Thursday, November 6, 2014

Top 5 List for Surviving the Holiday Food Invasion

The holidays are here and the scrum-dili-icious foods are making their way into the offices and homes. Yummy cookies, fudge, candy, eggnog, pies..Mmmm, its already making my brain say "YES PLEASE!!" 
I have almost zero will power to saying "no thank you" to desserts or second helpings when delicious food is smiling back at me--my tummy and brain starts screaming "EAT EAT EAT". What I hate are the guilty feelings afterwards when I go for a second helping of home made fudge and sweet potato pie (my major weakness). I recall many times mentally beating myself up after eating a large meal or feeling nauseous from eating too much. Not to mention the depression I felt knowing I let myself down.
Here's my top 5 list of how to avoid the guilty feelings and minimizing sinful delicious foods over the holidays: 
1) Avoid the office area where the holiday treats are laid out on the table for everyone to "nibble on" as they walk by. It may not be the nicest way of convincing our brain it doesn't want that tasty morsel of food but what I've done is programmed a little voice inside my head to automatically say "gosh, I wonder how many dirty hands touched the chip bowl..and I wonder if someone has a cold virus that double dipped while just nibbling?" Hey don't beat me up for doing this, this process works for me and keeps me away from snacking too much at pot lucks!! Its funny how quickly an appetite can disappear when you think of all the germs people pass back and forth by sharing the serving spoons :-)
Ok, so you're not as gross as me so here's another idea: Take a detour to stay clear of the area that has the desserts and snacks laid out. Or walk through the area with a coworker while talking together. Keep the mind distracted with a conversation that doesn't allow the devilish conscious to whisper in your ear "Hey it's only one small bite of fudge, it won't hurt anything. Go ahead and take one...and another...and another...". Stay clear of the temptations and keep the brain distracted from thinking about the food! Its a similar principal for folks who have a substance addiction and they're trying to "kick the habit" until they are mentally strong enough to control the urges and able to say "no" to the substance of their addiction. Medical and clinical studies have found processed refined sugars are highly addictive so when you're in the area of desserts, treat them like a substance addiction! Say "no" and walk away.
2) Ask an office mate (or family member) to hold you accountable and "kick your leg hard" if you start to weaken-sharing your healthy nutritional goal with a work mate, friend or family member will help you both remain strong over the holidays! The "buddy system" is a proven method to achieving success so don't be shy, talk about your goals -it brings them closer to becoming achievable. 
3) Don't beat yourself up and give up. The holiday festivities are tough on everyone. Its okay to partake in the feasts, just do your best in eating wisely and move on. So instead of beating yourself up, add 30 minutes of cardio exercise to your daily routine every day...this will burn off the sugary and fatty foods and help you avoid the mental "guilt" which brings on depression.  So grab a team mate or two and go for brisk walks together. If you are in a building with stairs, PERFECT place to burn off the extra consumed calories! 

4) Prepare for battle the night before: Prep your breakfast, snacks and lunch-YES take your lunch to work! Do you remember when you were a child and your mom scolding you to eat your breakfast before going to school? That's because its the most important meal of the day! Your body needs the nutrients because its been 12+ hours since its had any food! Fuel your body with nutrients and it'll take care of you. Start your day with a nutritional breakfast (protein and fruit). An egg and cheese croissant from the deli or jack in the box is not a nutritional breakfast! A cup of coffee is NOT nutritional, its starving your body! Fix a soft boiled egg on a slice of whole wheat toast and eat one cup of fresh fruit (banana, strawberries, blueberries etc), this combo is delicious and provides a huge nutritional value!  My favorite healthy breakfast is a home made smoothie with protein powder and 2 cups of fresh fruit-this is a FANTASTIC breakfast to easily take on the road to the office while sitting in commute traffic! 
Mid morning snack: two turkey and lettuce wraps (protein) or 1 hard boiled egg. Easy to prepare and gives you extra fuel to battle the afternoon stress. 
Lunch: Big salad made with mixed superfoods and protein; Kale, spinach, parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, dried cranberries, almond slivers, chicken breast pieces, NO cheese. I use a natural balsamic vinegar from our local olive crush store. "We Olives" . My favorite is the Peach White Balsamic or the Mango Balsamic..Mmmmm its good! If you're in a rush, stop by Safeway deli, they sell freshly packed superfood salads for only $4.99.  Grab and Go for busy folks! 
Mid-afternoon Snack: Crunchy apple slices with peanut butter (PB2-raw peanut powder, gluten-free, higher protein with half the calories and fat to regular peanut butter in the jar)
5) Water! Water! Water!! Drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. Yes you'll pee all day long until your body is use to receiving adequate amounts of hydration. So think of peeing as "flushing out the toxins" stored up over the years! I carry a water bottle with me into business meetings, parties and everywhere I travel. When I start feeling hungry, I immediately drink 8-10 ounces of water. Normally my hunger growls are coming from the need for hydration. If you're still hungry after 10 minutes, eat a piece of fruit. Not chips or candy, that'll only make you hungrier in 30 minutes once your body breaks down the junk food and stores the mystery ingredients into belly fat! Instead, grab a banana or apple, the natural sugars are easily digestible and the nutrients are quickly assimilated for the body to use as energy. Unlike popcorn or a small piece of candy :-) 
BONUS: Register for an online fitness accountability group and surround yourself with like-minded fun folks with similar healthy positive goals. A support team and camaraderie is always a strong method to remain resilient. 
That's my top 5 list in surviving the holiday food invasion. If you have questions, comments or need healthy recipes ideas for desserts, send me an email . 
FITNESS UPDATE: Our next 3 Day (body) Refresh program and 3 week healthy eating and exercise accountability groups begin November 10th . The "21 Day Fix" is one of my favorite fitness programs, it toned up my old age body and taught me about nutritional portion controls, I lost weight and reduced my cholesterol levels from eating the proper portions of food from each of the food groups. Its a perfect fitness program before Thanksgiving and winter feasts.
The 3 Day Refresh is a healthy way to restore the body's natural abilities and resets the digestion system which reduces sugar cravings. No starving, plenty of food to keep you happy and reenergized! Makes for a fabulous gift to give to yourself-get ready for the New Year's Party!
Holiday Gift Giving: Fitness and nutritional programs are a loving gift idea that won't go to waste, contact me to help select the perfect program for your love ones holiday gift! And don't forget to ask me about the holiday sales happening now while supplies last!

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