*******This giveaway has already ended. Stay tuned for more!
Hey everyone! How was your day?
I was blown away by all of your awesome comments and sweet compliments on the Zumba videos. Even though it’s a little more challenging than it usually is, I still love teaching so.so much. Dancing makes me happy and is one of the few things that feels good right now, so I’m sticking with it as long as I can. Maybe I can plan some “let’s take a Zumba class” meet-ups when I get back into the traveling thing 🙂
Last night, while nana, madre and I were shopping, I couldn’t believe that all of the Christmas decor was already up. It’s like retail skips right past Halloween into Christmas, which I love, but it just seems so early this year. Just another excuse to get the tree up before Thanksgiving, eh?
[Our 2009 tree]
Holidays are definitely already on the brain for many people, and it was the topic for this morning’s conference call.
After I posted this morning’s post, I hopped on a video conference with the Shape Magazine Senior Associate Lifestyle Editor. The funny thing is that I woke up a little earlier so I could brush my hair and look semi-human, but we could just see and hear her, no one else could see us.
The funny thing is that if I would have zombie-d it, it would have been set up where everyone else could see me. Isn’t that how it always works out?
the video chat was fantastic. The speaker was Bahar Takhtehchian, and she discussed her favorite tips for staying on track during the holidays. She was a joy to listen to, but I couldn’t help but think “I’ve heard all of these tips before. I hope she shares a secret awesome trick I can share with my readers.” But the truth is, the methods to staying on track during the holidays are really all things we’ve heard before. Just like healthy living in general: the idea behind it is simple, but the execution is where it can get tricky.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the things she discussed, along with my own tips in brackets:
-You can still enjoy the holidays while maintaining your fitness and health accomplishments- treats are ok! [I am a huge believer in treating yourself! The only time we can run into challenges is when we tend to celebrate holidays over and over and over again. If it’s Thanksgiving, live it up- but after that holiday, get back into the usual swing of things]
-Make important choices during the day. Enjoy a satisfying breakfast with a combo of whole grains and protein- choose foods that will fill you up and keep snacking at bay. As far as lunch goes, choose something like salad, broth-based soups, salad, whole-grain sandwich (hummus or avocado instead of mayo), and keep lunch lighter since those who are at work are unable to nap after lunch and digest a large amount of food. [I also like to enjoy something healthy before going out to a party, such as some soup or a large salad. This way, I know that I’ve had some veggies and nutrients before the party, and don’t arrive ready to stuff the buffet table into my face]
-Go for healthy snacks, as they keep blood sugar stable and rev the metabolism. Some good choices: fruits, nuts and yogurt. [Amazeballs, egg puffs, smoothies, small salads, veggies and hummus, banana or apple + almond butter, deli meat or tempeh rolled up with some goat cream cheese, Larabars]
-Aim to get enough fiber. Women need 25g per day and men need 38g. Not only does it help with satiety, it can help to prevent disease.
-Stay hydrated (avoid caffeine since it has a dehydrating effect, and we can easily mistake thirst for hunger). Take H2O in a bottle with you, or flavor it with some lemon zest [I also like to add fresh berries, cucumber, mint, or orange slices to add some flavor]
-Keep moving! Use the mall for cardio, walk and chat with a friend (extremely beneficial in such a technology-focused environment), find a class you love (an instructor who inspires you, amazing music make all the difference), work out with a buddy who will motivate you to reach your goals, make small changes.
-Choose wisely and don’t overdo it.
When it comes to the holidays, I really think it’s important to remove pressure from yourself as far as working out and eating perfectly. The holidays aren’t a time to go on a crazy diet or set some lofty fitness goals- it’s a time to kick back, relax and enjoy family, friends and the season. I think that it’s much easier to stick to what you want to achieve when you’re willing to cut yourself some slack. Enjoy dessert, just don’t enjoy it every single day at every chance you get –treats are everywhere, from now until New Year’s. I’ll usually go for the ones that are really *worth it* like my nana’s Bundt cake, or my other nana’s Thanksgiving pies. If it came from a factory, it’s not worth it to me.
[Thanksgiving table of dessert justice]
As far as cocktails go, I don’t really have to worry about that this year, but usually I’ll go for something clear with club soda, a beautiful cocktail or fancy pants glass of wine and savor it.
As far as fitness goes, if you’re running short on time, go for a quick and effective workout. HIIT is one of my faves- 20 minutes and you’ll torch a ton of calories and have a higher afterburn effect throughout the rest of the day. For weights, choose compound movements that work more than one muscle group at a time (like lunges with a bicep curl or overhead press).
Definitely look for the forest, not the trees, and in the grand scheme of things, if you’re *mostly* sticking to your usual habits, a few extras here and there are NBD.
What holiday meal/treat are you most looking forward to? What’s one of your tips for staying on track during the holiday season?
I cannot wait for Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce, stuffing and pie… and I’m drooling.
When you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win an amazing prize pack from Shape magazine:
-a one-year subscription to Shape magazine
-a yoga mat
-a stability ball
-box of Fiber One Brownies
See ya in the morning with 10 Ways to Make November Gnarly <— help me with this title? haha
**************************This giveaway has ended as of 11/3 12:01 AM EST. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways in the near future!