Ideas for Success on Turkey Day

Gobble Gobble Gobble!! Its about that time; time to sit around the table with plates piled high as we give thanks for our friends, family, and all our many blessings. But what if this year, we change things around a bit, still give thanks but maybe back away from the piled high plates and overly full bellies that are ready to pop?! Over the last couple weeks at Jenny Craig we have had a board out for our clients to put their “Ideas for Success on Turkey Day” on and I have to say, they came up with some great tips and tricks!

success on tgiving

 

Some were pretty similar so I combined them into one but here is a good list to go by on your turkey day!

1. Don’t starve yourself before the meal, eat your typical breakfast.

2. Walk before or after the Thanksgiving meal.

3. Slow down by putting your fork down between every bite.

4. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables.

5. Take the skin off the turkey and skip the gravy.

6. Enjoy the people more than the food! 

7. Plan for no leftovers or send guests home with them.

8. Sign up for a Turkey Trot, 5k or 1mile.

9. Drink a big glass of water right before the big meal.

10. Eat off a salad plate to help keep portions small.

So do you have any other tips for success? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

Sleep

Lately I have been sleepy all the time. I’ve felt like my body just couldn’t get enough sleep and even when there was enough hours, it didn’t feel like quality sleep. It has been affecting not only my ability to focus during the day but also my eating habits, and my ability to get in quality workouts.

Because of this, I have done some research on how to sleep better. Here are the top 5 ways to get better sleep I have found and will be trying in the coming days.
1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Being hydrated allows your body to relax more at night because it isn’t having to work as hard to keep everything circulating through the night. Also, what you eat in the morning is just as important as what you eat in the evening. By eating healthy all day (exceptions are okay) you can better relax in the evening.
2. Turn off the “screens” an hour before bed. Whether this be your cell phone, iPad, TV, etc. it will stimulate your brain even after you’ve fallen asleep… Essentially keeping your brain active when it should be resting.
3. Do gentle yoga/stretching before bed. I have done this before and it is defiantly a good way to relax in the evening. Here is an example that I found of a before bed yoga routine. 
4. Exercise in the morning NOT at night. Exercise gives you a “burst” of energy. By exercising in the evening, a couple hours or less before bed, it can make it near impossible to relax and fall into a deep, restful sleep.
5. Stick to a routine. Try to go to bed and wake up everyday around the same time. This will help your body to know when it’s time for sleep and when it’s time to be awake. It may take a couple weeks for you to get in a constant cycle but getting in a regular routine can lead to more restful nights and energetic days.
What tricks do you use to get better sleep? Have a great weekend 🙂

Road Safey

Now that spring is in the air and many runners and bikers are leaving the gym to hit the roads it is important to keep in mind safety. Here are somethings to keep in mind as not only a runner or biker but also a driver. 

1. This first one is for runners and bikers… TAKE THE HEADPHONES OUT!!! You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you especially if you are in a semi dark or high traffic area. If you must wear them, only wear one and keep the volume low.  
2. Bikers, wear your helmet and buckle it too. Sounds silly to have to say but I see all too frequently bikers without helmets. Remember, it could save your life. 
3. Runners, although we all know the asphalt is softer and better on our joints, get on the sidewalk and stop playing chicken with the cars. 
4. Runners, even on the sidewalk, run facing on coming traffic. You want to be able to see if someone is coming right towards you. 
5. DRIVERS, share the road with bikers. A person on a bike has just as much right to use the road as you do in your car. Also, bikes aren’t allowed on the sidewalk so please don’t yell “get on the sidewalk” to us. 
6. DRIVERS, you must have 3ft of clearance to pass a biker by law. Please don’t clip us with your mirror. Also, please don’t pass if going around a curve, you need to be able to see on-coming traffic to avoid swerving into the biker that you are passing. 
7. Bikers and runners, if it is going to be dark at any point in your run, wear light colored clothing and reflectors. 
8. Bikers, do not ride on the yellow line. Ride 6in to a foot inside the line. This will hopefully make you more visible to drivers and less likely for them to push you off the road. 
9. Bikers and runners, use the buddy system (especially on a bike, 2 people are much more visible than a single rider)! Although this isn’t always possible to have someone out there with you, always let someone know your exact route. If possible, also bring your cell phone. 
10. Always have ID on you. A RoadID wrist band is a great way to carry this. Incase of an emergency this can save you life. 
11. DRIVERS, watch for runners in cross walks. They have the right of way. 
12. Runners, cross at cross walks and make sure the drivers that are looking to turn right see you. Don’t cross until they acknowledge you. 
13. RUNNERS, BIKERS, & DRIVERS… pay attention and look out for one another. This is the best way for us all to remain safe out there. 
I hope you enjoy the start of this warm weather and happy SAFE running and biking! 

Posture

Since I have been working in an office setting… At a desk, staring at a computer screen daily for the last couple weeks, I have noticed my posture has already started to lack. After noticing my own was lacking, I took a look around and guess what I saw?! All of us in the office looked exactly the same way, hunched over. This is a terrible way to sit, it creates a tight chest, creating more rounded shoulder, a tight neck that is pushing our heads down and forward, and weakens our back muscles. None of this sounds good, so this got me thinking about how I could potentially change my posture while in the office. Here are the ideas that I came up with… 

1. When on the phone, be intentional about sitting with shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. 
2. When typing, focus on sucking in your tummy. Bet you can’t do that well in a hunched over position. 
3. If filing papers, only take a handful at a time to the filing cabinet. Yes it may take a couple minutes longer but it will also allow you to stand and move around which will hopefully allow for better posture. 
4. When on the computer, bring the mouse and keyboard close so you aren’t reaching to get to it. 
5. Be intentional. Just by having it on your mind it could have just the impact you need to help keep you in that upright position. 
Please let me know if you have any other ideas! Have a great Thursday!  

Exercising in the Cold

I don’t know about you but these freezing temps and crazy lows with the wind chill has been about enough to put me over the edge when it comes to getting my workouts in. So I wanted to give you some tips on how I manage exercising in these not so great conditions: 

1. Dress appropriately. This means layer up. Dress in some form of dry fit, sweat wicking layer on the bottom to help keep you dry, a major part in staying warm. Then add a couple layers to keep your core warm. My favorite top layer is a fleece vest from old navy (see picture below). Next add some warm gloves (get sports gloves, you’ll be happy you did). Finally keep that head warm. I know many of you females don’t like hats so at a minimum wear something to keep your ears warms. 

2. If working out indoors fits you better: 
– find something good to watch. I have much better luck completing my indoor trainer rides when I put on some action packed movie. 
– you can still run with your running partner. Just because you are running inside, run on the treadmills side by side and carry on your conversations as you normally would. 
– since running or biking can be a bit of a drag inside, mix it up a little by working in some intervals. For example, instead of a steady 4mile run, do a 1mile easy warm up, then ever quarter of a mile pick it up or slow down alternating each time. Then for your last half mile slow down like you are doing a cool down. This way you are breaking it up into little pieces and it will be easier to get through the whole thing. 
What are some tips you have for getting your workouts in during these not so great weather conditions? 

Eating on the Go

Post graduation I thought my life would be a little less on the go but turns out I was all wrong about that. Even though I am only working part time, it seems like I am still, just as much as I was in college, eating on the run. So I thought I’d share some tips with you about how I manage this on the go eating in a healthy way: 

1. When buying groceries, think about your week ahead and be realistic. As great as it would be to have the time to, to as soon as you get home from the grocery store measure out everything into on the go baggies, maybe that’s not realistic. So think about spending the extra $1 or so to have them pre-packaged. Some of my favorites are: baby carrots, apple slices, almonds, and pistachios. 
2. Avoid buying the grab and go salty and sugary snacks. If you don’t have them you can’t eat them. 
3. Buy an insulated lunch box and an ice pack. This opens up your ability to pack many other healthy snacks such as low fat string cheese, yogurt, and sandwiches with deli meat. 
4. Plan ahead. If you know you are going to have a busy week, take a couple hours on the weekend to prepare your snacks/on the go meals. Or if you are like me and your mornings always seem to be a little more jam packed than you expected, pack your snacks the night before. 
5. Drink water. This can’t be emphasized enough. Water is essential to maintaining health and your waistline. 
Some of my favorite on the go snacks include: 
Bananas, grapes, low fat string cheese, apples, almonds, pistachios, Greek yogurt, baby carrots, cucumber slices, and whole wheat crackers and peanut/almond butter. 
I hope this helps! Happy Monday! 🙂 

Water Water Water….

You know that phrase “Money Money Money?” Well it should be changed to “water water water…. will save you money money money!!!” This is because water is probably the most important and most widely available nutrient that we need and have. Our bodies are made up of 55-60% water. This water helps keep our joints lubricated, digestive system working smoothly (try pushing out a number 2 when you are extremely dehydrated…Good Luck), blood flowing, lips from cracking, skin clear, waistlines trim, and the list could go on and on.

So why is it that we so often sway from water to other more high calorie, sweetened beverages? Many people (like myself) don’t like it, think it doesn’t have any flavor, like other beverages more, don’t think about it, etc. etc. So today I’m going to take you through some ways to make yourself drink more water and thus save you some money money money!

1. Find a water bottle or cup that you want to use. For me this is either a sports bottle with a squeeze top or some kind of straw.

2. Add something to your water. This something can be as simple as ice cubes or as elaborate as sliced and diced fruit or veggies. If you must start with things like crystal light packages, ween yourself so you are using less and less each time. For me, an individual packet lasts for 3 cups of water. You can also try carbonated water. Make sure you read the label to make sure no sodium has been added and if you are choosing a flavored carbonated water make sure there is also no added sugar.

3. Set small goals to meet your daily goal. Pinterest had a great idea for this. Set hourly goals of drinking several ounces of water as opposed to the “I have to drink all 9 cups (females) or 12.5 cups (male) right now.”

4. Have water handy. As bad as it is for the environment, when I have plastic disposable water bottles readily available I tend to drink a lot more water. This is especially true when I keep them in the fridge and the trunk of my car. By doing this I tend to grab a water most times I open the fridge before going for food and when I am out in about it helps keep me feeling full so I am less tempted to stop for something to eat. 
5. Start your day with a glass of water. This helps get you off on the right foot for the entire day. I don’t know about you, but if I start my day with some kind of crummy fuel, the rest of the day tends to follow in those same footsteps. So start off the day on the right path. Plus, this way, one of those cups is already done for the day 😉 
6. Have a cup before every meal. Again this knocks out three cups for the day and as an added bonus, like I mentioned in Holiday Eating, this can help keep you from over eating during meal time by helping you feel full faster. **Remember it takes 20min for your stomach and brain to communicate letting you know you are full**
7. Finish your day with a cup of water. At this rate you have 5 cups knocked out easily if you have one when you wake up, one before each meal, and one before bed. This only leaves you with 4 (females) or 7.5 (males) more cups to get in through the rest of the day. 
8. Be intentional about carrying and drinking your water. Once you get in the habit of it, it is much easier to get in ALL those cups every day 🙂 
And so I mentioned this is going to save you money… 
  • A 24 pack of water costs approximately $4 (16.9 oz Dasani) and a 24pack of soda (16.9oz bottles coke) costs approximately $14. 
  • Or how about all those lotions and potions you are putting on your face to keep it moist and firm? Those get pretty pricy too but what if you were able to make those last a little longer because your body was moisturizing from the inside, so you weren’t having to put so much on the outside? 
  • And what if you drank a glass of water every time you were bored instead of reaching for something to munch on? That would also save you some money. 
  • Hydration is a key factor in being healthy…good health is almost always a guaranteed way to save some serious money!! 
So save some money and drink more water!! 

Holiday Eating

It is always nice to be able to come home and rest after a few busy weeks in Raleigh. And if you are like me, home means family, relaxing, and good food and plenty of it. Today’s blog post will be about a few tips on how to eat when you have broken routine and have hit the road for the holiday season.

1. It is ok to eat you favorite holiday foods….after all they do only come around once a year!! The key to enjoying these foods is to eat them slowly and in moderation. This means, don’t eat the entire pie but rather cut yourself a small slice and eat each bite slowly so you are actually getting to taste it.

2. Watch out for liquid calories! They add up fast!!! The holidays are full of fun calorie dense beverages…be on the lookout especially at your favorite coffee shops. If you must have your flipped dipped frappa macka swoody doopdy latte be sure you are ordering the smallest size. Also be careful with the alcohol. A good option here is to have a water between every beverage. This will not only keep you from getting a little too buzzed around the relatives but also help to keep that waistline trim.

3. Holiday meal time! YUM!! So many delicious options it is hard to decide on what to start with. So I will make it simple, start by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are nutrient dense and low in calories. Starting with these will help you keep from over consumption as they will fill you up but not stuff you!

4. Avoid the “Extras”…avoid the gravy, extra butter, jelly, etc. These are extra calories that can, like beverages, add up fast.

5. Eat slowly. It takes about 20min for your brain to get the signal from your stomach that it is full. A good way to be sure to eat slowly is to set your fork down between bites and have a sip of water. Also engaging yourself in conversation can aid in keeping you from eating too fast.

6. Don’t skip meals to “save calories” for the big meal. This leads to over eating at the big meal. Skipping breakfast especially will create a downward spiral for you all day.

7. When traveling be sure to pack healthy snacks. I know when I am on the road I love to have something to munch on. Some good on the road snacks include nuts (no salt/seasonings), seeds (be sure to have a spit cup if you are choosing sunflower seeds), popped plain, no salt added popcorn, bananas, carrots, celery, grapes, and apples.

8. Traveling during meal time? Pack that meal with you. Often times if I am going to be on the road during a meal I will pack a sandwich. This helps to avoid fast food which can be loaded with extra calories, fat, and salt.

9. Drink water before sitting down to a big meal. This will help you to feel full faster and keep from over eating.

10. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

I hope this helps you to navigate through the holiday season as you make it from the early morning coffee shop to the late night bar.

Happy Holidays Y’all!