Healthy Holidays with Sassy & Pearl

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Healthy Holidays 2014

Hey There! Sassy and Pearl here to join forces and help you DOMINATE the holidays and make sure that you keep it real!

We love food, fun and family, you know that, but we realize that this is THE most difficult time of year for most people as the temptations, parties and excuses are endless. Just because it is holiday season does not mean you get a free pass on your health! Sure you can indulge and eat some pumpkin pie but don’t eat ALL the pie and ALL the turkey and ALL the cranberry sauce. Instead follow our tips below and come out of the holidays FEELING GREAT!

***At the end of the day remember to KISS!***
(Keep it Simple Silly)

#1: Eat real food

At home? At a family/friend house? Eating out? YOU CAN DO IT! Stick to foods you can pronounce and with as few ingredients as possible. Ask yourself if you are eating something your body can recognize…an oreo? NO! A slice of turkey? YES! Keep it simple 🙂

If you are worried about a holiday party here are some quick and easy tips:

1. Eat before you go!
2. Bring a dish you love and share! (ps. you don’t have to tell people it’s “healthy”!)
3. Drink WATER!
4. Focus on your friends and not the food 🙂
5. Offer to host the party so you know what will be offered.
6. Wear tight clothes so you are less likely to over indulge.
7. Track your foods. While we don’t think it is necessary (or fun!) to do this daily, having the reminder of everything you ate right there on your phone may help stop you from getting second helpings from the buffet table.
8. STOP WITH THE COOKIE EXCHANGES! Yep, we’re going to yell about that one. No one needs five dozen cookies in their house at any time. Exchange something more fun or have a craft party instead. Pinterest can help ya out with ideas. (PS- check out our pinterest page!)

At home or at a family dinner?

1. Fill HALF of your plate with non-starchy vegetables (i.e. beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower…we could go on…)
2. Take a SMALL bite size serving of any food you’d like to try and pass the dish on! (no need for GIANT heaping portions…it’ll mean more leftovers and less cooking over the next few days). Remember the French- they like 1 bite of 15 things, not 15 bites of one thing.
3. CHEW YOUR FOOD and put your fork/utensil down between bites to SLOW you down.
4. Use a smaller plate so you can’t fit as much on it.
5. Find another family member looking to stick to their nutrition goals too and buddy up. Hold each other accountable.

And if you happen to over indulge or eat something that does not promote health remember to make your next meal your best meal! If you were walking down a flight of stairs and you tripped and slid down two you wouldn’t fling yourself down the remainder of the stairs. Eating is the same thing. If you trip at one meal don’t fling yourself down the stairs, recompose yourself and move on.

#2: Move daily

Movement is your body’s natural expression of life so why waste it by sitting on the couch all winter long! Instead, get moving ASAP! Stop thinking about it as “working out” and just do some form of movement that is FUN to you and that is SUSTAINABLE. Think of movement as play and you’ll never workout a day in your life 🙂

Need ideas? Go for family walks, play a game of flag football, turn on some tunes and DANCE, go for a swim (indoors for us cold weather friends), jump rope, or just stretch during commercials and half-time shows. Whatever you do just MOVE! And if you are ambitious join a Crossfit gym 🙂 I highly recommend Crossfit AEvitas in Albany/Guilderland NY it’s an accountability system and just like Adult Gym Class, FUN!

Just get moving…no ifs, ands or but(t)s!!!

And remember get outside! Don’t believe me? Check out our Vitamin D article for more information…and yes even in winter the fresh air and sunshine is good for you! Bundle up buttercups 😉

#3: Sleep like a baby

(and leave the sugarplums for dancing in your head…and not on your plate)

It may be tempting to stay up late and rush from party to party but getting your sleep is so important to keep a healthy and strong immune system. So try and keep a similar schedule and shoot for 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.

Having trouble falling asleep? It could be because you are consuming too much sugar (see tip #1) or you have not MOVED enough (see tip #2). A supplement that we recommend that may help you unwind and get to sleep easier is Natural Calm Magnesium powder. Start with 1/4 tsp and work you way up over a week or two to 2 tsp. per day. Rest Up!

Keep in mind that exposure to light can block secretion of melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep, in our brains. This means it’s important to limit screen time in the evening including computers, TVs, cell phones, and tablets! You can also download blue light blocker apps on your computer (f.lux) and cell phones (search for blue light blocker in the app store). Try to shut down electronics two hours before bed. This is the perfect time to reconnect with your loved ones and (gasp!) READ A BOOK!

And finally and most especially if you are having trouble sleeping you must must must avoid alcohol. While you may feel like it helps you fall asleep it is inhibiting normal brain chemistry and does not allow you to get the quality of sleep you need to keep your mind fresh and you body functioning optimally.

Want more?

Stay Tuned! We have a Q&A podcast coming up this Sunday to help you navigate Thanksgiving and THEN over the next few weeks we will be releasing blog posts about how to prevent colds and flus with diet and lifestyle changes (hint: no shots required 😮 ) and finally we will be talking about BONE BROTH!!!

And because we love supporting others in our field 🙂 Check out these resources to have the BEST holiday season EVER!

Chris Kresser: 3 tips for preventing holiday weight gain
Healthy Simple Life: Outsmarting the Holiday Temptations
Robb Wolf: Holiday Help

We wish you the happiest and healthiest of holidays this season!


Sassy & Pearl


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