It’s no secret that the period between Thanksgiving and New Years can be stressful. Between holiday parties, travel, colder weather, work and other responsibilities; this time of the year means inevitable routine changes. Many of my clients have asked for tips and strategies to stay healthy, reduce stress and still have a great time during this hectic season. So, I thought I would share some easy to implement tips to get you through the holidays and beyond.
Don’t skip meals It’s common for people to think that when they skip a meal, they are ‘saving’ calories. Starving yourself all day so that you can indulge at the holiday party is a strategy that usually backfires. By the time you get to the party you are so hungry that you end up making poor choices. Instead, focus on eating healthy meals throughout the day and before leaving for a party; eat a light snack like raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to help curb your appetite.
Keep moving It’s easy to relegate exercise during this time year, but do your best to try to get some kind of movement everyday. On the days where you can’t fit your regular exercise in consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t drive if you can walk or go for a walk around the block after dinner.
Drink water With running errands, cooking, traveling, and having one too many cocktails- it’s easy for our bodies to get dehydrated. Drink water throughout the day and even better drink 1 cup of water in between each cocktail.
Sleep I’ve said it before; lack of sleep weakens your immune system and can lead to over eating. Not getting enough rest also makes us less efficient—not ideal this time of year. So, do everything you can to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. This will keep your stress levels low and boost your immune system. See more sleep tips here.
Lose the guilt Whether you indulge in foods you don’t usually eat or you completely overdid it at the dessert table, the last thing you should do is put yourself down and feel guilty about it. Don’t let one day of indulgence fill you with guilt. During the holidays we eat food that may not be available other times of the year and you should enjoy it! Just remember that tomorrow is a new day to get back on track.
Do you have other tips for staying healthy during the holidays?
Do you need help staying on track during the holidays? I can help--contact me for a free consultation.
This is a delicious and super easy to make treat with lots of healthy spices and sweetened with maple syrup. This bread makes a wonderful hostess or holiday gift.
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Grease and loaf pan with coconut oil or coconut oil cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl add the almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
Melt the coconut oil at very low heat until barely melted (you don't want it to get too hot).
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs then add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix well. Add the pumpkin and mix until everything is well incorporated.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix well until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into your greased loaf pan (I use this one).
Bake for 45-60 minutes. Let cool for an hour and serve.
Have you ever considered that the amount of sleep you get can affect your health and your weight?
When we’re tired we tend to make fewer healthy choices throughout the day, and we reach for the quick-fix energy boost we need, often in the form of too much caffeine, sugar-filled options and processed snacks. When we’re tired, we also tend to skip the workout we had planned for the day.
For many people this is an ongoing cycle that’s tough to break.
Adequate sleep sets the stage for everything else.
Sleep can also affect your immune function, aging process, memory, learning, and metabolism. Getting enough, good quality, sleep is a big deal!
How much should you be sleeping?
The rule of thumb is that adults should sleep 7 and 9 hours a night. If you wake up feeling rested and feel energized all day after sleeping 7 hours, then that is all you need. If you feel sluggish and need lots of caffeine and sugar to get through the day, then you need to be sleeping more.
Try implementing some of my tips for better sleep (below) over the next couple of weeks and let me know if you notice a difference in your energy levels and your eating habits.
Do you struggle with insomnia? What tips or tricks do you have to get a better nights sleep?
We have been in a salad rut at home. You know, that point where you have been circulating the same three or four salads week in and week out for months? Lucky for me, this rut coincided with a short trip to Toronto where I not only took a break form cooking every night but also had some wonderful food which sparked my creativity.
When eating out I always order a side salad--it's any easy way to get your veggies in and balance some of the more indulgent choices that happen when we travel. On our last night in the city we had a delicious meal at Woods Restaurant. Naturally, I ordered the green salad and was super impressed. The ingredients were simple but the dressing was AMAZING...citrusy, tangy and with a hint of sweetness. It reminded me of a dressing I made fairly regularly a few years ago, so naturally when I got home I had to try and dig up the recipe. The dressing is a recipe from our grocery delivery service Washington's Green Grocer (if you live in the DC/VA/MD area I highly recommend them), but I changed up some of the salad ingredients based on what I had in my fridge.
For the dressing:
Put everything in a glass jar and give it a good shake. You can keep any leftovers in the fridge for a few days.
For the salad:
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of dressing at the bottom of your salad bowl (add more if you like heavier dressed salads), add the cabbage, radish, celery, avocado and microgreens. Toss well and make sure the dressing is evenly distributed. Let the salad sit for at least 15-20 min. to allow the flavors to develop. Right before you serve garnish with the green onions and hemps seeds.
This salad goes really well with grilled chicken or shrimp.
Let me know if you try it! Do you have any "go to" dressings and salads?
Yesterday I posted a picture of our berry, coconut milk yogurt parfait and some of you asked how I made my coconut milk yogurt. So, rather than reach out to you individually I thought I would just post it here. I've been making this yogurt for a few years now and love it. It's super easy and requires no complicated equipment, which in my book is a win.
In a 16-ounce Mason jar, pour the coconut milk and with a fork or wisk beat to make sure there are no lumps.
Add a high quality probiotic by opening the capsules and pouring the probiotic powder into the coconut milk. Discard the capsule. Close the lid tightly and shake.
Store the Mason jar in a cool, dark corner on your kitchen counter (away from the stove) for at least three days, but no more than a week. The longer you leave it the more tart the yogurt will taste.
Make sure you shake it every day.
After three-seven days, the yogurt is ready.
If you like thicker yogurt, you can refrigerate it for up to a week--just make sure you stir before serving it.
To serve, slice up some fresh strawberries and add to the yogurt with a drizzle of pure maple syrup and some chopped nuts. Or, get creative with your own combination of berries, nuts, and granola.
Note: If your yogurt doesn't culture, one of two things may be happening. First, check to be sure the lid is properly sealed. Second, it could be your brand of probiotic. Try replacing with a higher quality choice.
Smoothies are an easy way to pack a lot of nutrition into one meal. If you are new to green smoothies or are intimidated by adding “greens” to them this is a great recipe for you. Start by adding small amount of greens and slowly work your way up.
1-2 cups fresh spinach (if you are new to green smoothies I recommend you start with 1 cup and work your way up)
2 lemons, peeled and seeded OR ½ cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
2 bananas (frozen)
1 tablespoon almond butter
Blend the spinach, lemon and water.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.
DC based Health and Wellness Coach
This blog is not intended to be used as medical or nutritional advice. Information and statements regarding health claims on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a doctor before making any changes to your diet and exercise routine.