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Posts Tagged ‘Happy New Year’

Toss This, Try That: A Healthy Game Plan for Super Bowl Sunday

January 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching. Not surprisingly it’s one of the biggest calorie-fests of the year, second to Thanksgiving, with the average football fan consuming about a day’s worth of calories from the first quarter to the last. The U.S. Calorie Control Council estimates that Americans pack away 11 million pounds of chips and 1.25 billion chicken wings on just this one day alone! If you intercept with some smart eating strategies you don’t have to toss out all your nutrition plans for the New Year on Super Bowl Sunday.

1) Prepare a healthy dish. Whether you’re hosting or attending a party, you can provide some healthy options to accompany all the other “less healthy” dishes. Whip up a calorie-conscious dip by subbing out high fat for low fat ingredients. For example take a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and make it with light mayonnaise, reduced fat cream cheese and part-skim mozzarella. Pair it with baked chips and you have a delicious treat! You can turn the many “traditional” football-watching eats from nutrition disasters to real winners, such as baked veggie fries made with zucchini sticks, oven “fried” chicken breast strips, turkey bean chili made with extra lean ground meat and high fiber beans. Check out our recipes here.

2) Kick off with fiber-rich vegetables. Go straight for the raw veggie platter first. Go easy on dips and dressings, even if they are low fat. Portion out 2-3 tablespoons of dip on your plate. Go back for seconds of low-calorie vegetables instead of the high-calorie foods.

3) Pass on Super Bowl-sized portions. Use a small plate to sample a small amount of the less healthy foods. Pick your most favorite item whether it’s chicken wings, pizza or burgers and plate a half or even a third of what you normally would. Skip the stuff you don’t “love.” Avoid seconds except for the veggies.

4) Don’t hang out by the food table. Take your plate and plant yourself far away from the food. Focus on the game and hanging out with friends instead of standing near the spread. This will make it much easier to be mindful of how much you eat and keep you from continuously filling up your plate.

5) Alternate alcohol with water and other zero-calorie beverages. Drink a bottle of water prior to the festivities and have an intentional plan to drink less alcohol. The more you drink, the lower your resistance is to overeat. Enjoy your favorite drink of choice, whether it’s a cocktail, wine or beer, and do so with more reserve. It’s easier than you think to alternate alcohol with sparkling or bottled water, unsweetened tea or a diet beverage. Try it!

6) Get back on track. So you may have exceeded your daily calorie load on Super Bowl Sunday, but not all is lost. Don’t let that one day get you discouraged. Pull back on your food intake for the next couple of days and get up and move your body.

End the first month of the New Year with resolve to mindfully manage Super Bowl Sunday and it will be a win-win situation for you and your favorite team.

For more Health Tips connect with Cooper Aerobics on Pinterest and Twitter.

Life in Transition

December 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Jasmin, who was an intern for Cooper Consulting Partners, contributed Living a Life of Alignment to our blog earlier this fall. As she wrapped up her internship and makes a transition to her next steps in her career, she shared her thoughts on change.

Change can be such an intricate process. It comes in many forms and with multiple layers.

Change can be challenging. In many presentations I’ve heard at Cooper Aerobics, we hear the experts discuss behavioral change. There are different phases in readiness to change, as well as different stages* to navigate on your own personal journey to maintaining that change.

  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

Change can be beautiful. I’ll especially miss driving through or past the Cooper Aerobics campus and seeing the brown, orange and red leaves recently fallen from those majestic trees. Autumn has historically been my favorite season just for this simple course of nature. I find that when I’m facing a challenging change, if I take a step back and recognize the ‘little wonders,’ something as simple as nature around me, it helps me to proceed more calmly. It reminds me of the internal wellness program at Cooper Aerobics—Cooper Fit and the presentations about stress management and guided meditation. During this, Erika Bazan from Cooper Spa reminded us of how essential it was to take moments for deep breaths. Check out this video with Erika. If you seek, I think you can find beauty in every transition.

Change can be exciting. When we’re moving from one space to another—physically, mentally, or emotionally, I think the scary, challenging part is leaving the familiar. Yet, this does not negate the excitement of stepping into the unknown. I believe little surprises are often around the corners of life’s journey if we dare to turn. New experiences open our minds to be creative, drawing upon past lessons and eagerly looking towards the future.

For whatever 2014 may bring, we wish you a Happy, healthy New Year!

*Transtheoretical model of behavior change

Happy Holidays!

December 21, 2012 1 comment

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Cooper Aerobics. We wish you and your family a new year filled with health and happiness!

Enjoy this special holiday greeting from Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper.