Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Holiday Breakdown or Trying to put it all together without loosing your mind

Hi Again Everyone,
Can you believe it, the week of Thanksgiving. You can feel the excitement of the holidays in the air. 
We have talked about dieting  in part one of this series, and exercise or movement in part two. 
Today, let's try to put them into a plan that can work for anyone who wants to enjoy, indulge, and not feel guilty later.
The first thing I think we must stress is that this may be the worst time of the year to try and diet!! Holiday temptations are around everywhere, but if you feel you must, DON"T BE A DEBBIE DOWNER! 
I mentioned this  in  part two of this blog series "The Big E", no one wants to hear about your weight, diet, or how many calories are in that piece of pie on my plate!
Holidays should be focused on blessings and family, so with that in mind... GIVE YOUR SELF A BREAK, AND POSSIBLY EVERYONE ELSE, by realizing it probably took a lot of time to gain the weight and this meal will not sabotage everything, just eat THOUGHTFULLY! 
What I mean by thoughtfully is this, have a plan on how you will ENJOY the day. 
I think far to many people start out the day, myself included, without being truly grateful for what we have. Remember the old hymn "Count your blessings name them one by one", this holiday season could use more of this don't you think? 
O.k. we have rolled out of bed, counted our blessings, we are dressed and ready to get productive. 
What is the first thing you should do? 
Yes, eat breakfast. 
You must take time for this, in whatever form it is, hopefully something that is not full of sugar, remember there will be dessert and you want some, so try to be a bit more calculated in your choice, so you can indulge later. Make sure you eat enough to be full, but not stuffed, because you may not be able to control when the next time you eat is.

I find that no matter whether I am cooking or a guest at someone's house, I get hungry between breakfast and "Dinner" no matter what time the grand meal hits the table, I mean I do eat lunch as most of us do, so snacking tends to be a problem. This is where you really may need to think, that spinach dip looks fantastic, but If I get started it may be hard to stop.
 One of my tricks here is to stay hydrated! The more liquid I drink the less I eat, and as we all know it may be that you are really thirsty in some cases. Water, tea, fruit infused water, coffee, pretty much anything without sugar, but NEVER DIET SODA! 
I could and probably will write an entire blog on this, but in short not only does it not quench your thirst, the Aspartame in it can cause symptoms for people that mask Multiple Scleroses as well as many others. It also has been shown to turn into Formaldehyde if it's temperature drops to below 72 degrees, but I digress, making good choices will pay off later. 
Try to go for the protein if there is a tray or something to snack from. 
A deviled egg, a few slices of cheese, a few nuts, celery or apples with peanut butter, protein has staying power and a little can go along way to help you from wanting to eating EVERYTHING later. 
Celery, carrots, olives, pickles, bell peppers, all great choices too, but they are mostly water and are usually served with a dip which is generally made from all kinds of junk. If you must have the dip, take a small amount and really stretch it between all the vegis you loaded up on. This will curb your appetite and you should now be able to make it to dinner safely.
Well, now you have snacked and hydrated so it must be time to move! 
Whether you are cooking or visiting, you should try to get outside for some fresh air. 
If you have the time for a short walk, game of family tag football, maybe if you're  cooking, do a few stretches, whatever it takes to get the blood circulating. The more time outside with the fresh air and sunshine the better, even if it's cold it will do wonders for you and the movement will keep you from feeling guilty later.

Dinner time finally arrives, Woo Hoo...The good stuff!!
Now don't start fretting about what you think you shouldn't eat, if you eat thoughtfully you can taste it all, even the gravy, just have it on the side. 
Generally, there is a ton of food for the holidays and far more than any other regular meal, that being said, take smaller portions of what you want and what you have waited for all year and maybe even skip some of the everyday type of foods. I love bread, but at Thanksgiving I skip the rolls and eat the stuffing, I can have rolls any day, but there is only so much room in my stomach. 
My friend always invites us for the holidays and she makes this pink whipped cranberry thing that I am sure if I remembered what goes into it I would never eat it, yet every year it finds it's way onto my plate, as does the whipped cream fruit salad, and a host of other things that I would not eat normally. 
When plating your food, taking smaller portions allows you to get a little of everything and you can really zoom in on what you liked and get that for a small portion of seconds, because really most of us go back for seconds anyways, so this gives us the ability to really think before we get back in line. 
If you have a habit of eating so fast that you hardly had a moment to actually taste your food, here is your chance to appreciate the cook and really focus on enjoying the food in your mouth. 
Whether you or your host got up really early to prepare the food before you, it took literally hours for them to cook and it should be savored! 
Slow down and taste the love that was put into this meal that was prepared just for you, what an honor that it was done, a feast, ENJOY it! 
Ah, the art of desert... I love it, all of it, but I must confess two things before we go much further and you freak out knowing I'm a Health Coach. One: I LOVE PIE!  Two: I have been known to make several different pies when there are only two or three of us to actually eat them, and as a bonus... I have been known on occasion, to have been seen holding a piece of Pumpkin Pie in my hand and eating it for breakfast! So now that we are clear, I believe in the 90/10 rule, we eat cleanly and healthfully 90% of the time allowing us to have 10% of eating what we want, those things that may stumble us if we were told we couldn't have them, because I AM having dessert! 
Whatever is served is o.k. for you to eat, just have a smaller portion and enjoy every bite! 
I'm not really a whipped cream kind of girl, so none at all or just a bit on the side is all I do, because I want to taste the dessert. 
We usually end up with three desserts at these types of dinners, so my husband and I  takes a piece from each and then slices that in half so we both get to taste each one, but didn't actually have three full pieces.
** A QUICK TIP: Eating to satisfaction here is the key. Eat slowly, thoughtfully, and your body will say "You know what, I'm satisfied. I could eat more, but I'm good, not stuffed, yet I ate what I wanted to with out someone telling me I couldn't. I'm good, I am satisfied".**

I heard Richard Simmons once say that he is always hungry. I found that so sad. He lives in America, he is hungry because  he wants so badly to be thin that he deprives himself of foods he grew up eating and loving. Is deprivation really the answer? I know if you tell most people they can't have something that they will eventually do just about anything to get it! 

 I don't want to go through life knowing there is a better way and not share it with you. We can be happy, healthy, and eat a 90/10 lifestyle without always being hungry!

If you are thankful for your blessings, thoughtful in your food choices, keep hydrated, incorporate some type of movement into your day and eat until you are satisfied, I believe you will wake up Friday morning with a smile on your face proud of yourself and fully capable of applying all these points into your life and starting to live a successful 90/10 lifestyle if you choose.

HAVE A GREAT AND GUILT FREE HOLIDAY, and thank you for allowing me to count you, as one of my many blessings 
~ Toni

For more information about me or other blogs I have written you can follow me on Twitter @TC_HealthCoach or our Face Book Page: Cummings Health & Vitality Center

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Big "E" ..... Yes, I mean EXERCISE

Hi Everyone,
Well it's fast approaching my favorite time of the year, Fall.
The cool air starts to set in, the leaves start to change color and our desire for less salads and more warming substantial food starts to really come alive.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are always meals that are looked forward to all year long, and now they are right around the corner. Yummy food or not, for some, this is when they have decided to diet. You didn't really like the way you looked all summer, so now is the time.
You decide you are only going to eat celery sticks and dry turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The smells wafting through the house start to take their tole, and in your misery you decide to share with others how many calories are in that gravy, those mashed potatoes, and don't even get me started on all those different kinds of pie you just put on your plate.
Oh the joy of the holidays??
O.k., so some of you have decided rather than be a buzz kill, and dieting is not your forte, you decide you are just going to exercise the dickens out of yourself. Today is the day, so off to the gym after work, but it was late and cold so you'll go tomorrow, but wait, I have a meeting to go to, I had to get the kids stuff ready for school, and the excuses continue until you realize this isn't working and now you are really unhappy with yourself.
Most people if the truth be told don't like to exercise, and feel guilty about spending the time on themselves.
What if we could think of the Big "E"as something else?
Did you know that even Dr. Andrew Weil calls exercise... movement?
 In his classes that he teaches to other practitioners, he states that people need to understand that daily movement can not be discounted towards exercise.
Taking your dog for a walk, he suggests is movement, think about it, are you walking along side your dog? You may say well, we have a big yard so I just let them roam around. What if you grabbed a ball or stick and played fetch, or you walked around the yard with them, or even ran and they chased after you.
 You can take the kids to the park, walk down and back, push them on the swing, play tag, kick the can whatever, have fun, these are great for the others involved and you are building love and memories.
No kids, alright we all have shopping to do this season, whether it is for food or gifts, how about parking in the back of the lot and walking in? There are always spots available further out and the people who really may need that closer spot has to fight with one less person to get it. Mall shopper? You walk up and down that sucker at least one complete time if not more... Do you see the point....MOVEMENT!
We need to be able to see that The Big "E" is just a buzz word that has almost become a dirty word for some of us, so rather than becoming the buzz kill at your next holiday gathering get up and move!

In my next blog I will try to wrap this up with a bow. This has become a three part series without me even realizing it, Diets, Exercise, and next, how to put them together for the holidays so you can at least try to enjoy yourself with out self sabotage or feeling guilty!