Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Party Going Strategies for the Holidays

The holiday season is in FULL swing! As I'm sure you are experiencing, it can be packed with family events and parties with friends and co-workers. This can be a time where we let all our efforts fly out the window and lose control of our focus on healthy eating and good self care. There are many strategies to get you through this time unscathed and your intentions in-tact! Here is a "top-five" list to stick under your belt and pull out when your defenses are low and you need encouragement and support...
  1. Avoid sugary drinks, including alcoholic beverages. These drinks add up to extra calories and added sugar. Opt for water instead, or sparkling water to make it feel more fancy. Also, when you drink alcohol, you are likely to eat more.
  2. Don't stand by the food! If you are at a party that has a buffet, find a place to plant yourself that is far away from the food table to prevent mindless grazing.
  3. Practice mindful eating. Get a plate, even if it is a party with just appetizers, try what you want and leave it at that. Having food on a plate will help you to see what you are eating and how much.
  4. Be careful of the "party mindset." Sometimes it's nice to be able to have a treat now and then - to allow yourself the extra dessert or drink because it is a special occasion. However, if you have several holiday parties during the season (or the week!), then it is no longer a "special occasion" - it becomes a way of life and a way of eating. Keep in mind how many "treats" you are giving yourself in one week, or holiday season, especially if you are attending several parties.
  5. If you are bringing food, bring something healthy!! That way you know there will be at least one thing there that you can feel good about eating.
If you keep these tips in mind and add a few of your own that have worked in the past, this holiday season can end without excess pounds gained, feelings of guilt, and the need to go through a sugar detox when January 1st arrives! Plan ahead, be thoughtful, and treasure the people you are with!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Slowing Down and Time For Me...

Back in September I wrote about how my absence from this blog is pretty reflective of my absence from all things I love lately! This is still the case! I have been very busy and I am ready to slow down, rest, relax, and dig back in as my family settles into winter. Time to refocus, restructure, and renew!

I have fallen tremendously behind in the world of all things health, balance, and wellness. But I am missing it terribly and putting it back into the forefront of my days. My three week lecture series on staying healthy, balanced, and stress-free during the holiday season at the end of October was a success. I had A LOT of fun presenting this and learned that it is definitely something I want to do more of! I am getting organized to take on more clients after the new year, looking for a new office space, and will be launching a new website hopefully soon.

I seriously enjoyed the many weeks of our farm share vegetables and am very sad that it is over. I loved receiving fresh, organic produce right out of the ground week to week. The only problem is that I loved it so much we have nothing frozen for the winter because we ate it all, and now, I am seriously craving all that goodness!! I do have an abundance of blueberries stored for the winter, so we will be enjoying lots of blueberry baked goods this winter...mmm...

As I think about how I want to go about refocusing my time back on the things I love, I quickly become overwhelmed by the process of getting "caught" up. When this happens to me, I tend to freeze up and do nothing because I don't know where to start. It's all important to me and I have a hard time prioritizing!

This month, I have eliminated a few things from my schedule that weigh me down emotionally, organizationally, and sometimes physically. While I didn't feel a rush of relief, I do feel some closure, which has helped. We are settling nicely into our new home and little by little the boxes are getting emptied and organized. I did not renew the lease on my office space downtown, even though I don't have a new one to move into yet, and I finally got everything moved out and back here with me at home. I am no longer toggling between home and downtown which is a time saver. My focus has shifted to putting family first right now, which feels right, but I also have put myself into that category. I have been more insistent on time for myself. And even though my family may not like it at the time, it does help me be a better mom and wife in the long run.

I have found that when I eliminate things that hold me back, weigh me down, or drain my time and energy everything else opens up because it has space to breathe! Just by eliminating a few things from my life, even if something is only for a day, I feel a new sense of focus, balance and clarity and can move forward with other more important projects and responsibilities, including rest.

As Christmas quickly approaches and the New Year right around the corner, I am thinking very hard about what I want to accomplish in the next year. I am setting goals and making a plan so that falling far behind does not happen again and feeling organized and accomplished is a daily reward. I have accepted where I am for now and continue each day to catch up little by little, knowing that every little effort makes a dent and I AM moving forward, even if at a snail's pace for now in this time of rest.