tips for thriving through the holidays

Did you know that the time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is when 80% of our annual weight gain takes place?  Maintaining long term health is a lifetime commitment.  Today I am sharing some tips on how to beat the odds, how to make it through the season without gaining weight.  Note – this does not mean you will be declining party invitations, going on a cleanse (unless you want to) or giving up your favorite wine.  The holidays are a time of  joy and celebration.  Use the tips below to create a season of good health, happiness and cheer with BALANCE and moderation by your side.

1. Start Your Day Strong
Forget about starving yourself the whole day and “saving up” for the meal. You’ll just end up cranky, hungry and without the ability to make wise choices. Instead, have a great breakfast: Balance your blood sugar throughout the day with healthy fats and protein. Skipping meals, thinking you are recouping some of those holiday calories will never work.  It will slow down your metabolism even further and cause you to overeat later in the day. Set the tone for the day with a super yummy seasonal pumpkin spice smoothie. (See recipe below.)

2. Smaller Portions
Watch your portion sizes. Use a smaller plate, enjoy the food and do not go back for seconds. When tempted with a rich and delicious dessert choose to try it with the three bite rule. The first bite is for the pleasure, second to confirm it – one more to top it off.  After that it is diminishing returns. Also, remember to savor those bites and enjoy the moment without guilt or remorse. We all need to have a little pleasure…just do it in moderation.

3. Think Green
Let’s face it – most of us are probably going to have at least one or two indulgences over the holiday season. The fact of the matter is that one or two indulgences won’t have much of an impact on our weight or health. It’s the big picture that counts. So when you do find yourself going down a less than nutritious path, get back on track by including some greens in your life.  Leafy salads, sauteed green veggies and fresh green juices are a great way to stay clean and healthy. For an extra added pure energy boost you can also try adding a bit of kale, spinach or a “green powder” to your morning smoothie. My new favorite green powder is Vitamineral Green (available at Whole Foods or online) I find this green powder to be extremely energizing, detoxifying an skin beautifying…and it’s also super helpful with appetite control!

4. Move Your Body
One of the best things we can do for ourselves during the holiday season is to continue to exercise. I always like to recommend targeted exercises that have been shown to balance hormones and drop pounds: Yoga, Pilates, CARDIO BARRE and Interval Training. Walking and hiking are always great too!

5. Stay Hydrated
Drink lots of water: Water helps remove toxins and salts from your body, rehydrate you and really gives you energy. Many times we are fatigued from dehydration. Another way to stay hydrated is to drink coconut water. You can use it in your smoothie or drink it straight from the coconut. Coconut water is a natural diuretic and its high potassium levels helps to release fluid retention and bloat. (Especially good after a meal high in salt.)  It is also a true beauty food – great for your skin and keeping you looking radiant at those holiday gatherings.

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