Top 3 Tips for Getting Back on Track After Thanksgiving

Assortment of High Fiber FoodsI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed the day of family, friends and foods. I’ve seen some posts of people complaining of how much they ate and the thoughts of leftovers. I try to think of the holidays as singular days. So the leftovers I have are turkey, vegetables and a little bit of stuffing. I purposely didn’t come home with dessert or heavy casseroles.

I find that it’s not what I do on the holiday, it’s what I do the days after that have the most impact on my eating plan. To counterbalance yesterday’s indulgences I decided to have a Savory Day today.  A Savory Day is a day when I don’t eat sweets at all.  It lets me balance out from the pecan pie, chocolate and wine from yesterday.  I’m eating oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast, smoked salmon with avocado & capers on whole grain bread for lunch and dinner is leftover turkey and vegetables.  If I need a snack it will be nuts or some carrots & hummus.

It’s also a Whole Foods Day, nothing I’m eating is processed.  It lets my body regroup from some eating that may not have been the healthiest choices.  These are good days to incorporate throughout the holiday season.  You’re not starving yourself nor are you constantly depriving yourself. It’s not fun being hungry and grumpy plus no one else wants to hang out with a grump.

Get some exercise in too.  It’s important to just move your body a bit every day. Find an exercise that makes you feel good, one that you won’t dread doing. I like getting a good sweat on, my brain is happy and I’m ready for any drama that may occur during the upcoming holiday.  There’s something about families in one location that brings out the crazy, but whatever.  I’m ready to deal.

Like these tips and want more? Monday, December 9, 8 pm, I will be having a free 30 minute teleclass, I will be giving insider tips and tricks for dealing with family, staying on track with food and money while keeping your sense of humor. Learn to identify your major stress triggers as well as what brings you pleasure. Bring pleasure and joy into your holiday season and let go of the guilt and shoulds. To sign up for the class please register here: http://www.eventbrite.com/edit?eid=9520033677.

Ten Easy Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving with catLast week I talked about celebrating Thanksgiving with your family and enjoying the day. I did have some questions on what to do when you are trying to eat healthy and don’t want to get too far off-track.

Get some exercise in. Participate in a Turkey Trot, go for a walk, play touch football or put on your favorite songs and dance for a while. You’ll burn calories and give yourself an endorphin boost.

Have a healthy snack or starter, something simple that will take the edge of your hunger and keep you from devouring everything in sight. Some cut up vegetables and hummus or an apple and a piece of string cheese. Shrimp cocktail is festive and low calorie or a butternut squash soup that’s not made with cream.

If you are doing the cooking or the baking mind the tasting. Bites, licks and tastes all add up calorie wise. (and, yes, you need to taste the dish to make sure the seasoning is right. Dip the spoon in for a small taste).

Turkey is healthy, go easy on the gravy and skip the skin.

Pick your sides wisely, veggies are a great choice but skip the cheese sauce.

It is a holiday so if you want the mashed potatoes and the stuffing take about 1/2 cup size serving of each. (think 1/2 a baseball). You’ll still get your favorites without feeling stuffed.

Skip the bread, you can have that any time of year.

I like cranberries and they are full of antioxidants. Cranberry sauce is also full of sugar so again, go easy. You could also make your own and substitute 1/2 the sugar with stevia.

For dessert pick one and enjoy it. Can’t make up your mind? Take sample size portions (think index finger width) of two or three desserts and savor them. I leave the pie crust because I simply don’t like it. I save a bunch of calories that way too.

Bonus tip: Cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks add calories. Enjoy the wine with dinner but have a big glass of water to sip as well.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your day. The next day go back to your healthy routine.

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Diets, Thanksgiving and Family Connections

turkeyWith the upcoming holidays I’ve been having a lot of conversations about food. The different view points and passion around food are always fascinating to me. I had a doctor tell me that our clients are too focused food and not the actual holiday. My thought was food is a very strong glue that binds families together. There’s a memory of love and enjoyment in those holiday meals and we feel connected through the meals.

His thinking was to not focus on the food and you enjoy the day that much more. While I understand the viewpoint I’m not really sure that’s true. I love having Thanksgiving with my in-laws, I particularly love my father-in-law’s sausage stuffing, especially when he makes in the pan and it gets crispy on top. But I feel connected to my family when I make food the way my mother and grandmother did.

There’s a certain link that you get when you have the cranberry sauce or sweet potato dish that you ate while growing up. The feeling of happy times and being cared for that really cannot be discounted. I think it’s important to have that bond and ignoring the food can leave you feeling deprived, angry or depressed to some degree.

Does that mean you should go and have heaping plates of it? No, but I do think having it the one day and taking the time to enjoy it along with the people you’re eating with is powerful for us. You’re sharing tradition and love with those you care about.

Next week we can talk more about eating mindfully and steps to take if you are watching what you eat. There are definitely ways to enjoy the meal and traditions without feeling like you sabotaged your own eating plan.

What are your favorite family Thanksgiving traditions? I’d love to know what you look forward to and what you could really live without!

Tired of cookie cutter diets? Need help in creating an eating plan that works for you, one that doesn’t leave you deprived or hungry? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 20 minute consultation. You will get at least one tip that you can start implementing immediately.

How Do You Reach Your Destination Without GPS?

gpsYou’re on a road trip with a vague idea of where you’re going but you don’t have a GPS or a map with you. So how do you know where you’re going or when you’ve reached your destination? You need some sort of guidance or direction. The same is true for weight loss.

You lose direction without a specific clear-cut goal and knowing why you’re working towards that goal. I always ask my clients why they want to lose weight, change their eating habits and/or start exercising. I usually hear “to be healthier.” I ask them why they want to be healthier, for whom and what the desired outcome will bring them.

Usually we come with a story of why it is so important. Sometimes it’s a family member who was ill or passed away and missed out on crucial life moments of my client or my clients children. Sometimes it’s knowing that the course they’re on is leading to exhaustion and they are worried about keeping their jobs. For others they want to avoid the health problems that parents or siblings have so they can be medication free and lead an active life.

From that point you can set your goals, just keep them realistic and attainable. You want to feel as if you can reach your destination rather than feeling like it’s some mythical place.

Need help in setting goals for yourself or staying motivated? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 20 minute power session. You will receive at least one tip that you can start implementing immediately.

Are You on an Endless Treadmill and Standing Still?

treadmillDo you feel like you’re just stuck on an endless treadmill? Things aren’t going the way you planned? The days just blur together and seem the same: get up, go to work, do chores, eat, run around with family and go to bed?

Many of us get sucked into that at some point or the other. It seems like nothing can change it and there is no way to break the routine into something other than an endless hamster cycle. I have been feeling that way lately. And in probing deeper I realized I wasn’t taking time for me to do things that I enjoy.

I was training for a half-marathon, working on my business and doing chores. While I enjoy running it had become a routine and I wasn’t giving myself time to read, knit or some of the other things that I love. Some clients I’ve spoken with have told me that they would give anything for a half an hour of me time every day.

Sometimes you just need to make that happen and to make it happen something non-critical needs to let go. It may be that you say, I’m leaving work at 6 pm. It may be that the dishes go into the dishwasher and you go exercise without making the kitchen spotless. Maybe you and your spouse trade-off, each of you getting some time while the other deals with the house and kids.

Another option is to hire or barter help. Get a babysitter for a few hours a week to let you do what you need or swap off with a trusted friend/neighbor. Have someone come in and do the heavy cleaning once or twice a month. A friend of mine drops her laundry off to be washed and folded. It’s time she doesn’t have to spend and the laundromat does a better job folding.

You deserve time to rest, replenish and do the things that feed your soul. These aren’t selfish, they make you a better partner, friend, parent, etc. A happier you makes for a happier family.

Need more help in figuring out a better blend of work, family and life? Email me, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, for a complimentary 20 minute power session. You will take away at least one tip that you can start implementing immediately.