What if your greatest gift to yourself this year is caring for your body and mind? Think about it this way: how do you feel when you had a girls’ night? A massage? A nice workout? Are you more patient with your kids? Do you feel happier? Do you feel more connected?
So, you feel good and who might benefit from this heightened state besides you?
Just think about it for a few seconds and jot down, who might benefit when you feel good. That's right, your husband, kids, friends, family, boss, co-workers, basically whoever comes in contact with you. That's what we call the ripple effect and it is just beautiful because you end up touching so many lives in such positive way. That is why I consider this your gift to yourself and others. We always think about giving others while taking away from ourselves (at least not consciously), but what if you could give others through replenishing yourself? How cool could that be? What new possibilities might open up for you if giving to yourself meant to give to others tenfold? Would you then give more to yourself because you know how much everyone else would benefit from your generosity?
I am going to share with you some tips to stay slim and sexy.
Let's start with the key to being healthy – water. Our body is made of up to 60 percent water and our brain up to 70 percent water.
Do you think your body functions efficiently without water? Almost every system in our body needs water to function properly. Water regulates body temperature, nourishes cells and promotes balance for a healthy body. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated and symptoms such as headaches, joint pains, muscles stiffness, poor concentration, colds, flu, etc. could be eliminated simply by drinking water every day. So, drinking water every day is important and I recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 160 lbs, you would drink about 80 ounces each day, starting before you have breakfast. I would recommend most of your intake to happen in the first half of the day so you don't have to pee all night.
Also when you feel hungry, drink water first and then wait 30 minutes. If the hunger feeling is still there, then eat a healthy snack such as nuts, a fruit, carrot and hummus. We are often feeling hungry when in fact we are thirsty so always reach for the water first. Coffee and tea are diuretic so they further dehydrate you, Try to switch from coffee or tea to water.
Lastly, alcohol further dehydrate our bodies, creating further imbalance. Drinking alcohol engages our kidneys which make us urinate more often leading to much water loss in a body which is already dehydrated. The Campus Alcohol Abuse Prevention Center at Virginia Tech recommends that if you are going to consume alcohol, you drink first 24 ounces of water, followed by six ounces of water for each serving of alcohol. A serving of alcohol is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor, such as whiskey, vodka or gin.
Bottom line: drink more water than alcohol.
So that's tip #1, drink water, replace soda and coffee with water. You will have more energy, you might even lose weight and you will feel better.
Now, on to tip #2. Don't go to a party starving. When we are hungry we are more likely to reach for the crackers, cheese and cookies than the veggies and we will gorge ourselves until we are stuffed, leaving us bloated, uncomfortable and tired. Then, what should you do? Have a light meal such as a salad or a green smoothie or steam vegetables. You want to feel almost satiated but not full or stuffed. Vegetables are easier to digest so you won't feel bloated or gassy. They are rich in fiber and they are usually non-existent at parties. By eating vegetables before going out, you are nourishing your precious body, you will still be able to eat at the party, you will fit in that sexy dress all night and you won't be passed out on the couch within two hours.
Don't love vegetables? Try to add seasonings, cook them differently. Sometimes it is all about the way it is cooked and seasoned. Try coconut oil, drizzle olive oil, add a little garlic, or provence herbs.
Have green smoothies. You can only taste the fruits and you get a whole bunch of veggies.
Many food served at parties make you feel bloated, gassy and tired because it is harder for your body to digest the load of carbs, sugar, chemical ingredients and cheese so it has to work extra hard, therefore you are tired and you feel gassy and bloated because these food choices don't agree with you, your body feels invaded and as it digests the food. Food ferments, therefore you are bloated and gassy.
So tip #2, eat a light meal before a party, made of vegetables so you feel light, sexy and have energy.
Let's move to tip #3. Don't skip breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day. Your body has been fasting for about 10 to 12 hours and it is empty of fuel. Have a large glass of water then a breakfast, which will break the fast. Think about having protein, could be eggs, oatmeal, also having vegetables, could be a green smoothie. (Sometimes I re-heat leftover soup for breakfast.) Add vegetables to your omelet – spinach, tomatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, etc.
Ditch the white carb and sugar, which will only make your blood sugar rise and put you back in that state of emergency, leading to more cravings when you come off your sugar high. Try granola with hemp milk, peanut butter on rice cake and banana (one of my husband and daughter's favorite)
So tip #3: don't skip breakfast and think energy, not sugar.
Tip #4, replace sugar! I know I said it, replace sugar. Sugar turns into fat (Fat doesn't turn into fat, sugar does. Fat turns to energy.) So, find ways to replace or at least reduce sugar. Do you know how much sugar the average American eats a year? Are you ready for that one? One hundred and fifty-six pounds. That's how much added sugar Americans consume each year on a per capita basis, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Imagine it: 31 five-pound bags for each of us.
Sugar makes your blood sugar rise to levels that put your body in a state of emergency. Feed your body mindfully, with food that will bring vitamins, fiber and minerals, not put your body in a state of emergency. When you are in that state of emergency, you cannot think clearly, you create more cravings, you jump on the mood rollercoaster. Is that how you want to feel? Or do you want to feel sexy, radiant and slim?
Instead of reaching for cookies, have a fruit.
Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, which you should have replaced with water anyway, add Stevia. When baking, find other ingredients to sweeten, such as dates and applesauce.
Bottom line, sugar is in almost every packaged food. It comes in many ways, hidden under many names, yet it doesn't make you slim and sexy.
Given that it is the holiday and it is about baking, why not find new recipes that will keep your waistline slim? Look for high-end ingredients. Try raw cacao and dark chocolate so you get to indulge and in the meantime, you nourish your body with antioxidants which help repair damaged cells. Som look for at least 70 percent dark chocolate. Dark chocolate can also help lower your blood pressure. When you upgrade your ingredients to health friendly ones, you don't get to feel guilty, you know you are nourishing your body.
Let's move to Tip #5, which connects with tip #4. Eat one cookie, not 10. If you find yourself in a situation where you are going to have dessert, use moderation. Have one slice of pie, not 5. One scoop of ice cream, not 5. One cookie, not 10. And think quality instead of quantity. Again be mindful of your body and how it will respond to what you put in your mouth. Whatever you put in your mouth will affect your body one way or another.
How do you want to feel in that sexy black dress? What choices should you make to feel the way you want to? I know you know!
Tip #6. You have a choice and you are responsible for how you feel, no one else. By taking responsibilities, you truly accept the choices you make and their consequences. You become empowered to decide what you want to eat and how you want to feel. When you take responsibilities, you begin to respect yourself and only when you respect yourself can you begin to respect others.
Everyone knows what they should do, exercise more, eat more vegetables, less sugar, more fruits...but we don't do it. There are many reasons why we don't and they are actually good reasons why. "Every action has a positive intention." That's a paradigm I like to remind myself of and another one I love is "we always win at the game we play." So if I play the game of victim or judgment, I win. But if I decide to play the game of self-love, self-expression, I win too. What game do you wish to win at?
So Tip #6 is about being honest with ourselves this holiday season, decide which game you wish to win at and make a decision today on it. These are my 6 tips for having fun this Holiday Season without gaining 10 lbs.
I am offering a "New Year, New You" discovery session for free. Email me at Severine@birthinharmony.com to schedule your New Year, New You Discovery session. Don't wait, act now.
Happy holidays, Sev