Do MORE than Survive this Holiday season

See the source image

 

Before you start clicking away, I GET IT!

We haven’t quite gotten through Thanksgiving and Christmas is already on our doorstep.

The once enthusiastic excitement has given way to overwhelming stress resulting from deadlines, expectations and all those fun family quirks that make each family unique.

Our world is moving at a MUCH faster pace than ever before. We value busyness instead of human contact. We are always on to the next thing. We can barely keep up with technology and those expectations? They keep getting bigger.

Trust me, I know…..

But there are a few ways to actually THRIVE and take back the meaning of the holidays.

Ready to feel BETTER when the New Year hits???

Then let’s get going :)

See the source image

1. Have a strategy.

Failure to plan is planning to fail after all. So it is a good idea to make a strategy for your Holidays. Know what you (as a mere mortal) can actually take and accomplish. Know your calendar and make sure you have your priorities straight. I think most people endure undo stress during the season because their priorities are not aligned with their values. For example: my number 1 priority is my family. My family needs time with me. Although my job prefers I work more hours and sell more training, I know that would simply break me down and make me inefficient….at work AND at home. So, I honor my priorities and we all win.

See the source image

2. Say NO more often.

Often times during this season we can over commit ourselves because we find it harder to say NO. Saying no to things you truly cannot do, truly HATe, or do not have the time to do, can be the change you need in your routine to eliminate most of your stress. Trust me, the world will NOT stop spinning when you say no. People may get a little upset, but that is because they had already assumed you would say yes, and you know what happens when you assume…:) So, exercise your NO muscles this season. Take a look at your priority list and if something isn’t aligning, knock it off your to-do list by saying the simple word NO.

See the source image

3. Make some time to workout during the Holidays.

I’m going to give a little advice with this one: be flexible when it comes to your workout routine. If you normally hit the gym in the evening, maybe try getting a workout in early morning or during lunch. The holiday season is usually jam-packed with parties and festivities and NOBODY like a bah-humbug who complains about missing a workout for a function. Plan ahead and be flexible. Consider shorter workouts OR even combine body parts and shorten your rest periods to speed it up a bit. If you’re struggling to get to the gym as is, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting too much. Check out my FREE WORKOUTS  that you can do in a faction of the time at home (to be posted on the site in the New YEAR, but click the link to get them now). If all else fails, grab a walk or jog. OR you can join me in a little self challenge I am having for the Holidays: I am committing to a little yoga everyday AND a minimum of 200 kettle bell swings a day. You can break it up however you like. And if you’re unfamiliar with the SWING, click the link to learn more.

See the source image

4. Do something GOOD.

There’s a lot that can be said about that feeling during the Holidays that just makes you want to DO GOOD. You can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, adopt an elderly neighbor for the Holidays, collect toys for a toy drive, OR join a local church for plenty of opportunities to DO GOOD. Check your calendar and availability and then find the right fit for you.

See the source image

5. Finally, be GRATEFUL.

I know it can be a bit cliché, but digging deep for the things that make you grateful is a great practice in stress relief. Take a moment each day to find ONE thing you are grateful for. It can be family and friends, your job, material blessings, health, or even the fact that your latter didn’t burn your mouth this morning. Gratefulness comes in ALL shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box :)

In closing, I really do with you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I hope your hearts get filled with joy this season and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

If this is your first time to the site, feel free to browse around. There are all kinds of recipes and free workouts here to get you through whatever you may be facing. AND stay in touch because there will be some exciting happenings around here in 2018 :)

xoxo,

Michelle

 

How to Avoid Overeating This Christmas

Hello Lovely :)

It’s a rainy Wednesday on my side of the world, but I am enjoying it none the less. I’m finishing off a little protein and some pre-workout pretzels (cause DIETS don’t jive with me)

on-a-diet A little perspective helps ;)

As I’m doing my daily thing, I am reminded of the plague that can entrench all of us this time of year: overeating. It seems to be the bane of our existence on this side of the world (and in other well developed countries), and I get the HOW-TO question with every major holiday.

So, as an early Christmas present to YOU I present my top tips to avoid overeating:

1. Stop overdoing. This may seem odd, but most of our overeating comes from a severely packed schedule. We over commit, rush ourselves and our families from place to place, and leave precious little time for anything other than shopping, errands, cards and wrapping. In my personal opinion that very thing can skew our perception of Christmas altogether and leave us empty and wanting. Now, we are hungry, tired, emotionally drawn out and vulnerable to poor food decisions. The FIX: monitor your time and give yourself permission to not do EVERYTHING. My friend Pamela wrote a fantastic article to help you out here.

stress-free-christmas

2. Make some time to MOVE…..but don’t set crazy expectations. Getting 30 minutes of movement in each day will help to lower cortisol, level blood sugar and improve your outlook on life BUT it needs to be something you enjoy and something that makes you feel good. If your particular brand of workout is more like punishment, then your stress hormones will actually shift into overdrive and you’ll be more likely to over consume the sweets.

3. Realize some treats are OK and expected. Don’t take a one way trip to overindulgence by setting the NO SUGAR standard for the Christmas season. Be realistic and know that there are some treats that you will allow yourself to ENJOY <<<<<<<< the key word there. No guilt, no stress, no punishment.

harry potter sugar Don’t be that person…….

4. Make some alternatives. If you’re in the market for baking goodies or making treats this Christmas, try creating healthier version of the same thing. I adore Lori Harder and she has some awesome Holiday menu items that keep the flavor but in a healthier version. This way you can indulge and enjoy, guilt free.

lori harder

5. Try a little damage control up front. My personal favorite tips are to make sure you get enough protein in the tank, so focus on the turkey OR consider having a whole foods protein shake before a party or get together. Also, I love starting each day with a super simple green shake that packs a serious nutritional punch. I take 8 oz coconut water, 2 oz aloe, a couple handfuls of mixed greens, 1/2 a lemon (juice), 1/2 cucumber and a touch of honey. This sets you up for success first thing.

6. Final thing here, so hang with me! Try to avoid an ONGOING intake of trigger foods. The best way to do this is to not allow it in the house OR use my personal fave and don’t open the bag until Christmas! Treats are cool, but mindless eating doesn’t help anybody. Sugar tends to trigger cravings for more sugar, so try to plan ahead when you know you will indulge.  A great way to squash the sugar bug is with herbal teas. You can try any variety you like, but I prefer peppermint or chocolate hazelnut tea to give my sweet tooth a break.

Christmas sweet tooth

With those tips you should be able to enjoy your Christmas festivities without the ever looming guilt some carry around this time of year. Food should NEVER have that effect on you. Remember, there’s nothing you can do in one day, one week, or even a season that can derail you for good.

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!!!!!

Michelle

Carlson-7825

 

 

My Christmas Wish for you…..and a Tip to Start the New Year on the right foot

Merry Christmas!

As this will be my final post of 2014 (we all need a vacation), I have a few thoughts to share. No glitz and glamour…..just realness that can only shine through during this blessed season.

I have a wish……

My wish for YOU this Christmas is that you will realize you are worth it and you contain boundless potential. Stop saying you’ll feel better after you lose the weight OR stop overeating OR maintain a fitness routine……You have exponential worth RIGHT NOW, just as you are. If you are drawing breath each day it is because the world needs something ONLY YOU can give us! So stop hoarding it and waiting to “fix” what you see as broken in your life. You are exactly where you need to be to make a difference.

The #1 Tip I can give you for a prosperous New Year….

Stop comparing. Don’t waste time comparing your physique to others, the weight you lift to others, the amount of time you spend in the gym to others or your jean size to others! Start 2015 out compelled to improve on all the greatness that is YOU and share it with the world. Find YOUR distinctive purpose and chase it with all your might.

Our family wishes you and yours and blessed and Happy Christmas!

Michelle

 

Happy Holidays! Healthy Gift Guide

Good morning Lovelies!

Today will start a much needed break from all things fitness related so I can focus on another passion: SHOPPING!

Seriously, I have been blessed to try out different products throughout the year that will make GREAT Christmas gifts for your fit minded loved ones.

Today, I have 3 choices for you and yours. So sit back, grab a cup of hot cocoa and let’s get started :)

Travel, Gym, Play, and Everyday:

6 PACK BAGS

Heads UP! This is a personal fave :)

6 Pack Bags offers a full line of versatile and stylish bags that totes your meals (NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE) as well as everyday items and gym fare. Many of the backpacks come with separate compartments for stinky shoes too. They offer a Women’s Line of elite bags, and they are the ONLY line of bags I would pay the money for honestly. Fashion meets function with these awesome bags. Perfect gift for the fit gal on the go in your life.

6 pack shoulder          6 pack purse        6 pack expidition

 

Pain Free Hair Removal with the Emjoi Epi Slim+

Maybe you don’t think hair removal is an awesome gift, BUT for those fit fans in your life hair removal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg could be the perfect gift! With the Emjoi Epi Slim+ you get practically pain-free hair removal in a sleek and slim design. With technical features like the patented 3 disc tweezers and eRase glide technology, you can erase hair from face, bikini line, underarms, anywhere you have unwanted hair. The 18 tweezer action discs remove hair from the root for up to 6 whole weeks AND its battery operated, so travel is easy. Grab one for yourself or a loved one today. Makes a great stocking stuffer :) (NOTE: I was sent one at no charge from the publicists for Emjoi Epi Slim).

emjoi      emjoi full

 

Performance Fuel Delivered to the Front Door: B-Elite Meals

I get it…this can seem a bit unconventional, but who cares?!?!?! If you or someone in your life struggles with nutrition or simply does NOT have the time to meal prep, then B-Elite is the answer. High quality, delicious taste and ZERO preservatives. PLUS, these meals are designed by folks who understand the struggle. Each and every meal is portioned with the proper nutrients you need to look and feel your best year-round. These can be stored in the freezer and grabbed when you need them most. It’s a winning gift all year long :)

b-elite fuel 1      b-elite fuel 2     b-elite fuel 3

 

That should get your Christmas shopping started! Come back next week for more fit-friendly gift ideas and be sure to have a healthy holiday and a Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

 

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

20121224-111633.jpg

TGIF: Setbacks, Perceived Failures, and When We just Expect TOO Much

Last Friday Night Katy Perry

One of my newest obsession songs is Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night”. Of course when I hear it I think of an awesome core class or a great cycling warm up, but to each his own. It also makes me think about the expectations and let down we have in the fitness world. Think of this:

You’ve kept your diet tight Monday through Friday night (maybe early afternoon) and you’ve made all of your workouts for the week, even adding a little extra weight to your squat and 1 more pushup. Sweet right? You bet! So Friday night you have plans for a Christmas party with friends. you end up drinking an unplanned cocktail and overdoing the crab cakes (I don’t blame you). So, Saturday morning you drag out of bed determined to punish your body into submission when you remember a shopping date with your bestie. You run out and pounds miles at the mall, carrying all your bags and talking up a storm. You both decide to grab lunch and as soon as you sit down you realize you are beyond starving, so you order an appetizer, eat the bread, and polish off all but 2 bites of you meal, feeling overstuffed and under successful at this point. You head home for a much needed nap before date night and buttery popcorn with the hubby. I mean, why not? By Sunday, you’re face down in a Cinnabon feeling like you have nothing to show for all the hard work you attempted the following week. You vow that next Friday will NOT suffer the same consequences.

Sound all to familiar? OK, back up a minute. First of all, let’s not discount ourselves for all the hard work we put into our health and fitness (not to mention tight booties and flat bellies!). In these situations the weekend syndrome and social conundrum take over. Think of it this way: Do you do the same thing Friday-Sunday that you do Monday-Friday (evening)? Not likely. This time of year our social calendar gets full and our energy can barely keep up. So, first of all, give yourself the props your deserve for keeping it tight during the week.

Now, there are loads of tricks that we in the health and fitness industry use to keep ourselves out of trouble. The best one I can give you is to NOT get all emotional about setbacks. Now, I don’t your crying in your ice cream, but we do tend to have an emotional reaction to perceived failure which triggers a chain reaction during our weekend festivities. Planning ahead is another way we keep ourselves on track. For me, it’s not about the scale, it’s about how I feel. I know when I eat too much junk or drink too much (not now, of course!) I don’t feel my best and I can’t function at my highest capacity for my weekend and all the social energy it takes. It’s a matter of health for me and that puts my decisions in a new light.

So, as you approach another weekend, plan ahead but remember to relax a bit. Nobody is perfect all the time and you shouldn’t expect it from yourself. Each day is a new day and you can avoid the snowball of guilt that can sometimes accompany weekends. Remember to make the most of your weekly workouts, focusing on calorie burning cardio (cycling, roller blading, running, kickboxing) and work those large muscle groups (glutes, quads, hams, chest, and back) to get the most metabolism boost. Keep you menu quality protein heavy. Think eggs, chicken breasts, bison, tuna and whitefish. Recent studies have shown that by keeping your diet heavier on the protein (1 gram per pound of body weight per day) your metabolism is naturally higher. Also, remember when treating that it is important to stay within a healthy portion. This will ensure you don’t crash hard later. Let me know how your healthy holidays are going with a comment below!

Merry Christmas!

Michelle

 

 

Healthy Holidays 2011

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again! The hustle and bustle of the holidays are upon us and I am here to help you maintain a sense of calm, ease, and health throughout this busy season. Yes, it is totally possible to stay healthy and on track with your goals while enjoying all the holidays have to offer. You just have to know the tricks….

Over the holiday season, I’ll be sharing with you some of my tried and true tricks of the trade to help you keep your health, and your figure, in tact so you don’t end up with more New Year’s resolutions! I’ll be posting blogs, recipes, and even a few short workout videos to help you along the way. Here are a few things to remember as this festive season approaches:

  1. Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. If it’s worth the calories (hello, fudge) then enjoy, but if not, leave the fruit cake alone and go on about your day.
  2. When it come to working out during the holidays, think quality over quantity every time. When things gets busy, you may not have time for an hour long walk or 5 mile run, BUT you can carve out a couple of 5-10 minute sessions per day where you can boost your metabolism just by getting in some heart pumping movement.
  3. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not feared. Don’t over analyze your plate at Thanksgiving dinner or forgo the Christmas cookies (unless those aren’t your thing) in the name of weight loss. There is nothing you can do in 1 DAY that will cause you to put on a bunch of weight. The holidays are a time of enjoyment, so don’t suck the fun out of it by adding your weight watchers points at the dinner table.
  4. The old adage of sneaking in exercise really does work. Park further away from the store. Pace around while talking on the phone. Sit on a exercise ball while watching Christmas programs. At the end of the day, it all adds up….

These are just a few to get you ready. There will be NO strict meal plans or punishing workouts here. We’ll just be discussing what works. Easy, relaxing, and all that comes with this season. So, get ready to deck the halls and stuff the turkeys the fit and healthy way: one day at a time :)

XOXO Michelle

[amazon_mp3_clips widget_type="Bestsellers" width="250" height="250" title="" market_place="US" shuffle_tracks="True" max_results="" browse_node="" /]