Saturday, November 22, 2014

Staying focused throughout the Holiday season

Sometimes staying healthy can be overwhelming around the Holidays...
EVERY year I must decide what's important: to indulge over and over again or to find balance, while having a few not-so-healthy menu items here and there!

One way to stay focused is creating or finding a challenge to keep you accountable and motivated...or possibly a winter race, depending on where you live.  
I have created a challenge for my local group of women called "Jingle the Jiggle Away"! 
I will have three categories or chances to win while having participants throw in $5 to the winners pot!  

Any tips on ways to include my readers from far away would be appreciated? I'd love to get my online readers a chance to play along and stay inspired right along with us??  
It will be three weeks beginning the Monday following Thanksgiving 
and ending the week before Christmas! 

**Please email suggestions to: 

Make sure you keep plenty of healthy options on hand so you aren't caught off guard around homemade chocolate chip cookies or fudge brownies...eeek!
I love cottage cheese but my tummy cannot tolerate it most of the time, until I found THIS!  
Lactaid, lactose-free cottage cheese!  
It's a perfect pair for my fresh berries or a great addition to scrambled eggs for extra fluff! 

crunchy PB, another staple in our home!
Nothing like a Chocolate rice cake topped with some crunchy PB for an on the go snack while Christmas shopping or running errands!
I packed this one on my trip to the grocery store this week.  I topped the rice cake with PB, wrapped it in wax paper to avoid sticking and then dropped it into a plastic bag!  SIMPLE!

Delicious alternatives to traditional Holiday meals always helps us stay focused!
I tried my lasagna recipe, only subbing noodles with spaghetti squash and layering in a baking dish rather than a large Pyrex!  It was delicious!
1 lb lean meat of your choice, I used extra lean ground beef
chopped garlic and onion
Brown meat with garlic and onion until cooked through.  Add 1 large can of tomato sauce-no salt added and simmer.  Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise, spoon out seeds, etc and lay face down in Pyrex with 1-2 inches of water.  
Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes or until outside of squash feels tender and you can pierce with fork easily.  Flip over and scrape creating "spaghetti noodles" from squash.  
I then layered my baking dish with some "noodles", a layer of sauce/meat mixture and then small spoons of low fat ricotta then top final layer with 2% Mozzarella.  Bake until melted and bubbly :)

FOCUS by creating healthy, balanced snacks throughout the day.  I started my day with 1/2 cup Lactaid cottage cheese mixed with fresh berries and 1/2 of a clementine orange!  YUM! 

FOCUS by preparing new meals rather than getting in a repetition of the same foods each week. 
I sometimes saute 2 egg whites in coconut oil spray and serve on a whole wheat Bagel thin or slice of sprouted bread.  Served with fresh raspberries here!  

FOCUS by doing things that are active together as a family!  
We will be running a 5K as a family on Thanksgiving Day!  How about you?
Create fun games outdoors that'll keep your family from standing around the food and munching!  Create new, healthy memories!!!

A proud moment for me this week!  I am in charge of the Run Club at my boys' school.  We have over 100 children that show up, voluntarily twice a week at 7am to run on the track and build up their mileage.  My boys LOVE this group, especially my oldest.  He averages around 3-4 miles/day and placed 2nd in his grade level for most mileage over an 8-week period.  My youngest placed 1st in his grade for mileage so to say I was proud is an understatement!
I love running because it's about YOU and YOU only.  Nobody does it for you or helps you out, you MUST put in the hard work, every step and every breath to be successful and my boys did that along with 100+ other students!  WOW.  Coming from a girl who HATED running and all forms of exercise growing up, it makes me proud knowing I am part of something that is keeping these children healthy and we are exposing them to active living at a young age.  That is so important.  Especially in a world of team sports-which I still promote, running is an individual sport based on nothing more than THE RUNNER.  THE ATHLETE.  Running will be there for their entire lives and they will not need a referee or umpire to be successful at it.  They do not need a goalie, a first baseman or a quarterback to make healthy strides with this sport and 
Hope they will carry that love with them for a lifetime...

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