It’s the 11th hour and you’re scrambling to finalize your gifts and preparations for the holidays. Ah the holidays – a time of family, food, gifts, parties and fun. And if you’re a human being, all of those things probably also have some pretty stressful aspects to them too. These can come in obvious forms as well as very subtle forms. Holiday gatherings and parties can be occasions where people who normally don’t spend a lot of time together or really understand eachother get together and spend hours and hours on end together. Then there’s the shopping and the crowds, the cold weather, the party-planning and the list-making, and a lack of time to get it all done to the level of perfection we desire, all while messing with our normal daily routine. Sound familiar?
Holidays are a great time to spend time with family and friends and share some amazing meals. So many of our holiday traditions and family memories center around the food! On average, a person will gain approximately 2 pounds during the holiday season, and many don’t shed it once the season is over. But these celebrations don’t need to mean that we shove aside our healthy nutrition goals and indulge in all rich foods, overeating and all the consequences. Remember, during the holidays the only two things that need to be stuffed are birds and stockings!
It’s the sweet spot between Thanksgiving and Christmas where we’re in full holiday swing, with sugary sweets and drinks abounding, even while we’re probably still recovering from our Thanksgiving feast, am I right? If this sounds familiar to you, the idea of intermittent fasting may have crossed your mind once or twice. After all, why not give your digestive system a break and reduce your caloric intake in between two gigantic food holidays?
Whether you have a specific fitness goal or are just trying to stay healthy, exercising regularly is an integral part of any healthy lifestyle. Experts recommend working out 45 minutes to an hour a day (30 minutes for beginners) for weight loss and fitness. The best way to do this is to make exercise a part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. If you’re like most people and find it hard to motivate yourself to get to the gym, find a class that sounds fun or enlist a family member or friend as a workout buddy. Finding that external support not only makes it more fun, but creates a sense of accountability that really works!
In recent years, science has been proving what meditators have known for thousands of years – that meditation offers a host of benefits, from improving your health to increasing your productivity. Personally, I feel like I’m a totally different person from who I was before I started meditating, and sometimes I even feel like a different person before and after I do my daily meditation session.
When I first started working out in my teens, I had a theory that working out may make you a better person. After all, I just felt nicer and more open after a good workout. Any frustration, stress, or anger I was experiencing usually was dissipated after I had a good sweat. Understandably, the few people I told about this theory questioned my sanity. How could something as mundane and superficial as exercising make you a better person?
I first met Renee at a meditation retreat in Los Angeles. After discovering that we both had multiple dietary restrictions AND happened to go to the same college, we became fast friends. Over the past few years, both of us have been on our own journeys to find what foods and lifestyle choices affect how we feel, and we’ve been a natural support system for eachother. Even after Renee was formally diagnosed with thyroid disease a few months ago, she continued her journey of self-discovery and self-care rather than just relying on the diagnosis and medication. I asked Renee to share her experience and some of the challenges and remedies that she has discovered for herself, in particular her yoga practice and how that has affected other parts of her life. Below is her guest post. –Jennifer
It’s summer, and we’re getting ready to step into our bikini bodies and have fun doing it. No one wants to do a workout they don’t enjoy, right? It’s been proven that by doing exercise you enjoy, you will be more inclined to stick to it to achieve your own personal goals, and we couldn’t agree more. Summertime opens the door to so many more exercise opportunities, and we can’t wait to dive into all of them! Keep in mind that temperatures are hotter in the summer, so be sure to stay hydrated and replenish your muscles with nutrients (e.g. potassium) after your workout.
These days the choices that confront us when we walk into the grocery store seem endless. Organic? Non-GMO? Grass-fed?Pasture-raised? Free range? Wild-caught? Not to mention all the ‘free-from’s which, of course, we at The Tasteful Pantry are intimately familiar with. As many options as there are, there seem to be a whole cult of proponents for each who treat each decision as black and white. But many of these choices can’t be solved with a blanket statement, and there are many factors at play in addition to impact on your health – things like impact on the environment, and of course, cost!
Spinning is one of my favorite – ok my very favorite – workouts out there, which is (surprise surprise) why I teach it. It’s an awesome sweat-inducing cardio workout, but it also has the potential to help you build strength. It’s super simple to follow along – no confusing steps or moves to memorize – and who wouldn’t want to just ride their hearts out in a dark room with blasting music that makes you wanna get out of your seat and dance?