Tag Archives: Holidays

Pamper Yourself This Holiday Season

pamper yourself this holiday season
Ever since I wrote the post on stocking stuffer ideas for the fitness lover in your life, I’ve been dreaming of pampering myself with some foot lotion and shea butter infused socks.

Let’s face it, the holidays are a stressful time of year and stress wreaks havoc on the skin. So here are a few quick and simple ways to pamper yourself this holiday season, using some items you probably all ready have on hand.

Cucumber Mask
This mask purifies and cleanses the skin, leaving your face feeling cool and smooth.
• 1/2 cup plain yogurt
• Cut a cucumber into thick slices, place in a blender. Set aside 2 thin slices for the eyes.
• Throw 3 mint or parsley leaves into the blender. Puree to a paste.
• Mix the cucumber puree with the yogurt in the bowl.
• Cover your face with the cucumber mask. Place thin slices of cucumber on the eyes and let sit on the skin for 15 minutes.
• Rinse clean with warm water.

*Perfect while soaking in the milk bath that is featured below

Avocado Mask
To soothe or heal skin irritated from sun or wind exposure, try this avocado mask.
• Mash one whole avocado.
• Add 1 tsp. flaxseed oil and 1 tsp. honey.
• Mix together until smooth and creamy.
• Apply to face and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
• Rinse clean with warm water.

Oatmeal/Egg White Mask
This mask exfoliates and removes dead skin and blemishes, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth.
• Mix 3 to 4 egg whites and 1/3 cup oatmeal together.
• Apply and rub mixture onto skin.
•Allow for mixture to sit for 5 minutes and let egg whites dry.
• Rinse clean with warm water.

Lemon Sugar Foot/Body Scrub
This scrub exfoliates and removes dead skin from you feet and body, leaving you feeling soft and rejuvenated.
• You’ll need: 2 cups granulated white sugar, 1/3 to 1/4 cup of coconut oil, 3-4 drops of lemon essential oil
• Slowly add oil to sugar (you want it soft, not oily), then add essential oil.
• Apply and rub mixture onto skin.
• Rinse clean with warm water.
• Store remaining scrub in a jar.

Powdered Milk Bath
This bath will leave your skin feeling soft, soothed and moisturized.
• You’ll need: 1 cup powdered milk (the higher fat the better – coconut is a great smelling option), 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup corn starch.
• Mix ingredients together. Feel free to add an essential oil if you’d like to (about 5-10 drops).
• Pour 1 cup of the mixture into your hot bath and relax.
• Store remaining mixture in a jar.

So carve out a little time this weekend between baking, shopping, planning and of course working out & meal prepping, to pamper yourself with a little at-home spa day. Your body and your mind will thank you for the TLC!

Have any DIY pampering treatments that you enjoy? Share them in the comments section below!

blog sig

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty

10 Stocking Stuffers for Fitness Lovers

10 Stocking Stuffers for the Fitness Lover.jpg

Can you believe we are only 9 days away from Christmas?! I feel like we were just carving the Turkey and discussing Black Friday sales. Time needs to slow down just a little so I can catch up.

If you are anything like me, the majority of your shopping is done and you started to wrap, but the one thing you forgot about were the stockings! Dammit!  Well, I put together a list of 10 stocking stuffers for fitness lovers, that just might help you out!

Bonus: Each item is at or under $20 and many can be found locally without shipping! Score!

1. Skullcandy Ink’d 2.0 Mic’d Headphones:

skullcandy ink'd 2.0
These feature multi-sized silicone gel tips to deliver the perfect fit. You can also manage device and tunes with the single-button mic and remote. (Find them at Target or Walmart $20)

2. Stylish Beanies:

beanies.jpg

Perfect for outdoor winter runs as well as trips to the gym or the store. Beanies are stylish, functional and completely affordable. Give the gift of warm this year! (Starting at $6 at Target, Forever 21 and Kohl’s)

Apt. 9 ® lurex leopard ribbed beanie • Apt. 9 • $11.99
Merona® Jeweled Solid Beanie Hat – Black • Merona • $14.99
Merona Women’s Microfleece Beanie Hat • Merona • $6.00
Xhilaration® Reversible Star Beanie Hat – Black/Green • Xhilaration • $12.99
Xhilaration® Beanie Hat – Blue • Xhilaration • $6.98
FOREVER 21+ Multi-Tone Knit Beanie • Forever 21 • $6.23

3. Smart Gloves

Touchscreen gloves

In today’s tech world, your gloves MUST be able to work with the touch screen on your phone. Whether you’re running outside and activating your favorite run tracking app, or driving to the gym, these are a must-have for the social-media-driven fitness folks in your life. (Starting at $5 at retailers like Five Below, Target, TJ Maxx & Marshall’s)

4. Degree’s by 180’s Headphones:

Ear Warmer Headphone

Not a fan of beanies but want to keep your ears warm during your outdoor winter workout? Keep your ears warm and your tunes jamming with these ear warmer headphones! They are listed in the men’s section but I don’t see why us ladies can’t use them too! (Find them at Target.com and Kohls $19.99 or click here to purchase them via Target.com)

BONUS: Use the code JOY30 for 30% off these!

5. Quest Bars:

Quest Bars.jpg

Give the gift of the #CleanCheat this holiday season with some Quest Bars. They comes in a large variety of flavors and are heavenly when popped into the microwave for a few seconds to soften up. They are also gluten-free, have no added sugar and come in around 160 calories + 20 grams of protein per bar (depending on the flavor) My personal favorites are Cookies & Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. There is also a brand new Smore’s flavor, but it’s not in stores yet. (Find these at your local GNC or Vitamin Shop around $3 per bar)

6. Gymboss Interval Timer:

Gymboss timer

The Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch is a small, easy-to-use, dual interval timer. This multi-use timer has many versatile functions that make it beneficial to virtually any type of exercise program and helps keep your workout on track. You can program your work/rest times and not worry about starting and stopping a stopwatch. This little gizmo does it all for you. (Find it on Amazon $19.99)

7. Sparkly Soul Headband

sparkly soul

“I don’t sweat, I sparkle.” Kick your sparkle game up a notch with these non-slip, no-headache headbands that REALLY work. They come tons of different colors with two widths to choose from. Perfect for kids too (think cheerleaders, track stars and tumblers). (Find these on SparklySoul.com or Amazon. Starting at $15.00)

8. iTunes Gift Cards

itunes.png

Do I really need to explain why this is a great gift? From music to apps, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t love to find one of these in their stocking on Christmas morning! (Find at grocery stores, Apple, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, CVS…etc. Starting at $10)

9. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm:

Burts Bees Lip Balm

Winter leaves our lips chapped and raw, especially if you workout outdoors. Give the gift of relief. Beeswax conditions skin, while antioxidant Vitamin E moisturizes. A final hint of Peppermint Oil provides that one-of-a-kind refreshing tingle. The result? Smooth, supple lips everyone will be buzzing about. (Find it many local retailers like Target, Walmart, Walgreens & CVS for around $3-$4)

10. Pampered Feet:

Pampered Feet.jpg

If you have a runner in your life, their feet take a beating! Give them a treat with a pair of Shea Infused Slipper Socks ($8.50) and some True Blue Foot Cream ($15.00) from Bath & Body Works.

I hope this list sparks some ideas for you as you wrap up your holiday shopping. If I missed a favorite of yours, please share it with me below!

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under Health & Fitness, House/Fashion/Beauty, Products I've Tried

Tips For Clean Eating During the Holidays

detail of a rustic, traditonal table setting on wooden background
The holidays are a time of year that are filled with family, dinners, parties, cocktails, cookies, shopping and of course the stress of trying to get it all done. Don’t let the holidays derail you from your fitness goals. It takes a little effort, but you can avoid the weight gain that is oh so commonly associated with this time of year. Check out my tips for clean eating during the holidays and start your new year off ahead of everyone else.

1. Eat Breakfast: Eating a healthy breakfast everyday sets the tone for your day. If you try to skip it and opt for a trip to the local coffee shop for a sugary mega-super-ginormous latte, you’re setting yourself up for overeating later in the day. Having breakfast and eating small, clean meals through out the day is also going to be your key to success on the days you have parties or events to attend. You’ll keep your energy high and your blood sugar stable, which will result in less cravings for caffeine, sugar and fatty foods.

Bonus Tip: If you skip breakfast because you are always short on time in the morning, consider making these Healthy Egg Muffins or adding a nutrient dense smoothie to your morning routine.

2. Be Prepared: On days when you’ll be running around shopping, make sure that you carry healthy snack options with you so you can avoid becoming hangry. A piece of fruit, some homemade trail mix, a nutrition bar or some raw nuts are all great, portable options to keep on hand. Long lines and crowds can be energy draining, so it’s important to have healthy energy boosts on hand. The last thing you want is to be tempted by the candy options while on line to check out.

Bonus Tip: Slow cookers can be a life saver during this time of year. You can find lots of Clean Eating Slow Cooker Recipes on my Pinterest board.

3. Manage Portion Sizes: When attending cocktail parties or buffets, opt for the smallest plate option available. Doing so will keep your portion sizes in check and it will reduce your chances of  over stuffing yourself. Having a smaller plate will also force you to get up to refill it. This will give you time to truly think if you want more and if you do, you’ll at least get a little bit of activity in the process.

Bonus Tip: Carry sugar-free mints or gum with you to holiday parties. The minty flavor will keep you from picking on foods.

4. Indulge Wisely: Don’t overdue it on foods you can have anytime of year. Save the splurges for foods that you only have access to during the holiday season, like grandma’s pecan pie or the first batch of cookies for the season that your children helped to make. By doing so, you won’t feel cheated or like you can’t enjoy the foods that may be linked to childhood memories. When you head into the holidays knowing that these special foods are okay, you’ll reduce the risk of feeling like a failure which can result in binge eating. Strive for balance, not perfection!

Bonus Tip: Make a list of the foods that you only have around the holidays and make sure you balance them out with healthier options. Remember, just because you give yourself permission to have these special foods doesn’t meant it’s okay in gorge yourself on them. 

5. Make It Yourself: If you’re invited to a dinner party, don’t be afraid to call the host or hostess and ask if you could bring a dish. Many times this is very appreciated and it will give you an opportunity to ensure there is a healthy option at the gathering.

Bonus Tip: On days you know you have a special event revolving around food, make sure you get some exercise in. From a 30 minute walk to a short yoga season to help you stay calm and collected. Exercise can help you make wiser food choices.

The holidays don’t have to undo all of the hard work you’ve put into health this year. Just look ahead at your week and make a plan! You may even inspire someone else in the process.

For some more holiday tips, be sure to check out this past post: Here Comes the Holidays

blog sig

 

3 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness, Main Course, My Ramblings, Recipes

Goal Crushing Holidays – Don’t Fall Into The Trap

goal crushing holidays

Halloween is the kick off to the holiday season. It is the start the of the goal crushing holidays and the “treat” temptations that will become a everyday struggle from now until New Years Day.

Right now, many of us have homes full of “fun sized” candy and I’m sure we’ve all dipped into it. Those fun size treats then get us feeling down about ourselves and instead of saying “I can turn this around” we end up making more poor choices, this time with our meals or we’ll skip our workouts because we’re having a sugar crash and lack the energy to due them. Where exactly is the fun in this?

Next we begin to use Thanksgiving as an excuse and say “We’ll, I’m not going to re-start now, I’ll be eating and over indulging on Thanksgiving, so the Monday after will be my start date.” Thanksgiving dinner turns into leftovers the next day, followed by hours of shopping and more poor food choices because you’re on the go. (Do you really know how many calories are in the sugary, blended frappe topped with whip?! It’s scary!) By the time Monday rolls around you’re too tired to workout, so you decide “I’ll just start on January 1st.”

The problem with this is that we let “being busy” stand in the way of our goals. (You do have your goal written down where you can see it, right?! If not, you should read yesterday’s post.) From holiday parties, to cookie swaps, to drinks with friends, and crazy nights of shopping & wrapping, we allow each and every one of these events to become more important than our goals…and that shouldn’t be the case.

Every time you allow everything else to be more important than your goals, or you allow a slip up to get the better of you, it gets easier and easier to slip back into old habits. The same old habits that took you months to change can come back in a weekend if you allow them to. (Crazy right?!) Before you know it, all of the progress you’ve made is gone and it’s even tougher to start over.

This holiday season, I don’t want to see that happen to myself or any of you! Don’t be the average and allow those 7-10 holiday pounds to creep onto you. I know the holidays are hectic, but I also know that we can all carve out 30 minutes a day to get our workout done and we can all make smart food choices 80% of the time (I know you all have time to check Facebook and scroll Instagram so decide what’s more important). These small decisions can be a goal saver during the holidays and they still allow you to have your favorite food and treats during the season…just in moderation.

What I am asking of you right now is for complete and total honesty…not with me, but with YOURSELFWhere do you want to be come January 1st? Restarting and losing the weight you had already lost again, or feeling a sense of confidence and pride because this is the first year you didn’t let the holidays bully you into hating the way you look and feel?

I know this is not an easy time of year and I’m not asking you to do this on your own. As a Health & Fitness Accountability Coach, I can help you find a program that will fit your lifestyle & goals and I can also provide you with a private group of like-minded people to help you stay accountable, share you struggles and celebrate your achievements, as we conquer the holidays together!

My next group will be starting on November 17th and I would love to have you join me. For more information, please comment or message me on Facebook.

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness, My Ramblings

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like A #12DaysOfFitness Challenge

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for many of us…although it can also be a stress filled and indulgent time.

If you are anything like me, the tree is up, you’ve been busy shopping and cookies & holiday treats have been baking! I LOVE Christmas cookies and I especially love making them with the help of my children. The excitement, giggles and smells of cookies in the oven are what makes Christmas such a happy time to me. Despite my love of this activity, it can be a dangerous one if you eat too many cookies, grab too much fast food because you were out late shopping, or consider a Venti Peppermint Mocha Latte to be lunch, while picking up forgotten presents at the mall.

Team those things up with holiday parties, cookie swaps and family gatherings and you have the perfect storm for a caloric overload, which can result in buttons popping, lack of energy when you crash from your sugar rush and don’t forget the dreaded muffin top!

Staying active this time of year is important for our minds as well as our waistlines. Everyone needs a little time for themselves where they can unplug, clear their minds and work out a little aggression.

With this in mind, I decided it would be fun to run a #12DaysOfFitness Challenge over on the Facebook Page! The graphic below has the list of moves, as well as how many reps should be done each day. The challenge will work as a progression each day, so you will complete the activity of the day PLUS all of the prior ones…just like the Twelve Days of Christmas song. Kinda fun, right?

#12DaysofFitness

These activities shouldn’t take long to do each day and if needed you can break them up (although you’ll see better results if you can complete them as a daily circuit). Be sure to stop by the Facebook Page, click LIKE and join in on any daily questions, information or check-in’s that will be provided.

I hope you find a little time for yourselves this holiday season to keep up the progress you’ve made, or to get a jump start on your New Years resolutions!

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Fun, Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts

Guiltless Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is right around the corner! For many people, this is traditionally a family event, where more savory, less healthy foods are served. Turkey is usually the featured item in most Thanksgiving feasts (hence the term “Turkey Day” and why many of us look to run a “Turkey Trot” the morning of). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, rolls, and various pies are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. There is also the pre-meal watching of football with Hor d’oeurves, followed by the post-meal football watching, where people typically complain about being overstuffed and drift off into a tryptophan coma.

Don’t stuff yourself like a turkey this year! Opt for everything in moderation with these tips:

  • Water is your best friend! Water helps control your appetite by making you feel fuller faster. Drink plenty of it to stay fuller and keep your cravings under control.
  • Eat Slowly! It only takes 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’re full. Make sure you savor your food, and slow down. This teamed up with drinking lots of water will keep you from going overboard and over stuffing yourself. It will also give your mind a chance to catch up with your body and realize that you are full. Eating is not a race. The slower you eat the more you will enjoy your meal, because you will take the time to enjoy bite and the flavors it offers.
  • Eat Before the Feast! Don’t go to dinner starving. Make sure you eat a healthy breakfast (high in protein and fiber) and a low calorie snack before heading out to your Thanksgiving destination or your guests arrive.  Eating a healthy breakfast and snack will help to ensure you won’t be starving when it’s time for your holiday gathering.
  • Opt for the Special Stuff! Don’t waste your calories on large portions of food you can eat every day. Focus on smaller portions of the favorites your family makes only once or twice a year. Keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others, but don’t deprive yourself of higher calorie favorites that are special to your family. Just remember it’s all about moderation! Sometimes, just a small taste is enough to satisfy the craving.
  • Say No to Seconds! If you eat slowly and drink plenty of water with your meal, you shouldn’t feel the need to go for seconds. If you’re visiting and your host keeps pushing you to have seconds, politely say, “No.” and compliment the meal they served.
  • Avoid Finger Foods! Hor d’oeurves can be very high in calories and fat. If you forgot to have a snack before arriving at your destination, opt for crudité. This is also a great option for you bring with you. Your host/hostess will appreciate the offer when they invite you and you’ll ensure that there is a healthy snack for you to enjoy while watching football and waiting for the main course to be served.
  • Stop When You’re Full! It sounds obvious, but stopping when you’re full is probably one of the hardest things to do at the Thanksgiving table. It’s difficult to do when so many “special” foods are present and everyone else is helping themselves to seconds. It will be easier to stop if you slow down and enjoy each bite, drink lots of water and avoid wearing pants with an elastic waist!
  • Limit Alcohol! Alcohol impairs your thought process and makes it that much easier to justify a third helping mashed potatoes or another slice of pie with ice-cream. Let’s not forget that it can also be high in empty calories and removes your brain to mouth filter (which might not  be the best thing when surrounded by family!) Have a glass of wine, a wine spritzer or enjoy a light beer or two. Between alcoholic drinks, enjoy some sparkling water so you stay hydrated, limit alcohol calories, and stay sober.
  • Make Healthy Choices! Thankfully, many Thanksgiving staples fit into a healthy meal plan. Turkey is a great source of protein, and sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. Just take a minute and think before you eat. If you’re preparing the meal, cut back on salt and butter in the side dishes. Try to use whole-grain breads whenever possible and remember that herbs and spices add a lot of flavor without added fat and sodium.

As you head out to your Thanksgiving feast or open your door to host family, remember it’s okay to say “No”, just be polite when doing so. Some people show their love through food and will insist on you having seconds. Others may feel threatened by your healthy lifestyle and pile food onto your plate because it makes them feel better about themselves. Politely saying “no” in these situations shouldn’t produce hard feelings. If you’ll be visiting family, offer to bring a healthy side or the crudité to ensure you’ll stay on track. Some of the other guests might also appreciate this!

Above all, creating a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you head out and face your favorite foods is key. Sign up for a Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving, go for a brisk walk, head to the gym or do your favorite workout DVD. Treat that morning like you would any other and stick to your workout routine. After dinner, invite family to take a walk around the neighborhood, instead of heading to the couch or recliner and drifting off to sleep. It is a wonderful way for families to get some physical activity and quality time together. Have a lot of kids at your gathering? Bring a football, head out into the yard and throw the ball around, instead of just watching it on TV. Be creative and innovative! Have fun, stay active and look for the healthier options at your Thanksgiving meal. Your waistline will definitely thank you!

Don’t forget the #EarnThatTurkey Challenge that is going on now! Join us and stay active in the days leading up to Thanksgiving!

blog sig

3 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness

#EarnThatTurkey Challenge

Holy $hit! Where did 2013 go?! I can’t for the life of me believe that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away!

I need to start looking for a Turkey Trot to sign-up for, OR find a few people willing to head up to trail with me and run/walk a 5K the morning of Thanksgiving. Bueller? Bueller?!

Typically, I prefer to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee and snuggle on the couch with the kids, to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, but that’s not going to help me achieve my goals. This year, I feel that waking up an hour earlier, lacing up my running shoes and getting my endorphins flowing BEFORE my coffee and parade tradition would be a good idea and help to reduce the Turkey Day guilt later in the day.

Since I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they hope to avoid the typical holiday weight gain, I thought it might be fun to have a challenge group run from now through Thanksgiving Day.

All you have to do is eat clean, which means to eat natural/whole foods with as few ingredients as possible. You’ll want to avoid the drive-thru’s, sugary pumpkin or peppermint mocha lattes and any impulse purchases up at the register, that you would shove into your mouth between leaving the check-out and arriving at your vehicle. You should also aim to do 25-30 minutes of cardio daily. I know this isn’t easy for everyone, but it is a challenge. This cardio could be at your local gym, running, cycling, walking ( just not a leisurely stroll) or any at home workout video. Whatever it is, it has to get your heart rate up for 25 minutes! If you can’t do it daily, aim for at least 5 times a week and really watch your nutrition to make up for it. This might sound daunting, but you’ll thank me for the push when you can still button your jeans on Black Friday. The final part of the challenge is to tone you up! You’ll perform the moves listed on the graphic below for the number of reps specified, then rest of 30 seconds before starting all over again, for a total of 3 rounds.

#EarnThatTurkey Thanksgiving Challenge

 

That’s not too intimidating, right?!

I also invite everyone to come join me on the Facebook Page, where I’ll be posting daily tips as well as an accountability thread, so you can check in  and be thankful for your health, new accomplishments achieved and of course….this challenge!

Oh! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #EarnThatTurkey when posting on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I might even run a few daily challenges that will require it!

Now let’s #EarnThatTurkey and keep that holiday weight gain away!

blog sig

6 Comments

Filed under Health & Fitness, Quick Workouts

{Wordless Wednesday} Happy Fourth of July

20130703-111748.jpg

{Photo from Lilsugar.com – Click for recipes}

 

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Health & Fitness

{Wordless Wednesday} Holiday Edition

75th Birthday Lunch with Family

Cookies for Santa

Christmas

IMG_4237[1]

Christmas Morning

blog sig

Leave a comment

Filed under Family Fun

Getting Crafty For The Holidays

As you all know, I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest this year, so  it is no wonder I decided to look for inspiration for teacher gifts on there.

I normally do some kind of gift card for them as well as the bus drivers and religious instruction teachers. It tends to add up quickly and after the expenses that Super Storm Sandy brought with her, my budget was kinda small (not that it’s ever overflowing to begin with).

Thankfully I found these cute ideas to dress up holiday gift cards, as well as inexpensive printable gifts:

Dress up a coffee house gift card with this cute printable! All you need is a printer, a coffee cup sleeve and a glue stick! Ribbon makes a nice touch too!

Dress up a coffee house gift card with this cute printable! All you need is a printer, a coffee cup sleeve and a glue stick! Ribbon makes a nice touch too!

Classroom art printable in a cute frame I found at the dollar store. Gift bag tags I made to dress up simple candles in votive holders. (I'm all for the cheesy sayings this year)

Classroom art printable in a cute frame I found at the dollar store. Gift bag tags I made to dress up simple candles in votive holders. (I’m all for the cheesy sayings this year)

Make sure you stop by Eighteen 25, it’s where I found the coffee gift card holder and the classroom printable. I plan on using the bookstore and iTunes printable as well!

Merry gifting and sorry this post came so late, it’s still a handy little “last minute” gift idea!

blog sig

1 Comment

Filed under Family Fun