The balance of mind and body starts with the balance of diet.
Eat Right — Balance Is The Game
“Exercising is a great fat buster, muscle toner and stress reducer — good news for all of us multitaskers out there — but it doesn’t have to take hours and hours at the gym!”, according to Valerie Waters’ Tip of the Month. She says, “My philosophy is get in, get out, get a life! Even simple steps like taking the stairs at work, going for a walk with the kids or some active playtime with them at the park can all make a real difference (for your kids as well as for you).”
Valerie’s Video Vignettes are available for downloading at LoveYourRaisins.com, too. You will find further remarks about her philosophy, and Six Steps to Red Carpet-Ready could become your favorite workout routine.
Whatever you do — take control! Balance your food intake with exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family. Plan regular activities that the whole family can do together. Enjoy an afternoon bike ride or walk with the kids. Make it a nature walk to add some educational flair or bring the dog along for extra fun. With summer approaching, take advantage of the nice weather and get outdoors with the kids. Pack a picnic and go to the park for the day.
Balance the number of calories in the foods and drinks you consume with the number of calories your body uses for energy — every day. Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Don’t forget that California Raisins are a fruit — make the perfect portable snack and add interest and nutrition to many meals.
First of all, consider the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of food for each member of the family. You will find a wealth of information about the RDI and number of calories recommended for all age groups at www.mypyramid.gov. The number of servings required each day boils down to:
Fruits and Vegetables
5 to 9 servings
4 to 6 ounces
3 to 4 servings
6 to 11 servings
Fat and Sweets
Calories, then, are controlled by the size of the serving.
Fruits — One (1) serving of fresh fruit is usually 1/2 cup or a small apple or fruit that is about the size of a baseball. With dried fruits, the serving size is smaller because much of the water has been removed, so 1/4 cup California Raisins counts as one whole fruit serving.
Vegetables — The recommended serving size is a small rounded handful which will be about 1/2 cup of cooked or raw vegetable.
Meat, fish and poultry — 3 ounces of cooked meat, fish or poultry is a piece that is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand.
Peanut and other nut butters — 2 tablespoons makes a serving and is about the size of a large marshmallow.
Grains — Choose whole grains or minimally processed grain products at least one-half of the time. A whole grain slice of bread, 1 muffin or 1 biscuit or roll counts as a serving of grains. A couple of spoonfuls of cooked breakfast cereal, pasta or rice, a mound about the size of a tennis ball cut in half, or 1/2 cup, is one serving of grains while a serving of most prepared cereals is 1 cup. The Nutrition Label on the package is the best guide for serving sizes and calorie counts. Remember, choose whole grains.
California Raisins right out of the box and trail mixes with California Raisins are great, and small in-between meal snacks are good for keeping your metabolism active. Garlic-California Raisin Wilted Greens on Pappadum (Saag Pappadum) is a high-fiber and low cholesterol take on pizza with an East Indian flare. Beef Picadillo Empanadas, at only 90 calories per serving, can be baked for an even healthier variation. Both of these fill those gaps between meals or make great appetizers for parties.
If you don’t mark May 11 as Eat What You Want Day while celebrating Mother’s Day, go ahead — pick a day, and indulge in your favorite food. It’s OK to splurge once in awhile, but moderation is the key. Check out the California Raisin recipes and variations in our Healthy Recipes Category for guilt-free Eat What You Want pleasures.
Healthy Summertime Foods for Kids
Summertime will be here before you know it, and that means school vacation is right around the corner. That would be a good time to monitor your children’s eating habits and make sure they’re learning about nutritious foods and snacks at the same time. California Raisins make a sweet and healthy snack, anytime of the day. The joy of this perfect dried fruit is that, added to almost everything, they add bold flavor and nutrients for the entire family.
Preparing easy, fun meals and snacks is a great way to get the entire family involved in some family time. South of the Border Bowl(s) make a quick and easy summertime lunch or dinner that’s good for you and the kids can help prepare.
National Hamburger Month and National Salsa Month — Go together like…
May is National Hamburger Month and it is the perfect time to get the barbecue ready for some heavy-duty use this summer. Round up the gang, friends and family, and wow them with these “hamburger(s) from heaven” on a bun and our selection for Recipe of the Month — Sunshine Cheeseburgers
It’s time to plan ahead for that special day for Dad, and what would be better than Father’s Day a la Kids! Think ahead and get the kids excited about the possibilities, and they won’t be able to wait until Sunday, June 15, to start Dad off with a Frothy Yogurt Shake.
Then, it’s time for presents and maybe a day at the ballgame or fishing with Dad. Take along a special lunch that everyone has a hand in making. Simple fillings that can be mixed together by even the littlest hands make Ham Pitawiches and Island Chicken Wraps, which are good grab-and-go foods that fill you up even after a long hike to a favorite fishing hole.
If your idea of fun with Dad is just a long walk, a big batch of Savory Trail Mix will provide plenty of satisfying nibbles for Dad and all of the crew.