Having a Healthy Mindset for the Holidays

A lot of people have been asking me some questions about how I deal with the holiday season as someone trying to be mindful about my health and fitness, so I wanted to answer some of my most asked questions about this time of year.

Are you going to eat ANY traditional holiday foods?

This is a tricky question, and one must know thyself to know what works best for you.  For some people, they have no problem treating themselves to a few pieces of fudge or sugar cookies throughout the month while sticking to a clean eating plan the rest of the time.  For me, that doesn’t work very well.  I have to stay pretty strict with my meal plan if I want to get the results I’m looking for, so I will be very picky and choosy about what I indulge in.  I used to view the holidays as a total free-for-all and just whatever I wanted for about 2 straight months, but that doesn’t make me feel good, so I won’t be doing that.  For me, I need to be very aware of what I’m eating during this time of year, but there are certain foods I know I’ll eat, like a cinnamon roll on Christmas morning–that is our tradition, and I want to participate.  You have to make that choice for yourself, but the important thing is to own your choice and not feel bad or guilty about it either way.

It’s the holidays!  Just relax and live a little!  Don’t you deserve to treat yourself??

I totally understand this mentality, because I used to live it every holiday every year, but again, I don’t feel good about myself when I don’t eat well.  I feel bad mentally, emotionally, and physically–I deserve to feel awesome all the time, and if I know my nutrition is a part of that, then I need to eat accordingly.

What should I do about my workouts during this busy season?

Simply put, prioritize them.  I know firsthand how easy it is to fall out of your routine during these busy seasons, and how difficult it is to get back into a healthy routine once you decide enough is enough.  It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually easiest in the long run to just keep up with your fitness routine during the holidays than to give it up completely.  If you usually work out every day, maybe lower that expectation–4 days a week instead of 7, or 3 days a week instead of 5. Maybe consider switching when you workout–would getting up early to get it done keep you consistent?  Consider making that kind of change for just these 4 weeks of crazy, and then switch back to your afternoon sweat session once the holidays are done.  You can also figure out a different way to be active–plan to go to a group class with family when they are in town, or invite them to do your workout with you, or go for a jog with a friend.  If you can find people to be active with you, it helps keep you more accountable.  This is exactly why I love my online accountability groups!  We help each other stick to a routine–email me or comment on this post to get details on my next group!

Is it really that bad to just wait until January?

It’s never a bad time to start a healthy routine with your food and fitness!  But I always answer this question with my own question–is it really that bad to start now?  Is it a bad thing to go ahead and start feeling awesome right now?  Why start January feeling gross and bloated when you can start it feeling energized and amazing?  For me, I’m still focusing on my nutrition and fitness and preparing for an awesome January.  I have some awesome goals for where I want to be by my beach trip in April, and those aren’t going to wait for the holidays.

Maybe you’re feeling the same way about your health–why wait???  I’ve got accountability groups going all through this time of year, and I’ve got space for you!  Comment below or email me at wweaver0@gmail.com to get some info.

Do you have some tips for keeping your health going through the holidays?  I’d love to hear them!  Share them in the comments!

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Take the Stairs!

Self-discipline is hard.  Whether you’re talking about food choices, fitness, getting up with my alarm, having more patience with my three year old, or whatever else I’ve got going on in my life, being disciplined is a constant battle.  I’m always looking for an easier way out, or just reacting to situations instead of thinking through the best choice–I’m sure you can relate.  It’s hard to be a disciplined person, and I fall short pretty much every day.

It’s been a few years since I started focusing on being more disciplined, and it’s pretty amazing how far I’ve come in so many areas of my life–but there is always more room to grow!  I’ve been reading (for a second time, actually) an amazing book and just wanted to recommend it to you.

Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden is exactly what I need to read right now–he is all about learning to be disciplined in every area of life, and that has been a great lesson for me over the last few years.  I can choose a specific area of my life to grow in my discipline–focusing solely on workouts, or just on my patience, for example–but to truly grow in discipline, it needs to be something that pervades all areas of my life.  I need to learn to become a disciplined WOMAN in general, not just a disciplined eater or a disciplined exerciser.  I love that idea, and it’s exactly the type of person I want to become.  If this is something you struggle with, too, please do yourself a favor and add this book to your Christmas list.

Also, a bit of encouragement: one of the most difficult aspects of learning to be disciplined (for me, anyway) was feeling like I had to muster up the strength to be more disciplined.  It was overwhelming and exhausting for me to think about trying my hardest every day to be more disciplined!  It made me not even want to try, because who can do that all day every day?  Not me, for sure.  But then I came across this verse that comforted me and made me feel really empowered:

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

If you are a Christian, you already have a Spirit of self-discipline within you–you just have to ask God to help you live that out and choose to submit to that Spirit in your day to day choices.  So be encouraged by that!

What books have you read that have helped you with this idea of self-discipline?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Christmas Advent 2017

Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year!  Now that my little man is getting older, it’s getting more and more fun.  For the past few years, I’ve done an Advent calendar for us as a family to serve together, have intentional time together, and to help teach my little man what Christmas is really all about!

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Here are some of the activities we’ll be doing this Advent season–what are some of the traditions you and your family have?  I’d love to hear about them!

Watch a Christmas movie

Breakfast with Santa

Swim party (when we’ll be in a hotel out of town)

Make a leaf wreath

Make Christmas cards and mail them to our cousins

Make treats and deliver them to our neighbors

Choose some toys to donate

Deliver food to a food bank ministry

Have cookies and cocoa at our church’s Christmas service

Have breakfast for dinner

Sing Christmas carols to our grandparents (if he’ll cooperate!)

Drive around and look at Christmas lights

Read the Christmas story together

Do a Christmas puzzle

Color a Christmas coloring page

 

This isn’t the full list, but it’s a great start!  What are your Advent activity plans?

Super Simple DIY Fruit Cups

My kid is picky.  It is one of the great annoyances of motherhood for me to have a toddler who is SO PICKY about food.  My hubby was a picky child, and I am a really adventurous eater, so one of my goals as a mom is to raise an adventurous eater like me.  I’ll pause here so fellow parents can laugh at that goal.

I know that I can’t control my kid’s pickiness, but I CAN control how much or how little I give in to it.  So, I’m constantly on a quest to figure out how to transition my child off of junky processed foods and onto healthier options and more variety.  Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I want to do a better job being consistent in my efforts and in sharing them.

This switch is so simple that I hesitated to even share it with you.  My kid LOVES fruit and would eat it all day every day if he had the choice.  But, I hate buying fruit cups for him.  I don’t like all the sugar that comes in the syrup, even the “no sugar added” kinds.   Even if the fruit is in fruit juice instead of syrup, there is so much sugar in there that he just doesn’t need.  So, one day I finally realized, “Hey!  I can just make these myself!”  Duh.

His favorite fruit cups are mandarin oranges and peaches.  So I bought a bag of clementines on sale and a couple of bags of frozen sliced peaches (no sugar added, of course).  Then all I had to do was peel and cut up the clementines, and let the peaches thaw before I chopped them up.  Easy peasy.  Plus, using frozen peaches saves me a step in prepping, so I’m winning all the way around.

If your kiddos like fruit cups, try making your own fruit cups–you can even buy pre-cut fruit in the produce section to make it easy on yourself.  It’s definitely not easy to switch your kids from processed to whole foods, but it is worth it to help instill those healthy habits early on!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles

I’ve been searching for a good pumpkin pancake/waffle recipe, and with the leftover pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge from Thanksgiving, this recipe was perfect for this weekend!  These waffles came out with just the right amount of crunch and pumpkin flavor.  A lot of pumpkin pancake/waffle recipes I’ve tried come out weird and hard, like clay almost–ew.  I was so happy with these!

I didn’t have coconut oil when I made these, so I used ghee instead and they turned out awesome.  I also didn’t have pre-made pumpkin pie spice, so I just threw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground ginger.  Of course I didn’t measure any of it, but it turned out really well.  They were so good that I just ate one like it was a cookie without any toppings or anything.  I wrapped the rest of them up in plastic wrap and then in a freezer bag.  I’ll be using the toaster to thaw and heat them straight from the freezer!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Waffles (from Fit Foodie Finds)

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s Brand)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine all the wet ingredients (pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond milk) in a small bowl.  Whisk to combine.  Combine all dry ingredients (flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda) in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour the combined wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir to completely mix.

Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop batter onto heated waffle iron and cook until waffle is completely cooked through and browned, at least 4 minutes per waffle.  Enjoy with some chocolate chips, some almond butter, and/or some pure maple syrup!

Banana Oat Pancakes (make-ahead and toddler approved!)

I love breakfast, ya’ll.  It’s funny because I normally just have my super shake for my breakfast every day, but I love all things breakfast.  If it’s filling, yummy, healthy, and quick, even better!

These pancakes are so good, really easy to make, and they keep well in the freezer so I can make a big batch over the weekend and eat on them all week long.  You can easily add blueberries or chocolate chips, or just eat them plain with a drizzle of maple syrup.  My son loves these, too!  Win for everyone!

Banana Oat Pancakes (from Fixate)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 large eggs
1 large ripe banana
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 dash sea salt
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well mixed and smooth.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat with 1/2 tsp coconut oil.  Measure out 1/4 cup pancake batter and pour onto skillet, cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the top of the pancake starts to bubble.  Flip and cook for 2-3 more minutes until cooked through and golden brown.  Repeat with all remaining batter.

Top with fruit, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and/or pure maple syrup.  If placing in freezer, let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap or put in zipper sandwich baggies, then place in a zipper freezer bag and freeze.

Each serving is 2 pancakes (1 yellow container).

The Simplest Motivation Hack EVER

It happens to all of us–you have something you want to accomplish, you have a plan to make it happen, and then…you snooze a million times.  Or you lay on the couch binge-watching Stranger Things.  Or you scroll through social media and realize an hour has gone by.  And you haven’t gotten anything done!

It’s so easy to fall into that procrastination trap, where anything and everything is more important than the one thing that REALLY is important to us–and we continue to not accomplish our goals.  Now, I don’t really believe in “motivation”–I think sometimes you feel really energized to work towards your goals and sometimes you don’t, but not feeling energized isn’t a reason to not do the necessary work.  But some strategies and techniques are crucial for those times where you’re just not feeling it.

This technique comes from the great Mel Robbins–you can watch an awesome video of her explaining it here–and it’s so simple it almost seems like it wouldn’t work.  But it does!  All you need to do is count backwards from 5–think of it like a countdown to a rocket launch: as the countdown is happening, the rocket is building up energy from its fuel and engine, and then when the countdown ends, it has the energy it needs to take off!  We are the same way; counting down from 5 allows our brain to recognize that a transition is happening, to build up energy to make it happen, and to launch us into whatever activity we need to get done.

That’s it!  You can use this 5-second rule to help you get up with your alarm instead of snoozing, to push play on your workout, to start that conversation that needs to happen but you’re scared to have, or whatever else you are putting off.  And try it with your kids to help them transition from one activity to another without meltdowns!

Whatever it is you need to get done, try this hack to make it happen!  5-4-3-2-1 GO!