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5 Ways I Handle The Holidays Like A Boss. {And You Can Too.}

It’s that time of year when emotions are high and patience runs very low.  Gifts to buy!  Food to cook!  Pounds to avoid!  Relatives to manage!  How do you survive the pressure of it all?  Here are 5 tips on how I get through the holidays without an emotional or physical hangover.

1) Put the fork down. Whenever I think of the holidays, all I think about is the food.  Am I the only one that thinks this way?  I have so many memories of sitting around the table enjoying a feast, but these marathon family sessions lead to eating with total abandon.  At every meal.  I literally have to remind myself that I’ll most likely eat another meal in the next 3-4 hours, so I shouldn’t eat like it’s my last one.  Eating recklessly only makes me regret it the next day so I try to put the fork down sooner and chug water whenever I can.

2) Stick to a workout routine.  I normally go to the gym 5-6 days a week; it keeps me sane and helps me avoid the dreaded muffin top.  When the holidays approach, I start saying things like,”I deserve a few days off” or “working out is overrated”; I know it’s my own slippery slope.  For example, I recently took a couple of days off in a row from the gym and I actually had thoughts like, “Maybe I don’t even need to workout anymore.  I can just wing it.”  That’s laziness at it’s best!  I know that working out in some shape or form is not only good for my health, it’s good for others’ health as well because I will be more pleasant to be around.

root of joy3) Create a tension release valve.  Holidays are an interesting mix of happiness mixed with starter fluid: you never know when tempers will flare up.  The slightest comment from a relative can set off the calmest of folks (even me).  I try to give myself an out for times when I feel I’m reaching my boiling point.

Do you know that song, “Happy Holidays” by Bing Crosby?  It’s a silent rule around the holidays in my family that before you blow up from a stressful situation, you have to sing the chorus to that song really loud.  It’s a funny warning signal to others in the vicinity and it’s so ridiculous that everyone starts laughing; it always breaks the tension.  For moments of stress that are greater than the song– step into a different room, take a few deep breaths and remind myself it’s just a moment and that moment is passing.

4) Check-in.  I tend to get caught up in getting the perfect gift or making sure the food is just right, so I often forget to enjoy the moment.  I’m so embarrassed when I catch myself obsessing over something like the perfect holiday shoes to match my dress. (But you know what? I give myself a pass because dresses are fun and I like fun.)  As a rule,  I try to check in with myself periodically about how I’m feeling, what my needs are and how I can be more helpful to others.  This awareness helps me stay in the moment and enjoy myself.

5) Go with the flow.  There will be glitches in the plan. Like an oven on the fritz Christmas Day (yup, that’ happened to me).  Or a relative that gets drunk and won’t shut up about why I’m not married (again, a stellar moment).  But you know what?  This is life, things happen out of our control.  Sometimes you just have to let go and let it roll.

The holidays can be nerve-wracking but I try to remember to loosen the grip and enjoy the ride– broken ovens and drunk relatives included.

Happy Holidays!

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5 Ways I Handle The Holidays Like A Boss. {And You Can Too.}2018-03-29T20:23:20-04:00

10 Daily habits that keep me healthy and sane. {They may work for you, too.}

Life can be fast, chaotic, stressful and beautiful all at once.  Here are some things I do to stay grounded– it’s all about progress, not perfection!

repeatedly do

1) Hi-five cosmic excellence.   I try to remember all of the things I’m grateful for in my life (and not in my life), especially when I’m having a poor me moment or feeling all around crappy.  Gratitude works like an inner fire extinguisher that can douse even the worst of depression flare ups.  Being thankful is a powerful equalizer.

2) Indulge.  I eat chocolate almost everyday.  Not handfuls of it, (although I’ve done that too) but just a taste.  It’s something I love and life is just too short not to enjoy what you love.

3) Kick it up a notch.  I have to physically move and break a sweat most days because it helps me put things in focus.  It relieves my stress and gives me an opportunity to unwind.  Trust me, there are days when I hate going to the gym.  So guess what?  Those are the days I skip it.  I just don’t let that one day turn into a week (and throw in the towel all together).

4) Connect with others.  Feeling a connection with others is something I can never get enough of.  Isn’t that why were here?  To grow, connect and experience life together?  I love to feel a part of my loved ones’ lives as much as they are a part of mine.

5) Eat like a champ.  I have learned some pretty fantastic food combinations that can have an instant affect on my body and mood.  Using this knowledge has helped me get a better grip on what works and what doesn’t; It’s a never ending science experiment.

6) Get 8 hours of sleep.  I’m one of those people that needs a lot of sleep.  I know ultimately it’s a blessing but sometimes I feel like it’s a curse.  All of that time! I could be doing other things!  But as Lao Tzu says: When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.  Which really means the more you rest, the more energy you’ll have to get stuff done later; down time is critical.

7) Naval gaze.  I used to have a meditation practice for years and then one day I just stopped;  I just didn’t feel connected to it like I used to.  So now I take some time each day to think–I think about my life, what I’m doing and where I want to go.  I think about acceptance and how I can be happier and/or more helpful to others.  This naval gazing is the opposite of indulgent; it helps me get more focused.

8) Take the mental trash out.  Everyday I experience a rainbow of feelings which can include guilt, sadness, anger and fear.  When that dark side comes up, I try to acknowledge that yes, I screwed up or yes I could have done things differently, and then try to gracefully let them go.  There’s no changing the past, so I try to learn from it and move on.  Letting go of that darkness creates space for more productive emotions to take root.

9) Give in to what is. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to orchestrate every last detail in my life.  As much as possible, I try to throw my hands up and scream, “UNCLE!!”  When I relax and ride the wave of life, everything just seems easier.

10) Have fun. 

What are some of your daily habits that keep you healthy and sane?  Do any of the habits I listed resonate with you?  I’d love to hear about it over on my facebook page.

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10 Daily habits that keep me healthy and sane. {They may work for you, too.}2018-03-29T20:23:23-04:00

Link Love and Chilling Out

This weekend was all about chilling out, visiting with friends, slowing down and taking a break.  And what do you do most when you’re chilling out?  EAT, of course!

I took a picture of some of my ‘cocktails’ for the weekend.  The Synergy Kombucha is one of my favorites–good for you and tastes good too.

My blender broke on Thursday while I was making my morning smoothie (yikes!!), so I got myself a new hyper powered Ninja that should blend just about anything.  Giddy up.

Last but not least, I found vegan ice cream at Cookman Creamery.  Oh my.  It was fantastic: mint chocolate chip, made with coconut milk…I think I’m in love.

food

Here are a few pictures from my trip to Ptown on Friday to visit my sister.  We had a leisurely lunch and good talk, it was a lovely afternoon.  The scenery at that place never fails to take my breath away…

ptown

I captured a nice moment with my beautiful friend H on Saturday; isn’t she pretty?  I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the amazing weather that day. The puffy clouds reminded me of cool fall days to come…

Weather and H

Link Love

I have to say, some of these ideas were pretty clever: 35 lifechanging ways to use everyday objects.

Even Steve Jobs studied Yoga.

Mr Rogers and cultivating the garden of your mind (I loved this remix!)

Pro NFL player Arian Foster wants his daughter to know these things.

Shame is lethal.  I love Brene Brown and all of gentle her wisdom.

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Link Love and Chilling Out2018-03-29T20:23:23-04:00

Do you eat on the go? Healthy vs. Fast

SneakersI’ll admit it, I practically live out of my car.  It’s kind of a source of embarrassment because at any given time you can find a pair of shoes, a random book and a food wrapper of some sort.  Because I am always ‘on the go’, that means I am also eating on the go.  A LOT. 

I try to keep my healthy eating habits in the front of my mind: drink water as much as I can, keep processed foods to a minimum, eat small meals/snacks throughout the day (I’m a grazer), and watch the sugar intake.

I would love to say it’s easy as pie to follow these tips, but every so often I stray from what I know is good and opt for the instant gratification that is not always good for me.

The best part about being on the run all of the time is that I can use the variety of food choices available in different stores and restaurants.  Whole foods and Deans Natural Market are my 2 go-to’s.  I know that if I need something fast, I can count on them for nutritious options.

When I’m really out of range, I go for the Subway veggie patty.  It’s full of vegetables (but it’s not vegan) and it’s quick, delicious option.  I found a list of healthy store alternatives for when you’re on the go.

What are some of the eating tricks you use when you are on the run?  Do you have a go-to snack or meal that gets you through those tricky times?  Tell me about it in the comments below.

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Do you eat on the go? Healthy vs. Fast2018-03-29T20:23:30-04:00
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