Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Surviving the Holidays: 5 Strategies for Success

10 Days Till Christmas! Can you believe that? I'm back from New York- after a wonderful weekend of big fun, birthday celebrations, wonderful people, excessive SHOPPING, and more. Amazingly - I managed to eat decently and walked what felt like 10 miles a day!  Brooke was a wonderful & healthy hostess- she had pre-stocked her fridge with my favorite TJ's options, including a homemade mushroom pizza waiting for me upon my late night arrival! Such a great trip, I can't wait to go back!
I arrived home in the thick of the holiday season... and temptations are everywhere.  Cookies at work, chocolate at home (Chris!!) and social occasions what seems like every night of the week!
Here are my 5 tips to holiday food trap survival:
1. Make a Statement. Tell people you're trying to eat well.  That way it's more embarrassing and you're less likely to grab another cookie at the office or re-load your plate at the party buffet. 
2. Drink Smart. Although there are tons of fun holiday specialty drinks- most are loaded with unnecessary calories.  Stick to your usual, a glass of wine or a vodka soda is going to have a lot less empty calories than egg nog. Drink too much? Try my favorite new miracle cure for hangovers- coconut water. You can find it at Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even some convenience stores. It provides extreme hydration which will leave you hurting less the next day- and hopefully lessen that craving for greasy hangover food! 
3. Stay Positive.  So you indulge and eat too much at a Christmas party. So what? It's not the end of the world.  Holidays have a tendency to derail dieters to the point where they just "give up" and figure they'll mend their ways after the New Year.  Don't give in to that- you are just as able to get right back on track the next day after a slip up and you'll have much less damage to undo with your New Years Resolution.
 4. Cook Smart.  If you're the one hosting the party- or Christmas dinner, you're in control.  There are lots of healthy substitutions you can make to even the most classic of holiday dishes that your friends and family won't even notice. Cooking Light is a great resource. Check out their holiday menus here:
 Cooking Light Apps
 Cooking Light Holiday Dinner Menus
5. Fit it In. Want to workout- but have no time to get to the gym? Try a Workout on the Go- which you can download to your Ipod for free from Women's Health Magazine! Workout Downloads.  Or make do with what you've got.  Fit in a power walk around the neighborhood to look at lights, or do some push ups when you get out of bed in the morning.  It all counts!
Most importantly, take time to enjoy your holidays.  They're not about cookies, candy,or even gifts, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love the most.  Make quality time with your friends and family your priority and thoughts of "sugarplums"will quickly fade to the background. 
PS- keeping this quote in mind won't hurt either :) If hunger is not the problem, then eating is not the solution.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ready or Not- Here I Come!

To NYC that is! Tomorrow morning I take off for a long weekend of fun, festivities and some quality time with my BFF Brooke.  We've got all kinds of Christmasy plans including a visit to Rockefeller Center and of course some sightseeing (code word for shopping! Don't tell Chris :)
I've been working out really hard this week in preparation for the trip and seriously, after only 5 Bar Method workouts- it's starting to come back to me and it feels AMAZING. I can literally feel myself getting stronger. I'm taking a class tomorrow morning before I leave so my muscles will be all nice and tired for my 6 hour flight.
Brooke and I skyped last night to plan our weekend and surprise, surprise, it involves a lot of drinking and eating! I'll be honest with you- I'm looking forward to all of it! I think what I'm going to do is make my goal enjoyment as opposed to bingeing. Basically I'll try to appreciating every delicious thing I eat and drink in reasonable portions but not eat as much crap as I can fit in my mouth just because I'm "on vacay!" (been there done that- came home to tight pants- I have a LBD to fit into!). 
Brooke- I like these ones!
I'm also bringing a pair of running shoes- Brooke has been into running lately (her BF promised her a pair of Louboutins if she runs a 5k- I'd be running too!) Hopefully we can squeeze a run in at some point- she laughed at me when I asked if we'd be running outside- apparently it's pretty cold there!  I'm already signed up for a Bar class the day I get back to help me get back on the working out/eating well path.  
I hope everyone has a fun filled, healthy weekend!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekends- Friend or Foe?

Friday is typically my favorite day of the week, but it's also a dangerous day when I'm being healthy. Looking back through my food journals there is a clear pattern of a work week full of writing down everything I ate- but come Friday afternoon it would suddenly be blank till Monday morning.  And don't think that's because I wasn't eating!
I do believe it's good to have a little flexibility with what you eat on the weekend, but there's a big difference between a little indulgence and complete abandonment of healthy eating. You don't want to undo all the hard work you put in during the week for two days of fun. Here's the plan:

Get a Healthy Start- If I start my day off with a big brunch, (which I LOVE to do, usually including mimosas) it generally doesn't end well.  So, I've signed myself up for Bar Method on both Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am.  That way I get to sleep in a little, get a great workout, and be home and ready for the day by 10.
Avoid Known Food Traps- It's a Sunday home game this weekend, so I'll be cheering on the Chargers.  I've been to enough games at this point to know that healthy options at the stadium are basically zero. So- although I will miss my favorite nachos, I'll eat  lunch before heading to the stadium and pack a few snacks in my bag as well.
Plan Indulgences- Chris and I have a date night tonight, and I'm so ready for a Friday night glass of wine (or three) I'm actually hoping the wine will help with my intense soreness from Bar Method this week. By planning in advance- I don't have to feel guilty about some enjoyment time.
Speaking of Bar- as I was driving there Tuesday for my first workout back I was thinking "this is so great, I can't wait to do this and feel good again" like it was some kind of relaxing yoga. Um I forgot how FREAKING HARD it is.  Yes I do feel good- AFTER the workout, but during it I'm sweating with every muscle in my body literally shaking thinking- why did I do this again?? It's amazing/depressing how far I've regressed in 6 months without it.  I can't wait till it starts to feel good again. I just need to focus on the benefits (detailed on right)... I can't wait! :)
Have a great weekend!
PS. Congratulations favorite new parents, Amy & Doug!