Just before he left, he took a few minutes to talk to us about a variety of topics, including his challenges with healthy eating.
We hope you enjoy the discussion!
Is it OK if we call you Santa?
Yes, of course, or you can call me Kris or St. Nick. I've learned to answer to a lot of names over the years, although I have to admit I don't really like it when people call me "Big Fella."
Are you ready for your big trip this evening?
Absolutely! After a day of rest on December 26th last year, we began preparing for this trip. Millions of kids all over the world are counting on us and we will never let them down! We want every child to wake up bursting with happiness Christmas morning, excited about the toys and presents of course, and most importantly to feel the unconditional love of Santa Claus and to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
How do you get the energy and stamina you need to make it to every single house?
Oh, it's not just houses...we also visit every apartment and even some tents and igloos! Every year, we are determined to make all of our deliveries, but let's be honest, we're not getting any younger. Each year brings new challenges and we are falling-down exhausted by the end of the trip. Although, I have to say, I am amazed by some of the elves, who seem to have more energy than ever this year. They keep telling me about how good they feel...and I can see it in their results. Last year, our elves averaged about 1,000 toys per day. This year, Aspen, Caleb and Noelle (I call them "The Tree-o") cranked out over 1,400 toys per day. They say it's all related to what they're eating. The can't stop talking about Eat REAL America. I've never seen them so excited for our trip!
What about you? How is your health?
Let's just say 2020 is going to be MY year! I started off this year pretty good with my New Year's resolution to finally shed a few pounds and get healthy. But then things got crazy busy - as usual - and I fell back into my old habits. I would really like to once-and-for-all shed that reputation of having a belly that wobbles like a bowl full of jelly...where did that come from anyways?
It's just so hard. It's bitterly cold up here at the North Pole and, especially when we are behind and things get stressful, I turn to things like pizza and burgers and cookies for comfort. The elves showed me your recent coaching tips about comfort foods and willpower, which were interesting...I found most of my "go-to" foods are among the most addictive foods. And, it dawned on me that, even though these foods may provide short-term comfort, they actually increase my stress because I then feel worse about over-indulging and worry about the impact on my health and weight. It's a terrible vicious cycle!
Dr. Crinkle keeps telling me I need to reduce my blood pressure and cholesterol. "The Tree-o" keep telling me all I need to do is change what I am eating and focus on REAL food. I told them I might just do the Keto diet that I keep hearing about, but they are trying to convince me otherwise. They don't think I would be able to stay with it and they say it eliminates foods that I should be eating to be healthy. They know I can't give up bread and sugar! They even say it will wreak havoc with my microbiome, whatever that is.
Wow, Santa, it sounds like "The Tree-o" is onto something.
Yes, I think they are. They are constantly talking about all the things they are making and the new things they are doing in the kitchen. Just the other day, they let me try some kind of vegetable pasta dish, and it was surprisingly good! I told them it must have taken hours to prepare and reminded them we were on a tight schedule. They showed me how easy it was to roast some vegetables, make pesto, toast some nuts and serve them with spaghetti squash. I was shocked!
They are trying to convince me to get you up here...they say you have a way of teaching others that everyone raves about.
Yes, we have so much fun and people tell us what they learn is life-changing. It has become so hard for people to know what is healthy and to navigate through the confusion about healthy eating. If we can inspire and enable people to have the confidence and time to prepare delicious and nutritious meals at home, that's truly the best gift we can give someone!
My boss (you know, Mrs. Claus!) and I were talking just the other day about how we feel like we are stuck in a rut. We make the same things over-and-over. In the chaos of our daily lives, we have lost our sense of adventure. The "Tree-o" told us about how they plan out their meals to make them super-easy and convenient. For breakfast the other day, they pulled some mason jars out of the fridge that were filled with strawberries, bananas, almonds and some kind of chocolate oats. I think they had a hard time fending off the reindeer...you know they love their oats! The Tree-o have also been using their slow cookers, which fills the shop with mouthwatering aromas. Then, shortly after their shift is over, I see them eating these amazing-looking tacos. It makes me hungry just thinking about it.
We can definitely help you get out of your rut...and maybe even help you discover some foods you didn't think you liked.
And, what about sweets? I am Santa and I love my sweets! I was intrigued by your coaching tip on "sugar pushers." You know how much I love all the kids and their parents, but let's face it, most of them qualify as sugar pushers this time of year. Almost every house I visit tempts me to try a special cookie or cake or some other sweet treat. I know they were made with so much love and kindness...I don't want to disappoint anyone. Plus, they just taste so good...I don't think my willpower can stand up to the temptation! I am hoping to sneak in some nutritious treats this year to keep us energized and make it easier to complete our mission.
You are right, the struggle is real. Snacks and sweet treats are especially difficult. We can even focus our cooking presentations to help you and the elves overcome these challenges. What are you most looking forward to about your visits this year?
The kids! Children have such a zest for life. They try new things and are always learning...plus they take risks and live life to the fullest! I want to be a good role model - we should all be thriving and living life with vitality and zest! Good health - and quality years of life - is a gift I want to provide to every single household. There's no better place to start than at the North Pole, so I can set a good example for the billions of believers out there!
Ho, Ho, Ho!! I can't thank you enough! Maybe we will throw the Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup in the slow cooker so it is ready to enjoy when we return from our around-the-world adventure!
Safe travels Santa!
Merry Christmas to everyone who is part of the Eat REAL America community!