Healthy Holidays OHH Style

The magic of the holiday season surrounds us and we’re determined to make it through feeling healthy, happy, grounded, rested, well-fed, balanced, and ready for 2016!

IMG_3036Although it’s easy as pie to cut sleep, eat all the cookies, skip breakfast, have another cocktail, and end up completely burned out, tired, bloated, hungover, guilty, and miserable come January, let’s not!

hangoverOHH’s #HealthyHoliday Tips:

Keep it simple: yes, there will be parties and cocktails, gingerbread, latkes, toasts, roasts, cookie exchanges, peppermint bark, and a hundred reasons to indulge. And that’s ok. But all of those ‘extras’ sure do add up. To offset the indulgences, keep things simple at home. No need to make a three-course meal; instead, allow yourself permission to keep things light and basic. Make a “kitchen sink” salad, smoothie, or snack – just make sure you’re using whole foods. Keeping meals simple allows our body to maximize digestion and nutrient-absorption. Here’s a super simple salad made of arugula, sauerkraut, tomatoes, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs for your dose of greens, probiotics, healthy fat and protein all in one!

FullSizeRender3Eat your veggies: there’s no way around it – veggies are healthy and you must eat them. Don’t fret, you can easily increase your veggie intake in a yummy, easy way. Try making a meal that centers around vegetables instead of meat or pasta, like a meatless stir fry, hearty soup, or holiday smoothie. We don’t often give veggies the opportunity to be the main attraction, but doing so is a super simple, healthy, and affordable way to fuel our bodies. Secondly, try replacing your usual comfort foods with veggie-loaded options. Instead of your go-to mashed potatoes, try cauliflower mash. Forget the french fries and instead roast a new variation of squash, like acorn, delicata, spaghetti, butternut, kobucha, or pumpkin. When you’re urged to grab chips or crackers to snack on, eat crudite to satisfy that craving for a crunch.

Treat yo’self: we’ve said it before and we’ll say again – it’s all about balance. Let go of the labels and ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. Indulging in holiday treats is not only acceptable, it’s actually good for you! Consciously eating food that gives you immense pleasure can fulfill your heart, satisfy your cravings, and feed your soul. Whether it’s a family recipe that you look forward to every year or a new discovery on your journey, choose to indulge wisely and enjoy every single bite.

balancedNews flash: it’s not just about the treats. Or the veggies. Indulge in something that has absolutely nothing to do with food, like a bubble bath, scented candle, holiday movie, pedicure, song download, nature walk, novel, dance party, magazine, TV marathon, or anything that makes you feel pampered and rejuvenated. Just like we deserve to enjoy the cookie, we deserve a break, some self-care, and even a good nap!

Move and be still: we already established that most of us will be indulging a bit this season and that is A ok…as long as we remember to move (ie: exercise) and be still (ie: meditate/sleep/breathe.) Schedule your workouts (and your stillness) as you would meetings and don’t skip ’em. Get your turkey trot on, try a new class, rake leaves, shovel snow…whatever it takes to stay active and accountable. And mindful. Taking time to slow down, live in the moment, and embrace the holiday spirit is equally as important. Combine the moving and the stillness with a yoga class or non-workout workout. Sweat, enjoy, breathe, repeat.

One Healthy Breakdown: here’s to spreading health and holiday cheer this year!

Bounce Back to Balance

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: life’s about balance. That means indulgence, moderation, and wiggle room. For some of us, fun-filled weekends may mean a little too much indulging and not enough moderation. Instead of that all-or-nothing, detox-to-retox-plan, get back on track in a balanced way with these simple ‘bounce back’ strategies (juice cleanse not included):

Bounce-Rate1. Get over it. Don’t beat yourself up. You can’t change the past. So, move on and look forward.

2. Drink UP. Alcohol, salty foods, and the hot sun will cause some serious dehydration. Make it a point to drink water around the clock, carry a water bottle with you everywhere, and spice it up. Rise and shine with lemon water or start your day with a detox drink and just keep sippin’.

3. Eat a lot, too. Stick to whole foods – lots of leafy greens and veggies, fresh fruit, lean protein, and portioned healthy fats. Raw fruits and veggies reset the digestive system and provide the body with tons of nutrients and energy to keep you going. Season foods with herbs and spices; ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, dill, cinnamon, and cumin naturally detox with flavor.

4. Move. Exercise will make you feel renewed from the inside out. Not only will you torch calories and burn off those indulgences, sweating also flushes toxins. Hit up a class, head out for a run, or do an at-home workout to get the heart pumping.

5. Rest. Get some R&R to rejuvenate the mind and body. Remember, ya snooze, ya lose!

One Healthy Breakdown: keep these tips in mind this week and you’ll be back on track in no time.

Morning Lemon Water

Wake up. Rise. Drink warm water with fresh squeezed lemon. Shine.

FullSizeRender(29)Just wash your lemon, (organic is best) squeeze 1/4 lemon into a cup of warm water, and throw the peel right in. Lemons are nutritional powerhouses, full of vitamins B, C, calcium, potassium, fiber, and minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and more. Acting as a mini-cleanse, warm lemon water aids digestion, flushes toxins, and stimulates your liver to kick-off the day right. Boosting the immune system, it provides antibacterial properties as well as instant energy. Nourishing brain, nerve, and skin cells, each sip improves alertness, joint pain, acne, and wrinkles. The pectin fiber may aid weightloss and cravings in addition to setting your mindset for a healthy day. In addition to the hydration benefits, the warm water dilutes the acid so that it’s less harsh on the enamel of your teeth. Do your body and mind a favor and begin each morning with warm lemon water. Cheers!

One Healthy Breakdown: don’t start your day any other way!

Crunching Cravings

Thanks to Elise of Kale & Chocolate, for sharing her chewy story on One Healthy Hamptons!

Recently, one of my awesome clients came to me with a situation:

She nourishes her body regularly with vibrant, nutrient-dense meals. Fitness is a fun part of her daily regime. When it comes to her health, she feels better than ever.

Except…

photo(194)Every night, during family time, her husband heads into the kitchen to pop a huge bowl of movie theater popcorn. You know—that caloric bomb swimming in salt and mysterious bright yellow butter.

And, every night, that bowl of popcorn would seep into her senses. And before she could stop herself, her hand was digging in—over and over.

I knew this smart, savvy, health-conscious woman wasn’t actually craving that kind of popcorn. She usually makes the right choices, and truly prefers whole foods over processed & fat-laden options.

So, what was she really craving?

Together, we dug deep and went through a roadmap to discover her cravings, peeling back the layers and looking for any emotional triggers, too. We still couldn’t crack the crunchy code.

She filled up on nutritionally balanced smoothies for breakfast. Lunch was usually a big vibrant bowl of veggie or lentil soup, and she was enjoying dinners that included some combination of fish (or other protein), sweet potatoes and sautéed leafy greens.

She told me that when the popcorn appeared each night, she wasn’t hungry. She felt satiated, and noticed that her energy levels were sky high. So, what was ultimately the problem?

She was missing the CRUNCH. While her meals were nutritious & delicious, her smoothies, soups and softer foods weren’t cutting it with her urge to crunch.

Craving the crunch is quite common. When we’re stressed from a long day, we subconsciously clench our jaw. Chewing a crunchy food in your mouth releases this tension. And when you don’t satisfy your need for crunch in your meals, then you’re much more likely to turn to the less healthy options in between. (Hello chocolate chip cookies!)

When we think of balancing our meals to prevent cravings, the “protein-fat-carbs” macronutrient trifecta is at the top of our minds. (And it should be for steady blood sugar levels.) But, we don’t often consider the importance of balancing texture to keep us satisfied & satiated.

In the spirit of recognizing our craving for crunch (minus the calorie-laden, nutrient-deficient chips, popcorn & pretzels), here are my favorite ways for you to munch & savor crunch as part of your meal or for a mid-day snack.

Crunchy Meal Toppers:

For a creamy smoothie or an extra thick smoothie bowl, top it off with nuts, trail mix, homemade granola, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut chips or chopped up apples, pears, or frozen fruit. (If you haven’t checked out Breakfast Criminals yet, you should! I’ve been totally inspired to step up my breakfast game with some pretty creative smoothies & toppings.)

For a satiating meal of oats or quinoa, put walnuts, almonds or any combo of nuts and fruit to add more texture.

For beautiful salads in a bowl or mason jar, think about including the crisp vegetables like carrots, red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, celery, jicama, and broccoli. Then, sprinkle some kale chips, nuts, seeds or roasted garbanzo beans as a finishing touch.

For that piping hot bowl of soup that will warm you up from this inside out, pair it with flax crackers or a side of carrots & cucumbers.

crunchy-wideCrunchy Standbys:

Kale Chips (or sweet & spicy here)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Nuts—almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios
Trail Mix
Roasted Chickpeas
Raw veggies
Apples, pears
Frozen grapes
Homemade Granola
Cacao nibs
Chocolate (Keep it in the freezer for that extra snap when breaking off a square.)

Just in case you’re curious, my client now happily enjoys a crisp apple and a handful of almonds while her husband still eats his popcorn. She feels amazing and completely satisfied.

One Healthy Breakdown: A little crunch goes a long way.

*Elise Museles is an attorney turned Certified Eating Psychology & Nutrition Expert. She helps women stuck in a motivation-to-frustration cycle adopt a more joyful & positive approach to nourishment that starts with the food on the plate, but ultimately extends to all areas of life. Enter a delicious world full of freedom, ease, and fun at Kale & Chocolate. For daily inspiration, join Elise on Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kaleandchocolate.

Coconut Oil is Your Friend

I’ve been turning to coconut oil for everything lately. From after-sun to conditioner, toothpaste to tasty recipes, and everything in between, its superpowers are endless! Look for unrefined, organic, virgin, and raw to maximize benefits.

Half Coconut and Flower on Bamboo Mat --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

  • Hand lotion
  • Chap stick/lip balm (BEST healer of chapped lips, works instantly!)
  • After sun lotion
  • Hair conditioner/mask (melt with heat, apply to wet or dry hair. If dry, let sit for a few hours and wash out in shower)
  • Sweet potato topper
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Eye cream (rub around/under eyes)
  • Baking and/or sautéing oil
  • Face lotion (rub on dry skin – only dry areas NOT entire face, it is oil!)
  • Defrizz (rub small amount in hands and apply to top of hair to stop frizz)
  • Body scrub (combine with sea salt, sugar, or ground coffee beans to exfoliate)
  • Eye makeup remover
  • Eczema treatment (rub on inflamed areas)
  • Popcorn topper (better than butter!)
  • Massage oil (just melt a little)
  • Moisturizer (apply to body after shower)
  • Diaper cream
  • Cuticle healer (softens and fights bacteria)
  • Foot cream
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Digestive aid

One Healthy Breakdown: talk about a super food!

Apple Cider Vinegar is a MUST

Apple cider vinegar has super powers. Seriously, this stuff works wonders promoting bone health, clearer skin, stronger hair, better digestion, more energy, balanced pH levels, sinus health, weight management, whiter teeth, heartburn, and finally, catching flies! Yup, you read right. Apple cider vinegar is a MUST have!

applecidvin

All of these amazing health benefits can be attained by simply drinking this stuff! Not a lot, just a little goes a long way. Go with raw and organic for maximum results. While some take a tablespoon or a shot of apple cider vin daily or twice daily, I prefer to add a bit to water with lemon juice for a morning and nightly cleanser (warm water even doubles for a bedtime “tea.”) At first taste, you may not be hooked, but the benefits are countless and that sour taste will grow on ya. Feel free to add a drop of honey or stevia if need be to get it down, but eventually, you won’t mind the taste (trust me!)

Apple cider vin does wonders for the whole body. You’ll wake up feeling fresher because this stuff aids the body in its natural processes: from digestion to germ-fighting. Whether you have a sensitive stomach or not, apple cider vin will work magic, from lowering glucose levels (super powerful for diabetics) to preventing heartburn. Use apple cider vin in salad dressing or other recipes calling for vinegar. Not only will you notice physical effects, apple cider vin promotes alkalinity over time, which prevents cancer from forming. Yay for alkalinity!

You can also use apple cider vinegar as shampoo, facial cleanser, household cleaner, sunburn relief, teeth whitener, deodorant, and the anti-fruit fly savior! Just use as is on hair and skin. You can even add a little to your bath or dip your feet in to detox the skin for an at-home pedicure. Use an old spray bottle for a natural household cleaner. Finally, apple cider vin saved my kitchen from a recent fruit fly attack, long after the fruit was gone. To catch those little buggers, add a little bit of dish soap to a shallow bowl or plate of apple cider vin and add water so the mixture bubbles. Cover with saran wrap and poke holes with a fork. Hours later, you’ll have floating fruit flies and less flying around your kitchen! (A huge thank you to those who suggested this solution during my recent fruit fly freakout!)

One Healthy Breakdown: Bet you’re heading to the grocery store if you don’t already have this stuff around, apple cider vin is a MUST.

Papaya “Fruit of the Angels”

If you haven’t tried papaya or made it a staple in your house, you’re missing out. Papaya’s been known for centuries as both the “fruit of angels” and the “tree of life.” Although papaya is available year-round, early summer is a peak time for this vibrant fruit. Papaya is jam-packed with nutrients, flavor, and color, it’s definitely a superfood. This fruit is light, refreshing, perfectly sweet, low-cal, and one of nature’s best offerings.

Papaya is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, healthy enzymes, and minerals. The combination of papaya’s vast nutrients  protect against colon cancer, heart disease, osteoperosis, age-related sight loss, rheumatoid arthritis, morning sickness, and even the common cold and flu by aiding the immune system. It’s also great for the skin and has lots of anti-aging benefits.

Half a papaya only has about 50-80 calories and it’s a sizable snack. Choose a papaya that has a yellow or orange skin and feels a bit soft to the touch.  Papaya is best known for its contribution to digestive health. People pay lots of $ mula for papaya extract, it’s even known to debloat! To me, they’re missing the best part – eating the fruit!

One Healthy Breakdown: the superfood that helps to digest more food? Papaya me please!