10 SIMPLE STEPS TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

What a wonderful time of year it is! All the hustle and bustle of the Holidays can be very exciting and also a little draining. It’s super important to make sure you are taking fabulous care of yourself during this time to ensure you feel your best emotionally and physically. As lovely as the holidays are, they can also bring a little added stress with all of the parties spent with friends, coworkers and extended family. If you are like me, sometimes these moments can be a little exhausting and quite frankly, stressful. Family is wonderful, but there have been times when issues have come up.  Staying focused, positive and having a heart of compassion and forgiveness has always helped me get through it in a genuine and peaceful way.

 1.  STAY HYDRATED – Proper hydration is so important to your body functioning at an optimal level. Did you know that sometimes if you find yourself craving sweets, you could actually be dehydrated? Your body is in need of water at that moment, not something highly processed or loaded with sugar.  Strive to drink the amount of water each day that is right for your body.  What’s the right amount for you?  Take your body weight and divide it in half.  That is the amount of water in ounces you should be drinking each day.

2.  GET ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP – Getting quality sleep is what your body needs to set you up for a healthy day ahead.   When you give your body the amount of sleep it requires, it is able to replenish and rewire. Your hormones are able to come back to balance, which is so important to your entire body and mind.

3.  MINIMIZE THE SUGAR – Sugar is such a hot topic today. What does it really do to your body? Does it actually cause negative health problems? Yes, the answer is yes! Sugar is highly inflammatory in excess. We are consuming far too much in our daily lives. Sugar is in almost every processed food today. Eating more of a whole food and seasonal food diet is exactly what your body needs to be at its best throughout the year. It is also important to eat less sugar because over consumption of sugar causes chronic inflammation, which can weaken the immune system.

4.  TAKE THE FREE VIA CHARACTER STRENGTH QUIZ (HERE) – Taking this quiz shows you what your top strengths are. When you are aware of your top strengths, you can learn to access them throughout each day and week to help you feel strong and centered.  This tool is perfect for this time of year!

5.  MOVE YOUR BODY – Movement is very important to healthy bones and muscles. Daily movement is also a key component to living a long and full life. Don’t you notice when you exercise that you not only feel better physically, but emotionally as well?

6.  EAT BALANCED MEALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY – Skipping meals is no good! When you have too much time between meals, your blood sugar levels get out of whack and you start to crave something that will quickly bring you more energy. Usually, this tends to be something overly processed. Instead of giving you lasting energy, this form of food actually causes an increase or spike in alertness and then it is followed by a drop, which leaves you feeling lethargic and foggy headed.

7.  PRACTICE A GRATITUDE EXERCISE EVERY NIGHT BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP – Our days are full of crazy and hectic schedules especially this time of year. Not just with schedules, but the Holidays can be a very emotional time. Family stuff, relationship stuff, etc. can all come to the surface in a time where we are meant to be merry and jolly. Make a habit of saying a few things that you are grateful for each day, as part of your nightly ritual. This way when issues do come up that make you sad or bring you down, practicing gratitude can help shift your focus back to a more positive mindset.

8.  PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING – When you practice deep breathing, it really does help reduce stress and take you out of the heat of the moment. My favorite way to get back to “Zen” throughout the day is with Dr. Andrew Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing technique (learn more here). If I start to feel a little stressed, this really helps me rewire and feel more balanced.

9.  HAVE A HEART OF FORGIVENESS – Forgiveness is so important to our overall soul centered way of life. Holding a grudge or staying angry about something really only hurts you in the long run. Why not forgive those in your life whom you might feel wronged by even if they aren’t asking for it? You might be surprised to notice how much better you feel.

10. FIND HUMOR IN EVERYTHING – LAUGH HARDER AND SMILE MORE – There is a lot of serious stuff going on in our lives and in the world around us. I truly believe that if we all try a little harder to bring more joy, humor, laughter and smiles to the people we interact with it will create a ripple effect of positivity. This way, more and more people can be lifted up and find genuine happiness in their lives each and every day!

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From my family to yours, have a fantastic, balanced and lovely Holiday Season!

Abby xo

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NEWSLETTER

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ISN’T FAT BAD FOR ME?

Hiya Beautiful,

Dietary fat: Is it good or bad?

Both. You see, not all fats are created equal.

The Skinny on Fats:

Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.

That said, our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.

Where to Find Healthy Fats:

  • Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
  • Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini
  • Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

How to Use Healthy Fats:

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil
  • When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.

Try this delicious, easy recipe:

Avocado Dip
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1 large peeled and pitted avocado
2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat milk yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
1 diced tomato
1/2 cup fresh chopped organic cilantro
Zest of 1/2 a lime
1 clove of garlic minced
1- 1  1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
dash or two of cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce
Himalayan salt and black pepper

  • Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
  • Add yogurt through cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork.  You could also mash together with a potato masher for a more rustic dip as in the picture below.
  • Add salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
  • Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
    Tip: Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving.

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GET EVEN HEALTHIER!

Want help learning how to choose and use nutritious fats and other good-for-you foods? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

ABOUT ME

I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.

Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching.

Abby xo

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE

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Powerful plant protein (plus cooking tips!)

Hiya Beautiful,

I was determined to know beans.”— Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field

 How about you? How well do you know beans?

Creamy cannelloni beans, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.

Consider this: Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories.

Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

What To Do With Beans

Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them. Are you one of them? Keep reading:

  • Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad.
  • Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
  • Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
  • Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
  • Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips for delicious and well-cooked beans.

  • Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
  • Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking).
  • After soaking, rinse, fill pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
  • To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water
  • Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
  • Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
  • Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead (some people find them even easier to digest!). Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.

GET EVEN HEALTHIER!

Would you like help learning how to choose and cook healthy foods like beans? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial COMPLEMENTARY consultation with me today——or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

ABOUT ME

I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals.

Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching.

Abby xo

LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE

 

 

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