Holiday Hustle

And just like that we are into the holiday season – how does time go by SO fast?!

This past weekend I made a quick trip to Home Goods where it really hit me (as I stared at aisles of Christmas decorations) that the Holiday season is fast approaching. This time of year happens to be my absolute favorite, but also comes with a lot of added stress. Two months of jam packed family events, work socials, cookie swaps, decorating and endless amounts of shopping can take a toll on you mentally but also physically on your body.

Stress has so many immediate negative effects on the body. These effects can be both mental and physical. Stress can induce chronic disease, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, panic attacks, and other difficult health issues. Matter of fact, 90% of all chronic disease is caused by stress, and to make it worse, about 70% of the population knows that they are stressed out and only about 25-30% try to do something about it.

Is this ringing true to some of you?

Do you wish you could slow down during this time of year?

If so, I am here to help…

healthy holiday - stress free holiday

The Holiday season should be a special time, one where you can reflect on your year’s accomplishments and share genuine time with family and friends. So here is the trick, it’s so simple – just add mindfulness. You might be thinking “oh sure, that’s easier said than done” or “what does that even mean?”

The definition of mindfulness is;

mind·ful·ness
noun

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
“their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition”

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Okay so how do you put this into practice? Here are a few examples of how easy it can be to add mindfulness during the holiday hustle;

  • Say No – You do not have to attend every holiday gathering you are invited to!! Seriously, it is important to prioritize your time. Choose to attend events that mean something to you or have friends or family you would love to see attending.
  • Self-Love – Schedule time for you. Your weekends might be fully booked but put some time on your calendar (literally block it off) on a Wednesday or Thursday evening just for you. You can simply do nothing – lay on the couch, read a book, take a bath. You could attend a yoga class, take a nap, or go get your nails done. This doesn’t have to be for long – even 20 minutes moms!! Tell your husband to play a board game with the kids and retreat upstairs. These little acts of self-love will allow you time to reflect and slow down allowing you to truly enjoy all the hustle and bustle that follows.
  • Give Back – This is what the Holiday season is truly all about, right?! Make an effort to schedule one event or activity to give back this holiday season – don’t just write a check to charity, really go out and help someone. The joy and satisfaction this brings is like no other.

I hope these three tips help you reset and head into the Holiday season with a different outlook 🙂

I am very aware that some of the Holiday stress comes from the endless events of eating and drinking (which may seem like a nightmare for those trying to stay on track or lose weight) so click here to read how to tackle those negative food guilt feelings!

Exploring New Studios: Core Power Yoga

Okay time to tell you about stop #3, which happens to be my new daily workout spot, Core Power Yoga in Maple Grove!

corepower

I had heard great things about Core Power Yoga from a lot of different people over the past couple years. There was never a studio close by so I hadn’t had a chance to try it before moving here to MN. Now, I have a studio right down the street from my house! Core Power offers you a first week complimentary, so why not give it a try?!

I took my first class about two weeks ago, Yoga Sculpt at 5pm, and let me just say this is not your average yoga class! The class flows similar to a typical vinyasa class but incorporates barre moves, lots of weight training, and a few rounds of HITT style cardio! The class is in a heated studio which quickly adds lots of heaving breathing and sweat into the mix.

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Each class is different depending on the Instructor; some love the cardio and some do just the bare minimum. Every class is so challenging in a different way. I find my whole body shaking by the end of class and can already tell a difference in my strength after just two weeks. Anyone can take this class no matter what your fitness level or yoga experience is.

If you haven’t tried out a Yoga Sculpt class at your nearest Core Power Yoga studio I suggest you go this week – its free, so no excuses!

Banana Almond Butter Chia Pudding

I quite often here that breakfast is one of the hardest meals of the day for people on the go. This week I am sharing an easy and super quick recipe that you make the night before and simply grab and go in the morning. Not to mention, this recipe is delicious and full of great nutrients to kick start your day!

chia-pudding

Banana Almond Butter Chia Pudding

Ingredients

1/4 cup chia seeds

2 Tbsp almond butter

1 ripe banana

1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk

Directions

Blend the banana, almond butter and almond milk until creamy & smooth,

Combine the chia seeds and blender mixture in a small mason jar or other small  container

Store in the fridge overnight

In the morning, top with fresh berries, shredded coconut and nuts for an amazing breakfast!

Five Causes of Cravings

Cravings…. 90% of the time cravings are for foods that maybe aren’t the healthiest or foods you don’t really need because you actually aren’t hungry (but can’t realize that). Today I am sharing with you five common causes of cravings so you can become more aware and mindful of when, what and how you consume food.

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Water

Lack of water can send the message that you are thirsty and on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration can manifest as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a craving is drink a full glass of water. Excess water can also cause cravings, so be sure that your water intake is well balanced.

Lack of Nutrients

If the body has inadequate nutrients, it will produce odd cravings. For example, inadequate mineral levels produce salt cravings, and overall inadequate nutrition produces cravings for non-nutritional forms of energy, like caffeine.

Hormonal

When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, fluctuating testosterone and estrogen levels may cause unique cravings.

De-Evolution

When things are going extremely well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens. We crave foods that throw us off, thus creating more cravings to balance ourselves. This often happens from low blood sugar and may result in strong mood swings.

Lack of Primary Food

Remember a week or so back I introduced you all to the term, primary food? It’s back again.. Being dissatisfied with a relationship or having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little, or the wrong kind), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice may all cause emotional eating. Eating can be used as a substitute for entertainment or to fill the void of primary food.