How to ‘Fix’ your Thanksgiving!

As we prepare for the holidays tomorrow, you might be thinking…I’m just going to throw all of my cares to the wind and eat whatever I like. Enjoy every single desert that is put on the table, and all the bread my heart desires. Is that really smart for your head?

As I’m nearly 10 months into my new lifestyle (I wouldn’t label it anything other than flexible conscious dieting) and lean clean and green eating, I can’t rely on my mindset to do the work as often as I would like it to. You see, I usually say 70% of my mindset and 30% of my exercise will be enough for me to maintain this lifestyle change. But I’m finding I need to be stronger…it’s more like 90%! What do I mean by that? I mean that the conscious decisions I make in my diet day in and day out, truly affect my outlook on my body, my willpower, and the attitude I have towards slip-ups. When I turn down something that makes my face break out, or my stomach hurt, and replace it with something that keeps me feeling light and full and nourished, I feel empowered! It’s a feeling of success over my stupid bored stomach that I am training my brain to feel….and I LOVE this feeling. It’s a feeling of control that I’ve been looking for my entire life (I know I’m not that old yet, sorry lol) but I truly never felt like I needed to care because I was so in control, and I could totally out-train my diet. WRONG. You’ve heard me say this a hundred times. It will catch up to you. So what if it has? Should you start tomorrow? Yes! There is no reason you can’t swap a biscuit for a veggie. The Holidays are the best time to make more conscious decisions, to ‘win’ the battle against the spread, and make some small changes. You will be on your way to a much better New Year than you think. I am done giving up my goals for the year in November. I am going to finish this year stronger than ever. I’ll write more on that later!

These are just a few things to keep in mind:

1) Keep your body moving-get up early before the cooking starts and get in your normal exercise! I plan on going for a run in the morning and doing PIYO and some bikini abs!

2) Portion Size does matter-see below!

3) Wiggle Room is good for you! If you’re eating lean clean and green, you will not throw yourself completely into a slump by indulging in your favorite desert

4) Get active with your family! Have the afternoon Turkey-comma? Take the family outside for a walk or some football before it gets dark!

5) Please eat breakfast! It’s a great idea to have your normal breakfast to avoid completely throwing yourself for a loop. This will help you stay full and not starved by the time the big meal comes around. You will be less likely to eat things off your normal plan and stick to your portions and not go crazy!

6) Don’t stress-enjoy your family! Thinking about tomorrow and planning the things you want to enjoy is better than not having a plan. Be grateful for the body you have and the energy that it gives you, and the time you get to relax away from work and the crazy hustle of life. I’m writing about gratitude this week. Enjoy a small piece of pumpkin pie =)

7) Make your own dish! If you do have the option to bring something nutrient dense, you can absolutely keep your choices in control. Check out some of my favorite recipes by Tone it Up! 

Have your pumpkin pie, your biscuits and gravy, lots of wine, and enjoy the time with your family! But use discretion and try to stick to your portions! For me, it’s not about ‘I can’t eat any of this because I need to look a certain way’ It’s honestly the ‘after effect’ that puts me in a sour mood, and makes me feel yucky. And that is completely fine if this sounds extremely scary to you….because I’m not forcing this lifestyle onto anyone.

But if you are a little curious if there are some ways to do less damage than is really necessary, I wanted to share Autumn’s video with y’all! It’s actually possible! Salad, greens, sweet potatoes, turkey, you can have it! Autumn is an expert on portion control, so if that’s something you think you could work on, take a look!

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Drink up Sailor: 6 Reasons to Drink More Water!

Drink More Water

I truly, 100% believe that drinking half my weight in fl oz./water every day, is the reason that I feel and look my best. I can definitely tell when I haven’t had enough water. I can also certainly tell during my exercise or workouts that I am tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Helloooooo! You’re dehydrated! If you are going on any time of adventure, water is nothing to skimp on! So please drink up, and enjoy these benefits from Web.MD below.

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

“Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,” says Guest, who is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, Guest says, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol.

“Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration,” he says.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

“Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” he says. “But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.”

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You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.

“Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly,” says Koelemay.

Water Bottles

How do you get more water in your day? Get a new bottle! Click the pic above to go to the VS site and snag one up! 

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.