What’s Your Favorite?

What’s your absolute favorite Thanksgiving dish you look forward to all year long?

The holidays are known to have a slew of unhealthy dishes, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  There are loads of healthy side items you can make for the holidays.

A couple of healthy side item recipe ideas include:

– Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

– Garlic Mashed Cauliflower “Potatoes”

– Garlic & Thyme Roasted Button Mushrooms

– Green Beans with Ginger & Cranberries

How to Have a More Active Thanksgiving With Your Family

Thanksgiving is a busy time for social gatherings and big meals around the table with friends and family. This typically means the holiday revolves around (delicious!) food and not much activity.

There are some fun ways to make your Thanksgiving a little more active, and here are a few favorite family-friendly activities that will keep you all off the sofa.

1. Get your game on
Thanksgiving television is a big thing for families, congregating around the TV to watch the football game or the Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you must watch that big game on TV, get a game going of your own in the yard first. Gather the family and shoot some hoops, toss the football, or throw the frisbee. Anything you choose will be fun and get the blood pumping – so it’s a win-win!

2. Take part in a turkey trot
Take a look on your community page for your city, and you’re bound to see a turkey trot. These are free running and walking events held during the Thanksgiving weekend. Gather the whole family for a day full of active fun. If you live in a more remote setting, you can host your own turkey trot. Why not involve your neighbors and your community by organizing one yourself?

3. Family walk time
Before dessert gets served, get everyone up to go for a walk. A lot of people put up Christmas lights during Thanksgiving weekend, and as the sun goes down, you might just be in for a beautiful treat as you walk around with your family. You could also have everyone find their favorite colorful, fallen leaf to take home and make a craft with. Let that be your new tradition. Then head back and enjoy your slice of pie!

4. Shop it off
Let’s not forget about Thanksgiving’s most popular activity, Black Friday. You  don’t even need to exercise your credit card but all that walking around is good for the family. Try parking farther away to get more walking in and just enjoy the sights and sounds. It’s about spending time together actively, and Black Friday makes for a fun way to do it while getting that holiday shopping done.

Once you get back from any of these activities, you’ll feel great about your active day with loved ones. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

Let’s talk about sleep.

It’s a problem a considerable amount of people struggle with, and we all are aware of how absolutely critical good sleep is for our health.  This we know.

But have you ever considered how lack of sleep influences your social interactions?  Think about it.  When you’re exhausted and struggling to get through your day, you tend to withdraw inward and try to avoid social interaction because you’re just not feeling up to it.

Now think about how daily sleep deprivation can lead to the daily withdrawal of social interactions — and what that can compile to become over time.

Something to think about.  Do you struggle with sleeping well? Do you find it affects your social interactions?

Did you know that eating while stressed raises the cortisol levels in your body, which can disrupt your hormones?  What this means is even if you’re eating healthy foods, your body’s reaction to what you’re eating while stressed can still cause an adverse effect on your body.

This could even be a reason you’re not losing weight, even though you’re eating healthy foods.  If you’re stressing about the scale and every bite you eat, try loosening up this week and seeing what changes.  Continue eating healthily, but do your best to take the stress out of it altogether.  Check back in and let me know what feels different for you in a week of doing this, I’m so curious to know!

One simple tip to switch your mindset from stress to gratitude is to start your meal off by giving thanks.  Silently show your appreciation of the food in front of you and eat each bite with stress-free appreciation.

Why the Lymphatic System is Important to Your Health

Plus How to Boost it

Do you know what your lymphatic system is and how important it is to your health?

In the technical sense, the lymphatic system consists of your tonsils, bone marrow, spleen, adenoids, lymph nodes, thymus, and lymphatic vessels. It’s basically a circulatory system of its own that works with your immune system.

More understandably, the lymphatic system leads to lymph nodes that are all over your body. The circulatory system is pumped by the heart, but the lymphatic system needs your body’s movement to pump it. With this movement, your body’s lymphatic system can help keep you healthy by clearing out the toxins your lymphatic system is catching.

For this reason, it’s incredibly important to keep active so that your lymphatic system can do its job of keeping you healthy. Here are ways to boost this system for your best health.

1. Moving around
Exercise is good for you, and this is the proof. It doesn’t matter how you choose to move. What matters is that you start doing something. Dance, run up and down the stairs, take a walk, go to the gym, swim, ride your bike, go to yoga, play tennis, do jumping jacks, or do anything you can think of to get exercise.

2. Breathe right
You’re breathing right now, but to take charge of your lymphatic system, you should sit quietly and practice deep diaphragmatic breathing. You simply breathe in deeply through your nose and hold it for a count of four. Then exhale from your mouth for a count of two. You can increase the time as you get better and better at it.

3. Go on the rebound
Well, the rebounder, that is. A rebounder is a small trampoline, and it’s fun to jump on to get your blood pumping. Vertical movements seem to be incredibly useful for getting your lymphatic system moving. No trampoline? No problem! You can run in place, jump, do jumping jacks, bounce, or even dance.

4. Dry-brush your skin
Every morning, you should perform dry-skin brushing before you shower to release toxins that build up while you’re sleeping. Start with your feet and work your way upward. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes every morning to brush away the toxins from the night. Use a natural-bristled brush for the best results.

Which one of these tips are you going to start doing this week?

Today is the perfect day to start paying attention to keeping your lymphatic system healthy and working to your advantage. Start today, and you’ll start feeling better as you go about your daily life.

Have you done this?  I know I have.

This time of year rolls around, the holidays begin, and we throw all caution to the wind when it comes to our eating habits.  We tell ourselves we’ll pick back up with healthy eating in the New Year along with the rest of the world — New Year Resolutions, right?  Millions of people every year fall into this cycle.

Let’s make this year different.  Instead of adopting that mindset this year, I want you to focus on one thing only — maintaining your weight. Instead of thinking “there’s no way I’ll lose weight this season with all the holidays coming up, so why even try?” think about what you can do to maintain instead of gain.  Let that be the goal this year and cut yourself some slack — it’s the holidays, after all!

Let’s kick off November with a little challenge.

This month, let’s focus on 2-3 healthy habits all month long.  It can be as simple as taking a 10-minute walk every day or as complex as 50 push-ups a day.

This way, once you get to the end of the month when the holidays begin, you will have been focusing on your health all month long.  You won’t feel as guilty eating that slice of pie, and you certainly won’t feel like one meal has derailed you from the health goals you’ve been working all month long on.

What are your 2-3 healthy habits going to be?  Challenge accepted?

Natural Ways to Find Relief From Constipation & Stay Regular

It’s a subject no one likes to talk about, but we’re going there! Believe it or not, constipation is a very common problem for many people. Suffering from it can be a result of what you’re eating (or not eating), lifestyle choices, medications for other ailments, or even medical conditions.

We’ve all dealt with it at some point or another, but dealing with it regularly can really be a burden — and a burden you don’t have to deal with.

Making sure you focus on these tips to keep your digestive system running smoothly is quite simple to do — here are some very easy to do things to avoid the bloat and pain of irregularity.

1. Drink that water
One of the biggest reasons people become constipated is because they’re not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is paramount to keeping things moving. If you’re not a big water drinker, start focusing on easing up to drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day.

2. Feast on fiber
We generally don’t get enough fiber in our diet. You should be eating a balanced diet that has foods that are naturally rich in fiber –think veggies,
fruits, nuts, and whole grains.

3. Walk it off
Studies have shown the more we move, the more our digestive tract does its job. Try fitting in a walk each day and see how things change with your digestion.

4. Eat probiotic foods
So much has been learned about gut health over the last few years. Those that suffer from constipation regularly usually have an imbalance of the good gut bacteria in their gut. Probiotics can make a huge difference in your digestion, so eat foods with that good, live bacteria in them, and that should help restore balance. Fermented foods like kimchi or pickles, for example, are some examples of naturally probiotic foods you can easily fit into your meals.

5. Eat prebiotic foods too
No, they’re not the same as probiotic foods! These foods make it possible for probiotics to assist you. They feed that good bacteria in your gut and help them stay happy. Things like bananas, onions, and garlic are prebiotics, so start eating more of them, as well.

6. Try prunes
Prune juice gets a bad wrap, but give it a shot. Prunes are one of the most well-known natural laxatives, and undoubtedly your grandmother tried to come to your aid as a child with a sip of prune juice. It’s worked for generations, so it must be trustworthy! (Those with IBS, steer clear of prunes.)

I know it’s embarrassing to talk about sometimes, but healthy digestion is vastly important to your overall health, and it’s something we need to talk about. If you’re not having a bowel movement daily, it’s time to start focusing on some ways to change that. Best of luck.

It matters how you cook it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I just don’t like veggies.”

Now, of course, we all have foods we don’t love or prefer — that’s a given.  But I do wonder how many foods you don’t currently like could turn into something you love with a different cooking method.  It’s worked for me with many types of foods.

Different ways of cooking and seasoning can make a world of difference.  For example, steamed broccoli may turn your nose up, but have you ever tried roasting broccoli in the oven with some olive oil, garlic, and black pepper?  It’s incredible. An entirely different taste, smell, and texture.

So before you swear off of a veggie that hasn’t won you over yet, look up different ways to cook it and give it a shot.

Simply Ways To Stay On Track This Fall

Summer is behind us and Fall is officially here. We tend to have slower days this season, which is welcomed after a busy summer. More leisurely days can lead to falling off track with your healthy habits, but not if you stay mindful of the goals you’ve been working on all summer long.

Here are a few of my simple & favorite tweaks to stay on track during this slower season-

Spice up your life
A few dashes of your favorite spicy toppings can do wonders for your metabolism. Eat more hot peppers or even sprinkle red pepper flakes from your spice rack onto your foods to help boost your metabolism almost effortlessly. Add it to soups, stir-fry, pasta, or even your salad too.

Skip the diets
The best thing you can do is actually eat more of the right food. Fiber-rich fruits and veggies can be gobbled down until you feel that satisfied feeling with no guilt involved. Make smart choices when you’re eating, and you’ll be fueling your body with the right stuff and balancing a healthy metabolism.

Power up with protein
Protein powers and maintains lean muscle. You don’t need to be a meat-eater though to get all the protein you need. Plant-based proteins are an ideal solution to helping your muscles maintain and burn off fat in a healthy way.

Stand more
If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, make sure you get up and move around at least once every hour. If possible, get a standing desk that adjusts so you can work standing up or sitting down, or a DeskCycle that you can use while you’re sitting.

Choose organic
If money is a factor in your grocery budget, you can choose organic when it comes to things like strawberries, apples, celery, peaches, spinach, other greens, and potatoes. These have the highest pesticide levels. Things you peel like bananas, avocados, or grapefruit, for example, are generally fine if they’re non-organic.

Little things like these are all healthy and smart ways to make your body work harder for you without you working harder, which is a great advantage to have in the fall! Enjoy the slower season and see how your body responds.