Tuesday Topic: Healthy Holidays

Hello my beautiful blog people!

I’m unhappy to report that I did, in fact, fall ill to a nasty little bug. My voice has been nonexistent since Saturday morning, which I originally thought was a result of too many drinks the night before, but I’ve developed a cough as well.

Unfortunately for me, one of my December goals was to stay healthy! Booooo. But in my defense, I have been really good about washing my hands and taking extra vitamin C! It just snuck up on me.

Because of this, I thought maybe it was a good time to share a few ways to take care of yourself this holiday season. Some of the tips are geared more toward staying healthy and fit rather than left feeling as bloated as a snowman, but there are a few for taking care of your overall health as well.

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1) Exercise regularly

Try to do something active every day, even if it’s as simple as a yoga podcast, walking the dog or shoveling the driveway (or washing the car if you’re in a not-so-snowy place). It will help you feel good and keep your metabolism in check.

2) Indulge, but consciously

‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, but don’t obsess over what you should and shouldn’t have. Have the things you really enjoy, but only take one serving and then move on.

3) Choose healthy foods as much as possible

Whether you’re at a holiday party or just having lunch the day after Christmas, try to fill your plate with mostly fruits and veggies at every meal, and don’t snack on cookies or leftovers just because they’re in the house.

4) Wash your hands

The single most effective way to prevent the spread of germs is sudsing your hands often! It’s also not a bad idea to carry mini-hand sanitizer around with you.

5) Take “me” time

Through all the gift giving and reconnecting with family and friends, don’t forget about yourself during the holidays. Carve out time each day to do something by yourself, like taking a bath or doing your nails… even if it just means taking the long way home.mani

6) Sleep!!

Especially if you are lucky enough to have time off from work or school around the holidays, do yourself a favor and forgo the alarm as much as possible. Your immune system and your sanity will thank you.

7) Drink fluids, mostly water

WebMD does a pretty good job at explaining the benefits of drinking water, but specifically around the holidays when your lifestyle is a little out of whack, it couldn’t hurt to be a bit more conscious of your fluid intake.tea

8) Wear form-fitting clothes to parties

Eating a couple of cookies or having a few glasses of wine won’t show, but seconds and thirds at a holiday feast might. Wearing an outfit that flaunts your assets gives you a higher awareness of just how much you’re eating and drinking.

9) Put a cork in social media

Holidays are a time of joy and happiness, and while it’s nice to share a bit on Facebook and Twitter, it is easy to fall victim to the comparison trap in those situations. Enjoy your holiday and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing.

10) Focus on the holiday

If you find yourself counting the calories of all the sugar plums dancing in your head, take a step back, breathe, and remember the real reason for all of the celebrating. It’s important to remember that food is just one part of the celebration.

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What are tips you go by to stay healthy during the holiday season?

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Tuesday Topic: Before and After Workout Nutrition

It’s no secret that a balanced blend of good nutrition and physical activity is what makes up a healthy lifestyle. But when those two things meet, it can cause some confusion.

The most important thing to remember is that food is our fuel. Think about your car… before you take your car on the highway, you need to make sure the tank is full enough for the journey, and after, it needs to be refueled when the levels drop

Before

Eating before exercise is so important because it can make or break the workout. It’s important to choose foods that won’t slow you down, we don’t want our muscles and digestive system fighting for the blood flow! Key things to remember when choosing a pre-workout snack..

  • rich in easily-digestible carbohydrates to ensure glycogen stores in muscles are adequate
  • small amounts of protein and fat so that digestion is easy
  • 60 minutes prior to the workout, so digestion has moved out of the stomach

My favorites that I typically have on hand are apples, yogurt with granola, toast with jam and popcorn.

After

Eating after is just as important as what’s eaten before a workout. This is when the body is dehydrated, the muscle stores are depleted, and it’s time to repair any damage done to the muscles. Key things to remember for post-workout snacks..

  • good source of protein to help build muscle tissue that has been damaged or in the aid of developing new tissue
  • slow-digesting, complex carbohydrates that will replace the lost glycogen stores
  • potassium & sodium (electrolytes) and fluids lost in sweat also need to be replenished
  • eat within 60 minutes of activity so that recovery is adequate

My favorites are peanut butter banana protein smoothie, turkey sandwich on wheat, yogurt with berries and granola. Orange juice and coconut water are good additions as well.

This is a very basic breakdown. What works for one person may not work for someone else, it really is very individualized. As with eating from day-to-day, everyone is going to have different needs. If you are unsure as to what kinds of fuel your body needs for your lifestyle, it’s best to talk to a Dietitian. Many specialize in sports nutrition and can help you start fueling your body the right way.

What are your favorite before and after snacks for workouts?