Start by Being Active: Kick off your holiday by starting your day with a walk, run, bike ride, or swim. Holidays are a great time to get active with friends and family members. Not only will a workout jumpstart your metabolism, but you can also use that time to connect and catch up with a quality conversation!
Drink More Water: Regardless of where you live, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and prevent overheating. The best way to monitor your hydration is through the color of your urine. Dark yellow urine means you need more H2O, whereas pale yellow urine means your body is most likely adequately hydrated.
Savor Seasonal Foods: Tis the season to enjoy fresh summer produce! A few of my favorite July produce include eggplant, corn, avocado, mango, strawberries, pineapple, green peas, watermelon, and zucchini. The number of meals, snacks, side dishes, and desserts that can be made with these foods are endless. Forget snacking on chips and store-bought cookies! And instead, sink your teeth into some savory foods from mother nature’s summer crops.
Keep Cold Food Cold and Warm Food Warm: There is nothing worse than getting a bout of food poisoning from a summer BBQ to ruin your vacation. With an increase in outdoor temperatures during the summer months, we usually see a spike in food-borne illnesses. The warm temperature creates the perfect environment for bacteria that cause food poisoning. The most important thing you can do to combat this is to make sure that cold foods stay cold and warm foods stay warm.
Wear Sunscreen: If enjoying the outdoors is part of your July 4th plans, then wearing sunscreen is essential to having a healthy holiday. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and make sure to reapply often. Take the extra step and wear a hat, sunglasses and maybe even a rash guard for extra protection.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 can (about 15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup uncooked pearl barley
2 cups firmly packed chopped fresh spinach/Kale
Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in the broth, beans, tomatoes, and barley and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the barley is tender. Stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted. Season to taste.
The holidays are a time for family, friends, good food and creating great memories. Our schedules are filled with shopping, decorating, and holiday party hopping. The busy days can make it challenging to maintain healthy exercise and sleep habits, making it easy to turn to food for a quick energy rush or comfort when feeling sad or lonely.
When you combine lack of sleep with skipped workouts and poor food choices, it is easy to see why so many people complain of weight gain over the holidays. However, with a few simple strategies, you can fend off the unwanted holiday weight gain and prevent unhealthy habits from sabotaging the season!
Here are some of my favorite tips:
#1 Sip on soup. Soup is a low energy dense food, which means it provides fewer calories per gram - therefore you can eat a nice serving of soup, relatively low in calories. Having a cup of broth-based soup before a meal can help fill you up, so you don't overindulge in higher-calorie foods.
Bonus Tip: eat soup 30 minutes before your main meal to let your stomach register your food, helping to eat smaller portions of the more calorie-dense foods being served.
#2 Move away from the munchies. When socializing, avoid positioning yourself close to the appetizer and hors-d'oeuvre spread. This will not only help keep you more engaged in the conversation, but you will also not be tempted to eat between every other word. By stepping away from the food, you can focus on the people you are with.
Bonus Tip: When you eat, serve yourself on a plate. Think about the food you are eating, enjoy the smell, taste, and flavors of the meals. When talking, talk.
#3 Stock up on healthy foods. Prepare for your success by planning in advance. Be aware that life will get busy, you will get hungry, and your body will need food to function. Therefore, empower yourself by stocking up on nutritious and portable foods you can stash in your desk, car, gym bag, briefcase or purse.
Bonus Tip: Avoid going shopping or to a party on an empty stomach. Keep office goodies out of view or in an inconvenient location.
#4 Delay satisfaction. What should you do if you are at an office party? Instead of depriving yourself, which will probably lead to overindulging later, take it home for later. Often times delaying satisfaction can lead to realizing you did not need another serving or save it for when you can you can slow down and savor it.
Bonus Tip: Allow yourself to be more flexible this time of year. By giving yourself permission to savor holiday foods you'll be less likely to overeat and binge when your favorite foods are offered to you.
#5 Maintain a health and wellness journal. Food journaling has long been known as one of the most useful tools for helping people manage their weight. However, sometimes a food journal can get mentally exhausting if you are only thinking about the calories you consumed. Instead, shift the focus to health and wellness journaling. Track sleep habits, physical activity, mindful food moments, holiday joy, and if you choose to track food intake, pay attention to hunger and fullness cues along with your enjoyment of the foods.
Bonus Tip: Use the journal to explore what makes you feel both mentally and physically healthy.
Happy Holiday Season!!!
Yours in health,
Make a new holiday tradition...
Instead of crashing on the couch before AND after your holiday feast, create a healthier tradition by encouraging your family and friends to get outside and play a game of football or frisbee together. You could also simply take a walk with your family to prevent those spikes in blood sugar when eating larger amounts of food. Research has shown that routine physical activity can help to improve blood glucose levels and even lessen your need for insulin or oral diabetes medications. Remember, the more you move, the less spikes you will have!
Additional perks of exercise:
Increased level of good cholesterol (HDL)
Leaner, stronger muscles
Lower blood pressure
Halloween is here and there are savory and sweet treats everywhere. It is becoming more and more common for people to make comments about “healthy” and “unhealthy” food everyday - from the media, to your family, friends, and everyone in between. As a nutrition expert, I understand and agree with some of these comments. However, living a healthy and balanced life also means learning to enjoy food while also enjoying the experience of being with friends and family.
Heading into any social situation, especially during Halloween time, can sometimes be a little scary if you have struggled with food issues, disordered eating, or your inner food police screaming “eat this, not that”. If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you know these words and situations can trigger you back into old habits and behaviors, if you are not equipped both mentally and physically. This issue is designed, to help you enjoy the tricks and treats of the seasons without letting the food police creep into your life and take control of the fun!
Here are a three things you can start doing today to keep yourself mentally and physically strong while not getting spooked about all the “food rules” you may read about.
Avoid skipping meals. Whether it's breakfast lunch dinner snacks skipping meals is a surefire way to find yourself in a place you might eating beyond comfort a popular Halloween treat. Everyone, every once in awhile, will find themselves in a situation where they may overeat, remember you're human. However, as part of recovery, it important to practice self-care and fuel properly throughout the day. When you fuel right throughout the day, you are equipping yourself to go to a social gathering feeling satisfied and not deprived. Practicing this step can help enjoy the event while also helping you stop eating beyond comfort.
Taste your treats. When deciding to enjoy a Halloween treat, like your favorite candy, cookie, or chips and dip, take the time to actually taste what you're about to eat. If you're eating out of boredom, stress or pure mindlessness this is not the time to grab that peanut butter cup. Instead wait to enjoy your treat when you have the time to sit down, taste & savor it - without any guilt!
Don’t be scared to serve it up. Instead nibbling on random Halloween candy and treat throughout the evening, make a conscious decision on what you want to eat. After you make the conscious decision on what you actually want, then take the next step and serve yourself a portion on a plate. Once you have served your portion, find a place where you can sit, taste, and enjoy your food. This simple act of conscious eating will help you stay in tune with your body. As you are eating, refer back to step #2 and make sure to taste your treats...without any guilt!
Does this issue make you want to discover how you can make peace with food and enjoy more guilt free social situations? Contact me and let’s explore working together!