January 2011

In This Edition

  • Meal Planning Tips and Tricks with California Raisins
  • January Is National Soup Month
  • National Popcorn Day
  • National Pie Day

Health & Nutrition

More News from California Raisins

Recipe of the Month – Sweet and Spicy Chili

Balance of Flavor. Balance of Diet. Balance of Life.

California Raisins and Celebrity Fitness Trainer, Valerie Waters, Offer Advice on Getting Red Carpet Ready in 2011

From school reunions and weddings to anniversaries and date nights, life is never short of occasions when we want to look and feel our best. That’s why California Raisins has teamed up with trainer to the stars, Valerie Waters, to offer fitness and healthy eating advice on getting paparazzi prepared in 2011 for all of life’s red carpet moments.

Along with guidance from Waters, California Raisins is also launching a new, easy-to-enter sweepstakes called, “What’s Your Red Carpet Moment?” Now through March 15, participants can share their upcoming red carpet moments on the California Raisins’ Facebook page for a chance to win a four day/ three night trip to the red carpet capital of the world — Hollywood, CA, plus $1,000 in spending cash!

“Getting in shape is no different for super stars or super moms; it is all about making your mind up to eat right, snack smart and get active — regardless if you are preparing for a movie premiere, your 20-year class reunion or a milestone birthday,” says Waters. “Feeling your best for life’s special occasions is a matter of consistently making wise choices.”

Following are some tips from Waters on how to begin making wise choices now:

  • Make the commitment. Every health and fitness journey starts with making daily changes — not just when you can fit them in your schedule or when you have time. The first step toward achieving your health and fitness goals is simply making the decision to set them.
  • Eat breakfast every day. Beginning your day with a nutritious meal jump starts your metabolism and sets you up for eating right the whole day. Plus, it will keep you from spending money on an unhealthy vending machine run. Healthy breakfasts that don’t take much time:
    • 1/3 cup of liquid egg whites scrambled with veggies (just about any will do) with one piece of whole grain toast
    • 1 packet of plain instant oatmeal with a scoop of chocolate protein powder plus a tablespoon of California Raisins
    • 1 piece of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter and banana slices
    • 1/2 cup of low fat yogurt topped with California Raisins and sliced almonds
  • Snack smart. No workout in the world can compensate for consistently unhealthy eating choices. Food and fitness go hand-in-hand and that is why I encourage my clients to never leave healthy eating to chance. Plan ahead and make nutritious lunch and snacks that include plenty of veggies, whole grains and fruits, such as California Raisins. They are a great on-the-go snack, and just a 1/4 cup equals a full serving of fruit — plus they are fat- and cholesterol-free.

For more tips from Valerie and to learn more about the “What’s Your Red Carpet Moment?” sweepstakes, click HERE.

Meal Planning Tips and Tricks with California Raisins

Because a lot of you will be looking at the result of those extra special holiday indulgences and thinking it is time to get back on track and maybe even take off a pound or two, we would like to talk about meal planning! Not only is it almost essential to any fitness plan or healthy eating program, it can actually save time and money, as well as help you reach your goal to shed a few pounds. Planning meals for several days at a time helps to evaluate portion sizes and balance nutrients while adding variety to your meals. Here are some things to think about as you begin:

  • Including all three meals, make a list of the main dishes you typically make.
  • Ask your family members what they like most to eat. Involving them in the process helps assure that they will eat what you prepare.
  • Add some dishes that you like to make. Planning ahead will allow more time for some of those that need more advance preparation.
  • Build in shortcuts. Mix convenience foods with home-cooked ones. Opt for frozen or canned fruits and vegetables when the fresh ones are not in season.
  • Keep a good supply on hand at all times of those things that are eaten almost every day, like pasta, beans, cheese, garlic, onions, milk, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables, – and don’t forget lots of California Raisins.
  • Stock your pantry and refrigerator with olive oil, oatmeal, tea and yogurt, adding tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, and asparagus in season.
  • Plan your menus for the week. Here are some ways to include tasty California Raisins at least once everyday.
    For Breakfast: Creamy Raisin Oatmeal or Bran Muffins with California Raisins will get the whole family off to a great start.

    At Lunch: Serve the Recipe of the Month, Sweet and Spicy Chili, or Vagabond Baked Beans with a chunk of cornbread on the side or pack Tempting Tuna Pita Pockets with a piece of fruit into that brown bag to recharge batteries for the whole afternoon.

    A mid-morning or afternoon Snack of Nutty Raisin Nibbles, Tunisian-spiced California Raisin Hummus, or Glazed Raisinola will restore any faltering energy.

    And the piece de resistance at Dinner might be Sweet and Spicy Jerk Chicken, Pasta and Seafood Salad, Easy Chicken Stir-Fry, or a side of California Raisin-Rice Pilaf.
  • Check your refrigerator and pantry against the ingredients needed to prepare those meals you have planned.
  • Make a shopping list for the meals for a week.
  • Shop and work the plan.
  • Reward yourself – and your family, too – with a special dessert at the end of the week.

January is National Soup Month

You may want to celebrate this month with a sweet soup like Cream of Raisin Soup, or an Indian raita or cucumber soup like Minted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and Chives. Curried Monkfish and Golden Raisin Soup is a spicy, thick, blended soup to warm chilly toes and fingers on a cold January day.

National Popcorn Day

An entire day to celebrate popcorn? Sign me up! On January 19, National Popcorn Day, grab some of your favorite movies and celebrate this day right. Whether you like your popcorn spiced, cheesy, buttery, salted, or covered in caramel, it doesn’t matter because today is the day to experiment.

Beyond Good Old Raisins and Peanuts makes super munchies, spiced with Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, garlic and ginger. Popcorn with an ethnic flair happens when you combine cilantro, paprika and other spices with popcorn, sesame sticks and pumpkin seeds in Spanish Tapas Snack Mix, and a tantalizing blend of spices, sprinkled over popcorn in the Curried Popcorn Mix can be savored, time and time, again.

National Pie Day, January 23

If pie is the first thing you think of when anyone says, “Dessert”, this day is for you. Jump into the spirit of the season with All American Raisin Pie. It has raisins and cranberry-apple juice, while our Raisin Custard Pecan Pie is chockfull of raisin and nuts. For you lemon pie lovers, Lemon Delight Pie is really hard to beat – those raisins taste even better with the tart lemon.

Remember 1/4 cup, just about 1-1/2 ounces (40 grams) of California Raisins counts as a serving of fruit. Make Wise Choices every time and eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, everyday.