The majority of Americans will gain anywhere between 7 to 10 pounds between now and Christmas. Seeing as I can gain about 3 pounds at a Mexican restaurant, this doesn’t seem too far fetched! But, as we all know, gaining and loosing the weight are two separate stories. I want YOU to finish this year strong and begin 2017 already achieving your health and fitness goals.
Here are a few tips to keep you on track this holiday season:
Do a party lap first thing.
When you arrive to a party, make a lap around the room before you accept a single drink or piece of food. Get a lay of the land and pick out 3 things you are going to eat. Grab just a little bit of these foods and sit down at a table to enjoy them.
Keep your hands busy!
Designate yourself the photographer for the party and go snap happy with your phone.
Keep a clutch in one arm and a beverage in the other. Tip for the beverages…for every alcoholic drink, have a glass of water in between.
When your hands are full it’s really hard to make that extra plate or grab the appetizer you will mindlessly eat.
If you’re going to an event, like Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas lunch, where you can anticipate what foods will be there, decide upfront what you will have. If your MeMaw’s pecan pie is something you crave all year, let yourself have it.
One of the main things I look forward to each Thanksgiving, is broccoli, rice and cheese casserole. It’s sooooo good! And I allow myself to eat it, then I’m done. There’s not craving it for 2 weeks and telling myself how I deprived myself of it. I eat it upfront and let that craving die.
Get it in your head what you’re going to eat and what you aren’t. If you know you’re going to eat pie, tell yourself that you won’t eat the brownies. Give yourself control before you step in the room.
A bonus tip to help you get through the holidays is to invest in your health NOW! Even if you don’t workout every single day between now and January 1st or even if you fall off the wagon of clean eating a day or two between now and then, you are already making progress! Imagine how much more ahead of the game you will be if you give yourself a solid month heads start?!
I have online accountability groups RIGHT NOW to help you with this. I can also help you pick a program that works best with your goals and your struggles. In the meantime, follow these tips and allow yourself to accept the gift of health.
Brussel spouts get a bad name, but they are delicious! Just make sure to add bacon. 😉
But seriously, the first time I tried a single sprout was a year ago and it was because I was at my mother-in-law’s and couldn’t say no. I went all 4 year old on her and grabbed half a sprout, to smell, lick then taste. I was blown away at how good they were!! How could people say they were awful? Maybe these are sprout lovers who don’t want the rest of the world to know. Either way, I’m tearing the cap off it. Brussel sprouts (with bacon) are DELICIOUS! Give them a try.
3-4 pieces of bacon (regular or turkey) cooked and crumbled, fat removed
1 bag of Brussel sprouts, end cut off and sprouts cut in half or chopped (totally up to you how knife happy you get)
1 Tbsp of bacon fat or olive oil
Warm the fat or olive oil in a skillet
Add the cut sprouts into the skillet and sauté on medium heat
Stir occasionally, but let the sprouts brown
After the sprouts are brown on at least one side, add the bacon and warm through.
Optional: Some people like to add a little salt, some like a little sautéed red onion and some like to add balsamic vinegar. I like mine just like how the recipe is, but feel free to make them your own!
It’s been a year since I gave up really good for great.
I still remember the emotions that came with the decision and I hope I always will. The long nights and early mornings. The constant hustle. Being so proud that we did it! That we actually made this happen. The ‘Oh crap, what am I doing’ thoughts. The lump in my throat. The sweaty palms and crazy heart beat all day. Walking to the parking lot knowing this was it.
This past year hasn’t been easy. Business goals were missed and figuring out a new schedule was hard. But, AHHHHMAZING things have happened in between.
Like picking up my kids from school.
Getting homework done early and being able to sit down with them and really help them. Not the let’s do homework while I cook supper and before we have a soccer game help.
Coached all of Emme’s teams.
Went to Jamaica and the Bahamas with Ben.
Stood in front of 25,000 while our team was recognized in Nashville.
Took vacations on a whim. Like in the middle of the week, whim!!
Merged teams with one of my most amazing girlfriends and business partners, Lindsay.
Helped coaches on our team rank advance, step outside their comfort zones and grow as people.
Went swimming with the kids on a Wednesday.
Made it to my first Field Trip.
Helped people get off blood pressure and cholesterol medication.
Had lunch with friends.
Took care of my nephew when he was sick.
Had friends who were told they couldn’t get pregnant, get pregnant because they became healthy!!
Sat on the back porch more often with Ben.
Went on Pokemon hunts with the kids.
Donated to more causes. Both financially and with my time.
Saw the good in situations that used to stress me out.
Helped others learn how to cook healthier.
Painted the hallway.
Painted trim. And more trim. And more trim.
Cleaned out flowerbeds.
Went on bike rides.
Maxed out my Roth.
Was a more present wife and mom.
The decision wasn’t easy. The big ones. The life changing ones, never are. But I’m so glad I said yes.
Thank you all for your support, for trusting me with your health, your goals, your dreams and your fears. It’s something I do not take lightly and look forward to doing for many many years to come. #oneyeardown
I came across it on the Ultimate Reset and ate it every night for supper the last 4 days while I was completing the program. One of my favorites!!
All I really did was switch up an oil, add some onion and shrimp. Simple and one skillet. Win win! And perfect for busy school nights.
Shrimp Stir Fry
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 zucchini, halved and sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cups frozen broccoli
Handful of chopped mushrooms
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos
Add the oils in a large saucepan on medium heat and warm
Add the onion. Warm through and stir until partially caramelized
Add the carrots and stir for about 4-5 minutes
Add the broccoli and stir for 3 minutes
Add the zucchini, mushrooms and shrimp and stir frequently for 4-5 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through
Remove from heat and add the Bragg’s liquid aminos. Stir well.
I need to give a shoutout to my hubs for letting me use this recipe (you can find him on Instagram at back_porch_dad). He’s a true carnivore and LOVES wings, but about 2 years ago we made the commitment to stick to the 80/20 rule of eating clean. Wings were one of the first recipes he had to revamp and these are goooood!
21 Day Fix.
Lewis Boy approved.
And just in time for Father’s Day!
Whole wings (drumsticks and wings attached)
Crushed red pepper
Italian seasoning or oregano
Buffalo hot sauce of choice (Tabasco brand is pure paleo, but can be hard to find. Brands like Frank’s have minimal preservatives)
Blue cheese (optional)
Preheat grill to high heat
Dust both sides of the winds with seasonings. I start with the coarsest seasonings first. This prevents the cayenne powder from blocking the crushed red pepper and Italian seasoning from sticking well.
Grill on high heat until golden brown and juices are popping. (His words!)
After the wings are seared, move them to top rack to ‘bake’. Close the lid and check and turn periodically. Depending on the grill, this should take as long as half an hour.
When they’re done, brush on the buffalo sauce. Let this cook onto the skin for 3-5 minutes. Repeat once.
Remove from grill and let cool for a few minutes. Feel free to top with blue cheese immediately after removing them from the grill if you’d like.
This is a great quick supper that can also be saved for lunch.
In this recipe I do have options for both refrigerated pizza crust and tortillas. I prefer whole wheat tortillas, homemade pizza crust or a paleo crust, but you can use whichever you’d like. Just don’t eat it all in one sitting!
Servings: 4 (Save leftovers for lunches)
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 c grated mozzarella cheese
½ c fresh basil, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves
Refrigerated pizza dough or whole wheat tortillas
Preheat oven to 400F
Combine tomato, mozzarella, basil, oil, vinegar and garlic in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, unroll the dough or get out the tortillas. Transfer to a non stick baking sheet and top with tomato mixture.
Bake pizza about 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and dough is cooked through.
Top with red pepper (optional) I also like to add red onions, mushrooms and olives to mine. Feel free to add those veggies!
This is way more of a meal for my husband than me.
I like white meat, he likes dark.
Cured meats aren’t really my thing, he makes meals out of them.
Hence prosciutto wrapped chicken thighs.
They really are very yummy and the crispy prosciutto rocks my socks off. Soooo good! And 21 Day Fix approved!
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
8 pieces of prosciutto
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 c olive oil
Warm oven to 350 F
In a pie dish, mix olive oil and sliced garlic.
Take one sprig of rosemary and strip it, then coarsely chop the rosemary. Add this to the olive oil and mix well.
Cut the remaining rosemary into 8 sprigs
Take one chicken thigh and spread it flat.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Drudge the thigh through the olive oil mixture. Do this with both sides.
Then place a sprig of rosemary in the middle and fold the thigh over.
Wrap the thigh in a piece of prosciutto and secure with a toothpick.
Place the thigh on a cooling rack and place the cooling rack on a baking sheet.
Continue with the remaining thighs.
If you have remaining olive oil, drizzle over the thighs.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
Every Friday night we have movie night, which calls for popcorn! We were guilty of buying the bag popcorn for a longggg time, but a few Christmases ago my sister in law bought us an air popper. It’s been on since then!
This is our go to popcorn recipe.
Organic popcorn kernels
Sea salt (we like the one with a grinder so you can pick between coarse or fine. Fine works best for popcorn)
Pour the appropriate amount of kernels into the machine (there will be a max line in your machine)
Scoop 1 tsp. of coconut oil out and place in the top removable compartment
Turn on your popper and let all the kernels pop
The coconut oil will melt during this.
Drizzle half the coconut oil on the popcorn and sprinkle a little salt on as well.
Mix and repeat until the coconut oil is gone. Serve immediately.
We’re getting in the swing of Little League (see what I did there…swing, baseball…), so nights are even more hectic and rushed than normal. The easier the supper, the better our night! But I don’t want to sacrifice the health of my family for easy.
This easy crockpot chicken is a winner all the way around. My daughter likes what she calls ‘slimy chicken’. I know, sounds so gross! But she likes dark meat and my son and I like white meat. See! Winner all the way around.
1 whole chicken (innards removed, chicken washed and patted dry)
1 yellow onion (sliced)
1 lemon (halved)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
7 whole carrots (skinned and chopped into 5 inch sections) Rub Ingredients:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
Place carrots and half the onions at the bottom of the crockpot.
Combine dry ingredients to create a rub.
After drying chicken, squeeze half a lemon on the chicken and rub the outside of the chicken with the garlic cloves.
Put the garlic and both halves of the lemon inside the chicken.
Add the remaining onions into the chicken as well.
Now take the dry rub and rub it all over the chicken until the rub is gone.
Place the chicken, breast side down, in the crockpot, on top of the carrots and onions.
Cook on low for about 6 hours.
After 6 hours remove the chicken from the crockpot into a oven safe baking dish.
Set your oven to broil and broil the chicken for about 4-5 minutes, or until the skin in browned and crispy.
Remove from the oven and add the remaining ingredients from the crockpot to the baking dish.