A merry & bright Christmas wish from my family to yours <3
I hope you had a beautiful December with great company, good food and heart warming blessings all around. As the end of the year approaches, we have one final celebration. With full bellies and (hopefully) even fuller hearts, it’s time to squeeze into our LBDs and celebrate the end of 2015.
If you’re feeling a little fuller than usual from that extra glass of egg nog or that plate of cookies your neighbor dropped off, don’t worry. You still have a solid 2 1/2 days to de-puff and get the zipper up with ease on your cocktail dress.
Here are your top tips for making the most of the week between Christmas and New Years:
Skip the grains. I’m not anti-grain all the time, but grains are not nutritionally dense like they were in days of yore. By the time they’ve made it to edible status, they are empty calories that can puff you up and leave your middle a little doughy.
Avoid Sugar. No sugar aside from that naturally found in whole foods. This includes the fake stuff. You’ll have better skin tone if you eliminate sugar and artificial sweeteners over the next few days.
Increase water intake. I know, a salute to Captain Obvious. We all know we need to be sipping on clean water all day long, but over the next few days, make it a special priority to drink water and only water. If you want to add a few cups of unsweetened tea into the mix, that’s great, but nothing else!
Protein for breakfast. Having a breakfast with 20-30 grams of protein is a great way to start your day. A spinach and egg omelet or turkey sausage with bell peppers are 2 simple options.
Change your workout. If your primary focus is getting as svelte as possible for that perfect NYE outfit, then forget about heavy lifting over the next few days. Instead focus on “fine tuning”. Doing small, tight movements followed by lengthening exercises will allow all of your smaller muscle groups to pull things in and up. Additionally, you don’t want your larger muscles sore and swollen while you’re trying to dance the night away. No clue what I’m talking about? Just do this Countdown Workout 1-3 times per day until the year ends :):
Still have no idea what I’m talking about? Watch the video below for a demonstration of each exercise listed in the countdown:
On the go much? Whether you travel for days at time or you’re on the go throughout the work day, being on the road can create challenges that you don’t anticipate. You may find that your nutrition suffers when you’re on the road. Whether it’s corporate dinners or long stretches without access to healthy food, it can be difficult to find that perfect snack or meal when you’re out of your comfort zone. Also, breaking routine and adding additional stress to your workload can disrupt your wellness as a whole.
Here are my top tips on staying fit while traveling:
Rest well! Fitness is more than just diet and exercise. If you don’t rest well and get the vital sleep that you need, you won’t recover properly, think clearly or maintain a positive outlook while on your trip. Many people have trouble sleeping in hotel rooms. Here are some simple ways to create healthy sleep habits while you’re traveling:Create a nightly ritual. This nightly routine is your body’s way of telling your mind it’s time to shut down. Things as simple as turning off your phone, taking a warm shower, using a lavender scented moisturizer and sipping a cup of tea are great components. You can slip your favorite calming tea bag in your purse and heat water in the coffee maker in your room. Writing a few lines in a journal or reading some inspirational quotes and phrases can also help you ease into dreamland with pleasant, relaxing thoughts in your mind. Gentle stretches and breathing techniques can induce relaxation. If you have chronic trouble sleeping, consider taking an herbal supplement to aid your slumber. Always check with your doc and test herbal supplements in advance (as in, choose a risk free night to have a dress rehearsal with your supplement to see how your body is going to respond). Melatonin, valerian root, angelica, magnesium, and chamomile are among the most popular. Make sure you’ve blocked out light and other disturbances. I keep a binder clip in my make up bag so that I can draw the curtains closed and keep them from gapping allowing city lights to filter in through the crack of the draperies. Lastly, Pack soft, comfortable nightwear to allow yourself to be at ease while sleeping in a bed you aren’t used to.
Hydration is more important than ever. Drink plenty of water. Pack it, stop for it, do whatever it takes. Make sure you’re getting at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you’re flying, get a large bottle once you’ve gotten through security rather than waiting until you’re on the plane. You can get a bigger bottle that way. If you’re not flying and can take your own water bottle, try my favorite brand: Hydroflask. I’m not sure how I lived without this water bottle. I have the 40 oz version. It will keep your water at a consistent temperature for 24 hours. The lid is well sealed, so you can toss it around without worrying about spills.
3. Snacking while traveling can make or break you. If you know you won’t be stopping for a meal, you need sustenance to keep your blood sugar stable and your brain alert. You also need something to keep you sane so that you make good choices when you do have your next meal. Here is a list of snacks that are easy to travel with:
Nitrate free jerky (the fewer ingredients the better):
This is a great source of lean protein. Goes well with an iced green tea if you can get your hands on one.
Putting 1/4 cup of nuts into little baggies and keeping them in your purse is always a fabulous idea. These are little powerhouses of energy that will tide you over without the sugar rush. However, if you are craving a little sweetness, these single portion squeeze packs will hit the spot. Still full of nutrients, they have a little extra flavor added, so you’ll feel like you’re having dessert. There are unsweetened options available as well. These are so handy. I keep one in the change compartment of my wallet “in case of emergency”.
Need something salty/crunchy?
These don’t store as compact as a squeeze pack, but if you’re really craving something salty, a bag of skinny pop will give you a healthy dose of fiber and you can get a pretty hearty portion for only 100 calories. This is a much better option than a drive-thru order of fries or a greasy bag of chips.
If you really mean business, you can dehydrate veggies and take them on the road with you. If you don’t have time for all that, there are simple options that will allow you to get some green in your belly without 12 hours of prep work.
Dry roasted edamame, kale chips and roasted chickpeas are easy to find and easy to pack (especially the edamame).
These are very inexpensive and come in a variety of flavors (including unflavored).
Now that you have your snacking list complete, let’s move on to tip #3.
4. Ordering out is bound to happen when you’re traveling. Keep a few things in mind while dining out.
Don’t drink your calories. Getting water or unsweetened tea with your meal can save you hundreds of calories.
Pick a protein, ask for veggies. Choosing a piece of chicken, fish, steak, etc is easy, but often the side dishes include heavy, starchy, buttery/oily carbs. Ask for potatoes or creamy anything to be replaced with steamed veggies or leafy greens with a side of olive oil and/or vinegar.
5. WORK IT OUT! Last but not least: Make your workout a priority! It doesn’t have to be long or elaborate, but it MUST get DONE! If you’re incorporating lots of activity into your workday, that’s fantastic, but nothing replaces that intentional time you spend challenging your muscles and invigorating your mind with that extra oxygen you’ll suck in while working out. You’ll have more energy, be more alert, reduce cortisol (that stress hormone), and be in a better mood.
Because I know that time is a premium commodity while traveling for business, I’ve created a series of highly effective workouts that you can complete in just 8 MINUTES! Forget about packing resistance bands and use your body! Everything you need for a great workout is right there in your hotel room. If you have time to do more, fabulous! Go for it. But at the very least…do 8 minutes! Try any or all of my 8 Minute Meltdowns!