Making Holiday Leftovers Healthy!

Waste Not, Want Not! Tips for Holiday Leftovers!

You overestimated your family’s appetite, again. You stressed out over cooking seventeen different side dishes and no one even touched the creamed spinach! The audacity of these people!

So what are you going to do with all of those leftovers? Throwing them out would be insulting to everyone going hungry this year, but the thought of eating plain turkey for five days straight is causing you to dry heave.

Our Guidelines:

1) Protein, Veggies and Healthy Fats

Check these three boxes when creating your leftover meals to fuel your body with the right nutrition. A plate should have your choice of lean protein, a portion of healthy fats and a hearty amount of vegetables.

2) Macros

Now that you know what kinds of food to put in your mouth, let’s talk about quantity. Simply put, macronutrients are the building blocks of your food. Protein, carbohydrates and fats have different calorie amounts and are important to your well being and nutritional goals. Check out the appropriate amounts for you:

  • Protein: Women - 20-30g/meal, Men - 40-60g/meal

  • Carbs: Women - 20-30g/meal, Men - 40-60g/meal

  • Fats: Women - 7-12g/meal, Men - 15-25g/meal

3) Creativity

Repeat after us: You are your own Top Chef! You know which flavors are appealing to your palate. You know what you like and don’t like. It’s okay to keep things simple but eventually cooking and food prep can become boring if you don’t Emeril it up a bit and “Bam!” some spices onto your food.

Now that you have some guardrails, the real fun can begin...

Stick to the Five ‘S’s:

1) Soups

One leftover bird, water, veggies and herbs. Throw said things in a big pot, set the timer for a few hours and boom, soup magically appears. Seriously, there’s not much to think about or stress over when preparing homemade soup.

2) Salads

Create using spinach, spring mix, lean protein, seeds, beets or whatever veggies you have! Top it with some olive oil and vinegar and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal.

3) Scrambles

When in doubt, put an egg on it. Eggs can make any lame mix of ingredients into a delicious recipe. Scrambled, fried, over easy, poached and the list goes on!

4) Shakes

Who said you can’t put a sweet potato in a protein shake? If you have frozen fruit in your freezer, some spinach or kale, a sweet potato, leftover avocados and protein powder you can make several yummy grab and go shakes that check all of the boxes.

5) Stir-Fry

A well rounded meal can be as easy as throwing a bunch of foods in a pan for a stir-fry. Adding carbs like rice or noodles for an after holiday workout treat can be fuss free as well.

Most of you don’t have a surplus of time when you can make a gourmet meal every night. If you are one of the outliers that can blink their eyes and whip up a 5 start meal, then start sharing! If it’s not, time to get creative. Building healthy, nutritious and flavorful meals with little effort can just mean reusing holiday leftovers. They’re said to be the gift that keeps on giving, right? Happy holidays!

Staying Fit From Christmas to New Years

“No thanks, I’ll wait until mid-January to change.” Nope. Not this time.

Top off that blonde roast twice, maybe three times, throw your galoshes on and keep moving forward. People still wear galoshes, right?

You’re not destined to be a couch potato. Just yell “It’s a trap!” when you start to feel the cushions lure you in. We’re conditioned to think a certain way; “If I’m not at the gym, it doesn’t count!” Untrue. As long as you’re moving and expressing some type of strength, you’re doing good.

So what can you do to keep from looking like Santa this year?

Enjoy 7 Days of Fitness for Free!

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Don’t be a Scrooge!

1) Be Childish

Act like a kid again! When you “adult,” you don’t let loose, you think of all the reasons why you “shouldn’t” or “can’t”. Well here’s your permission. Throw a snowball at your neighbor (is that considered assault?), go ice skating, watch your dog go crazy in the snow, build a fort outside for your children. PLAY! Playing, laughing and smiling are all part of learning and experiencing movement. If you can have a good time and burn calories, why wouldn’t you?

2) Winter Sports

Ever talk to someone who skis or snowboards? Those nerds enjoy winter. How odd! But you can be a nerd too! Try skiing, snowboarding or even snowshoeing. These sports can get pricey if you buy equipment and want  season passes, so go for resorts that offer daily rentals and deals on lift tickets.

3) Challenge Yourself

The holiday season seems like a poor time to invest in yourself because of all types of restrictions, but it’s actually the best time. If you can get through the end of the year without gaining any weight while improving your movement and performance, the likelihood of you carrying that momentum for the rest of the year can increase tenfold.

You can start by challenging yourself to workout ‘X’ amount of days per week or tracking your effort using a heart rate monitor. For you more advanced movers, do a time-bound challenge like one hundred kettlebell swings in five minutes. Try to beat your best time!

4) Fitness Snacks

Moving whenever you can is just a good idea. Little bite sized pieces of exercise are not only adorable but doable!

Here’s how: Park further away, take the stairs whenever possible, shovel your driveway (yuck), get up from your desk every hour or do some bodyweight squats while eating cupcakes and Christmas cookies.

5) Stay Accountable

Ever say to yourself “Mmm, I don’t think I’ll workout today. I have to do X, Y and Z…”? Don’t lie, we’ve all been there before!

A good thing about having family and friends that are active and enjoy any kind of movement is that you have people to encourage you when you don’t feel like exercising. Start a fitness tradition with loved ones. Similar to point three, challenge them to some sort of physical competition. Just don’t be mad when Uncle Henry can squat fifty pounds more than you.

6) Goal Setting

What kind of ‘end of the year’ list would that be if we didn’t mention goals? At this point it may seem like setting goals is futile. Well, only if you allow that to happen.

Creating specific, measurable and attainable goals for yourself will help enhance your movement practice and even boost productivity outside of that realm. If you have somewhere to go, there’s less of a chance you’ll f*** around and waste time.

Begin by choosing a small goal that you can practice everyday until that’s habitual, then add more things to check off until you’re knee deep in success.

7) Gym Deals

Join a gym. Our gym. Take advantage of the time of year. Many gyms have specials and promotions at the end of the year. Why wait for the new year? Why not start now? Find a gym that caters to your needs, keeps your goals in mind and has a good community. Either that or create your own sketchy garage gym with chainsaws and PVC pipes.

Working out doesn’t have to fit into a neat little box. It can be messy and fun. Finding ways to stay active during the colder months can be as simple as getting outside or playing with your kids. The bottom line: Just move!

Booze Choose: Optimizing Your Alcohol Intake

Do This, Not That, When You’re Thirsty for a Beverage!

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With countless holiday parties friends, co-workers and loved ones, combined with peer pressure, daylight savings and less outdoor activity, your goals fly away on Santa’s sled.

Alcohol is a fun way to break the ice with people you don’t know or would rather not be around (hello family). It’s okay to drink and have a good time, but what’s the cost? Can you still party like it’s 1999 and drop some lb’s?

What does eggnog, coquito, apple cider, Irish coffee and a hot buttered rum all have in common?

They’re all delicious belly warming drinks to sip in colder months. Unfortunately they’re high in calories. Dessert-type libations tend to have a good amount of fat in them. Sadly, fat has about nine calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein that have approximately four calories per gram. So you can see how the alcohol choices you make are important if you’re trying to manage the calories you ingest.

If you want to party, be smart about it…

Don’t Let Your Goals Get Wasted

1) What’s Wrong with Tea?

If you’re feeling cold, you actually have some healthy options to drink. Tea, black coffee and even a hot toddy can hit the spot. Try adding warming spices to your food and beverages. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne and cardamom are all good choices to keep the chilliness away.

2) Good Alcohol, Bad Alcohol

Many alcohols contain the infamous gluten (cue horror movie scream). If you want to keep your body’s inflammatory response to a minimum, try vodka which is made from potatoes or tequila that comes from the agave plant.

Alcohols like whiskey, scotch, rum and wine may not always have gluten but they’re higher in sugar.

3) Mind the Dessert Table

It’s quite alright if you’re indulging in a few spirits over the holidays, but watch doubling up on other empty calories. Foods that don’t have much nutritional value aren’t the best choice to eat while you’re drinking. Processed food and sugary desserts are the main culprits to watch out for.

The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration. It can be difficult sometimes to have fitness goals AND have a life. Luckily, you don’t have to choose. Make one good choice after another and they’ll stack up. If all else fails, throw back several shots and pray you still look good in the morning!

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