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!

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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Healthy Holidays in the Hamptons

Holiday goals: Stay healthy. Work out. Feel fit. Don’t hibernate. Eat veggies. Fit into jeans. Enjoy family time. HydrateSleep. Eat the cookie without the guilt. Wouldn’t it be nice? This year, we’re getting through it together. Yes, that means you – we want to hear from YOU!

IMG_3036OHH invites you to share YOUR healthy holiday habits, recipes, tips, stories, inspiration, and celebrations leading up to the New Year. Simply email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com to share your idea. Follow @hamptonskiley and use hashtags #healthyholidays and #onehealthyhamptons on social media to join the conversation.

One Healthy Breakdown: Together, we’ll make spirits bright and feel healthy and light!

Giving Thanks OHH Style

Here are a few tips for the happiest, healthiest turkey day yet!

Portrait of a family saying grace before eating dinner1. Focus on Thanks-giving. Giving Thanks. That’s what it’s all about. Most families tend to rush through a humungo, chaotic, larger than life meal that took days to prepare, and are lucky if everything’s still civil and sober by dessert. Embrace your company and focus on family. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, which can definitely be a stressful time. Before the fun begins, take at least 5-10 minutes to actually ponder what you’re thankful for. What has changed for the better since last Thanksgiving? Who are you grateful to spend time with this holiday? Make it a point to think about how to truly live in the moment and enjoy the day and the season, not just the short-lived feast.

2. Eat all day. Ok, not allllll day, but don’t (do NOT) fast for the feast! If you skip breakfast and lunch to save room or calories, you’ll be starving, your blood sugar will be off, and you’ll make up for it big time later. Eat a balanced breakfast and even a small lunch or snack so that you’re more likely to eat dinner as dinner, not as the all-you-can-fit buffet. Smoothies are a great option for a light meal, packed with nutrients that won’t fill you up or weigh you down!

3. Chew more, eat less. Chewing is underrated and overlooked. The simple act of tasting and chewing our food (really chewing, like a lot) aids digestion and satisfaction in monumental ways. If you’re mindful of chewing each and every bite, you may not have to loosen that belt after all!

4. Eat the gosh darn turkey! We all know that the turkey is not the problem. Turkey is a delicious source of lean protein that is low in fat, low on the glycemic index, and full of healthy goodness. It’s those caramelized side dishes, dinner rolls, and pieces of pie that do us in. Let’s all stop blaming the bird and aim for a well-balanced plate of protein, carbs, and lots of veggies.

5. Have your pie and eat it too. Splurging is o.k., normal, and enjoyable. Just keep in mind that this is not the last supper and that servings, bites, tastes, and even slivers add up. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. Instead of loading your plate once, twice, three times before dessert is served, take your time in choosing your favorites and indulge mindfully.

One Healthy Breakdown: focus on what the day is all about! (hint: it’s not mashed potatoes!)

Mindfulness During the Holidays

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How often have you begun the holiday season with the most exalted expectations, only to stumble into the new year burned-out and disappointed? The secret to making your holidays as enjoyable and stress-free as possible is to take the mindfulness you practice on your yoga mat or meditation cushion and actually apply it in your life from moment to moment. And what better time than those frenzied, emotional weeks at the end of the year? Here are some suggestions:

Live in the moment.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, most of your stress occurs when you’re worrying about the future or obsessing about the past. Live in the present; your mind naturally settles down and your anxiety dissipates. Easier said than done, of course, especially around the holidays, when your head is filled with back-to-back commitments and an endless list of things to do and buy. You can make a commitment to yourself to stop from time to time, shift your attention from your thinking, and pay mindful attention to your experience right now—the weight of your feet against the floor, your back against the chair, the coming and going of your breath.

Let go of expectations.

The holidays are fraught with promises that life and other people can’t possibly fulfill. Maybe you desperately want to take your family on vacation but discover you can’t afford it. Or you’re looking forward to a big family gathering but your folks get sick and have to cancel at the last-minute. Instead of attaching to the way you think things should be (and causing yourself unnecessary stress), you can choose to stay present and grounded, roll with the changes –and heed the other tips in this list.

Tread softly with the relatives.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em (or a little of both), family can be a major challenge to your peace of mind, especially when everyone’s stressed. Breathe deeply, and resist the temptation to rehash old hurts or expect more love and approval than they can muster (see above). Relish the tender moments, generosity, and togetherness that the holidays tend to evoke.

Be especially kind and gentle with yourself.

If you’re pushing yourself too hard, you need to be the one to notice, back off, and give yourself a little loving. Take a hot bath, do some yoga, get a massage, spend quiet time in nature, meditate, call a close friend. Do what nurtures you, then return to the fray refreshed, reinvigorated, and rebalanced.

Count your blessings.

Researchers agree that the key to a happy life is to appreciate what you have. Dwell on the positive and your mood quickly lifts. Spend five minutes each night, especially during the holiday season, reflecting on the good things that happened to you that day, even if they seem inconsequential. The sky at sunset, the loving look in a baby’s eyes, a gift from a friend, a tasty meal, a funny incident at work. Human minds tend to skew toward the negative to alert us to predators and other threats, so you need to make a special effort to correct the bias.

One Healthy Breakdown: Remember to be mindful, no matter how busy you get. In the end, you’re responsible for your own happiness and peace of mind. No one else can provide it for you, even at the holidays!

*Stephan Bodian is a world-renowned meditation teacher, psychotherapist, and consultant specializing in stress management and positive psychology. He is the author of the Mental Workout programs, Mindfulness Meditation and Freedom from Stress, available inside the Mental Workout app and on www.mentalworkout.com. He has also authored several books, including Meditation For Dummies and Wake Up Now: A Guide to the Journey of Spiritual Awakening, in addition to being the former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal.