Get back in shape if slip during holidays

You are all too familiar with that one, dreaded moment when the festivities end.

It hits you every year like a bad hangover. You promise yourself that once the last sip of eggnog has been guzzled and the cookie jar has been emptied, you will get healthy.

But what does healthy mean? We’re bombarded with visions of steel abdominal muscles and gazelle-like limbs. For most people, however, achieving health cannot be reduced to a lower health club membership deal or a dieting pill. Rather, the road to health is a lifelong journey encompassing mind, body and spirit.

That said, there are manageable steps you can take in your daily life to experience and sustain a healthier, balanced lifestyle. Popcorn, low in calories and high in fiber, whole grains and antioxidants, can help. One of the oldest and most beloved snacks for any age, popcorn is also a treat to lift the spirit.

“Popcorn is a classic American symbol of families joining together,” said Garrett Smith, president of Jolly Time Pop Corn. “We’ve been a family owned business for nearly 100 years, and as dieting trends go in and out, we’ve remained true to our wholesome values and wishing our consumers the entire equation—family, fun and moderation.”

Earlier this year, Jolly Time Pop Corn conducted a campaign asking fans for advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle in celebration of its new popcorn made with the Smart Balance blend of oils, which contains zero grams of trans fat naturally and no hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Here are the most popular tips submitted:

n Everything inmoderation—Rather than swing between extremes, try to get into an easy routine and listen to your body. Be active, but also know when to rest. Eat healthy foods, but allow yourself the occasional indulgence.

n Walkdaily—Walking burns calories without putting strain on joints. A nice long walk also allows for some quiet time to process your emotions and events of the day.

n Floss yourteeth—Flossing your teeth prevents plaque, which creates a toxin that your body has to work hard to fight, ultimately freeing up your immune system to fight other ailments.

n Eat a variety of fruits andvegetables— Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients to keep people healthy. Studies have also linked eating more produce with improved mood.

n Drinkwater—You should drink eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated, keeping the gears of your body detoxified and in motion.

n Wholegrains—Dietary fiber from whole grains or other foods may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. And whole grain foods such as popcorn, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and cereals help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.

“While it’s very important to eat well and exercise, being healthy doesn’t have to mean pushing ourselves to physical extremes,” said Amy Fischl, a registered dietitian at the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. “There are simple, moderate things we can do to engage our mind, body and spirit, and

improve overall health.” Start your day with this balanced whole-grain toasted berry granola recipe.
Whole-grain Toasted Berry Granola

Makes about 11 cups Ingredients:

10 cups popped Jolly Time Butter Light Microwave Pop Corn made with the Smart Balance unique blend of oils

2 cups barley flakes

1/4 cup oat bran

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons light olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger or cardamom

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup dried blueberries

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 250 F. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with foil. Mix popcorn, barley flakes, oat bran and wheat germ in a large bowl. Mix honey, oil, spices, vanilla and salt in a glass measuring

cup until well blended. Pour over popcorn mixture; toss to coat. Pour mixture onto baking sheet in an even layer. Bake about 40 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in blueberries and cranberries. Cool completely; store in airtight container.