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IT'S THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Let's face it, the holidays might be a good time for your taste buds, but it isn't exactly an ideal season for your waistline (looking at you, eggnog and mince pie!).

But what if you could enjoy the glorious holiday repast without sabotaging your health?

You can start by sticking to your routine with Forever FIT! 
And, here are some other tips and tricks to keep you healthy during the festivities! 

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

I feel as if my life has been in a constant state of change over the last six months. And I am OK with that! I embrace change, because I believe that there is usually something even better right around the corner... Let's take a look at what change means - and how we can fully embrace transition without losing sight of our accomplishments. 

If you were to bake a cake, what’s the first thing that you picture? Perhaps you imagine the cake itself, a yummy tower of chocolate with rich buttercream icing on top. 

When setting out to accomplish something, like baking a cake, we often think in terms of the outcome. Instead of savoring the experience of preparing the cake, we create expectations of the end product, missing out on enjoying the process. 

We often look at our goals in life in the same way. Whether we want to make a big change, or a change happens to us, we visualize the outcome. We set expectations.

But this way of thinking can make it difficult to navigate through change. After all, making a big change in life doesn’t happen overnight. The road to achievement comes with all sorts of twists, turns, and dead ends. 

Embracing Change

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Slow Down and Practice Mindful Eating

When was the last time you enjoyed a quiet, peaceful meal without interruption? If you can’t remember, you’re hardly alone. These days, eating a leisurely meal is a rare luxury. Sadly, for many people, eating on the run has become the norm. They gobble down meals while they text their friends, catch up on their favorite TV shows, or check to see who’s posting on Twitter and Facebook. Yet research reveals that the very act of eating in a hurry may contribute to overweight and obesity.

Here’s how: As you eat and drink, your stomach fills, activating stretch receptors in your stomach. These receptors send satiety messages to your brain via the vagus nerve, which connects the brain to the stomach. Then, as food enters your small intestine,appetite hormones are released, sending additional fullness messages to your brain. This process doesn’t happen immediately, though. It can take 20 minutes—or longer—for your brain to realize it’s time to put down your fork. Eating too quickly doesn’t allow this intricate system sufficient time to work, making it easy to overeat without even realizing it.

There’s another downside to distracted eating that has nothing to do with speed. Eating while you’re busy doing other things robs you of the opportunity to fully enjoy your food, so you may not feel completely satisfied—and may keep on eating in an attempt to gain satisfaction.

Enter mindful eating

Mindful eating is the act of fully focusing on your food as you eat. It encourages you to pay closer attention to the tastes, smells, and textures of your food as well as your body’s hunger and satiety cues. As basic as it sounds, this practice is surprisingly powerful. In one small study, 10 obese volunteers enrolled in weekly mindful eating classes that focused on listening to their feelings of hunger and fullness. They also paid close attention to their cravings and emotions. Not only did the participants drop an average of 9 pounds by the end of the three-month program, but they also reported less hunger, stress, anxiety, depression, and binge eating.

In addition to savoring the flavors and aromas of your food, the following techniques can help you attain more mindful eating:

  • Create a calm, beautiful space for eating. A cluttered table does not create the sense of inner tranquility you need in order to cultivate a peaceful mindset.
  • At the beginning of your meal, set a timer for 20 minutes. Then pace yourself to make your meal last until the timer goes off.
  • Let the answering machine take care of incoming phone calls.
  • Put away all computers, phones, and reading materials, so you can concentrate on your food.
  • Turn off the television, another source of distraction.
  • Eat only at the kitchen or dining room table to minimize distractions.
  • Think only about the bite of food you’re actually eating at that moment. It’s all too easy to think ahead to the next bite without focusing on the food that’s actually in your mouth.
  • Put your fork down between bites.
  • Chew each mouthful 30 times.
  • Before you help yourself to seconds or dessert, ask yourself if you’re really hungry.

15 Holiday Smoothies 

Trying to eat balanced meals during the holiday season can be challenging, to say the least, but it's a little easier if you start your day with a healthy smoothie. For every warm winter salad full of veggies on the buffet table, there's a tray of festive Christmas desserts right next to it, taunting you. That's why eating breakfast is so important. It'll keep you full all morning, so you don't end up going into a frenzy when someone puts a box of cookies in the office kitchen. The best part? These 15 smoothies don't taste healthy — they have all the fun and flavor of your favorite holiday treats.

15 Holiday Smoothies

Try a Mental Health App

Most people know they can exercise, eat well, sleep, and stay hydrated to take care of their physical health. But it’s less common for people to pay attention to their mental health. Just like your physical health, support for your mental health helps you feel your best.

There are great ways to nurture and care for the state of your mental health. Some of these include practicing mindfulness and meditation, seeing a therapist, journaling, talking with a friend, lighting some candles and reading a book, or simply taking a nap.

Many mental health apps can give you tools, activities, and support to help you manage your stress. There are apps available to help with general mental health concerns and specific conditions.

Check Out Some Mental Health Apps
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Forever FIT Offers Nutrition Coaching! 

If you are interested in learning more about balanced eating, maintaining health, and controlling some negative eating habits, join Forever FIT today! I am a certified Nutrition Coach! 
SIGN UP FOR NUTRITION COACHING
Do you have a song you'd love to hear in class? Or maybe a tip for other valuable information I should include in this newsletter? Email me! 
lauren@laurenhanan.com
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Hanan Consulting & Design · 6525 Creekview Terrace · Pinellas Park, FL 33781 · USA

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