadent dessert to be satisfied.
  • Take a stroll or play with the kids after dinner. Typically, the first instinct after having a heavy meal is to put on the stretchy pants and plop onto the couch. However, ten minutes of light activity will slow your insulin response, help in digestion, and keep you from feeling bloated.
  • Remind yourself there will be leftovers. If you’re eating at home, immediately put leftovers in plastic containers and in the refrigerator so they’re not sitting out for grazing. If you’re eating at someone’s house, ask for a doggie bag and take that “second helping” you’re contemplating home with you for another time. The hostess will most likely take this as a compliment.

Overall, it’s about conscious eating and keeping yourself out of temptations way.  Remember, keeping up with your health plans throughout the holidays will help keep the resolutions away.

Happy Holidays!



November Healthy Holidays Challenge

1 Nov


This month HAWA challenges you and your family to a “fit family fun Thanksgiving”. We challenge you to get active together, and plan for a healthier Thanksgiving. 

Challenge 1: 

HAWA challenges you to start your day on the right foot by attending or hosting your own Turkey Trot! Thousands of runners/walkers participate in Turkey Trots every year on Thanksgiving in an effort to burn a few more calories before dinner.

To find a Turkey Trot in your area visit

Want to host your own Turkey Trot? Follow these steps to create a successful race! 

  1. Create your own Turkey Trot. For example the “Smith Family Turkey Trot or Glenn’s Gobble Trot”.
  2. Create a Facebook event and invite your family and friends.
  3. Make the event official by posting the race route (Map My Run can help you create a fun path), start time, expected weather conditions, etc.
  4. After you get an official count of how many people are participating, create and print your own bibs. Make sure you stock up on safety pins to pin bibs to participant’s shirts.
  5. If you really want to impress participants, create and print your own race shirts at a local shirt shop.
  6. Create a prize: whether it’s a trophy, gift card or even bragging rights, make the prize known!
  7. Day of: Go out there, have fun and get active!

Challenge 2: Plan for a healthier Thanksgiving by making simple swaps in the kitchen. Keep the same great traditional tastes your family is expecting, while ditching the unneeded calories and fat. Please refer to our “Thanksgiving” board on Pinterest for healthy substitution charts and healthy festive recipes! (