Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wish List

I have heard it many times before - I wish I had the energy to go to the gym like you do, I wish I had the energy to cook meals for my family, etc, etc.......
What people often fail to realize is that the energy often comes from those exact behaviours!  When you work out you feel energized and can enjoy other activities that fill your time.  When you eat healthy, eat out less, and choose convenience items less, you feel better because you're giving your body more of what it needs and less of what it doesn't (fat, sugar, salt).  Stop wishing and start doing - prioritize your health, schedule it into your day if needed!

Heading into the holidays, I often look at how we have conditioned ourselves - we go to a party and the party is about food and drinks.  Let's redefine that party - play games, get active with your group, enjoy a few items, but don't let that be the focus.  It takes time to change habits and adults are often very set in their ways, but do it for your health and the health of others.  We used to build snow forts, play hockey on the street, go skiing etc., but too often people eat, drink, go on the computer/ipad/smart phone and remain inactive.  Set a good example for the younger generation in your life and perhaps create a healthy holiday tradition that they will carry forward.

I will be having a very active holiday season, low intensity, but I'm planning on covering a lot of ground - we're going on a vacation and going to do lots of site seeing.  It makes it easy for me to avoid holiday temptations this year, but you can go out and enjoy the sites wherever you spend your holidays.  Have a photo contest and see who captures winter the best, enjoy the free skating at the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink, grab a crazy carpet and hit the nearest hill - let your inner child shine through and change how you've come to define the holidays.

Since it's Q's Day - I'd like to know:

How do you stay energized through the busy holiday season?

Happy Tuesday,
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Host With The Most (Healthy Food!)

Holiday party season is upon us.  Whether you're spending time with family, friends, or co-workers, there is sure to be an abundance of food and drinks.  The holiday season should be a time of happiness and celebration of a great 2012, but it doesn't have to be all about food.

Remember to enjoy the social aspects, get outdoors and enjoy the snow (we do have a lot of it now!) - go skiing, boarding, snow shoeing, sledding, skating, etc.  You can also encourage others in their health goals by giving cookbooks, workout DVDs or exercise equipment as a gift. 

Don't stress about the food temptations, instead have a plan and consider what you do all year as important.  You may want to limit your holiday indulgences to a few items or a few parties rather than overdoing it over the next month or so. 

If you're hosting you can offer healthier options to your guests (vegetables with dip, fruit skewers, shrimp with cocktail sauce, chicken skewers, low fat cheese, etc.).  You can also avoid tempting yourself by waiting to purchase the food for your party (I know you're trying to be organized, but if you start nibbling because it's in the house then don't bring it into the house!).  Wait to put snacks out until your guests arrive and then send care packages home with them so you aren't left with all the tempting leftovers.  This year I'm taking part in a cookie exchange and am looking forward to sharing mine with family and friends so I don't end up eating them all!

If you're attending a party, be prepared for a "food pushing" host and politely point out how amazing the food is.  Pace yourself and eat slowly, enjoy a glass of water between alcoholic beverages, and move away from the buffet table.  I read somewhere to "never eat on two feet" - take what you want to sample or share and then move away or you may end up overdoing it and noticing too late.  Arrive at the party with a plan (there's no reason to wait until January 1 for that healthy New Year's Resolution - start now). 

Take time during the day and busy shopping/errand running to enjoy a balanced breakfast so that you don't leave home hungry.  Carry a water bottle with you on your outings so that you don't get dehydrated - we sometimes confuse hunger and thirst and get so busy this time of year that we may forget that H2O!  Include a variety of vegetables and fruits with lean proteins early in your day if you're uncertain that they'll be available at the party you're attending.  Getting healthy foods into you can also help keep YOU healthy this holiday season - taking care of yourself also means getting adequate sleep!

Since it's Q's Day, I would like to know:

How do you stay healthy throughout the holiday season?

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching