Thanksgiving Staples Done Right

Thanksgiving food has a bad rap. Not only is the holiday a celebration of gratitude, giving, and grub, but Thanksgiving dinner can actually be pretty freaking healthy with a little bit of thought, control, and balance. So, ignore the hype, don’t fast for the feast, and go into the meal knowing that it’s not your last, so enjoy! Here’s the deal on those Thanksgiving staples:

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Turkey: the main event. Turkey is actually a healthy, low-fat lean protein with tons of vitamins, so let it take center stage on your plate. It’s when the turkey is covered in stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and devoured alongside alcohol, dinner rolls, and dessert. So, instead of using the turkey as a means to hold these other foods, actually enjoy the turkey itself!

Potatoes: potatoes are a healthy, starchy veg BUT they’re usually ‘buttered up’ (literally) with tons of butter, cream, and cheese, adding tons of fat. If you’re like us, you’d take sweet potatoes any day over regular white potatoes – they’re sooo much sweeter! Luckily, sweet potatoes are also sooo good for you, full of Vitamins A, B, and C, fiber, and beta-carotene. Just keep it simple with a little bit of oil (olive or coconut) or butter and some cinnamon, rosemary, or your favorite spices. If you agree to disagree and prefer the white mashers over orange, simply enjoy a small serving, not a potato volcano on your plate…unless you’re gearing up for a post-Thanksgiving marathon. In that case, you’ll actually need those carbs!

Brussels Sprouts: this cruciferous veggie is a fall staple in the OHH kitchen. Full of fiber, they’ll help you to digest your holiday meal while lowering cholesterol and risk of certain cancers when eaten regularly. Plus, they’re so damn good! No reason not to pass the sprouts, please!

Cranberry Sauce: sadly, we’re in America and that means that your traditional cranberry sauce is more like a gelatin of sugar (with very little to no cranberries) that plops out of a can. Not so appealing. Why not try to make your own, because real cranberries are actually a great source of antioxidants. Here’s a super simple recipe without the added sugar or chemicals!

Casseroles: yeah, not so healthy. The dish on casseroles: not to rag on this classic holiday dish, but a casserole is basically an excuse to make a normally healthy food (like green beans) into a cheesy, buttery, saucy, glutinous dish, with a bit of veggies hiding inside. Keep things simple and skip the ‘role, just stick to the good old veggies above!

Dessert: Have your cake and eat it too. Pumpkin and pecan pie, yum yum. Ok, so not the healthiest things in the world, but again, pumpkin and pecans themselves are both full of nutrients, so if you’re in charge of the pie, aim to bulk up these ingredients and dial down the sugar. Either way, there’s no need to turn down Thanksgiving dessert, just have a few bites of your very favorite, enjoy the deliciousness, and be done with it. It’s when dessert becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet that’ll have you feeling YUCK with a side of guilt.

One Healthy Breakdown: Thanksgiving is one meal, one day, and the focus should be on gratitude over grub…but enjoy the grub too! Happy, healthy holiday!

Morning Rise & Shine Ritual

Snooze. Roll out of bed. More coffee. Scramble through your to-do list. Count down the minutes until you can leave the office… Sounds miserable, no? Here’s a super simple daily exercise anyone can (and should! ) use to rise, shine, and set yourself up for success, with a smile!

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  1. Write down three things that you’re grateful for today.
  2. Write down three things that you would like to get done today.

That’s it. Now, you’re centered, thankful, positive, and motivated, so go seize the day!

One Healthy Breakdown: nothin’ like a big cup of joe inspo in the morning!

How Gratitude Makes You Healthy

An attitude of gratitude. Thankful. Blessed. We all know that we should appreciate the things, people, and opportunities we have; however, did you know that an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has proven health benefits? (Possibly even more than that green juice you paid for.) Before we chat science, why not start with a little exercise to get that gratitude flowing? Ready, set, gratitude.

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  • The simple act of expressing thanks automatically lessens stress, which can lead to illnesses like cancer and heart disease, overtime. So, next time you’re in a rut, shift your focus to the good things you have going for you to boost your mood and your immune system.
  • Grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves, which is hugely related to both physical and mental well-being. Dedicating time for self-care makes us happier, less stressed, more focused, and more capable to take care of others. Think of the oxygen masks on airplanes; we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first.
  • Showing thanks may spark new relationships. Whether your colleague does you a favor or a stranger holds the door for you, expressing appreciation may initiate conversation, which may lead to friendship, which may lead to more happiness and even more gratitude.
  • An attitude of gratitude increases self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem because your focus is on the good things that you like about yourself. Heck yes.
  • Grateful people are less likely to blame others, react with aggression, and experience anger, as they acknowledge their blessings and feel more empathy for others. Bye bye, road rage.
  • Trouble sleeping? Gratitude reduces anxiety, which can keep us awake or interrupt sleep. Simply put, get grateful and get good shut-eye.
  • Gratitude boosts resilience. We’re far more likely to overcome an obstacle or stay strong through a tough time if we keep an attitude of gratitude.
  • Grateful people are proven to exercise more, which also relieves stress and initiates all of the other benefits listed above. Lace up your sneakers for this double whammy.
  • You do not have to be “successful” to feel gratitude. In fact, those with less money or “stuff” have actually been proven to feel more gratitude. It’s not about what we have or do not have, it’s about perspective.

So, how do we practice daily gratitude? Simply set aside time daily or throughout the day to count your blessings. Write them down or simply make a mental list if you’re on-the-go. Be more observant of when others do something nice for you or someone else and express your appreciation. Even if you’re really down in the dumps, force yourself to smile or think of one thing you’re thankful for. It takes little energy and actually produces happy hormones, which lead to all of the above. Giving thanks all year-round will make you a healthier, happier, more productive, well-rested, confident, unstoppable human being.

One Healthy Breakdown: adopt an attitude of gratitude and reap the benefits…then express your gratitude for ’em and let the cycle continue!

Healthy Holidays at The Beach

Jamie Lerner is a private in-home fitness trainer and studio instructor specializing in flexibility, strength, core power, alignment, and balance as well as cardio and dance. How does Jamie stay healthy through the holiday season in the Hamptons? Here’s how:

IMG_4670Gratitude + inspiration. I’m grateful for the love and support that is all around us, it’s always available if we let it in. I’m grateful for the comforts of the privileged life we live here. I’m inspired by the millions of people on earth who devote their lives to helping others who suffer.

Healthy Thanksgiving. Whenever I’m home for Thanksgiving, I like to offer a fitness class that morning. This year is no exception. It gives us a feeling of community, an hour or so to put the preparations and fuss and visitors aside to take care of ourselves, and offers the best possible insurance that we’ll feel so much better before, during, and after the feast! And then I teach a cardio class Friday morning to help burn it all off!

Mindfulness tricks. No tricks! Plenty of treats! It helps to keep in mind that a treat means something out of the ordinary, not something you consume or experience every day. When you get an impulse or craving for something that qualifies as a treat, try filing it under “hm, sounds good! Let me hold off on that today, maybe tomorrow.” The next time that impulse arises, punt it again and continue to enjoy the anticipation. You may forget about it entirely or the special situation presents itself to treat yourself. It could be food or drink, an activity, a big purchase, or another indulgence. As for staying healthy, my fitness/dance/movement practice has gotten me through cancer, heartbreak, the blues, anxiety, and continues to sustain me as I contend with the aging process. That, and spending as much time as I can with dogs!

IMG_1691It’s also good to remember that even though it’s getting colder and we’re busy-busy-busy, the beach is always there, year round, waiting to calm us down, open us up, and reconnect us to life.

One Healthy Breakdown: What a great reminder – we sure are lucky to be surrounded by beach and beauty in the Hamptons! Happy holidays, Jamie, and thank you for sharing your insight!

*Until January, 2016, we’ll be spreading health through the holiday season here in the Hamptons! If you’d like to share your own holiday tip, trick, tradition, recipe, etc. as part of OHH’s #HealthyHolidays, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com.

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A Weekend of Waves, Warmth, and Warriors

So, the past few weeks have been pretty tough. Bitter without the sweet. Long, cold frozen, windy, sniffly, snowy, slippery, and overall, pretty darn miz. Mother Nature just won’t budge. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love the Hamptons year round, but it’s about that time when I can totally understand how others migrate south for some sun, warmth, and beauty. Luckily, I totally got my fix of all of the above this weekend, right in our own backyard thanks to lululemon athletica East Hampton, three of the best lululemon ambassador yogis on Long Island, and Gurney’s Montauk.

IMG_0274The drive out to Montauk (sans traffic!) was decompressing in itself, but knowing that a weekend of yoga bliss lay ahead was even better. As we unrolled our mats in the Great Room, with the sun shining through the windows and waves crashing down at the beach, I quickly began to defrost and fill with warmth and gratitude.

The first of three classes on Saturday morning was taught by Lana Russo, lululemon ambassador at the Manhasset store. The class was pretty much exactly what I personally seek when signing up for a yoga class: a combination of feel-good stretching, challenging poses to push outside of the comfort zone, and a relaxing meditation. Lana does it all with a seamless flow, a warm heart, and some non-traditional yoga music. We’re talking a yoga-remix of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and such – what’s more fun than that?! Lana makes yoga more accessible to all levels as she breaks down advanced poses into manageable steps. Here’s Lana below, being the yogi rockstar that she is:

FullSizeRender(16)The second class, rounding out Saturday morning’s practice, was taught by Evelyn O’Doherty, local yoga teacher, SUP racer/instructor, lululemon EH ambassador, and friendly face we all know and love (if you don’t know Evelyn, you should.) It’s impossible not to get stronger during Evelyn’s class; her light-hearted style benefits all walks of life and all types of athletes. She has this amazing ability to make anyone smile, even when instructing challenging poses, burning abdominal exercises, and “hanging out” in plank. Evelyn’s smile always reminds us, that no matter what, it’s all going to be A ok. Here’s Evelyn practicing a playful, yet perfect, inversion:

FullSizeRender(17)After two and a half hours of Vinyasa Flow, Saturday afternoon was free for our choosing. I followed the crowd to the Seawater Spa and fell even deeper into ‘vacation mode as I sat by the Seawater Pool in my bikini, robe, and flip-flops. While it took some imagination, Montauk in February quickly became my own personal island retreat. I soaked up the goodness and sailed away into Shavasana…for the third time that day.

Saturday evening wrapped up with a Yin Yoga class taught by Angela Williams-Jones, owner of Flower Power Yoga and lululemon Ambassador at the Walt Whitman store. Lucky for me, Angela’s mat was next to mine during the morning classes, so I knew that whatever came next, there would be laughter and love. Yin is a restorative practice full of therapeutic poses to cleanse, balance, and regulate the body. Poses are held for at least a few minutes to increase circulation, enhance immunity, improve flexibility, maintain focus, and deconstruct emotion. Typically, Vinyasa produces discomfort the longer we’re in the pose; however, I found that Yin was just the opposite. At first, the poses were awkward and uncomfortable, but the longer we settled in, the better it got, especially knowing we were cleansing all of our major organs and systems of the body. Although I was exhausted, mentally and physically, after Saturday’s three classes, I couldn’t wait to get back to the mat the next day for more adventure with these amazing people.

Sunday morning’s class confirmed that Angela is so not your typical yoga teacher and this class was definitely not your typical yoga class. The Yoga Fusion Flow class took us through a series of songs, poses, emotions, stages, transitions, and experiences, some recognizably familiar and others new and different. That’s life, right? Just when we think we’ve mastered it, just when we become accustomed to the journey, just when we’ve settled in or fallen head over heels, we’re reminded that life is an ever-changing journey. Good or bad, things shift, we react, we sway, we readjust, shake it off, and keep going, hopefully with a big smile, a full heart, and possibly our yoga mat. Click here to see a quick clip of Angela’s heart-warming class!

580301_485743748146028_1073937593_nThis weekend was just that for me – a reminder that life is ever-changing, growing, supporting, experiencing, and full of love and opportunity. Not only did Gurney’s provide a rejuvenating escape, but I found that my personal yoga practice grew more in these two days than ever before. Stepping outside of my comfort zone on the mat came easily thanks to the three amazing ambassador yogis supporting us, teaching us, and making it all fun and playful. Thanks to lululemon athletica East Hampton, yogis Evelyn, Lana, and Angela, and Gurney’s Montauk for providing exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. Namaste!

picstitch(26)One Healthy Breakdown: When I drove into Montauk on Saturday, it was winter. When I left on Sunday, spring was in the air. Now that’s magic.

Living An All Inclusive Life

Lucky for me, I’m spending the week in the Dominican Republic with my family (hence the lack of posting between shaky wireless and some much needed R & R. Thanks for understanding!)

photo(134)But I do have something on my mind worth sharing. As I walked the beach this morning, I got to thinking about the term ‘all-inclusive.’ What an American dream-come-true, an endless supply of anything and everything you can eat and drink…and then eat some more. Everything Eastern culture idealizes: get as much as you can, as quick as you can.

The all-you-can-eat buffet especially depicts our society. From piled plates to dessert platters at every meal, even breakfast, second helpings, then thirds…made me think realize that not only was I, along with everyone else, eating more, but I was also eating faster. This realization immediately made me slow down. What’s the rush? How much of a good thing is too much? Sure, vacation should involve indulgence, that’s ok. What’s not ok is the ‘more, more, more, now, now, now attitude that American society has ingrained in us and the all-inclusive lifestyle cements. The problem is that the more we have, the more we tend to want, not the more we appreciate.

I started thinking about the non-conventional all-inclusive amenities: the miles of endless beach, soft white sand, infinite turquoise sea, and the warm sunshine, lack of work pressure, kids building sand castles, families bonding, couples holding hands, people setting sail…Now THAT’S what it’s all about. That’s abundance. It’s not about having it all, it’s about valuing, enjoying, tasting, and loving what we do have. I’d much rather live an abundant life than an all-inclusive life, and luckily, that’s available to us all. So, slow down and tune in to the abundance in your life. Breathe it in, taste it, touch it, see it, hear it, and embrace it. And with that, I leave you for the abundance of beach, sunshine, relaxation, and QT with the fam awaiting me, hasta luego amigos!

One Healthy Breakdown: slow down and enjoy the abundance that surrounds you.

Thankful Everyday Calendar

Happy November! Instead of asking you to get sweaty or sore, this month, we’re getting THANKFUL. Every. Single. Day. The calendar offers daily suggestions to spark your gratitude. Of course, you don’t need me to tell you to keep up with your workouts, but just as important (maybe more!) as a healthy body is a healthy mind. Let’s get thankful and stay that way.

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One Healthy Breakdown: make Thanksgiving last the whole month, not just one day. Be thankful.

Come on, Get HAPPY

I just watched The Happy Movie andI highly, highly recommend it. Here’s a few facts, tidbits, quotes, perspectives, and words of wisdom learned from this captivation of global happiness.

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  • “The Constitution only guarantees the American People the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” –Benjamin Franklin
  • Positive Psychology (the study of happiness) became the most popular class at Harvard.
  • Genetics determine 50% of happiness, circumstances determine 10%, and intentions determine the remaining 40%. Set intentions.
  • Dopamine naturally starts depleting after our teen years; however, positive experiences (like exercise, socialization, and love) produce dopamine in the body.
  • Tangible goods produce fleeting happiness; compassion produces long-term contentment.
  • We always have a choice to be happy, or not. When it rains, we can either hide or embrace it.
  • There is no such thing as pleasure without pain. Both are necessary to be happy.
  • While the United State’s economic growth has doubled, our happiness level as a nation has remained static.
  • The top consistency among happy people, both individually, and as a culture, seems to be a close, supportive family and friends.
  • Japan has been deemed the least happy nation due to stress. Japanese people have died from forcing themselves to be more efficient. Japan actually has a name for this, when the person’s heart just stops, due to nothing but exhaustion, is “Karoshi.”
  • Denmark has been labeled the happiest country. Danish citizens not only receive free education and healthcare, but also tend to co-habitate; numerous families will reside in small homes or apartments close together, decreasing solitude. There is always someone there to share conversation, a meal, and even pain. Families save time and money by sharing chores and benefits and there is constant socialization among all ages.
  • Instead of looking at society selfishly and thinking “what does he/she have that I don’t?” if we think “what do I have that I can give to others?” we would all constantly help each other and the world would be a better place. That is true community.
  • Fundamentalists, who build their life mission on hate and segregation, are proven less happy.
  • People live longest on Okinawa Island, the only part of Japan known for happiness. Community is the center of the culture. Citizens shared their secrets to longevity: hard work, lots of sleep, sweat, neighborly love, no harm to others, and…sake. They even bury people in one communal coffin to allow for infinite connection.
  • When humans are given the choice to choose competition or cooperation, we almost always choose cooperation. We find cooperation intrinsically rewarding.
  • One uniquely happy Bushmen tribe values each member’s individual wellbeing as one. When one member of the tribe is sick, the whole tribe unites for group-healing. One member explains: “being together, that’s what makes us happy. To laugh is very important.”
  • Compassion is part of our genetic makeup; it’s in our blood.
  • Intention can physically change your brain. Gratitude and acts of kindness have been proven to boost happiness on a cellular level. Happiness can be seen as a skill we must practice often.
  • Lifting others spirits makes life meaningful.
  • The formula for happiness = play + new experiences + friends and family + meaning + appreciation. All of which are free. Things we can all have.
  • The more happiness you have, the more everyone has.

One Healthy Breakdown: Watch The Happy Movie. Practice happiness. Every single day.

Beat The Mondays

Ever have a serious case of “The Mondays?” The average person doesn’t smile once until after 11:16am on Monday due to those “Monday Blues,” that’s not cool! Here are some tips to get you smiling early, bust “The Mondays,” and make it through the week happy and healthy!

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  • Get enough sleep. Snooze an extra 10 minutes if you can, it’s Monday and you deserve it.
  • Take 10 deep breaths to relax your mind and body a little.
  • Think of how lucky you are to have a great job or beautiful family, whatever it is you do, feel good about it.
  • SMILE. And even laugh a little.
  • Get to the gym, the earlier the better. Working out boosts mood instantly.
  • Listen to good music on the way to work.
  • Eat an enjoyable, fueling breakfast and pack or make time for a satisfying lunch.
  • Do a good deed for a coworker or friend, and then feel good about it.
  • Wear something new or really comfy, something you love, on Mondays.
  • Get some fresh air.
  • Go for a walk outside – this will get you moving and get your vitamin D in!
  • Start a new book or DVR a show and save it for Monday evening to give you something to look forward to.
  • Call an old friend to catch up tonight.
  • Do something after work every Monday, like take a bath, get a pedicure, or take a class you love.

One Healthy Breakdown: Beat those Mondays all the way to Friday!

Gratitude Meditation

You know those moments when you’re reminded how lucky you are and how good life is? Isn’t that the best feeling?! Here’s a little exercise that’s sure to brighten your day, relax your mind and body, bring out a little gratitude, and put a smile on your face. It’s also a great little activity when you’re feeling ‘stuck in a rut.’ We all have our days and there’s nothin’ wrong with a little gratitude reminder! Print the activity and practice every morning if you please!

GratitudeOne Healthy Breakdown: we guarantee this will bring you gratitude and a smile, but don’t take it for granted!