The Rungry Health Coach

Six Tips to Help You Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

One holiday down...several more to go.

I'll tell you this right now: It does not matter how much or what you ate on Thanksgiving. I'll say it again, a little louder: IT DOES NOT MATTER HOW MUCH OR WHAT YOU ATE ON THANKSGIVING!

Understand? 

Your actions on one day will NOT make or break your lifestyle. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your slice of pumpkin pie. I hope you had a big plateful of gravy-soaked turkey and washed it all down with a glass of fine red wine. (Or two.)

But Thanksgiving is in your rearview mirror...and now comes the real test. What you eat on Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas doesn't really matter. What matters is how you handle yourself in between: During this awkward in-between phase is when people start to gain weight.

Think about it...Leftovers are still abound in many home fridges. There are still several office parties, Friendsgivings and dinners out on your calendar. Not to mention, you probably have a few family get togethers coming up. Decadent desserts are on everyone's minds. And because we're now in December, it's harder to find motivation to exercise and stay active. 

Holiday Spread

I won't tell you that you need to stop enjoying these memory-making moments, but do be cognizant of all that you're consuming during this time. Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy this holiday, and keep your lifestyle wholesome. Make eating at home a priority--While the allure to eat out may be great, try to eat the majority of your meals at home. Put emphasis on veggie-heavy, nourishing meals. When you cook at home, you have control over what goes into your body. 
  • Stay  hydrated--It can be far too easy for our water bottle to be replaced by the wine bottle. Continually drink what to help keep your body moving and buzzing along!
  • Stay active--This will look different to everyone, but find some kind of daily activity. It could be yoga, running, afternoon walks, lifting weights, swimming...anything! Just exercise and move your body out of love, not punishment. (You do not need to schedule extra workouts or exercise out of punishment during this season.)
  • Eat your veggies (preferably first)--Vegetables carry the bulk of our nutrients and fiber, so put emphasis on eating them. When we eat them first, we get fuller faster. 
  • Eat until your satisfied, not necessarily full--These two things are not the same. When we're full, we're often uncomfortable and we've eaten past satisfaction. At some point, the meal, dessert or snack may becomes unenjoyable. Stop then. Stop just before your fullness cues kick in. If you're still hungry a little later, have a little snack. Learning the difference between these cues will help you save a few extra calories. 
  • Keep stress levels in check--Stress has a sneaky way of infiltrating our entire lives. But when our stress levels are high, our bodies are not able to function properly, and it's during this time our hormones are out of control. By keeping stress levels low, your body is better able to react to the stress and ever-changing environment. 
  • Practice gratitude--Remind yourself all that you are thankful for during this time. These daily reminders act as a form of meditation and will keep you rooted not only in the positive, but in the present.
And if you find yourself really pressed for time, join a FREE recipe challenge! The Home Cooked Hustle is a week-long stress-releaving challenge that will provide you with recipes and tools to help you get meals on the table without worry.

The Rungry Health Coach

Six Tips to Help You Enjoy Holiday Meals Without the Guilt

The holidays are notorious for one big reason: the food.

Everyone makes plans to overeat and overly indulge in plates of turkey, ham, potatoes of several varieties, buttery vegetables, fluffy rolls and multiple slices of pie. Everything is delightful but at the end of the day, you feel uncomfortable. It's tradition! (Right?)

I'm not going to tell you to not eat those once-a-year foods. Nor am I going to tell you that you need to workout before the meal to "earn" your holiday feast.

What I will give you a few tricks to help you not only enjoy all of the holiday foods, but also leave those parties feeling satisfied, not stuffed.

Decorative Pumpkins


Go for Satisfied, Not Stuffed
When you're filling your plate, get a taste of everything! These are once-a-year foods, so this is an incredibly special occasion. As you sit down to enjoy, take your time on the plate. Chew thoroughly and savor each morsel. When your fullness cues start kicking in, stop eating. 

When we stop eating before we're overly stuffed, we will not walk away from the table uncomfortable or full of guilt. We're acknowledging our bodies' natural signals and processes. Enjoy each bite, but stop before you're too stuffed. If you discover you're still hungry, go back and get yourself a little bit more.

Mind the Dessert Table
There will probably be several different kinds of pie, cookies galore, fudge, puddings...and so many other desserts. Find a dessert that speaks to you--one that looks absolutely delicious--and get yourself a serving. Sit down, without distractions, and enjoy it. Savor every bite and enjoy the complexities of the flavor. When you've had enough of the dessert, stop eating. Sometimes a few bites of a dessert will be enough to satisfy, other times, you may want to eat the entire piece. But, above all, enjoy it. 

And when you're finding the dessert that's calling you, bypass the store-bought treats. Sure they may be tasty, but foods made with love are so much better. You know?

Drink Water and Be Mindful of Alcohol
Alcohol packs calories, and I think we're all in agreement that we would rather eat our calories than drink them. If you do want to imbibe, have yourself one drink, but make sure to pair it with plenty of water.

Throughout your feast, drink lots and lots of water to keep you hydrated and to keep the digestive process moving. 

Eat Yo Veggies
Veggies slathered in butter are better than no veggies at all. Seek out the salads, green beans, sprouts and other naturally-green foods that may be on the table spread. Eat those first. Vegetables are loaded with beneficial fiber, which takes up room in our stomachs. You'll get a little fuller faster, and you'll feel good in knowing you finished your veggies first.

Move Your Body Because You Love it
Before big holiday meals, there's a lot of "fit-spo" saying you need to "earn your meal." That's false. You don't need to earn your meal. That's the diet mentality coming out. 

If you're going to enjoy a workout before the holiday meal, then do it out of a place of love, not from a place of self-hatred. Go for a run, practice yoga, lift weights--however you move your body, do it as a form of self-respect and self-care. Don't focus on how many calories you burned and equate that to the calories in a slice of pumpkin pie. 

Give Yourself Permission & Own Your Choices
When you sit down at that table, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want, and thoroughly enjoy your meal. Regardless of if you eat two slices of pumpkin pie, three plates of turkey or drink the entire gravy boat, own your choices. Make the decision to eat, drink or move whatever and however you want, but own those choices. Take responsibility and accountability.

Combined, these two acts help us avoid the guilt and shame often associated with an overly-indulgent meal. These days were meant to be celebrated, so enjoy them thoroughly. 

And remember, one day of tasty foods will not derail your diet, or cause you to gain 10 pounds overnight. One indulgent meal will not tip the scales. 

Need more tips? Have questions? Let's set up a FREE health discovery call!

The Rungry Health Coach

How to Make Your Favorite Desserts Healthier

Despite what you say...it's the holiday season. And you probably have 17 holiday parties between now and the start of 2018.

While I'm a firm believer in the power of a luscious homemade brownie or a decadent slice of pumpkin pie, all those desserts at all of those parties adds up. Not to mention, the quality of ingredients often used aren't the best. (I'm looking at you, inflammatory oils and GMO wheat.)

Paleo Pumpkin Bars

Wouldn't it be great to munch on a dessert you can feel good about eating? A dessert that's loaded with natural ingredients that serve your body, and won't give you gas, bloat or guilt?

You can easily enjoy the holiday parties without the associated guilt. With some simple tweaks and swaps, you can recreate your favorite baked goods in more healthful and nourishing ways. 

Oils
Certain oils (canola, vegetable) are inflammatory as they are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The omega-6 fatty acids are prone to oxidation while in the cell members. This causes free-radical chain reactions and can cause damage. Try these substitutions: 
  • Oils like avocado oil, coconut oil or olive oil can be swapped in at a cup-for-cup ratio
  • Swap half the oil out for applesauce or banana 
  • The same amount of mashed avocado is great for brownies or chocolate cookies
RV Energy Balls
Sugars
White sugar is processed and offers very, very little nutritionally. It spikes the blood sugar and often leaves you feeling sluggish a short time later. Sugar may also be addictive. When baking, see if you can decrease the amount of sugar in the recipe. And, try these substitutions:
  • Agave syrup
  • Honey or pure maple syrup (Replace with about 3/4 cup of liquid sweetener)
  • Coconut sugar (dried coconut palm sap)
  • Banana
  • Applesauce
  • Sweet potato puree
Chocolate
Put down that generic chocolate bar. When it comes to chocolate, it's about quality. For powder, look for either organic cocoa powder or organic cacao powder. What's the difference aside from spelling? Cacao powder is pressed at very low temperatures to keep the nutritional benefits intact. When buying chocolate, look for organic and fair trade.

For chocolate bars, you may notice a percentage on the wrapper. The higher the number the purer the chocolate and more caffeine. You want a higher number. Look for bars with at least 72 percent or higher, and be wary of other added ingredients like sugars and milks. Look for bars made with  higher-quality ingredients and mix-ins. 

Flour
White flour is synonymous with baking because it's good for just about anything. But white flour is missing the germ and the bran of the wheat. It's stripped of its nutrition, often enriched with synthetic additives and sometimes bleached. Wheat is often GMO, meaning it's been tinkered with in a lab. 

Organic wheat flour is a good option because it is grown without pesticides and is non-GMO, but it still offers little nutritionally. Some fun flour substitutions include:
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Oat flour/Rolled oats
  • Brown rice flour
  • Gluten-free AP flour
  • Almond meal/flour
  • Chickpea flour
***When changing the flours, you will be changing the composition of the baked good. AP flour is rich in natural gluten--the protein that gives desserts their elasticity and oomph. Start by swapping in small amounts of these substitutes. A combination of low-gluten or gluten-free flours will help with overall consistency. 

Have more questions on what else you can add or subtract from recipes to boost their nutrition? Let me know your questions! And be sure to check out my tasty recipes

The Rungry Health Coach

Six Natural Remedies to Fight Colds and Flus

Firstly, don't be that person who shows up to work sick.

Don't be that guy!
Ginger Lemon

Secondly, we're all kind of on edge this season: We work extra hard to wash our hands, avoid crowded situations and pump our immune systems up with vitamin C because we don't want to get sick.

Nobody wants to get sick, but it does happen, even to the healthiest of people. Germs are just unavoidable. 

As winter looms on the horizon, now is the time to boost your immune system--not with synthetic pills, powders or liquids, but with real food. Simple ingredients and foods, many of which can be found in your own pantry can make great cold remedies and immune system boosters. While there is no cure for the common cold, there are a variety of natural remedies you can use to help ease your symptoms. 

  1. Ginger--Ginger can do it all. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and can ease discomfort associated with bloat, gas, vomiting and diarrhea. 
  2. Citrus Fruits--While vitamin C may not be a cure for the common cold, it can help shorten the length or severity of the cold and cold-like symptoms.
  3. Garlic--Garlic is a popular remedy for both colds and viruses because of its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. 
  4. Onions--These bulbs contain quercetin, an unpronounceable flavonoid (healthy phytochemical compound) that may help fight off colds.
  5. Green Tea--Not just low in caffeine, green tea may contain certain properties that can help ward off certain colds and viruses.
  6. Honey--Bears know what's up; honey is incredibly healthy. The golden liquid can help soothe sore throats and coughs. Mix a little with warm water. 

Need some more cold-crushing tips? Try these!
  • Make a homemade tonic
  • Double-down on turmeric and ginger
  • Lather on essential oils
  • Eat a nutritious diet free of inflammatory foods like processed white sugars or white flours
  • Exercise regularly 
  • Stick to a sleep schedule and ensure you're getting at least seven hours of shuteye
  • Don't get hog wild on alcohol
  • Keep eating--Your body actually needs extra calories to fight illness and eating fewer calories inhibits the body's ability to heal
My best tip? Switch to a diet rich in real, unprocessed foods and exercise frequently. When you take care of your body in this loving manner, you're giving your system a loving boost all year. Eat a combination of these foods and practice these tips all year long and you'll help reduce your chances at getting sick!

Need some more natural remedies and other ideas? Send me a message!