Healthy Tips For The Holidays: Watching The Waistline

battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblogUsually right around the beginning of October, I get a flash of all the food that’s ahead in the upcoming months. Halloween brings candy into the house, Thanksgiving is a day of being surrounded by a feast, and Christmas tends to be a day of food as well. For someone who hasn’t been watching their waistline, or is currently trying to avoid temptation this can be a really difficult couple of months. I wanted to share some things that have been working for me that might be able to help you as well!

It’s been two years since I had my daughter and have struggled to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I would lose the weight, but gain it back and then some. I finally was able to make some lifestyle changes that have helped me drop around 12 pounds and 6% body fat over the last two months. While I don’t expect anyone to do exactly what I do, I know it helps me to listen to what works for others, and take what I can — even if it’s just one little thing out of several they are doing.

  1. Get Moving. I enrolled myself back into bootcamp classes and give my 100%. And when I say 100%, I mean, grunting, sweating, ugly face 100%. I am not pretty when I work out and I don’t really care who hears me grunting when I give it my all. When I couldn’t go to class, I would go for a walk or run in my neighborhood. Basically, I will find SOMETHING I can do for 45-60 minutes five to six days a week. But, I wasn’t always able to do that. It started with three days a week and I worked up the days. Now I’m challenging myself to take a double class on different days just to see how well I can do! I should also add that you should pick something that you actually enjoy doing or it won’t stick. So walk, run, dance in your living room, get in a gym or out in a park — just get moving!
  1. Find someone to be accountable with. It’s easy to make promises to yourself in the beginning of the day, and then go “NAH” later on. But would you do that if you promised someone you would meet them at class? I know that when I tell someone that I wanna attempt double classes I better do it because they may ask me about it later! LOL. I have a friend that we would text each other every day after we finished our workout. I have someone in my classes that we both want to be fast and strong at the things we do, so we try to workout near each other so we motivate each other. I signed up for a fitness challenge after a nutrition challenge so that I could be surrounded by people who had the same goals. It really helps when you find an accountability partner if you find that you make healthy promises to yourself that you don’t keep – whether they be face to face or just a text away.battle-the-bulge-iliketotalkblog-2
  1. Check what you’re eating. I did a nutrition challenge with my bootcamp and realized by day two that I was mindlessly eating all the leftovers on my daughter’s plate. That sh*t adds up real quick day after day and I didn’t even realize I was doing it. Talk about a total face palm. I decided to go back to counting macronutrients which truly helps with body recomposition. In my case, losing weight and building muscle. By keeping track of how much fats, carbs, and protein I eat on a daily basis I was able to drop excess fat and build muscle at the same time. I should note that I have tried tracking macros before but fell off track around my daughter’s first birthday. I was really upset with myself for it, but you know what? You just gotta start and try again. And this time around it’s been SO much easier to follow through with. If you’re interested in trying it, google IIFYM or macro calculator to find out what fits your age, weight and currently activity levels. I use My Fitness Pal app on my phone to log all the food I eat on a daily basis  — there is a paid and a free version within the same app.food diary iliketotalkblog
  1. Plan ahead for meals. I used to think that I had no time to plan for my own meals. I cook for my daughter every day and felt like there was no time for me so I certainly wasn’t going to have time to cook meals for myself for the whole week —WRONG! Cooking and preparing healthy, balanced meals on the weekend and storing in plastic containers has saved me so many headaches of trying to figure out what I could eat on the fly. I usually prepare 3-4 different meals that I can rotate through the week that have all been premeasured and packaged to fit my macro count. This is one of the biggest points that has helped me in battling the bulge. When I eat on the fly, I end up eating WAY too much because I’m standing in front of a pantry picking random things. If you have a REALLY hard time planning and cooking for the week, there are services out there that can help you. Google local meal prep and you will find tons to choose from.meal-prep-iliketotalkblog
  1. Realistic Expectations. Do realize that it IS the holidays and you should enjoy yourself. I try to eat healthy 90% of the time so that once a week I can indulge in that pint of Halo Top at the end of the night.  Don’t be afraid thinking you can’t enjoy Thanksgiving or Holiday meals. Eat! And get back on track the next day. Granted, you can’t be like this every week or things will go in the opposite direction, but just be mindful if you can. If you know you’re going to want all the desserts, maybe skip the mashed potatoes. Fill up on the veggies and lean protein (even if they have butter and oil on them :). If you’ve gone overboard and ate everything in site, just know that tomorrow you can start over. It happens. Just don’t make it a habit!

I am by no means any type of health expert, but I do know the struggle of losing weight, gaining it, and feeling like it’s hopeless and I’ll be in stretchy pants the rest of my life. But as I continue to stick to my goals, and stay motivated by working with other motivated people I get better and better at it each time. I’m not quite at my end goal just yet, but I can see the light at the end of tunnel and know that even though there will be some bumps in the road (I’m talking to you, Thanksgiving dinner!) I will keep at it and eventually get there.

Want more tips or a different perspective on battling the bulge? Some of my fellow beauty bloggers rounded up their tips on staying healthy during the holidays:

 



Healanah Peace: Aromatherapy for a Restful Sleep

healanah-peace review by iliketotalkblogiliketotalkalot iliketotalkblog reviewAromatherapy has been around for ages and is a safe way to use aromatic plant and essential oils to treat a variety of symptoms, ailments or improving one’s mood. It can be done topically (on the skin), diffused in the air, or inhaled depending on the type of treatment you are looking for. Beverly Hills based, Healanah specializes in making healing sprays that combine the power of aromatherapy and gem stones.

With eight different varieties to choose from, Healanah covers all bases by offering sprays that promote positivity, improve the body’s ability to self heal, relax the senses, stimulate creativity, and increase energy and love. Now that I think of it, I could seriously use a little bit of each of those in my life right now! As a new mama that works from home I need energy to keep going throughout the day, and ways to keep creativity flowing without caffeine, all while keeping my baby happy and relaxed for nap time.

Healanah was nice enough to send me one of their healing sprays and I chose PEACE since it seemed most fitting at the time. PEACE uses a combination of Clary sage and Lavender essentials oils to help clear the mind. We know Lavender is used in lots of baby products because of it’s ability to soothe and relax, but what I never knew was that clary sage is used as a mood booster, and has calming abilities.

Always right around noon is nap time for my little one, and we both lay down on our cal king bed for a story, a snack, and a snooze. Nap time has to remain distraction free, so I use white noise to drown out any outside noise, but I also use my Healanah spray to help relax us I just spritz around the bedroom before we lay down so we pick up the scent from the bedding. I should add that I feel these are completely safe to use with a baby because I am not spraying anything directly on our skin and use the spray as a room and bedding spray instead.

healanah-peace review by iliketotalkblog

I happen to find the scent very relaxing and beautiful. We have a light breeze that comes in through our windows and the scent dissipates after a short time. Zoe also sleeps nicely for about 2-3 hours and mama sometimes falls asleep with her. I also enjoy their ENERGY and LOVE sprays that I have sampled in the past. Each spray retails for $25 each and can be purchased online or found in select stores in the Los Angeles area.

If you are someone who enjoys aromatherapy I highly suggest checking out Healanah on their website or social media pages for more information. You can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

To see my previous review of Healanah you can view it by clicking here.

 

5 Foods That Give You Beautiful Skin

5-foods-for-healthy-skin by iliketotalkblog

Have you heard the saying, you are what you eat?  There is some serious truth to that statement.  Eating vitamin and antioxidant rich foods can help fuel the body, allowing normal processes to function at a high level while processed, fatty foods can cause you to feel sluggish, tired, and leave you always craving more.  Lets take a look as some foods that are good for you and will give you the best skin of your life.

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Honey.  While we usually hear that sugar laden foods are bad for our skin, honey is actually quite good.  Honey generates hydrogen peroxide which fights infection (like acne), while acting as a humectant to draw moisture into the skin keeping it moisturized. Raw Manuka honey is able to generate hydrogen peroxide as well as other antibacterial components such as methylglyoxal that help clear the complexion.  Be sure to look for brands that show a UMF (unique manuka factor) rating of 10+ or higher to reap the benefits of this useful honey.  

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Eggs.  Eggs are loaded with a wide variety of constituents that help promote beautiful.healthy skin and nails. They contain a high level of vitamin A which helps skin repair itself, while biotin (a b-complex vitamin) plays a key role in hormone and nerve function. Not having enough biotin in your system leads to hair loss and skin problems like acne rashes and psoriasis. Eggs also serve as  a large source of proteins which help our skin continue with the rebuild & renew process.  Without proteins and amino acids collagen and elastin would not form.  

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Blueberries.  Considered one of the best sources of antioxidant activity by the U.S department of Agriculture, blueberries will help fight off free radicals which accelerate the aging process.  They also contain vitamin C which is known to increase collagen production for plump, youthful skin. Just a half a cup is a good amount to incorporate into your diet so toss some in some oatmeal or in a baggie and head out the door.

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Salmon. The wild type and not farm raised is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids that you can include in your diet.  Omegas are healthy fats that do wonders for the heart, joints and skin.  So while omegas improve skin suppleness and moisture levels, salmon also contains carotenoids that fight fine lines by improving elasticity. Why wild instead of farm raised?   Farm raised runs the risk of having more contaminants and may, I repeat MAY have antibiotics based on where the fish was sourced.

tomatoes--5-foods-for-healthy-skin by iliketotalkblog

Tomatoes.  Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene which is a type of carotenoid.  Lycopene and Carotenoids are antioxidants that not only fight the signs of aging, but help impart the healthy color in our skin.  That orange and red color you see in vegetables come from carotenoids helps boost up the “glow” in our skin by being stored in the fat just underneath the skin. Lycopene is also thought to have a role in preventing cancer so whether you throw some cherry tomatoes in a salad, or make a yummy marinara sauce, be sure to get some tomatoes into your diet.

There are a ton of highly nutritive foods out there that can improve your overall health and lead to great skin so don’t stop with this list.  This is just a starting point to jump off from.  What foods do you know have additional benefits to them?  Share in the comments below.