Surviving the Holidays!

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So .. holidays is what got me a little last year when I was watching my weight. With Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, you’re bound to be around a few sweets and some “not-so-healthy” choices.  So I’m going to give ya a couple tips on how to survive the holidays when your either on a specific diet or just trying to watch your weight. =)

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Its all about having a plan!

  • Know what’s being served- whether that means a few extra workouts through the winter, or just smaller portions of you favorites, have a plan before you go into it blindsided. My aunts are super nice and they understand what I’m trying to accomplish so they do their best to have a few options I can have. I have even just randomly asked what they are planning to make so then if it doesn’t fit into my diet, I can bring something or have a plan for that. If your family gets offended that your not necessarily eating something they prepared, don’t take it personally. Your making these choices for your health, not theirs. Usually people will look at you weird the first time, but as you continue on, they just don’t ask anymore. …. and if its a huuuge ordeal, no offence to them, but that usually means they are insecure with their diet and eating habits and don’t like for others to make it obvious. . . . (which in all reality, you aren’t…. unless you telling your family how all that gravy on their turkey isn’t good for them….. which by the way DONT! .. if they want help, advice, or an opinion, they will ask you for them… otherwise keep some thoughts to yourself lol.)
  • Use a smaller plate- when you start dishing up your food, yes you can still have some of your favs, but first load up a plate of veggies, salad and fruits… then add the other stuff. Don’t over-do it on the other stuff either. But if you do this right, you should be pretty full already from your veggies and fruit. =)… Or skip the appetizers unless they are fruits and veggies.

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  • Eat slower and savor each bite – haha I have trouble with this one because I tend to devour foods, but if you actually sit there and focus on the foods, the texture and the taste, you’ll notice you fill up longer because your actually focusing on it instead of mindless eating. . . .
  • Offer to bring something– This way you’ll know there will be at least an healthy option there and you wont be completely screwed if there isn’t anything healthy. …
  • Remember the bottom line- yes, its the holidays, enjoy it. But don’t make it an excuses to eat everything in sight because your diet doesn’t start till New Years .. that’s just ridiculous…. Start now and you wont have such a hard time. Holidays / weight gain/ and New Years Resolutions do not need to go together. Sure you can have a goal for New Years to “loose some extra pounds” or “be healthier” but that was probably on your resolution last year… am I correct??? Don’t give up on this year just yet! =)

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Strawberry-Almond Cracker Snack!

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You’ll Need:

2 flatbread flax crackers

2 tbsp. of Almond butter

About 5 Strawberries

Lay out the crackers on a dish. Put 1 tbsp. almond butter on each cracker and top with sliced strawberries! YUM.

Simple. Easy. Healthy.

Benefits of Beans

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Beans are super healthy. With many benefits like fiber, vitamin B, iron, protein and antioxidants…plus they are fairly affordable! You can add them to all kind of dishes like salads, soups, casseroles, stew and chili, and just as a side.

With their high fiber content, they will make you feel fuller longer leaving you full and satisfied after your meal and for a while afterwards. They are very low  in fat and saturated fat, making them a more nutritious choice as a side with your meals.

They also say that the foliate in beans can help lower cholesterol, keep the heart healthy and even help prevent and/or lower your risk of diabetes.

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They are also a great protein option for vegetarians and vegans.. or just to even have on a “meatless Monday ”

There are tons of different kinds of beans out there. Some include…

  • Garbanzo
  • Kidney
  • Pinto
  • Black
  • Black eye peas
  • Red beans
  • green lentils
  • Red lentils
  • navy beans

There is more than the ones I named, but try some new ones you don’t usually have, find new recipes to try them in.

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Spinach, Cantaloupe and Strawberry Smoothie

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You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup chopped up cantaloupe
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 cup Spinach
  • 4 ice cubes

Blend it all up and you got your smoothie!!! yumm

Feel free to add anything to it .. some favorite options are

  • yogurt
  • stevia
  • protein powders
  • any other fruits or veggies
  • peanut/almond butter

Tip of the Week #14 Pace Yourself

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Whether you’re starting to workout more or eating healthy, you have to know how you function….. You cant expect to do a 180 switch over night, its just not going to happen. And you cant expect miracles to happen in a week either, sure you may drop some weight the first month, but its not going to be super fast. Besides, studies have shown that the slower you actually do loose weight, the easier it will be to keep it off.

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  • Fitness- So when beginning a new workout or just beginning to workout, you have to learn to read your body. You cant just go from not working out to hitting the gym six times a week, you wont last and you’ll be exhausted. Start off small and then work your way up. Also don’t train a muscle group more that 3 times a week, you’ll over work it and to build and form muscle, they need rest. Muscles form when your actually resting rather than your actually working them. When you work a certain muscle group, it tears the muscle and with the proper recovery time the muscle will rebuild itself making it stronger, leaving you leaner too… hence building muscle. Working out for 4 hours a day is also a big no-no! No more than 2 hours a day of intense exercise is really needed and is really even possible. Sure you may be able to workout for 4 hours but by the second hour your body is going to be  drained, overworked and it may even be counterproductive. When you workout that much at an intense level, your body may begin to actually burn off the muscle you just spent time creating because its searching for an energy source (which is usually fat).

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  • Diet – You cant just go from eating Lucky Charms, foot long subs on white bread with gobs of mayo and mac n cheese with hotdogs to eating healthy overnight as well. Its not that easy, your going to get bored and feel deprived of everything you used to eat. again, take baby steps. Switch out your Lucky Charms for some classic oatmeal, or a new kashi cereal. Then work on getting your sandwiches on whole wheat bread and adding more veggies. Plus, if you explore with foods you’ve never had, or even hated in the past, once you start to switch up your diet, you’ll notice your taste buds start to change. I used to hate… not LOATH grapefruit… I love it now. Same thing with onion, artichoke, and game meats. . . Get on google, pinterest, instagram or even blog to find fun new recipes. =)

Tip of the Week #13 Eat more!

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Yup! That’s right, eat MORE if you want to lose weight.

Now… lets set this straight from the start, I don’t not mean eat more gummy bears and pringles… I mean eat more high quality nutritious foods.

A lot of people think that losing weight is all about not eating what you love, and eating less and being miserable and feeling constantly hungry. WRONG! You can still eat things you love (every once in a while – not every week or every day). Along with that, people think that if you don’t eat or eat very little you will lose weight as well. This is also WRONG! Eating fuels the body and keeps it running, without it you cant function properly and as well either.

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So without further ado, and without getting off subject. EATING MORE……….

RULE#1 DRINK A LOT OF WATER………AND I MEAN A LOT!

Enough said!

RULE#2 IF IT GROWS ON A TREE OR IN THE GROUND, I’LL EAT IT

that means load up on those fruits and veggies, now virtually you can pretty much eat as much of these and be in the clear. Now if you only eat fruit… not as good, but try to add in some veggies too. Experiment with the veggies, grill something you normally wouldn’t, like mushrooms or make a veggie kabob! This also includes nuts and seeds that are high in good fats and omega-3’s. You should ideally be including fresh fruits and veggies into every meal you eat.

RULE#3 6 SMALLER MEALS A DAY, SHOOT FOR AROUND 250-300 CALORIES EACH MEAL

Eating this way can speed up your metabolism and also leaves you not hungry throughout the day. Learn to make your meals ahead of time or even the night before so your not tempted to go to that vending machine.

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RULE#4 EAT GOOD PROTIEN AT EVERY MEAL

Especially at breakfast! Breakfast is the first meal of the day, you need to fill it with foods that will keep you full for a long time… that means Lucky Charms are out of the question! But the more you incorporate a lean protein source, the fuller you’ll be throughout the day and you’ll be able to fight off those cravings that hit you mid-day. 30g of protein will last you about 3 hours of fullness.

RULE #5 EATING BEFORE YOU WORKOUT

Eating a snack or small meal before your workout that high in protein will actually not only help your metabolism but it will speed up your recovery time and muscle growth. Also make sure you get a post workout meal in too to refuel your body (make sure its high protein too).

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Benefits of Olives!

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Green or black, olives are great for you! Just keep in mind moderation is key with them because they are higher in fats

  • Some key things that olives help with that they are very rich in mineral content. (phosphorus, iron, magnesium, iodine.. to name a few)
  • They also oleic acid which is beneficial to helping the heart.
  • They provide essential amino acids and vitamins.
  • Cancer Fighting Properties – particularly colon, breast and skin cancer. They are higher in monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation.
  • Good source of fiber
  • They are known to act as a pain reliever, mimicking the same affect ibuprofen would have on your body. A compound called oleocanthal is what causes this, lowering any inflammation.

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Things to put olives on or add with:

  • In a salad
  • In scrambles egg whites or an omelet
  • Add into burritos or any Mexican dish (my fav is fajitas!!)
  • Have plain as a snack
  • Cut up and put into hummus
  • Take a piece of toast put some guacamole or hummus on it and top with sliced olives
  • Put on top of a potato

Ps Olives are my favorite food, a get a case of them every Christmas! =)