Santa’s recent inablility to fit down the chimney has resulted in him trading in his perennial request for cookies by the chimney to wanting a small fruit and veggie platter.
His decision came just hours after the red clad, ruby cheeked Christmas icon received his latest medical report from his doctor. Both his weight and blood sugar were a little elevated making Santa have prediabetes. Santa acknowledged being under a lot of stress trying to make enough toys for all the kids. And with the down economy and all the sitting at work and on his sleigh, his belly fat finally drifted just a wee bit to far over his large black belt.
I was able to catch up with Santa at his North Pole residence. Overall, he was taking it quite well. His view is that he’s in it for the long haul and if he wants to continue his annual trek around the world, he’s got to make a few lifestyle changes. So here are Santa’s 5 Christmas intents he asked me to share with you.
- Drink one less soda or sweetened drink per day.
Turns out the average American drinks nearly 60 gallons of soda yearly. Every 12 ounces can contains 12 teaspoons of sugar. Santa said if he drinks just one less soda or sweetened drink each day for a year he will lose 10 pounds. It’s that simple. He’s cutting down on diet sodas too. The artificial sugar in those drinks fools your body into secreting more insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas that transfers sugar from the bloodstream into your cells. Without the sugar to transfer, the extra insulin causes an increase in the amount of fat that is stored in your belly and the acidity of diet sodas can rob your teeth of calcium. I call sodas liquid candy and you can watch a music video that explains why at https://www.drmache.com/weight-control/.
2. Add one fruit or vegetable per day to your diet.
Santa is trading in his plate of cookies for a fruit and veggie platter. Both the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association recommend eating a total of at least 5 fruits or vegetables daily. Fruits and vegetables help lower the risk of both cancer and heart disease. Santa admitted he didn’t love the taste of fruits and vegetables. But here is a trick. Try tasting the new one at least 12 different times. Even if you only eat one bite, repeating the tasting allows almost everyone to learn to like a new taste. Try it. You may be surprised that you’ve found a new great dish that you really enjoy and is great for your health. Just adding one fruit or vegetable daily can make a difference. Don’t be afraid of a squash! For a change, Santa is also snacking on a handful of walnuts. They’re full of omega-3 fatty acids and really good for your heart, joints and brain.
3. Move more.
Sorry to disappoint you but Santa is actually making some of his deliveries on foot. He still gets to your neighborhood via reindeer but he parks his sleigh a bit further away from the house and walks the rest of the way. Sometimes he walks up one flight of stairs or down two instead of taking an elevator. He even walks up the escalator. And I though this was very clever of Santa. When he’s on the phone, he doesn’t sit down. He stands and keeps moving. Even when he meets with his chief elf for a staff meeting, they take a walk together rather than sit. His goal is to work his way up to 10,000 steps each day. He said if someone wants to buy him a gift, he’d like a pedometer. It counts your steps and usually costs between $10 and $25. Hear a snippet of my song 10,000 Steps from the award winning Let’s Move CD at https://www.drmache.com/lets-move-cd/.
4. Find Quiet Time in your day.
According to Santa, this was a really difficult one. We all live hectic lives that never seem to slow down. Now, once or twice a day, Santa finds a quiet spot in a pleasant location. He takes a slow deep breath through his nose, holds it for 5 seconds, and lets it out slowly through his mouth. Doing that for even one minute begins to relax him. He says it didn’t take long to work his way up to 5 or 10 minutes once or twice daily. Santa Clause was amazed at how relaxed it made him feel. I’ve made a similar suggestion to smokers: try inhaling only air and leave out the cigarette. Make this is smoke free quiet time.
5. Improve your sleep.
Santa told me that he struggles to get enough sleep. But now he knows that sleep plays a major role in his health, mood and productivity. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most people need between 7 and 8 hours per twenty-four hours but most Americans get just over 6 hours per night. Here are some simple tips that help Santa sleep better.
- Starting at least 30 minutes before your bedtime, turn off all electronics.
- Find a quiet spot and either read a book, listen to relaxing music, or talk with friends or family. It’s a great way to settle down and get ready for bed and it will likely help you drift off to sleep. Sleep not only keeps you rested and more alert and productive, it also helps control your weight.
- Santa has just installed room darkening shades which help a lot
- Santa never works in his bed. He just uses it for sleep and ___. Santa asked me not to print the other thing he and Mrs. Clause use their bed for.
- While we are sleeping, hormones are produced that curb our appetites and keep us from feeling hungry. Ever think sleep was an important part of your weight control? It is. For a free sleep diary to see if you are getting enough sleep, go to https://www.drmache.com/sleep/.
These 5 tips are something everyone can do, even Santa. They’re simple and they will make a great difference in getting your health jump started in the New Year. And they are working for Santa. For a free download of a relaxing bedtime song, go to www.HealthRockWomen.com/podcasts. I’ve made one of my original songs, Sun Ra Lullaby, available for you to help you relax as you drift off to sleep. It’s off my award winning Lullabies for Kids of All Ages CD. It’s not just for kids. Enjoy!