Three Simple Steps to Eating Healthier During the Holidays

Three Simple Steps to Eating Healthier During the Holidays

The holidays are a great time for relaxing with family & friends and attending parties, tree decorating, and annual outings.

All of these activities typically include lots of food and drink that we don’t normally consume, which can wreak havoc on our body! 

How to Reduce Sugar

Sugar is the number one offender! But staying away from sweets at this time of year isn’t easy. We usually consume more sugar than normal, which means our bodies become more acidic than usual.

Did you know that studies show sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine? That means the more we eat, the more we want.

I could make simple recommendations like, “just say no” or “track your weight,” but I actually don’t believe in that type of guidance at the holidays or in everyday life.

When I was addicted to sugar, walking away from cookies and cake was near impossible! Over the years, I’ve found that to reduce the sugar cravings and make the holidays easier to navigate, there’s one thing we can all do: Bulk up on the healthier options at the beginning of the day so the body doesn’t crave the “bad” stuff nearly as much.

This strategy is called “crowding out.” It’s a term I learned when I trained for my health coaching certification. It means that instead of focusing on what you “can’t have,” focus on adding more nutritious foods—which will naturally “crowd out” the non-nutritious options.

Tweetable Waive off cravings for non-nutritious options by bulking up on healthy options early in the day. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Planning Ahead

Whichever type of party or holiday activity you attend, be sure to plan ahead in terms of what you eat, especially on the day of the party.

Begin by cutting back or eliminating the carbonated drinks and drink more water .

Tweetable Pre-game for holiday parties by eating healthy and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. @staceycrew #healthyholidays

Pre-gaming with healthier options allows you to indulge guilt-free once you’re at the party.  Pre-gaming will also help you avoid the holiday food hangover and actually reduce temptations to overindulge.

Alcohol contains a lot of sugar. So drinking a cocktail is often-times the equivalent to eating a donut. Have one cocktail, glass of wine, or beer followed by a water to rehydrate.

Party Day Strategy

Here are your three strategies for allowing yourself to enjoy the holiday season:

  1. Pre-game with healthy options — On party day, skip the breakfast donuts, eat something hearty like a hard-boiled egg and some oatmeal instead. For lunch, eat a clean salad (add some meat or beans for protein) with an olive oil-based dressing (bottled ones contain a lot of sugar – read the label) and some healthy snacks in between. Go-to healthy snacks include an apple, carrots and hummus, and strawberries. If you’ll be heading to a party directly after work or in the early evening, consider stopping for a juice or a made-from-scratch-smoothie.
  2. Cut-back on carbonated drinks especially diet ones (yes!), are loaded with chemicals that create inflammation in the body and wreak havoc on our digestive tract. One 12-ounce can of diet coke contains 39 grams of sugar. The daily recommended maximum of added sugars per day for women is 25 grams and for men it’s 37.5 grams. So, one 12-ounce can (and most people are drinking 16-oz or 32-oz drinks) of diet coke and you’re already blown your daily sugar intake. Carbonated drinks are one of the main reasons people have trouble losing weight and can’t get rid of the spare tire.
  3. Increase your water intake Again, this is a go-to health booster. Most people are walking around dehydrated and don’t even know it. Better yet, start a warm lemon water routine each morning to lubricate your body’s internal systems. You’ll be amazed at the results by incorporating this one change into your morning routine.

So, choose one of the above and you’ll be way ahead of the game. Now go and enjoy the holiday season!

To get a jumpstart on the New Year, download my FREE 3-Day Jumpstart to eliminate sugar, gain more energy, and eat clean.

 

Stacey Crew is “The Kitchen Health Coach” based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a Certified Wellness Coach & published Author, and owner of Stacey Crew Wellness. She helps individuals achieve their health goals through a 4-prong approach of understanding the individual’s wellness needs, educating on specific topics, empowering the individual to make informed decisions, and providing accountability—all in a supportive environment. Stacey is an Amazon best-selling author of The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You & Baby One Step at a Time and author of the soon-to-be-released Nourish You! Transform You & Your Kitchen for Healthier Eating.

Connect with Stacey @staceycrew on Facebook and Twitter and @staceycrewwellness on Instagram.

 

Kiawah Island: Peaceful Living Family Travel Within Reach

Kiawah Island: Peaceful Living Family Travel Within Reach

Thank you to the sponsor of this blog post: The Andell Inn, Kiawah Island!

 

This is the first installment of a series of “local” Peaceful Living Travel blogs!  I am writing these with my Carolina tribe in mind. But, don’t stop yourself from indulging in reading these blogs OR visiting the places I’m covering just because you live further away than the Carolinas. Because these places are ALL WORTH THE TRIP!

 

Whenever I mention Kiawah Island to my friends here in Charleston, the common refrain is, “Oh it’s beautiful there, but so expensive!”  Well, I am here to tell y’all it really is within reach both physically and financially.

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Bring Magic to Your Routine with Walking Meditation

Bring Magic to Your Routine with Walking Meditation

We are entering a great era in which bliss is chic and a centered, grateful heart is the coolest accessory. It’s amazing to watch things like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness become mainstream. All of us are benefiting from the focus on well-being and healthy living that is finally sweeping through the western world.

As this happens, many ancient eastern traditions are becoming more commonplace. This is especially true for meditation. Today, people are talking about it and actually engaging in the practice of meditation now more than ever before in the west. 

But as mainstream as meditation is today, many folks are still getting acquainted with different types of meditation and how it can help. Today, I’d like to enlighten you to the amazing practice of a walking meditation. 

In traditional meditation, you sit still for a certain amount of time and either participate in a guided meditation or quiet your internal dialogue in a zen-based meditation. 

In walking meditation, you are literally walking and moving throughout your meditation.  As you walk, you focus on your breath. You also focus on the physical sensations of walking such as: the sensation of the ground under your feet, the movement of your limbs, and the sights and sounds around you. 

During a walking meditation, try your best to focus all of your attention on the act of walking and all of the sensations that accompany it. Similarly to a sitting meditation, you take note of a thought that is vying for your attention but you gently let it go and re-focus back to the act of walking. 

Given that walking can be an incredibly sensory-rich experience, it is almost easier to practice thought control and quiet your mind in a walking meditation.  If we compare this to a sitting meditation (wherein we have very little sensory experiences to focus on and distract us from our thoughts) a walking meditation is simply a delight for the senses and extremely fertile ground from which cultivating a quiet mind is less strenuous and more accessible for all of us. 

 

But here’s the magical part of walking meditation:  It teaches us in vivo that we can adopt a meditative state of mind anytime, anywhere. 

 

As you practice walking meditation and enter a meditative state, you start to experience the certainty that yes- you can bring peace to any moment. Your spiritual self does not have to lay dormant until you have a quiet opportunity to whip out your meditation mats again. You can bring peace to your mind in the here and now, even as you take your morning walk. 

 

 

Guest Blog by: Diane Webb, LMHC.  Diane is a psychotherapist in upstate New York that specializes in anxiety reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder, overcoming depression, transpersonal therapy and achieving emotional peak performance. For more information and how to work with Diane, visit: The Peace Journal  Connect via Facebook Here: The Peace Journal Facebook

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come…..

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come…..

Do you ever hear the tapes that play within?

“You are TOO old to…”

“You are TOO young to…”

“You are TOO sick to….”

“You are TOO scattered to..”

There are moments in my life (large moments) when I too have these tapes play.  I gave up the opportunity to try to apply to multiple colleges because my tapes played:

“I don’t have enough money to pay the application fees.”

“My parents are too busy paying for other things to help me.”

Now, to be clear, I never heard these ideas from my parents, specifically.  I only heard background conversations they had about money that I placed my own perceptions on.  Perceptions that actually hurt me instead of worked for me.

Do you notice how you might not even try something because of the perception you may have placed on it?  Be aware, sometimes these thoughts are debilitating for you and your potentially awesome life!

How do we break these barriers?

To begin, we must first look at the task at hand.  Are we asking the questions and looking at the concerns we may honestly have, before we finalize our thought?  Have we placed a wall up by what we perceive to be truth, instead of looking at what may actually be true?

Three years ago in November, my husband and I spent our anniversary in a cabin in Ellijay, GA with my love. I woke one morning with a short children’s story book in my head and immediately got up to write it down.  After I finished I read it to my husband, to which he replied, “you may have something there, Britt.”  With this new confidence in mind I began to search for ways to publish it.

I asked friends who were editors, I asked friends who were authors, friends who took writing workshops, all to no avail.  The majority of advice I’d received was that I “need an agent.”  Well, how? How do I get an agent? That answer did not come easily.

It seemed as if publishing a small children’s book was unattainable.

Had I stopped searching for answers and instead listened to the tapes that played:

“I can’t find an agent.”

“I need an agent, I’m not good enough for that.”

“This is a PIPE DREAM.”

“What am I thinking??”

The opportunity that came to be, would have never come.

    It was a rainy afternoon and I made my way to Charleston for a Women’s Conference where I would have the pleasure to teach Laughter Yoga to a group of entrepreneurs, as a way to break the ice.  I had a fabulous time with all of them and received business cards – one in particular from a publisher.

Two weeks later, I contacted her just to ask, “Do you publish children’s books?” A resounding, “Yes!” came through my inbox. To make it even more sweet, she had an illustrator that worked with her as well! I was ecstatic!  After a successful meeting with both of them I was excited to learn that they would work within my budget to get this dream of mine completed.

If I had listened to those tapes. . . oh, those little tapes, I would have never experienced what is now turning out to be something better than I could ever imagine.

Perhaps we, “TURN DOWN! FOR WHAT?”

For our SANITY, that’s what… Turn down these lil’ tapes that may play and live your fantastic dreams, my friend!

Until we meet again, off or on the yoga mat.

 

Brittney Hiller is a professional yoga teacher, speaker, and founder of Effervescence YogaSpa and author of The Little Laughing Yogini.

She loves living a life of inspiration, joy, and happiness! She genuinely teaches others how to create and live in their own happiness through her Yes To Possibility! Coaching Program and Laughter Leadership Certification Training launching Dec. 1st! Find out more here.  She may be reached personally at hello@brittneyhilleryoga.com

You “Can’t” Slow Down? Or, You “Won’t” Slow Down?

You “Can’t” Slow Down? Or, You “Won’t” Slow Down?

 

“We are human beings, not human doings.” ~ Deepak Chopra

My friends it’s time for another love letter.  I write these letters to you out of love and care for your health. And when I talk about health and stress together I am always talking about both Emotional AND Physical health!

It is actually a dear friend of mine who prompted this letter. I won’t throw her under the bus by calling her out by name, but here’s how our conversation went:

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Sometimes You Just Need To Make A U-Turn!

Sometimes You Just Need To Make A U-Turn!

My alarm did not go off this morning, so I woke-up late.  Because it was pouring rain my teenage son asked me to take him to school instead of riding the bus.  My daughter forgot her flute and asked me to drop it by the school for her… This was just the beginning of my morning.   (more…)

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