Monthly Archives: November 2015

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Four Tips to Keep Post-Thanksgiving Guilt at Bay

Happy Thanksgiving week!

The holidays are always a mixed bag. There are lots of people who look forward to the time with family, great food, and a break from work. Other people dread the overeating and drinking they know comes with the holidays.

For those of you who want to enjoy great food with family and still feel great in your own body, here are a few simple tips to take home with you.

#1. Don’t show up hungry!

In my family, we start our thanksgiving get together around 4pm, so it’s tough to fit in lunch before I get there. If I wait until 4pm to eat lunch, I know I’m going to eat a ton more than I really want to because my blood sugar is going to be super low by that point, and my body will be in survival mode (AKA Give me food! Any kind of food! The more the better!). We all know the saying about our eyes being bigger than our stomachs. Well, when you’re super hungry that’s even more the case.

Solution: Have a snack before you go into the meal, even something small, so you’re better able to make smart decisions when meal time rolls around.

#2. Bring something healthy to share that everyone can enjoy.

There is so much great produce around this time of year. Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples, brussels sprouts and pumpkins! If you need ideas, check out my facebook page for a whole lot of options. Bring one of your favorite salads or vegetable dishes to the meal. Some people may thank you, others might make fun of you (I sure have both bunches in my family!), but your body will be thanking you, and that’s kinda most important.

#3. If you know you are prone to overeating, eat from a smaller plate.

Do you ever notice that you will fill your plate with food, no matter the size of the plate? Yup, that’s a thing. It’s psychological. (If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, here’s a visual). So why not make the most of what we know about our minds? If you know you’ll fill your plate to the brim and go for seconds (or thirds), try eating out of a smaller plate. Sometimes I use a dessert plate for my main meal during Thanksgiving, because I know that most of the food isn’t going to leave me feeling very well.

#4. Spread the love.

It’s easy to get sucked into the food and materialism around the holidays, but what it really comes down to is spending time with the people you love (blood family or chosen family). Even if you don’t like everyone you’ll be around, maybe there is at least something interesting or entertaining about them. By focusing on those around you and enjoying good conversation, you will naturally eat less. There are some countries in the world that might not have the best diets, but overall, they are super healthy because so much of their eating is social.  They spend meal times talking with the people around them, laughing and story telling. Not only is this good for our souls, but it extends the amount of time it takes to finish the meal, which gives your body time to digest your food and let you know when you are full.

What are some of your Thanksgiving tips for avoiding the post-holiday guilt and discomfort?

Sending lots of love!

Samantha

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jump

123 Jump

If you’ve ever gone sky diving, you probably know that the scariest part is jumping out of the plane. Here you are making this conscious choice that goes against everything your moma taught you. And once you jump, you’re free. You’re flying. And it’s one of the best sensations ever.

A few years ago I was having a conversation with someone about something that I was scared to do. His advice to me was that sometimes you just have to close your eyes, count to three and jump. It’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.

Shortly after hearing this, I was visiting my best friend in Boston. I was terrified of water at that point (I almost drowned when I was younger), and we went to go swimming in a local pond. There was a dock that people were jumping off of, and I decided to test the theory. So, I literally counted to 3 and jumped. It was so liberating! So freeing! And I didn’t die! (Yes, it’s called catastrophizing, and a lot more people than you realize are doing it.)

While I’m being literal, I’ve also applied this advice in my workouts. I did a box jump for the first time last month and I was so nervous. I thought that I would hit the box, stumble, fall, break something, and embarrass and hurt myself in the process. I didn’t think I could do it. But, I counted to three and jumped. And I did it! Today I even reached my personal best and box jumped 20 inches! Holy sh*t.

The great thing about 123 jump is that it can apply to anything. Last year I left a job that no longer suited me. I loved the students I was working with and my team, but I knew it was time to move on. I didn’t want to tell my boss, I didn’t want to disappoint her, or have to answer hard questions about why I was leaving. Not having the conversation was weighing down on me and occupying a ton of mental space. And then one day I just decided to do it. 123 jump. I found my supervisor, asked to speak with her, and it was done. I felt so much relief.

Gathering up the courage to have hard conversations or step out of our comfort zones isn’t easy by any means. But sometimes, remembering a silly expression gives me that added push to just do it. And the great news is that it’s like riding a bike. The more you step out of your comfort zone and build that courage muscle, the easier it becomes. I just wish I had received this advice before I jumped out of the plane!

What helps give you courage when you’re facing a challenge?

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What have you been putting off?

If you’re like me, you probably have a to-do list that never seems to end. Sometimes, just thinking about something on my to-do list takes more time than actually doing it! Here’s my fun example of the day. When I moved into my apartment a year ago, the bathroom faucet was missing the pop-up (yup, that’s what it’s called – image above), that blocks things from falling into the sink. Every time something falls from the cabinet above the sink I have a mini heart attack because I’m afraid it’s going to go down the drain. It’s ridiculous. It’s been a year and every morning I think about how much better things would be if there was a proper drain on the faucet.

Fast forward to today and I bought the darn pop-up. It took a little effort, a few phone calls, a visit to a few stores, but it’s beautiful! And it cost my $3. $3 and an hour of my time, as opposed to minutes of each day for 365 days! It’s such a simple thing, but I kept putting it off.

So my question to you is what are you putting off? It might be making that dreaded doctors appointment, or cleaning out your closet, or having a hard conversation with someone. It could be anything. What’s one thing you could do today that would free up some of your mental space, bring you some peace of mind and make your life that much better?

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