Tis the Season of Making Memories… Not Pumpkin Bread!

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What is the first thing you think about when someone asks you, “What is your favorite thing about the holidays?” Often, I get answers such as, “Grandma’s Yams, Uncle Bill’s prize winning gravy or Mom’s World Famous Latkes;” basically, anything that has to do with food! It is not surprising that people put on weight over the holidays…. everything usually revolves around something edible or drinkable. There is the baking, the holiday parties, and office treats. Let’s not forget to mention things you wouldn’t normally, but now you absolutely HAVE to eat, because they put the word pumpkin, peppermint or eggnog in front of it. What if you focused on something else this holiday season? What if you focused on making memories instead of pumpkin bread?

You have five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing and sight. As we previously discussed, taste seems to get most of the attention around the holidays. If you think about it though, a lot of our memories are made using the other four senses as well. How about we give taste a rest and focus on the other senses instead? What would the holidays look like then? Let’s explore this idea:

Touch: Think about the things around the holidays that you can physically feel. Bing Crosby makes reference to “Jack Frost nipping at your nose,” in his famous holiday classic White Christmas. Some examples are:

Curling up with your loved ones under a cozy blanket, in front of a fire, on a crisp winter’s night.

Cuddling with your pet, stroking it’s fur and just relaxing after a long day.

Taking a hot bubble bath (I know I said to ease off of taste, but I think adding a glass of wine here will make you feel really good!).

Hugging and kissing your loved ones as often as you can.

Making homemade holiday decorations with your kids.

Smell: Sometimes the best part of baking all of those holiday goodies, is the smells they leave behind. You can be in the middle of a restaurant, get a whiff of cinnamon and apples, and it brings you back to the last Thanksgiving at grandma’s. Here are some examples of using smell:

Lighting candles or getting air fresheners in your favorite holiday scents.

Since we are so obsessed with everything pumpkin, peppermint, or eggnog, how about getting a bubble bath in one of those scents?

Standing in front of a Christmas tree and just breath deeply! Or go up to the mountains and take in the fresh air!

Try this Hot Spiced Cider recipe from Betty Crocker. Not only will it warm you up, but it will make your house smell amazing!!!

Hot Spiced Cider

There’s nothing like warm, spicy apple cider to break the ice when you’re entertaining on a chilly day.

PREP TIME: 15 Minutes

TOTAL TIME: 15 Minutes

SERVINGS: 6

Ingredients

6 cups apple cider

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 cinnamon sticks

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat ingredients to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Before serving, strain cider mixture to remove cloves and cinnamon, if desired. Serve hot.

From Betty Crocker Online: www.BettyCrocker.com

Hearing: Part of the fun of the holidays is turning on your radio and rocking out to your favorite holiday classics! Or how about when your child comes home singing the same version of “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel,” that you learned when you were his or her age? This holiday season:

Listen to holiday music.

Tell stories to kids about the true meaning of the holidays. Or have everyone share their favorite holiday memory.

Take in the laughter and the excitement. Focus on the joy the holidays bring, especially to your kids.

Tell someone you love them everyday. Chances are, they will tell you they love you back, and that’s a wonderful thing to hear everyday, not just around the holidays.

Sight: At the end of the day, there’s nothing better then spending time and making precious memories with the people you care about most.

Visit with family and friends. For some people, the holidays are the only time they get to see certain people. Take advantage and really enjoy that time.

Take your children to look at holiday decorations. Decorate your own house.

Watch holiday movies.

Record home movies of your kids decorating the house, opening their presents, and anything else holiday related. These will be your favorite holiday movies for years to come.

Hopefully, these ideas will distract you from the non-stop eating that occurs from Thanksgiving to New Years! Also, remember that the holidays are also about giving.  When you find that you have over-done it in the kitchen, donate some of that extra food to the local food bank. Instead of sending your child to school with homemade cookies for his or her teacher, make a donation in that teacher’s honor.  Purchase $5 gift cards to any fast food place and give them out to people you see in need.  Take the time to be grateful for all that you had this year.

These things are what the holidays are really about. It’s about making memories with the people you love. Focus on these things and you will be so caught up in the holiday spirit, you won’t even think twice about Aunt Betty’s special fudge. You’ll just be so happy to see Aunt Betty!

Happy Holidays!!

I’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite holiday traditions that don’t involve food? 

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Tis the Season…

It’s November! Thanksgiving is soon, and then Christmas/Hanukah and then New Years! Oh my!

The holidays are usually about family, fun and food…lots and lots of food! Last I read, the average person gains about 7 pounds over the holidays (the “holidays” being defined as Thanksgiving to New Year’s). However, this does not need to be the case. Studies have shown that if you indulged on only those three days (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza, and New Years), you would not gain weight. The problem is, when people start eating on Thanksgiving and eat their way until New Years. Between the office parties, holiday parties, family gatherings, and yummy holiday treats popping up at your favorite coffee shops, it’s a nonstop, all you can eat, time of year! They you wake up with a sugar hangover and belly bloat, causing you to make the dreaded New Year’s Resolution: “Lose 10 pounds!” Now is that really a positive way to start the year?

I’m here to change all of that! Start thinking about it now. Start getting into shape now – clean up your diet, bump up the exercise, drink more water. Between now and New Year’s Eve, I’ll be sending out tips and tricks from my Holiday Survival Guide… my gift for my loyal email subscribers. I will not be posting them on the blog, so if you want these fabulous tips to help get you through the holidays, without derailing your healthy lifestyle habits, sign up a get on my list!

I’m here to help you make this a healthy, happy, and fabulous holiday season!

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It Starts With One Small Change…

Confession time… I’ve always been “on a diet.” When I was younger, I just assumed that’s how it worked. If you wanted to be thin and healthy, you had to be “on a diet.” So I became a dietitian. Makes sense right? Become an expert on how to be thin and healthy.

Then I started trying every diet in the book. I wanted to be educated of course. I needed to know what my clients were talking about and be able to say, “I’ve done it. I know how it works.”  I’ll be honest, as much as nutrition and health are passions of mine, it can be exhausting having that much information in my head. And it all conflicts! Eat this, wait, no eat that… Sure it works, but only temporarily. Then you give up and try something else. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

QuoteMy practice, and my life, took a turn for the better when I gave up putting myself and my clients “on a diet,” and just began implementing one or two small changes. It’s simple, for the most part it’s easy, and you can feel and see the difference.

Last time I shared about how I started drinking more water. This month, I’m committing to exercising 5 days a week. Next month, I’m going to make sure I have protein with breakfast. This is how you develop lifestyle habits. There is no such thing as “get rich quick,” and there’s no such thing as a “magic weight loss bullet.” As Jim Rohn says, “The only way things are going to change for me is when I change.”

So over to you… what’s one simple change you are willing to make in the next 30 days? Drink more water? Walk more? Cut down on your sugar intake? Let me know and keep me posted on how it’s working for you!

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My Magic Potion

Water Bootle

The magic of water! (It’s more powerful than you think!)

I‘m sure you have heard it many times…. drink more water!! It’s good for the skin, it helps regulate your appetite, it’s a must when trying to lose weight…. yada yada yada.

My advice, try it out for yourself and see if you can FEEL the difference when you drink more water. I used to drink the recommended 64 ounces of water a day (not everyday, I’m not perfect), but I tried my best. Then one day, I was inspired to up my water intake to 80 ounces a day, 24 of that being first thing in the morning. 

I was shocked at the difference it made. First of all, having that 24 ounces first thing in the morning, made me feel so much better. I didn’t have that full, almost sick feeling I usually get. I was actually able to function because I suddenly felt more alert. I noticed I was eating less because I was drinking a lot more water with meals. My skin wasn’t as dry. My 3:00 craving for sugar went down dramatically. 

How did I come up with 80 ounces? I don’t know, it sounded good. I figured it was significantly more than the required 64 ounces and I wasn’t feeling anything with the 64 ounces. 

How did I do it? It was actually easier than I thought. First, I got some really fun water bottles at Costco. (See photo above.) They are glass, so I don’t feel bad about leaving them in the car. Sure the water might get warm, but I don’t have to worry about plastic chemicals poisoning me. Next, I got some yummy essential oils in grapefruit, lemon, and wild orange. (I like Doterra because they are the only ones I know of that are tested and safe for consumption.) I add a few drops to my water and they add flavor without added sugar and are easy to carry in my purse. Every night, right before bed, I fill up my 22 ounce bottle, add my citrus blends, and set it next to my bed, along with my supplements. The alarm goes off, and first thing I do before I even get out of bed is take my Juice Plus and chug my 22 ounces of water. You’d be surprised how thirsty you are in the morning and how easy it is to get 22 ounces of water down. Then I get up, head to the kitchen, re-fill my bottle and sip on that while getting ready. I’m half way done with my 80 ounces before I even leave the house. I re-fill before I leave, and sip throughout the day. I always drink a glass of water with every meal. Voila! 80 ounces down before dinner time. 

I know you all are thinking it, so I’ll address the obvious. Yes, I have to pee frequently. But I look at it as my body releasing all the toxins and feel much better about it. And over time, my bladder adjusted and yours will too!

So are you up to the challenge? I want to hear from you! What goal are you going to set for yourself? Let me know. Then come back and tell me if you noticed a difference in how you felt. 

Need some back up! Share this post and recruit some friends. Start a water club!

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Happy National Blueberry Month

July is National Blueberry Month! Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits because they are high in fiber, rich in color, and loaded with antioxidants. Here are 10 fun ways to enjoy blueberries. 

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Did you see anything new? Anything you want to try? Do you have any special blueberry recipes?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!! And if you liked this post, please share it with your friends! I’m sure they would love to celebrate National Blueberry Month with you. 

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