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

 

 

Top Ten Ways To Lighten UP for Summer

As we approach the warmer months, here are my top 10 ways to lighten the load and start your Summer off feeling a bit more comfortable :)

  1. Start light. I know this may seem counter-intuitive to some (I even believed and preached the “big breakfast” sermon many times!), but research shows that eating a lighter breakfast will actually set you us for a fully functioning digestive system which will lighten you in more ways than one. This will enable your body to assimilate your foods more readily and free up your energy. Think about starting with a whole foods smoothie (bazillion points for green ones!), a fruit plate, some chopped veggies or even some gluten-free toast (I’m really into spelt right now) with smashed avocado and sea salt.
  2. Think nurture, not punish. Instead of hitting the weights first thing or going for sprint training, consider a yoga or Pilates class to start your day. This can help ease any inflammation and aid in digestion, releasing more energy for the rest of your day. Not into either of those? Take a brisk walk instead and save the weights and/or cardio for end of day training.
  3. De-clutter your kitchen. Spend about an hour this weekend chunking out processed foods that don’t make you feel great. Seriously, get rid of them. This process will set you up for success and free up some space in your kitchen which will enable you to feel more comfortable in your space.
  4. Take it to the closet. While you’re at it, take a little time to throw out the clothes you never wear AND the ones that are so ratty it’s really mean to make your family look at you while you wear them :) . I know it’s hard (trust me, I did it a couple of months ago), but in the end your closet and your spirits will feel lighter. The ones that aren’t extremely worn can be washed (please people!) and folded and donated to a local homeless shelter or shelter for abused women.
  5. Evaluate your schedule. Sit down with your to-do list and your actual what-I-really-do-list. Start to cut back on things that suck up your time and make you feel unproductive (Facebook anyone?). This will help you to re-evaluate your priorities and level up your time so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
  6. Go outside! Find a wooded path to walk or hike, take your dog out for a walk or go for a soothing bike ride. You can even find outdoor yoga classes this time of year as well. Spending a little time in the fresh air (try jumping on a trampoline for an energy lift!) can reinvigorate your creativity.
  7. Try a new workout. Head to that new Barre class with your friend, try out a hot yoga class, or even check out the latest pole dancing class (of course, you’ll have lunch after!). Trying something new allows your mind to stop overcontrolling everything all the time. It can also allow you to act on a different part of your personality, freeing up some of that stress we hold on to.
  8. BREATHE! When was the last time you sat down, closed your eyes and just took some deep breaths? It sounds corny, but it really does help. Try this: find a comfortable seat anywhere where you can relax…but don’t fall asleep on me. Close your eyes and take a deep inhale through the nose, counting to 6. Hold the breath lightly at the top, then take a slow exhale, counting to 8. Hold at the bottom and repeat. This will send a “Calm Down” signal to the central nervous system and allow your brain to process thoughts and emotions even better.
  9. Plan some leisure time. Summer is not the time to get all up tight. Set aside some time to indulge on reading a book or simply laying in the sun for a bit (SPF please). Play with your children or visit an old friend or neighbor. Set aside thoughts of “I could be doing something productive right now” and just be in the moment. Life is short, enjoy the still moments when you can.
  10. Get off the computer. Really. Click the screen off, place your hands over your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. Then stand up and stretch, walk a little and return ready to go…or keep walking :)

Hopefully, you can use these tips to create an enjoyable Summer for yourself and those around you.

Until next week,

Michelle

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Thirsty Thursday!

Welcome to your very first Thirsty Thursday!

Today is a real treat as I am going to post 4 recipes to satisfy cravings, bring more vitality to the body, brighten the skin, strengthen the hair and nails, and just make you feel great all over!

Avocado Smoothie

This smoothie has recently been added to my diet and I am in love with it. It is VERY rich and decadent, not for those seeking a lot of weight loss. If you are trying to drop weight, just use 1/2 the avocado for the benefits of healthy fats, but 1/2 the added fat and calories to your diet.

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved

1/2 cup organic low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond milk

3 tablespoons local honey

1 teaspoon milled flax

handful of ice

Throw into blender and puree. The avocado is tasteless but lends a wonderful, lush richness to this smoothie PLUS it helps with hair, skin and nail health :)

Recipe from Sadie Nardini, www.sadienardini.com

Tropical Shakeology Mojito

This is one of my favorite ways to get my motor running on a blah day :)

Ingredients:

4 oz plain coconut water

6 oz water

several mint sprigs (to your taste)

1 frozen banana

1 scoop Tropical strawberry Shakeology

handful of ice

Blend until smooth, garnish with extra mint is desired :)

Super Quick Hydrating Tropical Wonder

I am a HUGE fan of coconut water! It hydrates the body’s cells faster than regular water and more efficiently (without all the toxins left behind) than sports drinks.

Ingredients:

1 Shakeology Shaker Cup (or ANY shaker cup of choice, as you will not be using a blender)

8 oz O.N.E. mango and peach coconut water (they have other flavors, this just happens to be my fave)

1 scoop Tropical Strawberry Shakeology

Put liquid in the Shako. Mix thoroughly until smooth :)

Get up and GLOW Juice

This requires an actual juicer. If you have one, awesome. If you’re thinking of investing in a juicer I really enjoy it and the health benefits are outstanding! I do suggest you do your research and get the best bang for your buck. I drink this to help keep my system in and alkaline state, healthy and strong.

Ingredients:

2 tart apples

1/2 head of romaine lettuce

4 carrots

1 cup swiss chard

1 cup spinach

1 cup kale

1 oz fresh ginger

4 celery stalks

1 cup fresh parsley

few mint sprigs

1 lemon

Rough cut all the ingredients and send them through the juicer. Pour over ice and enjoy! This makes about 28 oz, which you can drink total for breakfast or split into 2 servings. :)

Enjoy the Fit Life today!

Michelle

www.livingbytheblood.com