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Unread December 15th, 2014, 12:04 AM
annette b. annette b. is offline
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December 2014 Health CoachingNews

Who doesn’t love FREE?? Contact me for a free consult at
www.wellnessfirm.biz, (317)695-3867 or here at Allisonville Chiropractic!!


One of the things I love best about the holiday season is visiting with family and friends – some of whom I haven’t seen since the last holiday get-together. But the holidays can also be stressful, with all the traveling, shopping, cooking, and entertaining. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself – even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Try the breathing exercise below. Deep breathing, as well as yoga poses, stretching and journaling can be very helpful for relieving stress. And taking time for yourself is important to both your physical and emotional health this holiday season.
You’ll also find tips below for surviving the holiday season without packing on the pounds. I’ve included one of my favorite soup recipes that I recommend for post-holiday recovery. Enjoy!
Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season without Packing on the Pounds

Set yourself up for success. Studies show that many people plan to make New Year’s resolutions to be healthier or lose weight, and then give themselves permission to binge-eat throughout the month of December. Overindulging for days or weeks at a time is not healthy for your heart, blood sugar levels, or your waistline! Instead, think about how you want to feel on New Year’s Day and get clear about your intentions. Think about WHY you want to achieve that goal. How will it feel in your body? In your clothes? How will it affect your self-confidence? Your relationships? The clearer you are about your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. You can also focus on achieving a few non-food-related health goals, such as getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night; drinking half your weight in water EVERY day, and getting exercise three to four days a week.




Don’t let the holidays be all about the food. Take a moment to consider what is most important to you this time of year. Is it the chance to see your family and friends? Is it the much-needed break from work or school schedules? Perhaps it is the ritual of celebrating and connecting with others. Focus on what’s really important to you this holiday season, and plan some non-food-related activities to enjoy those moments.
It’s okay to say no. It can be uncomfortable or feel impolite not to eat a special dish or dessert when a friend or family member has made it, but don’t be afraid to say a simple, “No thank you.” Nowhere is it written that you must indulge in foods that simply don’t make you feel your best. When your hostess hands you a piece of her handmade pecan pie or glass of eggnog, for example, and you know you will regret it later, feel free to pass. If you must explain, just tell them nicely that certain foods don’t agree with you, or that you’re full right now but might try some later. It’s your body!
Treat smart. If there is one holiday treat you look forward to each year (my mother’s pumpkin cheesecake comes to mind), enjoy a small serving -- but avoid having another piece for a late-night snack and one for breakfast the next day! Did you know that one slice of pumpkin cheesecake has approximately 740 calories, 47 grams of unhealthy fat and 53 grams of sugar? That’s 13 teaspoons of sugar! Sugar suppresses your immune system and is addictive, so the more sugar you eat (or drink), the more sugar you will crave -- and that can lead to feeling out-of-control, bloated and/or exhausted. Focus on how you want to FEEL over the holidays and that will help you determine what you want to EAT. I know for many of us, this is easier said than done. Why not treat yourself to a consultation with me? Email mefirmsherri@gmail.comto talk about your unique challenges and how I can help you undo unhealthy habits and change your relationship with food, once and for all!
Take a moment or two for yourself. If you spend the holidays in a state of stress or anxiety, you won’t enjoy them (and neither will the people around you). While there is no way to eliminate ALL the stress of the holidays, you can lower it and reduce your risk of overeating by being aware and taking time for yourself – whether you go for a short walk, take a 10-minute “power nap” or squeeze in this simple breathing exercise, adapted from Dr. Andrew Weill: Sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair, with your back straight. Close your eyes and relax your jaw and teeth. Rest the tip of your tongue lightly against your two front upper teeth. 1) With your mouth closed, inhale through your nose to a count of FOUR. 2) Hold that breath for a count of SEVEN. 3) Exhale through your mouth to a count of EIGHT, letting the exhalation make a “whooshing” sound. 4) Repeat three more times. This exercise naturally reduces mind/body stress, and the more your practice it, the more powerful it becomes.


This Month's Healthy Recipe:


Post-Holiday Recovery Soup
(makes 6 - 8 servings)
Ingredients
• 2 cups water
• 1 32-ounce box of organic, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
• 2 - 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry*
• 1 pound organic baby carrots (or peel and chop carrots into one-inch pieces)
• 1 white onion, chopped into one- to two-inch slices
• 8 ounces raw baby spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-sized pieces
• 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
• ½ tsp each: dill, rosemary, oregano
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp smoked paprika
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• 2 avocados, cut into bite-sized chunks
* If you have leftover turkey, you can shred or cut it into bite-size pieces and add it to the soup during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking time.

Directions
In a large soup pot, pour in water and chicken broth. Toss in all of the vegetables EXCEPT the avocado (carrots, onions, spinach, and jalapeño. You can also add other veggies you have on hand, such as mushrooms or zucchini). Stir once and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add chicken breasts (whole); if liquid does not cover chicken add more water or broth to just cover breasts. Bring to a boil and boil for 5-10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover with tight-fitting lid, and simmer for two hours. Check after one hour to ensure broth is still covering chicken breasts. At two hours, stir and check for tenderness of chicken – it should fall apart easily when pulled with a fork. Add garlic and remaining spices; stir well and simmer 10 -15 minutes more. When done, use fork to tear chicken into bite-sized pieces. (Be careful as the chicken in the broth will be hot.) To serve, scoop a serving-size of vegetables and chicken into a bowl; use a ladle to pour broth over vegetables and chicken. Add 2 -3 chunks of avocado to each bowl and serve. This is a hearty, healthy, post-holiday meal for lunch or dinner!
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Anna Benson (RIP 2009), "Firm For Life" p. 194
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