#HappyHolidaysChallenge: Move That Body

Happy HolidaysHello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.blog_mailSignup

Move That Body

Think about the worst possible thing you could do for your health.  What comes to mind?  For me, it’s smoking cigarettes.  Shockingly, being physically inactive is just as dangerous as smoking!  The scary impact that being sedentary can have on your health is just the first of many reasons to move that body – physical activity also improves your ability to manage stress, helps you feel happier, and increases energy.  All of those benefits are extra important during the holiday season, but physical activity often falls by the wayside in favor of crossing another item of the to-do list.

Living an active life is an important ingredient of living a healthy life, especially when you’re time-crunched.  Instead of stressing about how you can possibly squeeze in a workout, find ways to incorporate movement into your everyday routine.

You Can Do It Challenge:  Add physical activity into at least one activity each day to reap all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of moving your body.

Add in Active Movement Anytime, Anywhere

I know it’s hard to find time for physical activity when you’re pressed for time, but you can literally make just about any activity more, well, active!  Folding laundry?  Keep the clothes basket on the floor and add in a squat (with correct form of course – click here for a how-to) between each piece of clothing.  Putting away groceries?  Lunge through the kitchen as you put each item away (once again, correct form is key – here’s your how-to).

Photo credit: violetsage.wordpress.com

Photo credit: violetsage.wordpress.com

You can get extra movement in things you are already doing.  Instead of shooting someone an email, deliver the message in person. Change your desk meeting into a walk and talk meeting to fit in work and movement at the same time.

If you’re one of those people who work through your lunch, what if you ran an errand and took your lunch break to enjoy yourself instead of slogging through that hour?  You’ll get some physical activity AND self-care, both of which will help you be more productive in the long-run.

Going through a seemingly endless inbox?  Stand on one foot while you check those emails, alternating feet with each message, to challenge your strength and balance.

Be Your Own People Mover

Use your body as a vehicle to run errands on foot. Instead of driving to the store, walk!  Think of the pros: it’s better for the environment, better for your health, and saves gas money.  If walking to the store isn’t an option, park as far from the door as possible to get an extra bit of walking in.

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up below.  You’ll get weekly emails, along with my free guide to making over your kitchen with healthy food staples.

blog_mailSignup

Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c

#HappyHolidaysChallenge: Give Yourself Permission to Eat

Happy Holidays

Hello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

Give Yourself Permission to Eat

We want to be able to enjoy the holidays, and food is often a big part of what we look forward to. Food provides a lot of benefits, and only one of them is nourishment. It evokes positive and enjoyable memories, creates a feeling of togetherness, and can taste really good.

If you identify as a chronic dieter (or “food police”), the holidays may feel like a stressful time when you’re surrounded by a bunch of foods that you “cannot” eat, must avoid, or otherwise feel you have no self control around. White knuckling it through holiday parties to steer clear of delicious “bad food” is no way to embrace the spirit of the season – it leads to unnecessary stress, anxiety, and guilt (and likely overeating when you finally give in – ironic, isn’t it?)

Giving yourself permission to eat is a basic need and a foundation principle of intuitive eating, which is the natural way we are supposed to eat (click here for more info about intuitive eating).

Party On

There are going to be lots of fun parties with lots of food.  Don’t miss out on the good times because you’re too busy worrying and stressing  about what you can and “can’t” eat.  This season, instead of avoiding the foods you love, tell yourself that it’s okay to enjoy them. In the end, this is all about creating positive experiences with food and erasing guilt, shame, and diet-focused thinking.

Are You The “Food Police”?

Here’s a quick way to know if your food rules are out of hand: If you avoid foods for reasons other than food allergy or dislike for the taste or texture, there’s a food rule somewhere. I’m all for eating healthy and balanced, but healthy does not mean perfect and food should not be some kind of moral judgement.

Why not make some progress in this area, away from “all or nothing” thinking and toward balance.

You can do it challenge: Break Out of Food Jail

Take 5 minutes to think about 5 foods you genuinely enjoy eating that you may feel guilty about when you do. Instead of avoiding them, make a plan to eat at least one of them with family and friends this week. For example – bake cookies with your family and then share the delicious treats with your neighbors or coworkers.

What do you think happens when you give yourself permission to eat? In my experience (personal and with clients) you tend to enjoy the food sans guilt and you tend to eat it in moderation. You still get the healthy stuff you like too. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

I have never met a single person who said they got pleasure and enjoyment out of denying themselves foods they love.  By now you are more skilled at eating with awareness. If not, freshen up those skills from the previous challenge.

What are you going to do differently this year to let go of those food rules? If the thought is uncomfortable, it’s OK. Most new things require discomfort. Until they are comfortable. That’s called change.

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? You’ll get weekly emails, along with the chance to win free prizes each week. All you need to do is sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c

Healthy Holiday Entertaining on WBAL

Are you counting down the days to Thanksgiving? Is your grocery shopping list already taking shape on the refrigerator?

WBAL TV11 News

WBAL TV11 News

Before you set those Thanksgiving dinner menus in stone, take a look at my Healthy Holiday Entertaining tips from my latest WBAL TV 11 news appearance! Trust me, you CAN invite nutrition to the table this Holiday season.

Don’t Forget about the Cans

When you’re busy, cooking with cans can be a BIG help. Take advantage of canned foods! They are convenient, easy, and they help your family get the nutrition they need. New research shows that kids who eat canned fruits and veggies tend to get more fruits and veggies overall and have a better diet quality. Currently, 9 out of 10 kids aren’t meeting their daily vegetable needs, and ALL forms of fruits and vegetables, canned fresh and frozen, help kids achieve this!

WBAL TV11 News

Family Fiesta Tacos

Try these “Family Fiesta Tacos,” with canned tomatoes, corn and kidney beans – with nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. You can get this recipe and more at mealtime.org

Put Cranberries on the Menu

Did you know cranberries have health benefits like helping to prevent urinary tract infections? Compounds unique to cranberries help prevent bacteria from sticking to the cell walls and causing infection. On www.cranberryinstitute.org , I found A research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition. In it, cranberries reportedly help to:

  • reduce the incidence of certain infections
  • maintain a healthy urinary tract
  • improve heart health and temper inflammation
WBAL TV11 News

Cranberry Chutney

They may also help maintain heart health by improving blood cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and reducing inflammation. All Cranberry products have these bioactive compounds including cranberry juice cocktail, dried cranberries, cranberry sauce and fresh/frozen cranberries.

Use Leftovers Creatively

I love honey because it is a versatile culinary ingredient used across a variety of cuisines! For example, it can easily be added to an Asian dish. Make this flavorful Chinese Noodles with Spicy Honey Peanut Sauce and serve it with your leftover turkey! With over 300 varieties of honey just in the US, each different type adds its own unique flavor profile to the recipe.

WBAL TV11 News

Chinese Noodles with Spicy Honey Peanut Sauce

Honey also balances any recipe enhancing the dish’s flavor: whether its sweet, sour, bitter, salty or savory. Get this recipe and more versatile uses at www.honey.com . Try it out with this easy cranberry compote and use it in LOTS of your fall dishes. Throw fresh cranberries in a pot with a bit of sweetener and simmer until soupy. Top oatmeal, yogurt, use as a spread on sandwiches and wraps – anywhere you can think of!

Entertain with Ease

If you’re hosting or going to a party and want a fun idea that’s super easy, try this KIND bar and cheese pairing: like a “wine and cheese” except with KIND bars! I love KIND foods because they are made from ingredients you can see and pronounce. The new STRONG & KIND bars offer savory flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These don’t contain soy or whey protein. There are Five Bold Flavors to choose from:

  • Honey Mustard
  • Thai Sweet Chili
  • Hickory Smoked
  • Roasted Jalapeno
  • Hickory Smoked BBQ
WBAL TV11 News

Strong & Kind KIND Bars Paired with Cheese

I love to pair Honey Mustard with a creamy goat cheese, Thai Sweet Chili with a Monterey jack, and Hickory Smoked with manchengo.

Tasty and nutritious, add some of these ideas to your Thanksgiving menu and you’ll be sure to add some health as well!

Find out more about these products and topics through Twitter at @USCranberries @CannedFoodFan @NationalHoney and @KINDSnacks !

Let us know! Have you day-dreamed out any Thanksgiving meal plans yet? Please share below or tweet to @ScritchfieldRD! We’d love to hear them!

Disclosures: I was compensated by Canned Food Alliance, National Honey Board, Cranberry Institute, and KIND Snacks for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

#HappyHolidaysChallenge: The “F” Word We All Love…FUN!

Happy Holidays

Hello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

The “F” Word We All Need A Little More Of…FUN!

Fun can reduce stress, improve quality of life, and ultimately make you happier. Having fun is especially critical during those high stress times like the holidays. And the holidays are supposed to be, well, fun…right?

But how much fun are you really having, through the holidays and all year? Most people admit that they don’t have time for fun. If either of these two pictures look like you, maaayyyybe we should work on having more fun.

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When “Fun” Is Up, Stress is Down

We get a lot of questions about why we put such a focus on fun in our nutrition counseling practice. We live in such a fast-paced, demanding world where stress is commonplace. All of us deal with stress, and a certain amount of stress is normal. But the problem arises when stress becomes overwhelming and constant. High levels of chronic stress are associated with negative health problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, sleep problems, emotional overeating, headaches, and more.

The holiday season has become one of the most stressful times of the year for many people. Whether it’s the commercialism (and the debt aftermath) or it’s the schedule of all the demanding “shoulds.” I should really go to every person’s holiday party. AND I “should” make my famous carrot cake that takes me 6 hours. Uggghhhh. Hey, if you’re dreading it, it’s NOT fun for you.

You Can Do It Challenge:  Schedule at least one hour of “fun” each week to help keep the stress at bay.

So how can you lower your stress during the holidays? If you’re like me, if it’s not scheduled, it won’t happen. Throughout the 60-Day Challenge, I encourage you to be proactive about actually scheduling time for fun. Your calendar should have plenty of “white space” in it. If not, that’s something to work on. (More about that later in the challenge). Even if your day is packed, scheduling some time for fun – even if it’s 15 minutes – will make your day more enjoyable and often times will also help put things into better perspective.

Finding Your Fun

You really can’t mess this up. Do anything you enjoy. But if you’re out of practice and need some ideas, I’ve got you covered.

  • Do something for yourself. If you take the time to take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to enjoy the holidays. So take a break, go for a walk, get a massage, buy something new (even under $10 feels like a treat), or take the time to make a lovely meal – and sit and enjoy it with awareness.
  • Try something new. Opening yourself up to new ideas and activities can be a great way to have fun. Try a new cooking or fitness class, see a movie, or schedule a low-key game night. Check out these “fun holiday ideas” on Pinterest.
  • Take a nap! The holidays can be exhausting, and it’s important to recharge your body and mind when you need it most. If you get the rest you need, you’ll be more patient, more productive, and happier.

Enter to Win

VF_MVPlus_HSN Gummy Vite 190ct

Leave a comment below on ways you plan to have more fun this holiday and you could win a prize pack from vitafusion (the #1 adult gummy vitamins) and L’il Critters (gummy vitamins for kids). vitafusion and L’il Critters believe healthy habits should be enjoyable so you will do them consistently. I agree!

I love the taste of these gummies. They are easy to take (especially compared to swallowing a pill) and my family doesn’t complain about taking their vitamins anymore! The vitafusion Plus Hair Skin and Nails (with biotin and leutin) has been great with the season change. My hair and skin is standing up to the dry air! And with L’il Critters Gummy Vites, I know that my daughter has all of her nutrient bases covered.

If you aren’t signed up for the challenge, please do so to be eligible to win. I will draw one winner at random and notify you by next week.

(Disclosure: vitafusion and L’il Critters donated the prize pack and will mail to the winner directly. I did not receive compensation to include them in the challenge.)

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c

#HappyHolidaysChallenge – Declutter Your Life

Happy Holidays

 

 

Hello there! If you’re reading for the first time or just stopping by for the fun, I’m doing a “Happy Holidays” wellness challenge to help you cultivate more health and happiness the rest of 2014. Catch up on the details on how to join and win the prizes. Or if it already sounds like a good idea, sign up below.

blog_mailSignup

 

De-clutter Your Life

Welcome to the first ‘fun’ post of the challenge!  Now, I know de-cluttering may not sound like a blast, BUT an organized space can make a huge impact on your general well being so that you can ultimately have more fun.

When our living/working space is cluttered, our minds tend to feel cluttered as well. This prevents us from being fully present in the moment, feeling happy, and having fun – see the connection now?!

While the act of de-cluttering might seem like work, a tidy space feels great once you’re done!  Plus, it’s been shown that a messy space can increase secretion of the stress hormone cortisol, so cleaning up will also reduce your stress levels.

You can do it challenge: Pick at least one space: home, office, life -wherever- and declutter it. Once you start, you can’t stop.

4 Easy Steps to a Clutter-Free Space

  1. Schedule Time – Whether it’s your office or your living room that needs to be de-cluttered, you are going to need some time to do it.  Set aside a few hours over the weekend or designate a few 20-30 minute blocks of time over the span of a few days. Whatever your schedule is, stick to it.
  2. Gather Supplies – You’ll need trash bags, boxes, and maybe some storage bins to sort all your belongings.  Have these on hand before you start.
  3. Sort, Sort, Sort! – Make 3 piles:  keep, give away, and maybe.  Reserve the maybe for items you are really unsure about.
    • Keep Pile –   Neatly return the items you are keeping to their appropriate spots, or use your storage bins to organize and store them.
    • Give Away Pile – You can donate clothes, appliances, books, and many other items to local charities.  Throw away anything that is broken or no longer working.
    • Maybe Pile – Make final decisions about the items in this pile within a few days – don’t let it sit around for too long!  If you’re having a really hard time deciding, ask yourself what it is that makes you so unsure and what you think the benefits are of keeping it.
  4. Bask in your Newly Organized Space – Once you’re finished, enjoy the feeling of an organized, clutter-free space!  You’ll feel relieved and happier once everything is in its place and you aren’t surrounded by too much stuff.

Get My “Healthy Kitchen” Refresh

Would you like to “refresh” your kitchen? Get my guide for clean and organized refrigerators, counters, and cupboards. It’s a $99 value and absolutely free of charge to you when you sign up for the challenge. If you’re already in the challenge, the link is in your email for 11/10.  If you can’t find it, e-mail me.

Check In

How are you doing so far? Leave a comment on the blog or on Facebook. If you’re on Twitter, follow me and the #HappyHolidaysChallenge for even more motivation.

If you’re not “officially” in the challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up below.  You’ll get weekly emails, along with my free guide to making over your kitchen with healthy food staples.

blog_mailSignup

Challenge Your Friends

People do better with support from friends. (It’s a scientific fact!) Ask your friends to join you by sharing on social media or just send them this e-mail with the link to subscribe to the challenge.

Facebook: Join me and Rebecca Scritchfield for a free 60-day wellness challenge.  Get healthier and happier this holiday season. http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c #HappyHolidaysChallenge

Twitter: I’m taking the #HappyHolidaysChallenge with @ScritchfieldRD. Join us http://wp.me/p2T0R-20c