Feeding Santa Healthy Snacks Christmas Eve

Dec 22, 2010 by

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Santa’s On A Diet, Exercising  And Encouraging Better Eating Habits

*Check out the snack ideas for Santa on Christmas Eve
*And don’t miss the YouTube video below of Santa working out

Having served in Santa’s Elf Corps once upon a time, I recently was lucky enough to meet with Santa Claus and talk about how both of us need to lose weight, start a healthier diet and daily exercise to encourage better eating habits, including healthier Christmas Eve treats.

In January, through my PR, social media and marketing company, Claxton Creative, LLC, I’m also going to be sending letters to New York advertising agencies calling on them to be more responsible and use thinner representations of the Jolly Old Elf in 2011.

In our conversation it became clear, Santa isn’t a happy man.  His weight is really troubling him these days.  He said he realizes that his weight and eating habits are setting a poor example for children of all ages.  The man who has been a positive influence on generations of children said he is intent on remaining a positive influence.  He said the best way he knows to do that is to add some healthy changes in his eating habits and for advertising firms to be more responsible and use healthier representations of his obese figure.

Santa said that in days of yore, children used to leave him carrots and celery.  Then in the 1950s when chocolate started getting mixed in with cookie treats, children started leaving him whole milk and sugar-coated cookies, cakes and pies.  After a few million of those in one night, well, it’s no wonder why Santa is so out of shape.

He said he’s been taking the reindeer for walks each evening after dinner and going to the North Pole gym in the morning.  He said it’s really making a difference, but there are ways children nowadays can help him out.

When we talked, we shot a new EA SPORTS Active 2 workout that I’ve posted on YouTube.

Recently I met with Dallas nutritionist Donna Israel, the president of Dallas’ Professional Nutrition Therapists, LLC, who made Christmas Eve snack suggestions that are good for all, including Santa.

Healthy Suggestions for Santa on Christmas Eve

While not completely eliminating traditional sweets from Christmas Eve Santa snacks, the nutritionist has recommended choices of the following items for Santa and the reindeer:

  • ½ cup granola with a sprinkle of dried cherries and unsalted nuts and 1% or skim, fat-free milk or plain or light yogurt
  • Red/yellow/green pepper strips with nonfat sour cream or hummus dip
  • Grapes or apple slices with 1 oz of cheese or peanut butter
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Hard cooked egg with a dash of spicy mustard
  • Berries with 1 oz of ricotta  or string cheese
  • Sunflower, pumpkin or squash seeds
  • Sugar-free Jell-O
  • Plain or light (sugar free) yogurt
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese on cucumber slices
  • Lettuce Roll-ups –- Roll luncheon meat, egg salad, tuna or other filling and veggies in lettuce leaves
  • Whole-grain bagel (3 inch) topped with natural peanut butter
  • Bagel chips or baked tortilla chips with salsa
  • Spread all natural, low sugar peanut butter on a celery stick, pretzel or banana
  • Pita bread stuffed with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and low-fat dressing

Now like many of you, I remember watching the  TV classic of Mrs. Claus saying, ‘Eat, Papa! Eat!’ but we all know now that having a ‘Fat Santa’ isn’t as important as having a “Healthy Santa.”

When children see a fat Santa they become desensitized to his obesity.  Santa has had an impact on hundreds of generations, and with obesity so prevalent in our society, he knows if he started showing up a little skinnier in TV ads and magazines, people might begin to think about how important it might be for them to shed a few pounds, too.

EA SPORTS Active 2

In 2009, I began using the EA SPORTS Active for the Wii after Santa brought us a Wii for Christmas 2008.  My weight has been a problem for a long time.  In fact, I’ve never been able to use Wii-Fit because of its 330-pound weight limit.  From April to Sept. 2009, I lost almost 50 pounds using EA SPORTS Active and then it’s follow up product More Workouts.  A bout with Diverticulitis in September sidelined my exercising, which led to my gaining back most, if not more.  With the release of EA SPORTS Active 2,  I’m back on the program.

I want to tell you about Professional Nutrition Therapists, LLC.  Their website is www.foodtherapyrd.com. A complete recipe for weight management success is listed on their homepage under “Weight Management Solutions.”  The company’s Genergy program is currently getting twice the weight loss due to testing for genetic link to carbohydrates or fat.  PNT says a balanced plan is the cornerstone of a successful personalized plan. They also offer a Take Shape for Life Program that has s a structured caloric approach.

EA SPORTS Active didn’t ask me to include them in this video, but it’s important for me to tell you that I’ve been working with them since February 2009.  They’ve done nice things for me like a trip to Santa Barbara, New York City, and Los Angeles.  I’ve also received a copy of the product each time a new version has been released.  Their corporate literature says EA SPORTS Active is an innovative line of interactive fitness programs that offer personalized, customizable workouts.  Developed in collaboration with fitness experts, EA SPORTS Active focuses on improving muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, as well as improving cardio, which can help achieve fitness goals including building muscle, increase energy levels and weight loss.   EA SPORTS Active tracks your movements on screen to give you real time feedback on your workout and, similar to personal trainer, provides clear instruction, feedback on technique and encouragement.

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Oh yeah, Santa said if you leave the Wii on Christmas Eve, depending on how he’s doing, he might just do a workout in your living room.  He said he’ll try to keep it quiet and that he hopes you won’t mind.  Merry Christmas.

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When are you too old to sit with Santa?

Dec 7, 2009 by

Through the blessing of my first marriage, I have three precious daughters.  They absolutely mean the world to me.   I've been through so much with them. 

The eldest of the three is my daughter, Chandler, 12, almost 13.

Through the blessing of my second marriage, I have three wonderful sons and another daughter.  They absolutely mean the world to me, though it's sometimes perceived to the contrary.  And if you think having your own kids is rough work, try being a step-parent. 

The youngest of the three sons is Logan, 12, almost 13, and 10 days younger than Chandler. 

My Days As A Tween

I recall those days of my life. We were in Atwater, CA.  I had the world's biggest crush on Julie Nelson.  She didn't have one on me.  I was in band.  I played the drums.  I wanted so much to have my own drum set and a rock and roll band.  I wanted to have a black '57 Chevy that I worked on in our garage there on High Street. (Yeah, I know, I couldn't drive).  And I thought I knew it all. 

Nowadays, my perspective on life has changed.  I'm older now than my dad was when I was that age.  And there are many times still that I ask my tweens to do things with me that they object to because as Chandler oft puts it, "I have friends and I want to keep them." 

And so it goes.  I encourage things that a few years ago, Chandler would have been all over.  Now she won't touch them, even if she were dying. 

Case in point, my playing Santa in our front yard.  Ricky, 17, our eldest, won't go near the front yard when I'm out there.  He won't call me Santa either, which is bad because it ruins it for any of the other kids around that he'd try so hard to quash the spirit.  Jerrod and his squeeze came and sat on Santa's lap in the sleigh last week.  That was fun. They were all smiles.  Happiness!

Chandler, while she'll come outside, absolutely refuses to get up and sit on Santa's lap.  You don't know how much I wish she would.  After all, this is the sweet girl who used to ride with me to her sitters in the a.m. and we'd sing about her being a Daddy's girl.  I'd give her the front page of The Montgomery Advertiser on the ride over and she'd stare at the front page, not able to read a word, but mimicking her daddy.  This is the same child who would ride around with me on golf carts at Jubilee City Fest when I was site director, who wanted me to see about getting the Dixie Chicks to our festival and knew the key questions to consider were 1) How much are they? 2) Are they available? And 3) Do they play outdoor venues?  She was four.

Logan, surprisingly, came out front to see Santa Friday night before going to gymnastics.  It was nice.  He wanted and did sit in Santa's lap and told him (me), he wanted a skateboard for Christmas.  Saturday night, he was back out there again, this time offering cookies to the children who came by, offering Christmas pencils, playing with the younger kids who wanted to go inside Santa's Workshop and pretend to be part of such a fantastic enterprise.

When I came in on Saturday night, he stopped me and said, "I just wanted to tell you what a nice thing it is you are doing for others."  You don't know how special that was to me.  Logan and I have had our rough spots over the past four years.  It'd been a while since he'd had a dad in his life and it took some getting used to when a man was trying to shape him.  

The twins, Reagan and Haley, 10, have become so helpful to the Santa process out front. Haley is a born photographer.  She's got that natural pose for holding the camera and has a good eye.  She wants a camera for Christmas, (I think that's what she told Santa….) And she deserves one.  The first week we were out doing Santa I heard Haley tell one of her friends, "I'm so lucky."  Her friend asked her what she was lucky about and Haley's answer was, "Are you kidding?  Look around."

Ashleigh, our five-year-old, is so into Christmas.  The spirit is alive and well in this young one.

If the unfortunate were to happen tomorrow and I should not wake, I can pass to the ages knowing I've instilled something that's going to live in the hearts and minds of my kids for many years to come.  And without having to say so to my kids, they have each told me (well, Ricky hasn't, but that's okay) that what's happening out in front of our home on Friday and Saturday evenings, warm or cold, windy or calm, snowing or …. well don't push the rain point, our family is about doing something nice for others.

We don't make money off of Christmas in our front yard.  We do this to do something nice for others.  And my kids have testified to that without me having to explain it.  They've been able to gather this by seeing first-hand how other children react to coming to see Santa, to the happiness it brings another child to give them a cookie after seeing Santa, to see the surprise in the eyes of a parent who has a child/tween offering them hot chocolate on a cold winter's night and ask for nothing in return. 

To me this is the true gift and joy of Christmas.  It doesn't matter what will be under the tree for me.  It may still for my kids, but in the end, I know that I've given them something much richer than they can imagine right now; the gift of giving.  As the days of their lives pass, it will become more and more apparent to them that the special things we do in front of the house will mean more to them than what they got inside the house under the tree on Christmas morning. 

Until then, I still have one tween who won't sit in my lap, and one who wills.  And I thank God for both of them.  Merry Christmas, kids. 

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Is Santa’s Sleigh ready for Christmas? Find out the latest here!

Nov 16, 2009 by

We're getting closer to being ready for the Nov. 27 arrival of Santa Claus at our house in Balch Springs, TX.  This weekend, Ashleigh, 5, spent a good amount of time with me doing retouches on the sleigh we built last year.  We've got a lot of work to do to be ready for the 27th, and we're also starting a new workout program with EA SPORTS Active using "More Workouts," their new product that goes on sale tomorrow, Nov. 17. EASACTMWwiiBoxPFTfront

It's a busy time at our house.  Which is keeping things fun and the excitement is building.  This weekend, I also was able to put up a canopy of lights over our swimming pool and do some festive decorating in the backyard.  More videos are coming. 

And a reminder of our big priority for 2009–supporting the Balch Springs Police Departments 23rd annual Santa Cop program, where we're encouraging those who come see Santa to also bring an unwrapped toy, gift certificate, etc that can be presented to the police department and then given to boys and girls in the city whose parents simply cannot afford Christmas presents for their children this year.  Last year, they were able to help 150 families.  We're hoping to reach more in 2009. 

Stop back soon.  There will be a new video by week's end of the Sleigh and the beginning decorations of Santa's Workshop and landing pad in our front yard. 

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